As soon as you leave the air-conditioned airport hall you smell the tropics at once. The heat and the humidity reminding of a sweating room in Russian bath and dense heady air. Instantly turning up local taxi drivers offer you to pick up to the city "almost free-of-charge". Their shrewd glance recalls Russian taxi drivers to you. That makes you feel at your ease. You can safely come down the price as taxi drivers have similar character traits everywhere. Or you may take a bus, which goes frequently and regularly. The fare costs low. However, taking a taxi is not very expensive as the airport is located almost in the city. To get to the beach area doesn't take you much time. The only way to go to the hotel at an exorbitant price is to acquire a transfer in Moscow. Our travel agency fee made up 116 € for two persons. You can afford much with this sum in Rio, at local prices: making a tour of the city accompanied by an honorable escort of motorcyclists, having supper in a first-rate restaurant, buying a return transfer with the change. In addition to that, the Moscow travel agency hinted in a confidential manner, that we wouldn't be able to find our hotel without a transfer. In general, they weren't sure of our reaching the hotel safe and alive. There was the other way round in reality. Everybody who felt like it had an idea of it. Moreover, the hotel was trouble-free to find. One makes his living at something in different ways. Take it easier.
As a matter of fact, all advisers we were coming across were committed to informing us (by all means) of a tense criminogenic situation in Brazil, terrible larceny, and danger to life trapping you in any place. In a moment we desired experiencing something like that. On our coming back home we would whimper our friends about the poor destiny of fleeced or deceived. We had a stroll along the city at night, bathing at the beach, leaving our bags on the sand. We wondered everywhere with photo or video cameras, the Swiss watch and jewellery were gleaming on us. Nothing came about. Cheerful and friendly Brazilian people were unaware of terrible stories tourists were spoken about them. That's why they didn't want to rob us. Conversely, they offered us drinks, invited to dance the samba. Their way of communication was very simple. Finally, you think that you have been familiar with them since the childhood and all of them are your friends.
To tell the truth, Brazil would have deserved writing a book about its inhabitants if G.Amadou had failed to describe them before us. These are quite remarkable people, reckless, cheerful, beautiful and lazy to some extent. All men are like macho around you, and the girls seem to be sex-pots. Besides, both have very bright features of character, even more apparent ones as compared with the traits depicted in Brazilian serials. Their authors might intend to portray these local peculiarities in a European way. Communication is very easy and helpful. One is pleased at showing you the way, taking pictures or suggesting where you can find the nearest cash dispenser or an Internet center. All along with this, there are plenty of cash dispensers and Internet centers here as well as a large number of small cafes and souvenir shops. Certainly, as soon as the next well-wisher (as a rule, this part was performed by a guide) was going to frighten us speaking about horrors of the local criminogenic situation, he was asked if he was aware of the place we had come from. After that, we put on a mysterious air of conspirators and explained, that we could get frightened of nothing and of nobody after our Russia…
A few words about the local way of life and bathing suits. Brazil is a Catholic country; for that reason, sunbathing topless at the beach is not accepted. Indeed, you aren't given any remarks being driven away from the beach. For instance, a couple of old and ugly German women were lying in such a manner close to our place, but local people avoid doing that. However, this tradition doesn't keep them from wearing bikini of extremely small size. We have never fancied such tiny bikini. Imagine, for illustration, the E-sized breast in the middle of which there is a coin-sized triangle. Two laces support it. There would be no harm in saying that this case is quite common. To tell the truth, the sight is more spectacular than the view of a naked body. Mainly, look at the back of local beauties that are passing by. Attempt to guess, if this string is shorts vanishing between two buttocks. Nervous people are recommended to take with them a sedative medicine, as only a corpse might have no reactions seeing this empire of a beautiful naked body.
Some helpful information: the beach lacks WC and rooms to change clothes. Sunshades and deck-chairs (1€ and 2€ per day) are individual. Settle up by the end of the day. If you are a conscientious man, bring the accessories to the place where you have been provided with them. Don't leave them at the beach like some people do. By the way, you should have at your disposal fine money, paying back for sunshades, cola, beer, water, offered by street traders. Many people may run out of change and they ask you to leave it as they bring up 3-4-5 little children, moreover, they are good men. However, once a taxi driver didn't take money for our traffic, as he had difficulties in changing large bank note. Fine money is useful for different artistic beggars. Not those who come up and stretch their hand, looking into your eyes in a faithful manner. We speak about those ones who are dancing for you the samba or showing two or three capoeira techniques or playing the banjo. Frequently their diligence and skills are really worth paying, and you hold out your hand for giving a monetary equivalent of gratitude of 1-2 reals. This sum is not very expensive if calculated in dollars (1 € = 4 reals).
Rio de Janeiro hotels are situated in several districts. They are quite in close proximity to each other, have no basic differences. The only thing, you should bear in mind is your hotel location. In case your hotel windows overlook straight Copacabana or Ipanema, get ready for listening songs and hubbub under windows till the morning. To get acquainted with your place to live you are supposed to look through the simplified map of Copacabana and Leblon-Ipanema resort areas as well as the one of the city downtown.
Dozens of cafes are lined up all along the beach area and hotels. They work all day round. You can have meals there, something to drink (beer or coffee). Bargain sales or flea markets take place in the evening on the quay providing you with keepsakes, white trousers and multi-coloured T-shirts. The cafe prices are moderate. The supper for two persons will cost hardly more than 10€ (with mountains of meat, salads and beer), a glass of vodka or some alcoholic drink - 1-2 €. A point of major importance: Brazilian aren't familiar with so-called American "drink", a parody to a portion of drinks. For example, if you order some vodka, a glass will be filled to the brims like in the film "A man's destiny". It is possible to haggle at bargain sales, small shops and with street sellers. You can do without special efforts and applying NLP techniques, in a tentative way, cutting the price by 20-30 %. Although, the gained price is higher, unlike Turkey where it may be twice or thrice as low as compared with the initial one. Brazilian aren't apt to haggle, but they give a discount almost in any case. The whole price level of T-shirts, bags, shorts, neckclothes, souvenirs is lower to compare with the Mediterranean one and is fairly satisfying. For example, a T-shirt of Rio symbolic costs about 2-3 €, scarfs-coverlets 3-4 €, excellent knitted hammocks made from bleached tissue 7-10 €, etc
Getting tired to walk along the city, you may come back by bus or taxi if you find yourself in an area far from your hotel. The taxi price is not high and equal to ours. Take notice of the following: be very careful while crossing the road against the lights, violating traffic rules. Almost all Rio drivers aspire to be like Schumacher and rush along narrow streets, managing to squeeze within 2 centimeters from the cars parked on sidewalks and wandering pedestrians. The most astonishing is that the city has few beaten or scratched cars contrasting Moscow where there are lots of crushed cars due to the chaotic impudent traffic.
tel: +375 226-0900, 226-0902, 226-0936 Minsk BY