Posts filtered by tags: South America 2018-2019[x]


 

Every Story Worth Reading Has A Plot Twist

We met at the hotel in São Paulo at 4 p.m. Mark immediately started to complain about something—Being thirsty? Being tired? Can’t remember already. Feng went to the bathroom to change to his jeans and he put on a long-sleeve t-shirt. I booted my laptop and wrote down an address on my notepad. “We’d better go before the 5 p.m. downpour…” The sky was already getting darker and darker. There was a taxi just outside the hotel—yes, São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport please. “What time is your ...
Tags: Travel, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Sao Paulo, Mark, Feng, Guarulhos, South America 2018-2019, Guarulhos International Airport, Feng Juliette Mark


I’m Leaving Brazil With…

A new swimsuit I bought at the night market in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. A very lucky pick for 50 reais ($13), especially considering I couldn’t try it on! 4 tweezers, a pack of two I bought in São Paulo and two that were given to me after a depilação session. 3 panties because Brazil does panties very well. A 30 reais ($8) Pink Floyd t-shirt bought at the Galeria do Rock in São Paulo. A $2 white “New Year” cropped top bought in Catete, Rio de Janeiro. I’m still wearing because I love the cut...
Tags: Travel, Pink Floyd, Brazil, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Berenice, Copacabana Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis, Galeria, Miniso, Catete Rio de Janeiro, South America 2018-2019, Libertade São Paulo, Rio Please, Policía Militar de Brasil


Urban Fun in São Paulo

“So, we leave from Santos Dumont and we land in Congonhas.” “Awesome!” Santos Dumont is in Centro Rio de Janeiro and Congonhas is also a “city airport” in São Paulo, so it means shorter taxi rides than if we were using the larger international airports. “Wait… isn’t Congonhas the one with super short runways and the congestion issue?” Feng shrugs. Oh well. I slept during the one-hour flight from Rio to São Paulo, but I sure woke up when we arrived—it was a hard landing in what’s said to be one o...
Tags: Travel, China, Canada, Santiago, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Latin America, Rio, Sao Paulo, Mark, Montevideo, Antonio, Florianopolis, Santos Dumont, Avenida Paulista, São Carlos


The Orange Jello Obsession (And Much Tastier Brazilian Foods in Pictures)

In São Paulo, around New Year’s Eve, Mark became obsessed with orange jello. It’s a fairly common dessert in “por kilo” buffet-style restaurants, although it’s not as much as in North America (… because Brazilians have better options?) We had the jello discussion several times in Canada. Some of his friends apparently eat gelatin but I refuse to buy Jell-O cups because the nutritional contents of his lunchbox already makes me want to scream. But Mark was really craving Brazilian jello. One night...
Tags: Travel, Food, Canada, Brazil, Bob, North America, Rio, Sao Paulo, Mark, Feng, Belém, Loja, Florianopolis, Avenida Paulista, Sukiya, South America 2018-2019


Climb the Social Ladder Walking Though Rio

Some cities are perfect to wander around—not Rio. In Rio, you tend to follow a straight path. First, you’re stuck between the hills—I’m pretty sure some qualify as mountains—and the shore, so there’s no much room to move around. Second, it’s probably not a great idea to stray from the main streets and avenues if you’re not sure where you’re going because there are plenty of neighbourhoods you don’t want to get lost in. You can’t really “explore” Rio the way you would with many other cities. Howe...
Tags: Travel, Pink Floyd, Brazil, Jesus, Flamengo, Rio, Cidade Maravilhosa, Ipanema, Copacabana, Avenida Atlântica, Leblon, Mark, Gloria, Rua, Lapa, Antonio Carlos Jobim


SHARK! (At AquaRio…)

“So, no Aquaman.” “Zero chance.” “Megalodon… I KNOW, I KNOW! It was a long time ago!” “Yep, no extinct, massive creature.” “Nemo?” “We should be able to find it.” “Dory?” “Likely in the same tank. Eh, you might see sharks too.” “SHARKS?” “Yes, but they’re smaller and less scary than you think. Unlike in movies,” I clarify. I remember being obsessed with Jaws, much like Mark is obsessed with The Meg, and feeling both a bit disappointed and relieved by the average size of a great white shark. I’m ...
Tags: Travel, Beijing, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, South America, Jaws, Rio, Botafogo, Mark, Meg, Feng, Museu, Eduardo Kobra, Uruguaiana, South America 2018-2019, Praça Mauá


