Now, I haven't personally been there, but enough of my friends have - and rave about it - for me to recommend the Cadeg Flower Market. Apparently it is where a lot of the flower vendors buy their stock, and the prices are fantastic and the selection and freshness can't be beat. It is recommended to visit there in the morning.
Click here to visit the official site.
Address: Rua Capitão Félix, 110 - Rio de Janeiro, RJ
By Metro: get off at Triagem station + bus 474
Flowers: Galpão (annex- Feira das Flores): Mon-Sat from 04:00am - noon; Sun closed.
I asked survey participants what is the most difficult thing about living in Brazil as a foreigner. This is not meant to be Brazil-bashing, of course living everywhere has advantages and disadvantages. it is meant to be helpful to those considering a move to Brazil. The responses are as follows:
I just finished The Brazil Reader, which I really enjoyed. It is a collection of letters, essays and stories all related to different aspects of Brazil's history. The way these pieces are written is very personal, more like stories than just your typical history book.
Next on my "learn more about Brazil" reading list:
After I finish this one which I am currently working on:
Not sure if I have blogged about this before, but it is possible to order books online from Amazon in the US and have them sent to Brazil - did it this fall!
Sometimes the lack of rules and regulations and things being "up to code" works for you, and sometimes it works against you. Being that we're in an apartment without stairs, the lack of rules when it comes to baby walkers works in our (and Canadoca's) favour here in Brazil. (Back in Canada, baby walkers have been banned for a few years).
That kid can really motor around in her walker now - there have been a couple of occasions where I've had to go find her! She's growing fast...
Rio has a number of clubs for foreigners to join - though over 40% of my respondents belonged to none of them! 40% belong to the International Newcomer's Club, and 30% to the American Society (which apparently accepts other nationalities as well). A few also belong to the British Commonwealth Society.
Note that it is possible to attend the events of these organizations without actually joining, as I frequently do.
When I make an error on this site, readers are quick to point it out. I appreciate this. What's the point of having a blog where nothing is true - this is supposed to be a resource for people. By no means do I consider this blog to be "news" - I mean, come on, it's my point of view only! I do as much fact-checking as I can, but let's face it sometimes sources are wrong. It's getting out of control how wrong the ACTUAL media is, on such a regular basis. It seems as though anytime something is covered that I do personally know about, the media gets some aspect of the story all wrong. Which doesn't give me much hope that the rest of what is reported is accurate, either. And yet I still pay attention. Why is that?
Here are some examples of ridiculous recent goofs:
Terry Fox/Michael J. Fox: This one is crazy. Terry Fox was a Canadian hero, in fact I've written about him before on the blog. I find him incredibly inspiring. Yes, Michael J. Fox is also an inspirational Canadian (though I am pretty sure he now calls himself an American), very accomplished, but I am pretty sure he hasn't run across Canada... or attempted to. I believe they are both even from the lower mainland in BC... but to mix them up? I know it must be confusing that more than one person's last name is Fox... but come on guys... link here.
Samba Parade: It was reported that a seven year old girl performed as a samba queen in one of the parades - in fact she was supposed to but didn't end up doing it. After the fact, CNN reported she had. Was the CNN reporter drunk? Did they actually go to the parade? Or even talk to anyone who did? How does this happen? (In my opinion - lazy journalism!) By the way, in case you missed it, they also reported that Rio is now the capital of Brazil! They are really on a roll over there...
Some of the pleasures of Brazil...
I asked the expats - what is your favorite Brazilian treat? Here is what they said:
I left space for them to fill in other answers, which included several mentions of fruit, feijoada, chopp, salgados, petit gateau, churros, warm sweet caramel popcorn, sao paulo pizza...
I also asked what was their favorite daytrip from Rio. Here are the responses, ranked by popularity:
FInally, I asked participants where their favorite place is in Brazil. Here are the answers ranked by popularity:
Though it might be surprising, Brazil did have a few athletes participating in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
In the cross-country skiing, Jacqueline Mourao (competed in the ladies 10 km freestyle, placed 67th out of 76 competitors) and Leandro Ribela (competed in the men's 15 km freestyle, placed 90th out of 96 competitors) raced.
In the downhill skiing, Maya Harrisson will compete in the Ladies' Giant Slalom on Feb 24th and the Ladies' Slalom on Feb. 26th. Jhonatan Longhi will compete in the Men's Giant Slalom on Feb 23rd and the Men's Slalom on Feb. 27th.
In the snowboarding, Isabel Clark Ribeiro competed in the Women's Cross, finishing 19th out of 21 competitors.
It's been interesting to watch some of the festivities from afar. After watching the opening ceremonies here in Rio (and staying up super late to do so... so late in fact that I fell asleep on the floor... ) I now have a better understanding of why people mistakenly think we are all Eskimos in Canada (did you catch the white puffy jackets on pretty much everyone?), and also think it is too bad that the one way they apparently decided to cut corners on the old budget was to put a lot of men and women in the same costumes (which were a bit masculine on the ladies and a bit fem on the men, if you ask me!) As always, no one seemed to ask my opinion on the subject ahead of time to avert this disaster...
