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BANGKOK 27 March 2019 05:17
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A Carioca Way Of Life

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A Carioca Way Of Life

written by Maria Eduarda Souza

 

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Living in a ‘postcard’ city brings with it certain issues. Maybe that’s why I understand the fame of grumpy Parisians, for example. But, unlike the Parisians, being a Carioca is synonymous of good humour and camaraderie. Rio de Janeiro should be considered the city of happiness.

 

Over the last decade Rio was transformed by social, political and economic factors. From the successful zero waste policy, to the paradoxical Olympics, to the ex governor being arrested after scandalous corruption schemes. Carioca’s have proved their resilience and Rio is now home for more authentic minds, passionate entrepreneurs and curious travellers.

 

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Everyday Rio Not only of carnival, soccer and beach lives Rio de Janeiro. We do love these things, but in our day to day we enjoy hidden bars, an intriguing art scene, discreet beaches and amazing views. I am breaking my pledge and releasing here some little secrets spots only a true Carioca knows how to enjoy.

 

Rio is home for six million people and a few more who adopted the lifestyle considering themselves now Carioca’s. This is the thing about Rio, doesn’t matter where you were born and bred, Carioca is a lifestyle. We are very proud and very critical about Rio.

 

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If you praise the view, we will exalt saying it is ‘the best view in the world’. If you say it’s dangerous, we won’t not deny it. But we treat Rio like we treat our son, only we can speak badly about it. Rio inspires its locals to pursue a way of life that honours its beauty. The Carioca Pedro Peracio, photographer who illustrates this story, is guilty of this pleasure. Through his camera we can see Rio’s charm and purity.

 

Hungry? Cidade Maravilhosa, the wonderful city, is an authentic place, its trustworthy. We do not believe in imitating other sites, we actually hate when people do that. In Rio de Janeiro nobody offers you what you already have experienced. Here, you either become Carioca or waste a lot of time searching for a piece of your land. Its true that we have good Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and French restaurants.

 

However they all embraced the city and transformed the food in a Carioca way of serving. Speaking of it, if you would like to have an international experience of Japanese food you must try our delicious Yumê. Don’t forget to ask for a table in the back, where you sit comfortably on the ground immersed by beautiful plants and fishes.

 

If you want a taste of ‘home’ and Thai food stop at Nam Thai in Leblon. Or if you are a pasta person and enjoy great Italian food the best choice is La Botticella where the chef Giancarlo Junyent runs a mixed of classic cuisine with contemporary tastes. These restaurants have a local clientele and probably are not yet in the tourism guides.

 

Still in the matter of food, but now for some true Carioca way of eating visit BB Lanches. Doesn’t matter if its breakfast, lunch or dinner, Carioca’s meals are healthy juices and sandwiches. BB Lanches is the sweetheart juice house of the locals around Leblon, you will always see it buzzing with charming people.

 

There are 28 different varieties of fruit juices and almost one hundred sandwiches, snacks and salads. My golden tip is the traditional açai smoothy with a delicious pastel, which is a very common Carioca treat. If you enjoy it, make sure to visit Bar do Horto to have the shrimp pastel with tapioca, some say is the best one in town.

 

Rio is for everyone The city also conceals some incredible activities that involve contact with nature, awareness and social and environmental engagement. If you are looking for a true, down to earth experience, you should go to the Vidigal community, one of the coolest favelas in Rio. The community faces the ocean and is located just next to Leblon, the posh neighbourhood.

 

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These are some of the interesting things to observe in Rio, how the fanciest people and the less privileged live very close to one another and interact in an unique way. Carioca’s have the vocation to be happy, doesn’t matter if you were bornin the favelas or in the fancy buildings in front of the beach. We all walk around in flip flops and very little clothes.

 

We are traditional creatures, we go to the same bars and restaurants for 10 years and we get a bit upset when they raise the prices because the tourists can pay more. When we think of our landscape we swear we are the luckiest people in the world. And who’s going to say that isn’t true? In Rio you even become more religious. Christ, the Redeemer, looks at you every day with open arms. After a while, you may even start liking the guy.

 

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When you meet a Carioca, we won’t invite you to our home for tea. We will invite you to the streets and, probably, for a cold beer. It’s curious. But the ‘street’ is so beautiful that locking ourselves at home is just a waste of life. Everything is an opportunity to be with the City. The energy and lifestyle of Rio gives the place the quality of entity. To get a glimpse at this sensation watch a sunrise at the top of Dois Irmãos Hill.

 

What a view! Morro Dois Irmãos, literally two brothers hill, faces the magnificent Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the rainforest and is home to the Vidigal community. Recently the track that takes you to the top of the hill was revitalised and became a treasured walk above sea level.

