Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil.
The bus travel from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro took place during the night.
Day 1: 9 pm
More than three hours later than scheduled, Eduardo, our jolly bus driver, started the bus engine. Since we already were in the center of Belo Horizonte at the time of departure (near Praça Raul Soares, to be more precise), we rather quickly left the city behind us. Initially, the seat nest to me was vacant, but soon a student took this seat. She already had noticed me, when we were waiting outside, and she eagerly took her opportunity. She offered me some bites, they were some kind of fried bacon slices. I accepted them gratefully. Earlier that night, I already had participated in a small-scale barbecue, but that was hours ago. These bites already must have passed my stomach and were on their slow track to the free world.
This student was, compared to other girls of her age, very tall. She was very talkative. For me it was very nice that she spoke Portuguese as well as English fluently. Unfortunately, there aren’t many bilingual Brazilians like her. Our chats were a funny mix of English and Portuguese. I am quite sure that a bystander wasn’t able to follow our conversations. The same bystander should be lucky that there were no students who were able to speak Dutch or German, since I speak these languages fluently too. And believe me, Brazilians in general don’t understand any word of German or Dutch. In fact, I could make many jokes with them by using these two languages, which might sound like Chinese or Swahili to them.
Aline was her name. She studied Philosophy, at a faculty that is part of a complex of integrated faculties of the Federal University (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte: the faculties of Languages, Library Science, Information Sciences, and Philosophy. Aline had been living in the United States from some time; therefore she spoke English fluently. I could have guessed that, since it is very hard to learn English in Brazil. Our dialogue got extended to more students, as is common in Brazil. This is one aspect of the Brazilian culture that is quite uncommon to Europeans. There was some initiative of a famous coffee brand, in which people might contact each other by means of a rotating wheel. Some investigations had pointed out that many people have interest to contact other people, and want to contact the other, but that they have no clear icebreaker. And indeed, when I remember the hours that I spent on the train or bus in the Netherlands, it was very silent. No one spoke even. In Brazil, it is a different world.
Despite the late hour, the group didn’t resist to chat more two hours with each other. One of them took a seat next to Eduardo the bus driver and was talking to him the ENTIRE night. This was very welcome to Eduardo, to keep him awake all night. The two had a vivid conversation, which was mixed with laughs, sniggers, and chuckles. I was lucky that I brought my earplugs. The front seat offered a lot of space for my legs, and also Aline enjoyed stretching her long legs. And I took the advantage that Aline shared her pillow and blanket with me. Not bad at all: extra comfort for my head, and extra protection against the cold night. What else could I have wished that night?
Eduardo drive through the state of Minas Gerais without problems, and entered the smaller state of Rio de Janeiro. From time to time, he had to stop at the toll gates, where he had to pay some reais to be allowed to continue his route. Fortunately, it didn’t rain that night, and there were no flat tires. When I opened my eyes – Aline was still sleeping – I noticed that the mountain peaks were covered in a white blanket of dense mist. I faced the cruel reality again: to witness beautiful moments without the presence of my camera. I was really missing my camera during my stay in Rio de Janeiro. The stories of this third travel in Rio are accompanied by pictures that were taken on other occasions.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (50). Start of the Third Travel to Rio de Janeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (49). Morro da Urca (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (48). The Climb of Morro da Urca (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Brazilian Days (066): March 7 (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)