Today was Day 2 and after sifting through our options we finally decided to take the rents out to Zona Oeste, the west part of the city.
We had some slight problems with timing and wound up waiting a while for the cab to pick us up at home. In the meantime, we saw the cops on our street bring in two very young girls, probably between 11 and 14, handcuffed to each other, wearing skimpy clothing and one sucking a pacifier. Depressing.
Finally, finally the cab came and we got my parents and we were off. First, we decided to go to Vista Chinese, the Chinese Lookout Point, in Sao Conrado. Except the cab driver didn't really know where it was and we kept driving up, up and up into the forest on these tiny windy roads, and everyone was thinking, "Are we going to get lost in the jungle?"
Then, we experienced my first blitz.
A "blitz" is when cops stop you and check you and your car, and quite often ask for a "tip" to let you continue on your way. We played dumb gringos. The cop opened the back door and saw us and said in broken English, "Where are you from?" I told him a bit too earnestly, "NEW YORK!!!" He laughed and said "World Trade Center!" and shut the door. And that was that.
Some time later, we made it to the Vista Chinesa and the view was completely worth it.
We also saw some lizards and some fluorescent blue butterflies while we were up there. PS: Full photo set available in my new album, Parents in Rio.
After that, we went to Barra Shopping for a quick lunch. I'd actually never been inside before but my impression was that it's just a mall. It also happens to be the biggest one in Latin America, but whatever. My mom and I got Asian buffet and Eli and my dad got pizza.
Off we went to Prainha, one of my favorite beaches in Rio. My parents loved it and seemed impressed by the incredible beauty of the place. At one point my mom goes, "Can we get some alcoholic drinks?" and I was like well sure. So Eli and I got a caipirinha and a caipimaracuja and me and my mom were sailing for the rest of the afternoon.Later, Eli and I wandered around as he looked for rocks to climb, and we came across these two guys playing a bizarre instrument that looked like two steel drums placed on top of one another. It was weird but made beautiful sounds. We also came across a guy climbing a huge boulder with nothing but a bag of rosin and some climbing shoes.
Eventually, we decided to tear ourselves away from the beautiful beach and set off into the terrible traffic, which crawled for over an hour but eventually cleared up. Eli and I hung out at the hotel while my parents changed, lounging in some seriously amazing hammocks overlooking the beach, and then we went back to our place to change (and to show it to my parents for the first time). They seemed to like it, probably because it just had a deep clean thanks to our awesome new cleaning lady. Then we went to our favorite churrascaria, and I was seriously impressed by my mom's willingness to try almost every meat they put in front of her (except for chicken heart). My dad and Eli exchanged language tips (Portuguese, Hebrew, and Arabic) and my mom and I shared dessert. My dad attempted to use some of his new skills on the waiter by saying "I'm done" (estou satisfeito), and the waiter kind of just looked at him.
Another day in Rio and my parents and boyfriend are co-existing peacefully and happily. And tonight, for some reason, the whole city smelled liked jasmine blooming.