Being a tourist at home

1:24 PM

This is a very tardy post. I've had this thought out in my brain for months now and had found no time to put it in practice. Maybe that was a good thing though. After all, when you are terribly sad and lost, there is a certain amount of comfort that comes from thinking of past times with loved ones in amazing places. Looking back and realizing you were happy there despite what you are sad about now gives you hope that that happiness may be real again.

You see, on June/July, my sister and her boyfriend came around to see us. It was the first time we were meeting him and it was the first time I was seeing my sister in a year and a half. I was excited.

Not only that, though, since it was his first carioca adventure, we had to go to certain touristic places. It was obligatory. And might I tell you that I love touristic places. It's something else to see your city through the eyes of someone new to it all. It's special. It gives you a fresh point of view.

So we first took him to a traditional churrascaria and afterwords we went to see the sunset in a place called Parque da Cidade, an Environment Protected spot in town. One of my personal favorites. The view is ridiculous, it's possible to see all of the city's coast line and the opening of the Guanabara Bay to the ocean. It's somewhere people paraglide from, to end up landing in one of our beaches. I mean, do I need to say more?

Unfortunately, I was not able to take a vacation from my internship to be able to spend the entire days with them, but I did meet them after work. One of those meetups was at Confeitaria Colombo, an 120 year old coffee shop in the center of town. Eating there is like a trip to a century ago. The mirrored walls, the antique dishes, the old style tables, the decorative details, the spread out pictures of past days. The place in itself is a work of art. History in a coffee shop. Add to that the deliciousness of the pastries, hot chocolates, coffee and cakes and it's the perfect spot for a mid-afternoon snack.

We also managed to go to the always delightful Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, taking advantage of the rainy day that it was, and saw the Salvador Dali exposition going on there. May I say, Dali's works of art are something else. I could spend forever staring at his paintings trying to understand and absorb it all. CCBB, as we call the place, is another century old location. It's a place for books, art, music, good food and lovely people. The high walls, the people reading in the corners, leaned back on the columns, the general calmness, quiet and relaxed ambiance. I swear every time I go there I feel complete joy.

Finally, as if all these spots weren't enough, we had the almost unrealistic experience of going to the World Cup final. The experience was surreal. Even if it wasn't Brazil playing, we were all very invested in the game. It's almost impossible not to be when you are there. Not only Maracanã is a marvelous place but the pre-show was so much fun (I mean, who would have thought that it would ever be possible to see Shakira, Ivete Sangalo, Santana, Alexandre Pires, and more at once?) and the game was nerve-wracking. Not an experience I will easily (or ever) forget.

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