A little bit of Japan in the middle of Brazil

‘Você fala português?‘ the man questioned me. I shook my head sadly, embarrassed that my Portuguese skills were solely confined to obrigada and ola. ‘Inglês?‘ I asked hopefully. The man shook his head and fired one back. ‘Espanhol?’ he offered. I made a whole bunch of noises, which in every language mean ‘a bit, but hardly at all, even [...]

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Somewhere in Sao Paulo

I got an iPhone almost four years ago. I had switched over from a BlackBerry and was instantly a convert; within days I told Paul, ‘I love my iPhone’. I filled it with all sorts of apps, in that excited way one gets when given an iTunes gift card (score!) after having spent the last [...]

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Far away in Rio de Janeiro

I think everybody’s got one. A far-flung destination, so far away from home and so foreign that you think you’ll never get there, yet you simultaneously kind of believe that maybe you will one day. For me, that has been South America, and specifically Rio de Janeiro. South America was the sixth continent I had [...]

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Getting ready for the Rio Olympics

Even though I was in Brazil for the World Cup, I didn’t completely forget about my Olympic obsession. I mean, how could I? Rio de Janeiro is the first city since Munich in 1972-74 to host the World Cup final and the Olympic Games, back to back. Our first day in town was rainy and [...]

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The girl and boy not from Ipanema

I’ve made it quite clear on this blog that European beaches kinda stress me out. It was partly due to this – and the fact that I LOVE good beaches – that I was so looking forward to visiting the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, the weather gods were [...]

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That time I was cranky at Christ the Redeemer

I think it was the eighth elbow in my arm that did it. If not, it was definitely the fourth person who stepped on my foot. If all else failed though, it was the third idiot I tripped over who was sprawled out on the floor, as if trying to see up Cristo’s skirt. * [...]

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A peek at Porto Alegre

I’m not going to lie here. Before last December, I had never heard of Porto Alegre before. In fact, if Australia wasn’t drawn to play the Netherlands in the southern Brazilian city in the World Cup, I probably still be pretty ignorant as to its existence. Porto Alegre was a bit of a funny place [...]

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How much does it cost to go to the World Cup?

I know that I don’t give a lot of practical advice on this blog. Instead, I tend to blather on in a bit of a ‘oh yeah, I did this, you should do it too if you tend to like similar things to me’. But I’ve been getting a lot of questions of late, ever [...]

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Impressions of the World Cup in Brazil

I got back from Brazil last night, after a sightly epic journey which went Sao Paulo-Porto Alegre-Lisbon-Amsterdam. I left a place where it was winter and came back to summer, yet the temperature actually dropped by five degrees on my return. Go figure. I had a brilliant time in Brazil. Before I left, I told [...]

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An update from Brazil

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro! As I type, I can see Christ the Redeemer from my hotel room (said like Tina Fey’s ‘I can see Russia from my house’). You should also probably know that I have been well and truly introduced to caipirinhas. I am in Brazil for the World Cup – yesterday I [...]

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