Posts in Brasil

To the streets in Rio de Janeiro

Oh Brazil, how we miss your curves, your expression, your colors. How we miss your lyrical Portuguese and your breezy air. It is a life we will not soon forget. 

Exploring cheap flights

We're starting to plan our next steps, and are looking for dynamic ways to search for cheap travel. While not exactly dynamic or comprehensive enough, this Kayak feature is interesting to play with. It allows you to explore flight prices others have found on Kayak starting from a fixed place and allowing you to select a given time. Enjoy!

A video from our roommate, journalist Douglas Engle:

"Brazilian Soldiers patrol near the Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro Sept. 7, 2011 after a night of shootouts in the area. According to reports, members of a drug trafficking gang tried to retake the slum from the soldiers, who occupy it in a "pacification" operation since Nov. 2010."

GuideRemind me what this costs in the US

We thought this was like if we had a cereal in the states: Aspertame! But apparently it means sweet. Hell, Google translate thinks it means Cornflakes. So who knows?! Also, since when did Tony the Tiger's fists emanate white fire?

We're starting to learn about values and prices in Brazil. We've been told to expect to pay up to a 100% markup just from import taxes alone. So, at minimum, we wager that things should be at least 200% of what we would expect them to be, including what US brands would cost in New York City. But even some Brazilian products, including some beers, are more expensive than the imports.

For one, Brazil is on a mission to downgrade import taxes on beers so that all those World Cup goers can get their home beer for less than the local one. Of course they could just make Brahma real cheap and everyone would drink it, but why do that? Either way, those discounts have not reached this local store we visited in Botafogo. Remind me, how much does this stuff cost in the US?

A night of Botequins

We finally braved the world yesterday after a few days of useless, sick-at-home comatose. In Rio, no doubt! From our wakeup times (a few 10:30ams, 11ams, and one 1:04pm!) you'd think we've been to every Samba club in town. But it has not come to pass…. YET. I am on the recovery end of the spectrum. Happy times. I'm still producing mucus that has an uncanny resemblance to chicken fat and I wake up feeling like I swallowed a toad, but I can walk around and visit the beach and stuff. Fancy that. 

Our roommates, the dolls that they are, brought us a few guides books to the city; one that lists out a whole bunch of good Botequins. According to the guide, these botequins are the "bohemian soul" of Rio.

So we curled a bunch of the pages while sitting on the beach, asked for ... View Post »

The Giardia Diet®

(RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 16, 2011) — From the geniuses behind The Salmonella Diet® and Montezuma's Revenge®: The Giardia Diet®

Lose unwanted fat and/or muscle faster than with any other fad diet on the market. The Giardia Diet® is cheap, easy and foolproof. Eat whatever you want so long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Our motto: You can't resist the urge to purge!

How The Giardia Diet® Works

The Giardia Diet® is truly an adventurer's diet. If you love trying strange food in weirder places, hiking in remote locales, and generally don't like to cook or wash fruits and vegetables (so time consuming!) but love to eat them, then this diet is for you!

Phase 1: Kickstarting The Giardia Diet® and Weight Loss

This initial kickstarting phase (7-14 days) can be difficult ... View Post »

GalleryThe Rio Negro

August 3rd to 6th Matt, mom and I spent aboard the Amazon Clipper with 29 other passengers, cruising around the Río Negro.

The flooded edges of the Río Negro are filled with mysterious, tree-lined tunnels of shimmering light and elusive mamals. Our favorite moments were spent in the small boats, slipping in and out of the trees (or sometimes crashing headlong into them) for a glimpse of a bird or reptile. It's a jungle like no other, submerged in a deep, reddish-brown river.  View Gallery »

It's a cement jungle out there

We'd like to think it feels like Rudyard Kipling's jungle here. Really, it's more of a cement jungle and blazing hot. The sun radiates from above and below and it's commonly 95F-100F and 90% humidity. Still, many, bravely rock their skin-tight jeans all day.

We spent a few hours in a mall yesterday. I'll say it again: a mall. We hadn't realized our inner nostalgia for western consumerism was so strong until we found ourselves there like giddy high schoolers. Granted, by the third department store - where we realized the only way to tell that we weren't still in the states was by the bubble butt jean mannequins - we had basically had enough.

My mom is coming today. We'll be heading on a jungle boat tomorrow for four days to gawk at animals and indigenous alike. We're also going to ... View Post »

A tourist's legend to understanding times &...


  • All businesses, museums, etc are closed after 2pm
  • Cabs are insanely expensive


  • Some businesses are open
  • Museums and tourist attractions are closed except for one or two; the most touristy section of town, around Teatro Amazonas, is a ghost town  
  • Mercado Municipal is open but only the fish market
  • Cabs are now offensively expensive and this is explained by adding a number "2" next to the cost [Result? We learn to take the bus.]


  • Everything except all-you-can-eat places and a few malls are closed; maybe there is one museum open that wasn't open yesterday and won't be open tomorrow


  • All business are open except the Mercado Municipal, which is closed and boarded up
  • Cabs have gone back to normal only ... View Post »

Gol woes

Apparently if you are trying to buy flights on Gol with a US-based MasterCard, it only requires the card number. Name, security code, etc? Nah. It doesn't matter though, since the card was declined due to known issues they are having with international cards.