Saturday we took this large mini-van to Barra (pronounced baha) beach, about 30 minutes south of Copacabana by car. This was a very interesting bus ride, almost like a rollercoaster with the winding roads along the coast, almost like a kidnapping with how we just jumped into it and sped off. It was operated by a driver and a guy who would sit by the door and yell at people the bus´ destination.
Barra had really cool beaches. The girls there were just amazing. The water had these crazy currents that would make it nearly impossible to swim back into shore. I just barely made it back, Richard had to get help from surfers or he would have stayed out there he said. We chilled there all day until it got too windy and cold. That night we went out with the lawyer girl that we met Thursday night at the Scenarium. She brought three of her friends with her, all law students as well. We met them by the rio sul mall and they took us to a rather large street party celebrating some saint- another excuse to party. That was a little crowded so we went to the group of bars called a cobal. there must have been about 15 bars in this square. We stayed there for a bit and endedup going home rather late. Not really worth it if you ask me. This whole time they were taking us on bus rides and we had no idea where we were going. They could have been taking us to some favela 30 minutes away from rio and I wouldn´t have known until it was too late... good stuff.
The next day, a rude 8am awakening. Breakfast, 2 reais bus ride to a large bus station, 14 reais bus ride to another large bus station outside of Petropolis, another 2 reais bus ride to downtown Petropolis.
Petropolis is the town where the king or Brazil would go to live in summertime. He would come back to Rio in the wintertime. By the way, to continue along Prof Mello´s backwardness rant, the king of Brazil was the king of Portugal´s son. His son, declared independence from his father. Essentially, Brazil declared its independence from one Monarchy and adopted another one. Not like in the US or France where independence meant no king and rule of the people (or something along those lines).
The king´s palace was cool. Nothing too special though. Not nearly as nice as France's...
yesterday (monday) the internet was not working so we just went back home early to see Felipe off to his taxi. Quite a sad sight. It will be interesting to see how dynamics change within our little group.
Dan and I then went to the beach, read some stuff from the economist, had some tea. We place beach soccer (the volleyball version of soccer) with these two random dudes on the beach. They were really cool and friendly and just laughed a lot at Dan and I falling flat on our asses when we tried to kick the ball over the other side of the net. good times. This evening we're going to go back there to work out a bit and hopefully play again.
And now back at the good old ibmec. We found some computers with facebook access. Quite the distraction. I haven't really done any research-related work for a whole week now. But I have a plan to get back into gear... it involves, hmm... well... doing something.