Benjy is in Brasil

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Hey everyone, I arrived in Rio this morning and survived a full day without dying.  I guess this place isn’t too bad.  Here’s a list of top 10 things I’ve learned thus far in this whole new world.

1.  Some people here only want to take advantage of gringos/tourists. – As soon as I landed in the airport, a man claiming to be a “yellow” taxi driver told me it would be 92 Brazilian Reais to get to the Hostel I’m staying at tonight.  The owner of the hostel told me I got scammed and shouldn’t have paid more than 30-40.. Son of a beech!

2. Some people here are awesome and love to help out gringos/tourists. –  I’d like to give a shout out to Memphis Araujo, a girl who works at the Habitat Hostel here.  She is the only Brazilian I’ve been in contact with so far who can speak English well.  She bought me a Coco on the beach and showed me around the city.  The deal was I help her with her English while she helped me with Portuguese.

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Photo credit to Memphis

3. It is hot AF here… – According to, the heat index was around 50 degrees Celsius (120  degrees Fahrenheit) and it’s more humid than a sauna.

4. Cocos are awesome. – They’re fresh coconuts with a hole drilled in them.  Stick a straw in the coco, and you’re good to gogo.  Get it? Vendors on the beach sell these puppies for 3-5 reais a pop.  In USD that = cheap.

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5. Everyone wears tiny swimwear. – Including people who shouldn’t.

6. Hostels are pretty cool. – There’s a mix of French, Portuguese, and Spanish speakers in here right now and we’re all just chilling in the living room.  Too bad I have no idea what they’re saying.

Edit: We made a game out of trying to have a conversation between the four languages.  It’s hard to describe how satisfied the room was when everyone clicked on what we were talking about.

7. If you thought “northern” drivers were bad, you have no idea… – The taxi driver that drove me to the Habitat Hostel was going 50 km/h over the speed limit, cut off two policia cars, and almost flipped the car coming around a curve.  It’s safe to say I almost wet (I for sure wet) myself on the way.

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8. It’s hard to eat when you have no idea how to speak a country’s predominant language. – I checked out the grocery store and was gonna buy some stuff to make a sandwhich or four with.  Apparently they don’t have prepackaged meat down here and I had no idea how to ask the butcher to cut me some.  I then left the store with my head down in defeat.

9. Rio is not AS bad as people make it out to be. – YES, there are many areas where as a gringo, you’d probably get mugged on the spot.  But like any city, as long as you aren’t in those areas, you’re fine!

10. Dogs can skateboard here.  – See below.

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This has been one of the craziest days of my life.




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