One of These Nights in Rio

I’m getting antsy because it’s 6:30 p.m. and I haven’t accomplished anything yet today. Well, technically, I did—we packed, checked out of the hotel in Florianópolis, took a taxi to the airport, queued at the GOL check-in counter to get boarding passes, weighted our checked baggage at the self-service kiosk and pay for them (it’s 60 reais if you do it yourself but 120 reais if you do it at the counter) then queued again to drop off the two backpacks now properly tagged. We waited at the very cro...
Tags: Travel, Toronto, Paris, Brazil, Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, Jesus, Sugarloaf, Rio, Sao Paulo, Ipanema, Copacabana, Botafogo, Oscar Niemeyer, Feng, Florianopolis


This is Brazil in a (Coco)Nutshell

At 1:30 a.m., I had a sudden craving for a pão de queijo. Don’t judge if you’ve never had this quintessential, addictive melt-in-your-mouth Brazilian snack. Fortunately, in Florianópolis, it’s easy to satisfy a few basic late-night cravings, as long as you enjoy what Brazilians eat when bars are closing—mostly fried snacks filled with chicken and cream cheese, ham-and-cheese bread, pound cake or yes, pão de queijo. Just walk to the nearest 24/7 gas station, they have a big selection of food and ...
Tags: Travel, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Expedia, Argentina Uruguay, Banco, Florianopolis, South America 2018-2019, Coco Nutshell, Rosário Centro Florianópolis Look, Lagoa Ilha de Santa Catarina


Stuck in Hours-Long Traffic Jams on Ilha de Santa Catarina

You know you’ve been stuck in a traffic jam for too long if the songs play in the alphabetically and you started with Alanis Morissette to end up only a few kilometres further with Bono complaining about the world. “Why don’t they put a hónglǜdēng here? Don’t you agree, Juliette? I mean, that’s common sense, isn’t it?” Feng is so annoyed he used the Chinese word for “traffic light”. I shrug. I agree with him but obviously, there’s no light, just an endless line of cars trying to turn, merge, get...
Tags: Travel, Bono, Canada, Brazil, Central America, Centro, Alanis Morissette, Mark, Barra, Juliette, Feng, Florianopolis, Morro, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis Centro, South America 2018-2019


Praia Mole (Swimsuit On), Praia Da Galheta (Swimsuit Off)

How come we tend to only memorize hurtful comments and not soothing, flattering remarks? I remember the day I started feeling self-conscious about my body. I had just turned 13 and I was meeting friends at the beach. We hadn’t discovered flirting yet, so we were actually going to play, chat or whatever we had planned that day. I didn’t think twice about changing into my swimsuit because that’s normal beachwear. All it took was one look and one comment. “Wow, what happened to you? Why you have so...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Praia, Ponta, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia Mole, South America 2018-2019, Praia Da Galheta, Meio Praia da Galheta, Praia Mole to Praia da Galheta


Praia Da Joaquim, Between Sand Dunes and Massive Rocks

We keep on extending our stay in Florianópolis. “Maybe instead of checking out on Wednesday, we can check out on Thursday… or, fuck it, on Friday.” “If we stay any longer, I’ll have to register Mark at the local school,” I joke. I don’t mind another two days in Florianópolis. I love it here too. It’s just… comfortable. The hotel has everything we need—a bedroom with a door (Mark sleeps on the sofa bed), a microwave, a shower with good water pressure, a balcony and three towels (never take towels...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Campeche, Mark, Praia, Florianopolis, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Floripa, Pedra, Havaianas, South America 2018-2019, Praia Da Joaquim Between Sand Dunes, Praia da Joaquim, Brazil Havaianas


