As promised, here is one of what will likely be a three part post on our trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before getting to the pictures, however, I feel strongly that a little reflection is in order.
First and foremost, I wasn't in love with my photos upon returning home. They didn't speak to me the way the city did. A disconnect of sorts seems to have occurred in the space that lies between my eye and the camera lens. I'm not sure what I expected. I suppose at times I didn't want to be a slave to my camera: keeping an eye on it constantly or carrying it around during cocktail hour. Some moments were missed simply because I was absorbing the previously unexplored. I wanted to take in all this amazing country had to offer, the good and the bad, and that's nothing to be sorry about. All that said, I'm glad I have them to look back on and share.
I liked Rio. A lot. I was also moved, saddened and frequently in awe. At moments I was intensely grateful for what I know is a luxurious existence by most standards. I don't have to worry about my son the way so many mothers do. As often happens when faced with a harsh reality, I felt a deep connection with those who live with much, much less. Less safety. Less shelter. Less. There is such an admiration for people who are happy and content despite having less. I suppose you often don't know any different. While viewing the slums from the comfort of a motor coach, I had the crystal clear realization of just how petty my penchant for dissatisfaction really is. I'm going to work every day to fix that.
Despite civil unrest and an often unflattering media portrayal, I never felt unsafe in Rio. Ever. Not while venturing out on our own. Not even at night. Mario and I executed the same common sense practices we would in any city. There were stories of crime, told in hushed tones over dinner, but none sounded any worse than those that can and do occur on our own soil. Turn the diamond on your wedding ring inward when walking at night. Stay in the safer, well-lit neighborhoods. Wear your purse across your body. Don't flash expensive goods or carry large amounts of cash. Duh. I think we take comfort in the relative safety of our civilized nation... but when you get down to brass tacks, humans are (unpredictable) humans no matter where you go. We make it a point never let fear prevent us from living and are teaching our son to do the same. That's my two cents on Rio. (And the world in general.)
There were a couple of really cool places we got to experience while we were there. My thoughts regarding post composition were a bit unorganized, and I finally decided that this particular place deserved its own day. The Rio Scenarium is one of the most magical places I have ever been. The owner once used the building to warehouse his extensive collection of antiques for movie props, and it was later converted into a restaurant and bar. I could have spent hours and hours just walking around... it was almost too much to take in. Even the building itself and the surrounding neighborhood looked straight out of a movie set. Amazing.
|This is Mario. He's vintage, but not an antique. He is nice to look at, too.|