Here is a picture of my first meal on Brazilian soil: Bolo de Banana, which is to say, banana cake.
It was homemade, given to me by the man sitting next to me on the plane, who just happened to be...Crizam César de Oliveira Filho, better known as Zinho (pronounced Zeen-yo). That´s him on the right, in 1994 when he helped lead the Brazilian World Cup Team to their fourth championship.
Besides sitting next to one of the biggest "craques" (stars) of soccer, the trip down was largely uneventful. I took a bus to Copacabana and found Bridget´s apartment building, where she had only gone to sleep a few hours before after a night out at the Baile Funk. I dragged her out for a long-awaited açai, pictured here:
And we walked along the Copacabana Beach to the Feira Hippie in Ipanema. One way to know you´re in Copacabana, other than getting mugged by a drag queen on (just kidding, kind of) is seeing this particular pattern of black and white tiles on the sidewalk:
Bridget slept on the beach and left me to shop at the Feira Hippie, where things were largely the way I left them six years ago, aside from being much more expensive, thanks to the falling dollar.
Bridget and I were exhausted from our respective Bailes and flights, so after an early dinner and sorvete at one of my favorie places in the old neighborhood we hit the sack early to get ready for what is already proving to be a fantastic week.
Rio is one of those places that tends to live up to both memories and postcards.