The Hidden Beaches of Ilha de Santa Catarina

The hardest it is to get to a spot, the more likely you’ll enjoy it. It feels like a precious, unique experience, you’re mentally set to appreciate it. And sometimes, you do stumble upon a true gem. South of Ilha de Santa Catarina is Armação, a cute village with an equally cute little beach and plenty of picturesque fishing boats. Praia da Armação was still quiet when we arrived—… at 2 p.m., I’m guessing Brazilians were still finishing their beloved lunch!—so I went to explore Praia do Caldeirão...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, South East Asia, Praia, Ponta, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia da Armação, South America 2018-2019, Lagoinha Leste, Caldeirão Ilha de Santa Catarina Praia, Campanhas Praia, Matadeiro, Campanhas Crossing, Matadeiro Crossing, Matadeiro Ilha de Santa Catarina Praia




Praia dos Ingleses and the Sand Dunes

“Why didn’t you call me ‘Nick’?” “… Because we thought ‘Mark’ was a good name.” “Can I change my name to ‘Nick’?” “Nope.” “I think we’re going to walk for at least an hour.” “More like thirty minutes. I’ve just been there and back, it doesn’t take that long. And it’s a sand dune, sand dunes are cool, right?” “My tummy hurts.” “Why?” “DUH! Because I’m hungry.” “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? If you see the word ‘pastel,’ let me know, I’ll buy one.” “What is it?” “Food. Like a big fried wonton wi...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, NICK, Mark, Praia dos Ingleses, South America 2018-2019


The Brazilian Beach Experience – Açaí, Caipirinhas, Corn, Grilled Meat, Pirate Ships and More

I don’t know for you, but when I go to the beach, I just take my swimsuit, a sarong and my camera. Okay, maybe some money too, my keys and cigarettes. I used to bring a few magazines as well, but now I have my own entertainment system—Mark…—so there’s no way I can focus on the intricacies of a good thriller. And that’s usually all I need for my beach experience, a straightforward affair that predictably involves swimming, sunbathing and walking from one end of the beach to the other. I’ve never ...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia de Canasvieiras, Choripán, South America 2018-2019, Canasvieiras


Ilha de Santa Catarina is (Almost) Paradise

Ilha de Santa Catarina is definitely on my top ten lists of places I’m happy I discovered. Mind you, Brazilians, Argentinians and Uruguayans found it long before me—it’s not like I’m planting the French or the Canadian flag. No land claim, I’m promise I’m not going to force locals to eat baguette and start a hockey team. I just want to enjoy the beach, like everyone else. I love this place because it has everything we’re looking for when we travel. It’s a big island—54 km north-south, 18 km east...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Centro, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Ilha de Santa Catarina, South America 2018-2019, South 18 Km East West, Beiramar Shopping Mall, Campeche Ilha de Santa Catarina


São Paulo to Florianópolis – From the City to the Beach

It’s the kind of day when you know you won’t accomplish much except going from point A to point B and hopefully make it to your destination, which is admittedly a goal in itself. Maybe you’ll get to catch up with emails and work if the airport has free Wi-Fi. Maybe you’ll get to catch up on sleep in the plane. Maybe everything will go as planned. Maybe not. I mean, things rarely go exactly as planned but chances are, you’ll be just fine. We checked out at noon and stored the backpacks at the hot...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Santa Claus, Rio, Sao Paulo, Mark, Feng, Florianopolis, Avenida Paulista, Congonhas, South America 2018-2019, Congonhas Airport São Paulo, Florianópolis Ilha de Santa Catarina Flying, Florianópolis Ilha de Santa Catarina Landing, Aeroporto Internacional de Florianópolis Landing


People of São Paulo

São Paulo has a soul—a heart too, I feel it beating. This megapolis that stretches as far as the eye can see and probably beyond isn’t an overwhelming sea of buildings. Paulistas, those who call São Paulo home, make it lively, fun, interesting. The guy who was standing at the counter of a lanchonete on Avenida Paulista, drinking café, absentmindedly moving his feet to the sound of the music playing on the radio. The two girls kissing in front of the Museum of Art. The couples I saw walking aroun...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista, South America 2018-2019, Alameda Min Rocha Azevedo São Paulo, Monumento Mausoléu ao Soldado Constitucionalista


