Video

Argentina and Brazil in Under Five Minutes

This is my overview video of my “Filmmaker of the Year” grand prize trip from Tripfilms.  It’s pretty hard to capture my entire trip in just one video, and yet I still tried.  In case this gets you itchin’ for more of my South America travels, you can check out my other posts about the trip here.

Video

Robert Shops for Thongs in Rio

As you might imagine, Rio has a lot of thongs.  I wanted to blend in with the locals, so I did a little shopping.

12
Oct 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Images

I didn’t know Brazilians loved Rod Stewart that much

So I’m in Rio, right, sitting down for a little dinner with my friends at an upper scale restaurant, when all of a sudden, the restaurant starts projecting a Rod Stewart concert video.  One question immediately popped in my head:  Why?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, Rod Stewart’s a great guy.  He’s had a fantastic career and is very well preserved for his age.  But I’m eating dinner in a place with mood lighting.  I thought it was kind of assumed we wouldn’t have a concert video play in the background, Rod Stewart or otherwise.

I wasn’t eating at a sports bar, where you go there to watch TV (well, obviously I wasn’t eating at a sports bar).  I was eating at a place where a couple might go to have a romantic meal.  Is Mr. Stewart an aphrodisiac?  Is that what this was?  Does his bold red blazer and slight frame set Brazilian women’s hearts a flutter, and the manager wanted to help out the men’s chances on their dates?  That couldn’t possibly be it, because do you know how hard it is to carry a conversation when Rod Stewart is belting out hit after hit fifty feet away?  Even with the sound turned down, it’s tough.  I wanted to talk to my friends, but Rod’s stage presence kept drawing me in.  I could only imagine the difficulty of a guy on a date.  Sure, he might be with a gorgeous brunette, but that blonde stunner on screen has got the goods.

To add to the weirdness of the whole situation, they played the video between performances from a live musical duo who played traditional Brazilian music.  The restaurant went from acoustic guitar songs sung in Portuguese to Rod Stewart.  The duo returned after a while and continued playing their gentle tunes as we had dessert, but by then, it didn’t feel right eating without Rod Stewart staring down at me.  He had become a part of our group.

I can only hope the next country I visit has an equal reverence for soft rock vocalists.  Fingers crossed for Barry Manilow.

07
Oct 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Images

Maybe they’re just a very trusting country?

When I visited Rio, I expected to see a lot of bikinis.  That’s what I was promised from years of stereotypes telling me that every woman in Rio wears a bikini year round.  They wear one to the beach, to the office, when they’re cooking dinner.  When their alarm clock rings in the morning, they get out of bed and they’re already dressed, because they sleep in a bikini.  Just all bikinis, all the time.  Apparently, that’s not how Rio works.  Brazilian women have more in their closets than a color spectrum of bikinis.   If I were still a kid, fresh from a whisper session about Brazilian babes, I would be heartbroken.  Deep down, though, I knew the legend couldn’t be true.  I still did manage to see a few bikini-clad women, though, and I was visiting during their winter season.  So maybe there is some truth to it, just enough to keep the legend alive.

But this post isn’t about attractive Brazilian women in bikinis.  If it were, it would probably get a lot more views.  No, dear reader, this post is about thievery in Rio.  The ugly side of Rio.  The Rio they don’t want you to know about.  Rio’s got some crime going on, and it’s something they’re trying to clean up before the city hosts the World Cup and Olympics (side note: they’re hosting both the World Cup and the Olympics.  Now’s the time to own a hotel in Rio.)  While walking down a heavily trafficked street during the day, a friend of mine helped a man on the street and literally got “marked” with a white sticker on his back when the stranger hugged him.  He later found out the sticker was a signal to muggers that he was a tourist and had money.  Luckily, a local told him to take off the sticker before he got mugged.  So be wary of overly grateful, hugging strangers.  They could rob you or hurt you.  “Don’t hug strangers”–that’s just good advice in general.  I’m all for hugging, and I’m all for meeting new people, but getting a hug from a guy I just met on the street, some red flags would go up.

Is this to say you shouldn’t visit Rio?  No, of course not.  Just be careful.  And when visiting Rio, hang your most expensive possessions from high, hard to reach places.

26
Aug 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Video

Robert Gets on a Plane to South America

Miami International Airport is one heck of a place.  It’s big enough to have those monorails to transport you to gates farther down the terminal.  Those monorails are great.  I like to pretend I’m in Disney World whenever I’m on one.  Of course, I’m disappointed when the doors open and I see an airport terminal, but for a few fleeting seconds, I forget where I am.  I think that’s a medical condition, actually.

Another perk of MIA: it’s really clean.  I didn’t think about it too much when I was there, but in hindsight, those janitors liberally applied elbow grease to those floors.

I think I like Miami’s airport so much because this place would be my gateway to South America.  I had never been south of the Equator before, so this was a pretty big trip for me.  By the time I recorded this video, I had already flown from LA to Miami for a good five hours and was about to board another plane that would be close to nine hours of flying, but at this moment, I was too excited to really think about exhaustion.

24
Aug 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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