Monday, April 1, 2013

Brazil First Day

I found this forgotten post in my draft folder. It's from almost 5 years ago:

So I last left off the night before leaving.
I has been about six hours since I landed in Rio de Janeiro.
My trip here was uneventful; on the way to Miami I sat next to what was typical frat boys ten years ago (they were playing playstation and had vodka sprite in the airplane) and on the eight hour flight to Rio I sat next to an oil rig worker who did not like to make conversation much. He told me some cool stuff though. Like how his rig was floating six thousand feet above the ocean floor and that sometimes they had to dig up to ten thousand feet through the bedrock in order to hit oil. Another cool thing is that the pipe they pump it up with is at most about 10 inches in diameter, which, to me, seems very small. Also the rig stays positioned by using thrusts and a high tech GPS system. There was a also a blind kid, about my age who sat in front of me but I did not get a chance to talk to him.

I slept about four, maybe five hours on the plane. I was way too excited to sleep much. The view flying out of Miami was that of a lightning lit sky and at one point, what I thought was a giant river... I could tell it was a river because it was bright enough with the moonlight but also because of the lights from cities that were along it. I was also distracted by Harpers magazine which I found to be excellent. Thank you Ms. Mavrody for recommending it.

My arrival was short and sweet. No hassels with visas or place of stay. Baggage came quickly. The taxi was easy to get. I had to exchange about 90 dollars into reais. The exchange rate was 1.51 reais to the the dollar. Rip off considering the market value is 1.6 I tried to make small talk with the driver in Portuguese but it was not that easy. We drove through some favelas on the way here. I took a picture from the highway and will post it later.

I found the apartment easily and was greeted by Professor Baer who was having breakfast with Felipe and Richard. Dona Teresa was also there. She is the nanny person I guess. The breakfast was delicious. There were many fruits and cheeses to choose from. I love cheese :-)

After that I got ready to go with Baer, Felipe and Richard to the ibmec, a business school type thing where Baer has his office and where we will be doing our research. The computers are decent but facebook is blocked off... wtf... my window to the world is gone! Oh well, guess I will have to focus on working... He wants us to pick one research topic each and work on it for him. I am thinking about something related to the Current account surplus, a detailed analysis of it.

F, R and I went out for lunch and bought some cheap food that was pretty good. Not at all vegetarian I must say, and we shall see how it sit in my stomach later tonight...

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