January 1, 2019 in São Paulo

The sun was shining, the city sounded dead quiet and we didn’t need hangover remedies since we only had half a glass of a mini bottle of cheap champagne bought for 9.90 reais ($2.55) at the 24-hour Extra supermercado on New Year’s Eve—don’t ever ask me to bring wine to your party, I make terrible choices. The day was starting well—or rather, the afternoon was considering we all went to bed very late and got up at noon. We already knew tudo estará fechado because all when there’s a holiday, every...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Tokyo, Chanel, Santa, Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista, Paulista, Rua Augusta, Sukiya, Sao Paulo SAO PAULO, South America 2018-2019, Libertade, Bella Paulista Rua Haddock Lobo, Avenida Pausliata, Alameda Min Rocha Azevedo São Paulo


00:00 in São Paulo – “Réveillon na Paulista” 2019

“How long do we have to wait?” “Ninety minutes.” “WHAT? I can’t do that!” “Well, I hope you can because we don’t really have the choice. First, it’s a bit of an old tradition that the new year starts at midnight, second we’re kind of stuck in a crowd of 1.7 million people.” “My tummy hurts. I really need food right now.” “How is that possible? You had one of these Tokyo bowls with rice and beef just two hours ago! Look, Mark, the other kids are waiting quie—” Never mind, I’ve just realized the f...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Tokyo, Centro, Rio, Sao Paulo, Mark, Avenida Paulista, South America 2018-2019, Paulista São Paulo, Carrefour Paulistas, Libertade Little Tokyo, Eve São Paulo, Eve Avenida Paulista, Avenida Paulista Waiting


… And Back to São Paulo

It’s only minutes before landing in São Paulo for the second time in nine days that I realized I could barely remember the first three days we spent there when we came from Canada. Wait, did I get a haircut on the second day? Yep, my hair is definitely shorter and manageable. Did I find my favourite bakery right away? I think so, I vaguely remember biting into their delicious pão de queijo… but the empada was too crumbly. Did we shop, eat, walked around and everything? We must have. I have pictu...
Tags: Travel, Canada, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Carnival, Ottawa, Rio, Sao Paulo, South America 2018-2019, Copacabana São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Rio Aeroporto


10 Things About Rio Your Guidebook Didn’t Mention

If you’re abroad and if you desperately need to talk to a French person, don’t bother going to the French embassy—business hours are typically from 8:12 a.m. to 8:16 a.m. except from Monday to Sunday. Instead, for all your wine advice and conjugation needs, go to the nearest supermarket and stand by the cheese aisle or the bread selection. You may have to wait for a little while but I guarantee you that if there are French people around, they’ll show up to shop for bread and cheese. And here I w...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Expedia, Sao Paulo, Ipanema, Copacabana, Botafogo, Avenida Atlântica, Mark, Copacabana Beach, Copacabana Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Palace, Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, Rio When


People of Copacabana

The guy looked like these bodybuilders you see in magazines. No Photoshop job here, though, the muscles were real. He had the ripped body of someone who spends hours at the gym. You could have hired him to help med students memorize all muscles in the human body. He was in his late twenties and he was neither black nor white, so he was probably Brazilian. He was wearing the tightest, body-hugging swimsuit known to mankind—I’m willing to bet he had borrowed it from a younger brother. It wasn’t hi...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Ipanema, Copacabana, Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana Beach, Rio Centro, Leme, Rua Barata Ribeiro, South America 2018-2019, Mirante Do Leblon, Rio Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana


The Other Rio de Janeiro – Centro

The 6-stop, 15-minute subway trip from Cardeal Arcoverde station in Copacabana to Cinêlandia in Rio de Janeiro Centro is barely long enough to realize that you’re not just travelling from one neighbourhood to another but stepping into a different world. You know, this world your guidebook warned you about. That place where locals don’t speak English, where there are no world-famous beaches but old and not-so-picturesque buildings, where you could be robbed, killed, assaulted and more. If you don...
Tags: Travel, Chile, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Disneyland, Carnival, Centro, Rio, Ipanema, Copacabana, Cinelandia, Museu, Catedral Metropolitana, Copacabana Ipanema, Jorge Selarón, South America 2018-2019


What’s Your Curse?

