Sunday, August 25, 2013


Hi folks,

I know everyone wants to see more pictures of where I live.  I wanted to write a short explanation of why I haven't posted more pictures of the surrounding area.  This is to protect myself.  I already stick out like a sore thumb merely because of how I look and dress.  If I walk around with an expensive camera around my neck, people are going to assume I'm a tourist.  And tourists are much more likely to get attacked or robbed.  At this time I am trying to blend in, walk and speak with confidence, and become a regular inhabitant of Barra.

Don't worry, I feel quite safe.  I go to the grocery store, the bakery, the mall, Starbucks.  But, considering that most of my day is spent alone, I want to be the safest as possible.

Here's the situation: We live in a suburb south of the "Centro."  It's about the distance between Long Beach and downtown LA.  If we take a bus from our house to Ipanema, it will take over an hour.  Whereas driving would only take 20-30 minutes.  If we take a bus to "Centro," it will take over 2 hours, whereas in a car it would take 45 minutes (all of this depending on traffic, of course).  

I know I've been saying this for awhile, but we really hope to make it out to Ipanema and Copacabana soon.  I will take plenty of pictures then, when Peter is with me.  I just don't want to go on a bus by myself quite yet.  Not because it isn't safe - because it is very safe on the city buses.  But because I don't want to get lost!!!  Very few people here speak English, and the bus drivers certainly don't - so getting lost is quite easy to do!  (The attack and murder of two tourists in Rio, which was on the news a couple of months ago, occurred in a private van.  Those are popular here as a mode of transport that falls somewhere between a taxi and a bus.  Some are privately owned and more dangerous than others.  They are very easy to distinguish and, frankly, look quite sketchy.  Why any smart, foreign traveler would get on one beats me.  We are avoiding all of them and only sticking with registered city buses.)

Meanwhile, Peter stayed up all night chaperoning the high school "lock-in."  So, he'll be asleep for awhile!  I'm hoping one of my friends will want to go to the hippie fair with me today, otherwise it's going to be a long, boring day!

In the meantime, check out these old posts:

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