Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Helpful Hints for Rio from The Czar

After I fired off a cry for help, The Czar (may his toenails never fester) comes through with a timely and accurate assist:

Dear Uncle Jay,
You’re right that the key word for traveling to Brazil is “don’t.” Of course, that makes it sound like you shouldn’t travel there at all; in reality, (1) you shouldn’t travel to South America at all and (2) the word don’t really applies to everything related to Brazil.

This actually is Rio. This may not be one of the Olympic sports, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see this at some venues.
Brazil is basically all the cut-throat lunacy of a Mexican pirate town plunked helpfully in the center of a sweltering jungle, featuring a river filled with creatures that have teeth the size of your aunt and the predilection to eat something her size with them. 
Another feature of Brazil is the fact you can drive about ten minutes in any direction (in theory, as there aren’t nearly enough roads) and find yourself in a stone-age culture equipped with blowguns and cell phones. They will not hesitate to use both. No, the Czar doesn’t mean “either,” he means “both”: they’ll gleefully put a dart in your neck while talking to their agent.
Brazilians, on the other hand, are great for parties. The Czar strongly recommends befriending a Brazilian if you like to eat, drink, roller skate, dance, and basically repeat this every hour until four or five in the morning. These people do not quit.
It has been decades since the Czar went to Rio, though, so let’s see what we remember. Your high school Spanish will be just as useful to you here as when you went to Cozumel, by which we mean totally useless. Brazilians, as you already know, speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Portuguese is an interesting language that’s half-Spanish and half-arrogance. It has a lot of shushing noises, which is linguistically interesting: since Brazilians spend about two-thirds of their day inebriated, they simply modified the spelling of their language to reflect drunken slurs.
Helpful phrases:
“These are not my drugs, therefore you can keep them.” — Não minhas drogas; portanto, você pode mantê-los.
“Waiter, my seafood is threatening me.” — Garçom, meu frutos do mar me ameaça.
“What can I drink that won’t kill me?” — O que eu posso beber que não vai me matar?
“If I drink this caipirinha, will I still have two kidneys in the morning?” — Se eu beber esta caipirinha, vai ainda tenho dois rins na parte da manhã?
“Get me on the next flight home.” — Quero que o próximo vôo do avião casa.
“No, I’m Canadian.” — Não, sou canadense
Don’t worry about pronouncing the Portuguese correctly: just read it loud and in a drunk voice. They won’t understand you, but that’s because they’re too hammered themselves. “Vamos roller skating,” they’ll say in sympathy. 
The Czar is also familiar with Brazilian cooking, being something of a grill-master himself. The Brazilian method of cooking is quite simple: subject thick cuts of meat—python?—to extremely high heat until the food is charred black on the outside and bloody raw in the middle. If you look carefully, you might find some medium-well fibers of meat between the two, but these will be utterly soaked in salt.
The heat is unbearable in Rio, but clothing is totally optional. Actually, the bigger and hairier you are, the less you want to wear. The Czar guesses for a mostly shaved Sasquatch guy your size, Jay, you should wear an eyepatch in place of a thong. Surprisingly, that won’t be the most surprising thing you’ll see someone wear.
Everyone talks about the gigantic statue of Jesus up on the hilltop, but what they don’t tell you is that, over the last 50 years or so, the statue has totally turned itself around so it looks away. It would be a Vatican-sized miracle, but no one admits it because it reflects nothing but shame on the city. Hey, if you had to gaze down on that mess, you’d at least squint.
Anywhere you go, look for the nearest exit and use it.
Fortunately, you’ll be traveling there with fiber optic cables, which is good because you can use them to strangle the hotel clerk when he arrives in the middle of the night to perform his customary turn down service and leave something minty on your pillow. Don’t worry about the body: murder is not only sanctioned there but positively encouraged. If the authorities ask, simply say what all Brazilians say and claim you thought he was a poor person. You’re off the hook, and you can just leave the body where it is. There will be no air-conditioning in your room anyway, and within moments his corpse will be swollen with bottle fly maggots, so dumping it won’t matter.
For the last 50 years or so, the Czar has become increasingly convinced that the Olympics are just a huge joke that we’re not getting…so the organizers are choosing even dumber locations each time. “Let’s pick a disease-infested pithole that’s corrupt, filthy hot, and has no transportation or clean lodging.” “How about Rio? Chicago said no.”
I do plan on going to the beach at least once...
Let's see if I can find that eyepatch/thong he's suggesting... To Amazon!
(How appropriate!)

Wow. That would look frightening trying to hold in all my dangly bits...

Here's something even MORE better! A steampunk eyepatch/monocle!
This might be the ticket- but...
If that thing isn't the size of a one-quart oilcan, I'll probably be causing a ruckus on the beach at Copacabana...

Stronger, Higher, Faster - forsooth!


Erin Palette said...

What's funny is that I thought he meant an eyepatch on your head instead of a thong over your bits, and that *still* isn't the weirdest thing you'll see in Rio.

Phil said...

Only place better than Memphis to catch one or more sexually transmitted diseases. The locals regard them with all the seriousness we assign to Halitosis.

Borepatch said...

Sao Paulo scared the crap out of me. But Brazil was totally awesome when my local contact was showing me around (but he kept us out of trouble).

Good luck. IIRC, Paul, Dammit! married a girl from Ipanema. He might have some advice.