There and Back Again

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I’m currently spending between 3-4 hours on the bus traveling to and from the academy each day. There are  benefits to this bus travel, it gives me hella time to read, listen to podcasts and peep multiple albums each day which is pretty sweet. However there are some glaring negatives, anyone who has visited Rio knows these aren’t any old buses, to get on the bus, is to take your own life and put it into the hands of people we can loosely call ‘drivers’. Coupled with this, buses are the main mode of transport for the less affluent people of Brazil, which make up a large percentage of the population, to define them as massively overcrowded would be a serious understatement. At 7.45 AM you have to be comfortable with small spaces, confident with your own sexuality and have some serious grip strength!

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Here is a list of observations / experiences that I have compiled so far on my bus adventures:

1. It is not an overstatement to say the bus drivers are some crazy ass dudes. I would go as far as to say that many have suicidal or maybe homicidal tendencies. They think nothing of overtaking on blind bends, besides oncoming traffic there is the potential of massive cliff drops into the ocean, this does not appear to bother these dudes one bit. The work ethic seems to be based around the principle ‘increase the speed’. What I struggle to understand is, no matter how quickly they get us to our destination, they just have to do the same loop again, so what’s the point in trying to kill everyone in the process? One incident that sticks out, involved over-taking another bus and near head on collision with a car coming the other way. After narrowly escaping potential death hearing someone scream very loudly from the car that the bus driver was a ‘puta’, there’s a word to google for you!

2. It appears that Brazilian men are the exception to the rule and can indeed multi-task, well bus drivers anyway. Due to the incredibly crowded nature of the morning bus, I’ve spent a great deal of time near the driver, perched precariously on the bottom step next to the door, usually on one leg, to the point if the driver broke to hard I would fly backwards through the front window! Anyway I’ve witnessed drivers having a chat on their phones, I’m assuming talking to their homies as they are having a good laugh. Multiple drivers sending text messages. My personal favourite was when I driver pulled out some sort of form and decided it was the best time to complete a written task!

3. The Entrepreneurial spirit of the Brazilian people can be seen whilst travelling by bus. It’s not uncommon for dudes to get on and sell you sweets and other sorts of tasty snacks, I guess who doesn’t want a delicious last meal before they plummet 50 feet to a fiery death! The biggest surprise however, occurred when a particularly charismatic salesman got on and began to sell sets of pads and pens. The real shocker came when people were actually buying them! Now don’t get me wrong they were super cute, pink and covered in glitter and at the bargin price of 3 real (less than £1) but at what point does someone who is traveling home from work decide ‘I really need that pink pen set to make my day complete’.

4. Old Brazilian women crossing themselves. I have witnessed this phenomenon on two separate occasions and each time it confirmed to me that I was indeed about to die a horrible death. If a women who has been traveling this way her entire life is so scarred she is relying on God to save her, what hope do the rest of us have!

5. The bus gets crowded like nothing else I have ever experienced. The Brazilian people deal with this so calmly, respectfully and really go out of their way to help each other. People will always make way or give up seats for the elderly or women with children, scream in unison if the driver has missed someone’s stop and there is also the incredibly helpful custom of holding people’s bags. There is very little room in the walkway between seats, there is simply no space to hold a bag on your back or shoulder, so some very kind people take your bag and put it on their knee for the remainder of your journey. Here’s where the issue arises, I use my bag to carry my dripping wet Gi to and from training each session, so not only is my bag usually wet, it smells non too delicious! I very so bad for the poor women who has the bag that smells of spicy aids perched on her knee for 45 minutes!

Part 2 of this badboy coming………

I’m gonna start a little technique series hitting you up with something new each week. This week we have Cobrinha purple belt and all around kickass dude Andre Khabbazi showing some serious details on the knee-cut pass, if the opponent has a reverse Dela Riva hook.

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