 

Its an easily accessible trail that starts at the soccer field at favela do Vidigal. Don’t worry! This is a very friendly and family driven community. To get to the trail you can use the transport available at the entrance of the favela, vans or mototaxis. I recommend the mototaxis and to pay the non-community price, its cheap for you and makes a big difference for them. The ride up is fast and will give you a chance to glance at the houses and see some locals walking around the streets.

 

The hike lasts around 45 minutes and you should where closed shoes, itsfairly easy and the feeling you achieve when arriving at the top is unutterable. Definitely the best view to start the day before going to work. If you are the adventurous type, do like us, try going for the sunrise. Its an extraordinary and magical show of nature and when you get down to the ‘real world’ is still 8 or 9am.

 

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When Friday comes the city shifts. Its a gift of changing the environment without touching anything. The working Rio becomes a vacation town. Altinha, a game where you must keep the soccer ball high, dominate the shores of the sea. The clothes are literally gone, the smiles get brighter, the sun, the soccer, the samba, the Rio. It wouldn’t be a Carioca trip if a swim in the sea wasn’t involved.

 

“These are some of the interesting things to observe in Rio, how the fanciest people and the less privileged live very close to one another and interact in an unique way.”

 

Hot spot Prainha, which literally means little beach is the number one refuge spot on our coast. One of the favourite beach for surfers, Prainha draws attention to good waves and natural beauty. With 700 metres of white sand, protected by hills and covered by Atlantic Rainforest it pays to arrive before midday to soak up the sun, which lurks behind the mountains in the middle of late afternoon. You must take a taxi or a car to get there.

 

Don’t forget to drink Mate Leão and eat biscoito Globo, a biscuit which started in Rio in the fifties and now is a symbol of our coast. Make sure you carry your garbage with you when you leave. Prainha its a very ‘play by the locals rules’ kind of beach, for example, in Rio dogs are not allowed in the sand or the sea.

 

At Prainha there are dozens of dogs playing around and if you are young and single its an excellent point for flirting. After I have informed you of the best local places, I will briefly mention one traditional stop every tourist who landed in Rio after 2016 should make.

 

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The Museu do Amanhã, Museum of Tomorrow. The museum is dedicated to explore, think and design the possibilities of building a different future. A place to get inspired and understand the trends of the past and present and explores possible scenarios for the next 50 years from the perspectives of sustainability and coexistence.

 

With immersive environments, audiovisual facilities and games where content is always up to date with scientific data and analysis from institutions around the world, this is a ‘must go’ for the whole family. A visit to the museum is a great opportunity to reflect on our habits and the world we are leaving for the next generations.

 

Carioca’s are not only made of sand and sea, we also have an alluring contemporary art scene. A walk around the Horto neighbourhood guarantees great surprises. The streets are filled will studios from local upcoming artists. A new ‘point’ that definitely deserves a visit is Jacaranda, a place for the thinking and production of art. The house holds exhibitions, meetings and courses, a space conceived by the desire of artists to meet, exchange ideas and propose actions.

 

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With a very different approach Carpintaria is also one of the favourite Carioca’s art spaces. The gallery represents 42 Brazilian and foreign artists, who deal with different media and poetics. Definitely a visit that will inspire and challenge creative minds.

 

Tips And while you are immersed in the whole ritual of a Carioca’s way of life. Feel free to hug someone you just met, call the waiter by his name, buy a complete stranger a beer just to make them smile and accept all locals invitations to share a table.

 

To help you get ready for your trip, keep in mind that Carioca’s don’t make dates to meet their friends, we arrive at the usual place and they are already there. We appear ‘around sometime’ never on the dot. Sunday is Sunday, don’t expect us to have appointments. In summer we eat lunch at four and dinner at ten. And relax, why the rush?

 

We dance beautifully, work hard, walk slow, talk fast and drink even faster. In 5 minutes we become friends from childhood and in the second encounter we hug you and give you nicknames. Rio is the land of the flipflop, where Havaianas established their soul. We are free, devoid of any sense of traditional sophistication. But we are happy and we live in the most beautiful city in the world.

 

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Maria Eduarda Souza is a writer and social ecologist. She was born and bred in Rio de Janeiro and is now based in Bangkok.

 

www.mariaeduardasouza.com
Photography Pedro Peracio –
www.pedroperacio.com
All restaurants and places mentioned can be easily found on Google. For updated information (address, phone and open hours) please check online.

 

Source: Expat Lifehttps://expatlifeinthailand.com/travel-and-leisure/a-carioca-way-of-life/

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