TABA 3D

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I am moving next month and will not have to make this super stressful and potentially deadly bus ride each day, thus I am hoping this will be the last blog that I write on the subject. But until that time comes I have more observations that I feel are worth sharing.

11. I can’t believe it took me so long to notice this, on most buses there is a sign that says you have to give up your seat for obese people among others. This is by far the most impressive form of visual semantics I’ve ever seen. Rio is a society that is obsessed by body image and fitness. One only has to peep the workstations placed along the beaches, you can literally see people busting out chin ups at eleven o clock at night, I’ve even seen dudes just out of work doing dips in a shirt and work pants. Anyway as well as being a city of super health conscious individuals there is apparently an abundance of obese people as well, enough to warrant a sign on the bus saying to move for them. Frankly after the daily fight for a seat I would slightly begrudge moving for someone because they are ‘obesos’

12. Tattoos with people’s names are seem to be the done thing here in Rio, I’ve seen so many people, male and female sporting the names of others. I’m sure you will be reassured to know that this includes the obligatory ‘mae’ and ‘pai’ (Mum and Dad). I’m not questioning the sense of getting inked up with someone’s else name in fact some of the lettering looks dope. One that did puzzle me though on one particular bus ride was a girl sporting the name ‘Patrick’ in huge and unattractive lettering on her neck. Now I’m not the expert on Brazilian names but I don’t think there’s many Brasileiros called ‘Patrick’! This happened on the same journey that I saw a dude who was unquestionably Brazilian carrying a rugby ball, pretty random bus ride.

13. There are certain similarities between bus rides here in Rio and those in the U.K. In my experience you are guaranteed to get a piss head going off and I was unfortunate enough to sit next to said dude a few weeks ago. The ride began as normal, I sat down next to some dude and as usual the evening traffic was  gridlocked. To begin with I can see homeboy mumbling to himself, I’ve got my headphones in, so couldn’t hear him and choose to ignore it anyway. After a while his anger started to rise and he began to bang on the window and his complaints began to get louder and drown out my music, at this point I started to edge ever so slightly off the seat. He then starts to bang on the seat in front, the guy sat there didn’t complain after my drunk friend gave him crazy eye when he turned around. By now he had started to shout, the thing that made it really weird, every so often he was switching into English to swear, he is screaming in Portuguese but then will drop in a ‘mutha fucker’ or ‘bitch’. I think he was doing it for my benefit as I must have a sign above my head saying ‘gringo’. At this point, I’ve got half a butt cheek on the seat and I made the executive decision that if I didn’t move he might stab me with a diseased needle so I made a rapid getaway to the front of the bus!

14. Moped drivers here in Rio have absolutely zero regard for their own safety. Every single day these crazy ass dudes just pull straight out in front of the bus, it actually sends me under watching them and seriously annoys the drivers who I think speed up to try and hit them. There is definitely not a dress code to ride these bad boys either – whilst helmets are generally observed, pants are optional. It is not an uncommon sight to see dudes cutting through the traffic in a pair of speedos. I never realised but mopeds can also be used for sleeping too, there is a restaurant delivery guy I often walk past when I get off the bus, homeboy just leans on food delivery box and has a good old snooze.

15. Back home crack heads usually stick to robbing a gaff or two in order to support their habit, not here in Rio. As we stopped at a red light along the beach, I noticed a dude giving his friend a foot up into a tree. The guy scaled up it like a pro and began to collect coconuts which he then threw them down to the other dude. I thought this was cool as hell, the speed dude got up the tree was super impressive. Then I took a closer look, both dudes had no shoes on and made Renton look like he’d eaten too many lemon buns. Now without casting aspersions on these fine gentlemen but they obviously had a fondness for that brown stuff. This left me even more impressed, they were providing a vital service selling coconuts to dehydrated beach goers, crackheads of fine character!

This week I’ve have got my homeslice Christian Pierce showing how to trip up those punk ass guard pullers

Copa Podio

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On Saturday night me and the homies had the chance to go and peep one of the premier, professional grappling shows in the world; Copa Podio which is held here in Rio. Some of the top dudes in the sport were competing including Rodolfo Viera, Leandro Lo, Leo Nogueira and Felipe Pena.

Being the impoverished and cheap ass dude I am, I’d opted for the upper tier tickets to watch the show. The evening got off to an awesome start when the bouncers on the door somehow gave me and the homies Mike and Torryn the same wristbands as the rest of the crew who had bought the more expensive floor tickets. Boom, we were bumped up to floor tickets which were double the price! Second stroke of luck happened as we got in there, we aimed for the corner area of the arena and took our seats. This turned out to be a wise decision as we had somehow wandered into the area for athletes and families. For the entirety of the evening we were provided with as much free Coke and Guarana as our bladders could handle. In addition to sandwiches, in fact two separate lots of sandwiches. Props to Copa Podio as they went all out with cheese and ham on white bread for the full junior school packed lunch experience!