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, December 25, 2018 I read the disclaimer when I immigrated to Canada. I was okay with learning a new language from scratch, leaving my relatives and friends behind and adopting a new lifestyle—it was part of the deal. A few sections of the disclaimer didn’t apply right away and only made sense years later. For instance, it’s surprisingly challenging and counter-intuitive to raise a kid in a country you didn’t grow up in. You’re also never quite done with the expected cul...
Tags: Travel, France, Pandora, Canada, Juliette, About Me, Canada France, South America 2018-2019, Ipanema Rio de Janeiro


Christmas Day on Ipanema Beach

Of all the dangers I’m supposedly facing in Rio de Janeiro, it’s the old ladies walking their dogs I fear the most. The dogs are fine—they are leashed, groomed and even dressed up like four-legged humans sometimes—but their owners glare at everyone they see as if people were cockroaches ruining their walk. These long-time Rio de Janeiro residents usually live in a desirable neighbourhood, like Copacabana or Ipanema. From the moment they step on the sidewalk and double check to see if the door of...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon, Ipanema Beach, Pedra, Mirante, Vidigal, Posto, Havaianas, South America 2018-2019, Cantagalo, Along Avenida Atlântica, Avenida Viero Souto


Christmas Eve in Rio—Downpours, Mall Santa, Panettone and Cheap Champagne

It’s hot and humid in Rio de Janeiro. “But the temperature is the same as in São Paulo!” “Bullshit,” Feng replies, wiping the sweat off his forehead. It does feel hotter, stuffier. On the plus side, all my Canadian winter boo boos are healing fast. The stubborn pimple inside my nose is gone, my cracked hands feel smoother, I don’t lose as much hair. On the downside, hot and humid weather means torrential downpours. We skipped Santos because it might rain but it surely did in Rio de Janeiro. The ...
Tags: Travel, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Jesus, Santa, Santos, Rio, Sao Paulo, Copacabana, Botafogo, Mark, Feng, Copacabana Palace, South America 2018-2019, Downpours Mall Santa Panettone, Botafogo Mall


São Paulo + A 6.5-Hour Bus Ride = Rio de Janeiro

We were originally considering spending Christmas in Santos, the closest coastal city to São Paulo. But when we checked the weather report once in Brazil, we realized it would be a big gamble—rain was forecast for São Paulo, downpours were expected in Santos. A change of plan is easy when you didn’t really have one in the first place. Rio de Janeiro seemed to be the best option with hotel rooms available and a direct bus from São Paulo, plus we were going to stop there anyway. We tried to buy ou...
Tags: Travel, New York, Santiago, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Rio De Janeiro, South America, Skype, Lima, Santos, Sao Paulo, Guangdong, Mark, Latin American


Three Days in São Paulo, South America’s Largest City

At the airport, we stood by the same carousel that never delivered our backpacks three years ago. This time, they showed up almost right away and we breathed a sigh of relief. It was hot in the airport arrival hall and even hotter outside—35⁰C according to the many digital boards displaying the temperature and local time. I was surprised because São Paulo tends to be cooler than many other Brazilian cities and very unpredictable weather-wise. The first thing you’ll notice during the 40-minute ta...
Tags: Travel, Hong Kong, Canada, Paris, Brazil, Tokyo, Champs Elysees, Buenos Aires, Ottawa, Centro, Sao Paulo, Largest City, Avenida Paulista, Paulista, Rua Augusta, South America 2018-2019


São Paulo Ain’t No Gotham City

You must have heard a thing or two about São Paulo. No, it’s not the capital of Brazil—that would be Brasilia—but it’s the country’s financial centre. It’s also South America’s largest city, with a metropolitan population of 21.5 million. Major protests usually start in São Paulo—you probably saw a few CNN “breaking news” about them, although chances are you had no idea why protesters were facing military police forces in riot gear because Brazilian political issues are rarely in the internation...
Tags: Travel, Japan, Mexico, Toronto, Cnn, Brazil, Argentina, Rio De Janeiro, South America, Jesus, Gotham City, Carnival, Latin America, Centro, Sao Paulo, Salvador