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