If your interested, I’m sure you’ll check the full results so I’m not gonna provide a breakdown of the event which was crazy long clocking in at 5 and a half hours but was hella dope nevertheless.

But here’s a  few of my musing from the show:

I. The show began with a full rendition of the Brazilian National anthem. This was my introduction to what must be one of the longest pieces of music ever. Long enough in fact for me to notice Leandro Lo having a cheeky dick scratch. I also noticed Rodolfo was the only one singing, I don’t know if this was a ploy to intimidate his opponents but seeing the man belt out a tune was enough to send shivers down my spine.

 

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II. Poor UFC fighter Alan Belcher had a tough day at the office getting a good beating off pretty much everyone – he was a good sport to it all though. For some reason he’d made the decision to borrow a white belt’s kimono which was about 3 sizes to big for him.

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III. Lloyd Irvin representative Timothy Spriggs received no applause whatsoever as he came out to fight. Ethically I’d question the Copa Podio as an organisation and their decision to invite an athlete from a team led by a ‘failed’ rapist in the first place.

IV. Match of the night in my opinion was Luiz Panz vs. Leandro Lo in the semi finals. Super technical fight going back and forth between both fighters.

V. Rodolfo Veira’s completed a campaign of destruction. He finished 5 out of 6 fights this included finishing Leandro Lo in under 2 minutes of the final. Watching him on video cannot compare to seeing him do his thing live. He really is a scary ass dude whose guard passing is unbelievably relentless. I was also impressed at the amount of sweat homeboy manages to produce, a waterfall cascaded off his nugget throughout each of his fights. As someone who is proud of their own levels of sweating, I’m but a padawan to this Jedi Master of sweat. Dude is a fortified beast.

A Dumb-ass New Year

My Macbook decided to completely die mid December hence no blogging, no nothing really, it has absolutely sucked, worst part no pro-wrestling. Thankfully due to some kind Brazilian technicians, a large sum of money and a unnecessarily long wait, I’m back up in this.

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Not much Jiu-Jitsu related, my chick was visiting over the Christmas period, this limited the amount I was training & allowed me to gain a whopping 9 KGs! My experience of the festive season here was somewhat different to the norm. A change of scenerio switched my sweaty dorm-room to an appartment on an Island. Living that Island life business, getting a boat to and from the spot, crazy wildlife and ridiculous 40 degree temperatures. Christmas dinner was created using a camping stove, I say Christmas dinner quite loosely, I actually mean a steak and egg sandwich. The day itself was pretty much spent eating serious quantities of brigadeiro cake and sweating a lot. We tried to watch Home Alone but even big Kev doing his thing was hard to enjoy when your afflicted with dripping back sweats without even moving.

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New Years Eve was an experience I won’t forget in a long time. Copacabana beach is host to one of the largest NYE celebrations in the world, hundreds of thousands of people all dressed in white celebrating and bringing the new year in together. Well that’s what I’ve heard anyway, I wasn’t there. My tale begins as I dropped the chick off at the airport, this was at 7.30PM, the idea was to jump on a direct coach and be back at the gaff by 9.00. I jumped on the coach that I believed would take me to Barra. I didn’t even think anything of it when I didn’t recognise the direction we were going, as traffic was being re-routed due to the beach celebrations. Although I became slightly concerned when we pulled into a coach station which I’d never heard of and the driver turned off his engine.

No big deal though, there was plenty of buses around so I’d just jump on one of these bad-boys. The trouble was I’d just received my deposit back from the Island apartment and also had money I’d taken out for the next couple of week’s survival, so I had the equivalent of about 500 beans on me all in large bills. I spotted a bus that I had been on before and knew it stopped at Barra Pasarela, this was 5 minutes from the gaff, so it was all good. I was on said bus a good while before I began to worry that I hadn’t recognised anything, it really became brown trousers time when the bus stopped just outside Recreio favela and I was informed it was the last stop. I’d managed to get on the bus doing the opposite loop, you’ve really got to be a dumb-ass to get on back to back wrong buses!

I was more than a little concerned that I was packing hella cash, an iPhone, a Macbook (albeit broken one) and in the ghetto. I saw the main road from where I was dropped, so rather than walking calmly I just took off like The Flash. When I got to the main road I thought I’d just jump on another bus and ‘boom’ back to the spot and celebrate new years! However whilst waiting at the bus stop a car pulled along side me and 2 dudes jumped out, based on prior experience I knew I was about to be jacked, dudes were packing some serious screw faces. There was no way I was gonna give up all my shit so I launched into Sidney Prescott survival tactics and literally ran as fast as I’ve ever ran, I might have even screamed a little too! My first bit of luck was I’d picked the right side of the road to run as the car wasn’t able to reverse, I just jumped on the first bus that came past, which somehow took me all the way to Barra.

I finally got home at 11:50 feeling pretty traumatised, watched some fireworks from the garden and then went to bed. Worst new years ever!