Speaking of Olympic fashions, the Canadoca seems to always be dressed for every occasion and the Olympics are no exception:
KD Lang's performance was AWESOME! The highlight of the opening ceremonies for me, by far. Link to watch it here.
I did find this interesting article about my homeland - the A to Z of BC. I learned a few things myself! Like that Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver, or that singer Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun") is from the Sunshine Coast... the rest was pretty much all familiar... loved it.
We spent a wonderful relaxing weekend at the Marina resort (Parador Santaram Marina) in Itaipava recently. It is amazing how different the air, climate, and just general energy is out there, and it's only an hour from Rio! What a great getaway.
It's a great property with lots to do (though it's perfect for relaxing as well).
It has a beautiful little chapel, a fantastic restaurant with a wine cellar you can dine in, a pond and pool area, attentive service, QUIET....
The Canadoca made lots of little friends that particular weekend as well, including a cute little cowboy named Bruno. She now does this gasping sound when she sees something she likes, we are calling it the "mating call" - she must have learned it from the geese (above).
This made us think that buggy styles haven't changed much in the past 100 years or so...
We loved seeing a maple tree!
The Canadoca now has the cutest leg roll tan lines ever:
I frequently get emails and comments from Brazilians letting me know that I've got it all wrong and that my perceptions are way off, I anticipate that this post may attract some attention of the sort. Try not to be offended. Most of these comments are very positive! Keep in mind that these are the results of a survey (which, by the way, I did not actually participate in!). I wanted to know what the expats think of the Cariocas they have come across. Specifically, I asked: Based on your encounters and experiences, what are your thoughts about Brazilians, or Cariocas? Are they friendly? All observations welcome!
Here is what the expats had to say:
Another question I asked was in regards to how many Brazilian friends each expat had made. Brazilians tell me all the time that they are the friendliest people in the world, but the numbers suggest otherwise! Nearly 50% of people surveyed have been befriended by less than five Brazilians. 5% have not made any Brazilian friends at all. Note: if I had completed the survey, my response to the question about what surprised me most upon moving here would have been how few Brazilian friends we have. It still surprises me! I can relate to those who responded saying that the language barrier makes meeting Carioca's very difficult.
I asked how living in Rio has changed participants, if at all?
I fell in love with these trees at the Jardim Botanico a couple weeks ago. Thought the blossoms would make a good Valentine's Day entry! By the way, since it is not Valentine's Day until June here in Brazil, yes, Mr. DRL DOES have to celebrate it twice with me :) here's hoping he is reading the blog today, haha...
It's called a Lecythidaceae.
I think every expat living in Rio and every person considering potentially moving here has had concerns about safety and security in Rio. Rio has quite a reputation internationally...
But really what it comes down to is how people are affected personally on a daily basis. So I had to ask the questions: Have you been personally affected by crime in Rio? Have you witnessed crime in Rio?
71% of respondents have not been the victim of any sort of crime in Rio.
Just 25% have WITNESSED crime in Rio. (DRL's note - public urination, prostitution and littering are not considered crimes here!)
I thought that this was pretty good/encouraging. I provided space for participants to leave comments, and here is what they had to say (most are descriptions of what the crimes people have encountered have been):
Now, in an attempt to protect employees from such incidents, some employers impose restrictions on expat employees. I asked respondents if they were subject to such restrictions. 77 percent were not. Of those who were, these are some of the restrictions they have:
Stay safe out there!
1) I asked where they most frequently buy food/groceries in Rio - they were allowed to list up to 3 options:
Zona Sul was most popular by far, followed by Hortifruti, Feiras (the open air markets), Sendas, Pao do Acucar, Extra, Carrefour and Wal-Mart.
2) I asked which creature comforts Rio expats bring back with them from home countries on a regular basis.
83% bring back beauty products and toiletries
73% bring food products
56% bring electronics
30% bring other household items (DRL note: I know of several people who bring in garbage bags and dish soap!)
Other items participants specifically listed with this question:
3) Not what the folks at Shopping Leblon want to hear... when asked where they buy their clothing, ex-pats in Rio responded that they buy most of their clothing back home:
Mr. DRL and I plan to visit Uruguay later this year with the Canadoca (start sending those recommendations my way - love them all!) but until then we can enjoy a little taste of Uruguay at Posto 9. Friends have been recommending these sandwiches for ages but I finally tried one for the first time last week while at the beach in Ipanema, and it did NOT disappoint...
Your options are sausage, chicken, beef, or a mixture of all three, which is what I had, above. So good, and right on the beach. I'm told the sandwiches were even better back when grilling was legal on the beach. I guess that law is being enforced now. Smoking pot on the beach is still a-okay though from what I've seen. But it's probably good for business for the sandwich place...
Here it is:
Apparently these Uruguayans have been in business here in Rio for 25 years or so! Check it out. Posto 9.
