I was getting out of the lift in my Rio de Janeiro apartment building when the random Brazilian guy riding alongside me gave me a hug goodbye.
I’d never met him before. Even more strangely he was with his wife at the time who just smiled like it was totally normal. But it wasn’t a hug hug, like the wrap your arms around the person variety you’re probably thinking of, it was a Brazilian Portuguese hug from his mouth to my ears. It was classic Carioca warmth with him saying t
There's a great woman who works on Ipanema Beach that is impossible to forget.
Vanessa Cabral dos Santos, or Vanessa Esplendorosa as she's known on the sand, sells acai, the Amazonian berry superfood turned purple smoothie health snack which can be mixed with things like banana, granola and powdered milk. It's loved by Brazilians and has made its way to Australia and anywhere else there are hipster, health-conscious people. But she doesn't just sell it, she lives it. This l
I’M living in a city where the gangs are so out of control the army has been called in to keep the peace.
Like many predicted before last year’s Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro’s hopes for a new beginning were snuffed out along with the cauldron. The economy is in recession, automatic gun fire echoes through the skies, innocent lives are being lost and Brazilian soldiers are now helping police try and keep a lid on this explosion. Instead of just guarding the main highways and
DOES Brazil’s Christ shed a tear looking down over the sadness below him?
It’s a question Rio de Janeiro’s residents ask as they gaze up to what has become the most dangerous wonder of the world. Last Friday the steep 4km Corcovado jungle trail to the giant Christ the Redeemer statue was closed the day after a Polish man was stabbed, one of 58 people to have been robbed along the trail in just 10 days. More than 150 people have been robbed this year. Young, armed criminals f
If you’re thinking of coming on a holiday to Brazil and Rio it's a great life choice to make, believe me.
There can be a lot to get your head around as a tourist though so here are some travel tips and advice for anyone that wants to jump on a plane for a Brazilian holiday. Follow these and you'll thank me later. 1. COME! Brazil’s reputation is bipolar, it’s either known for out-of-control gang violence and petty crime or for its crazy culture, beautiful nature and even mor
Sao Paulo has to be one of the most underrated and unloved great cities of the world.
While just about everyone knows the famous sun-drenched vistas of Rio, most foreigners know nothing about Sampa.
Even some Brazilians who aren’t from there, and some who are, don’t like it - it doesn’t have the beaches and beauty that Brazil and especially Rio is known for. Sao Paolo is grey and ugly, if you have to be honest. It’s not a city to take beautiful postcard photos of. But that
A newspaper front page with a little girl covered in her dead mother’s blood declared “Terrorism in Rio is everyday”.
In the grisly story from July, Cristiane Andrade, 46, was stabbed in the neck in her car's front seat sitting next to her daughter in a supermarket carpark. The girl ran to a nearby taxi who raced them to hospital where the young mum died.
Afterwards the driver recorded a short movie of the little girl, 7, distraught, blood-soaked next to his taxi, a police
Walking through a Rio de Janeiro favela I was told by my resident guide that the order from the most senior gangsters is to not lay a hand on visitors.
She said I could navigate the Cantagalo favela’s steep maze of pathways, streets and stairs safely with a Brazilian or even alone, something more people are not afraid to do. Because of this Cariocas often say you’re safer from being robbed inside them than near the beaches.
Bringing in money to an economy once off limits
You can practically feel the sun and samba beats bursting out of Brazilians mouths.
Yet when the coolest and sexiest accents in the world are spoken about you hear of the Irish, French, Italians or us Aussies.
Even one of the many Spanish-speaking countries will usually be tossed up.
But Brazil, not so much.
Let me tell you though it should be on those lists because it is without a doubt one of the best accents in the world. And it sounds nothing like Spanish. Brazil
The question wasn't why would I come to Rio it was why wouldn't I?
Here I was, a stereotypical monolingual English-speaking dude. I had no understanding of the struggles and memory-searing moments which come from ditching the comforts of home to enter the unknown.
So late last year I found myself with a huge desire to not only live overseas for the first time, but to learn a new language and culture.
As 2015 wound down it became clear this trip wasn’t about sliding in so