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.

Aug 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert

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