I get a lot of requests for restaurant reviews and this is also a good post for all of you who email me asking about good cheap eats in Rio! (Other favorites of mine that fit into that category: kilo restaurants such as Fellini and Frontera, DeliRio Tropicale, Bibi Sucos/Lanches.) What are your favorite little secret places for special treats in Rio?
I asked respondents what they missed back home (besides the obvious answer of the people - family and friends). Here is what they said, somewhat categorized:
In the tummy-ables:
In the Weather/landscapes:
In the Ring:
In Matters of Taste and Culture:
All In the Family:
Since having the Canadoca a few of my tastes have changed. I wasn't terribly picky before, but olives and onions were typically food items I'd pick out if they were in something I was eating. I didn't mind the essence of them, but didn't eat them straight up. Times have changed; I now really like both. How strange.
Beer was something else that wasn't my favorite. I'd have about one if ever in a pinch (if I were handed one and there was nothing else to drink) but it wasn't my drink of choice. I have been thinking that I should try one again now, since some of my other dislikes have disappeared, but now that has proven itself redundant, because whether or not my tastes have changed, I LOVE ANTARCTICA. Love it love it love it. Better pick some up tomorrow at the store. Is it publicly traded? I'll buy shares.
Why my sudden enthusiasm for this beer?
I'll give you a hint - it's not the fedoras that they keep handing out to partygoers at blocos, though they are pretty cute for freebies. It is, however, the little ad campaign they have going. There are currently signs like this everywhere in our neighbourhood:
And I mean everywhere.
And I like them.
For those who have commented on my disgust for public urination (xixi) in the past and said that Rio is no different than every other city, well, after the launch of this campaign (and the apparent need for it!) I don't think there's much more to say on this point.
I watched this film in the fall and have been meaning to blog about it but it hadn't happened until now. I download a lot of my entertainment from iTunes, and this was the case for Woman On Top as well. The synopsis of the movie said nothing about Brazil (I checked after), rather, the fact that the woman in the film moves to San Francisco was what interested me. As the opening credits rolled and the film began with "Once upon a time in the land of Bossa Nova" complete with Portuguese stone streets, I had to laugh. Sometimes you just can't escape Brazil.
It's a cute movie - kinda lost my interest towards the end - but worth checking out. Penelope Cruz is very cute (though not exactly Brazilian).
The soundtrack was definitely one of the film's highlights:
The third excursion on the cruise was to the Pia Glacier, located on the western arm of the Beagle Channel. The Pia Glacier was certainly a sight to behold... I think the photos say more than I could ever in words!
Here is some more demographic info about participants in my survey:
61% originated from North America,
33% originated from Europe, with the remainder from places scattered around the globe.
Brazil is the first international assignment for 41% of respondents. It is the second or third for as many respondents, meaning that less than 20% have had four or more international assignments.
34% of respondents volunteer their time in Rio on a regular basis.
There is still quite a bit of information to share with you from the survey - watch for posts in the next couple of weeks.
Although many people come to Brazil thinking that they will find 100 million clones of Gisele Bundchen, there are even more reasons than ever to assure you that this is not at all the case.
In fact, after reading this article in People, I am starting to wonder if she is Brazilian at all! She did not use any painkillers during the birth of her son (this is pretty much unheard of according to my OB, who also tells her expat clients regularly that they should give Brazilians lessons on "how to behave during childbirth"), opted for a natural birth (again, Brazil has one of the highest C-section rates...), and didn't NAME her child for several days after his birth (most Brazilians I have met who are pregnant find out the sex of the baby as soon as possible via blood test - before the ultrasound results are possible - then promptly name their child and start referring to them by their name from that point on!)
Are we sure she is Brazilian?
On Friday I went to Jardim Botanico with some girlfriends and their kids (I have some sweet photos that I will share later of this amazing tree) and passed through the Feira in Gavea, and bought a dress for R$50.
The dress, and the fact that produce looked amazing, (though I couldn't buy any as it would definitely be a ball of hot mush by the time I got it home that day), inspired me to hit the feira again soon. So yesterday Canadoca and I set off in the morning to Ipanema (Henrique Dumont) for the morning fair to buy some fresh produce. Despite living here for almost two years now, I think I still paid gringo prices, but the strawberries I bought were absolutely to die for, and so was the broccoli, which is even hard to find at Hortifruti these days. I found a schedule of feiras online and thought I would share it with you. There is also apparently a farmer's market over by the Pizza Park, I will have to check that out sometime. Farmer's markets or feiras in the zona sul in Rio - here is the schedule:
Mondays: Rua Henrique Dumont, Ipanema
Tuesdays: Pça General Osório, Ipanema
Wednesdays: Pça Edmundo Bittencourt, Copacabana
Thursdays: Pça Nossa Sra Auxiliador, Leblon or R. Ronald de Carvalho, Copacabana
Fridays: Pça Nossa Senhora da Paz, Ipanema or Pça Santos Dumont, Gávea
Saturdays: R. Frei Leandro, Lagóa
Sundays: Av. Lineu de Paula Machado, Lagóa, or Pça Serzedelo Correia, Copacabana