未到巴西之前，只懂巴西燒烤，待應在餐廳內拿著一串串烤肉，看到想吃的便點頭，給你切下。但自問已經過了放題的年紀，幾塊到胃就消化不了。到了巴西之後，發現最美味的食物就在街角的小食店，有些叫 Bar，有些叫 Restaurant，分別只是店的大小。
早餐一小杯 Cafezinho，黑咖啡不要加奶，配 Pão de queijo 芝士烤麵包，不同店烤的，大小都不同，小的比較好吃，一份 4、5 個，外層香脆，咬下有層淡淡芝士香。
若中午時段天氣好，我們會到 Copacabana 沙灘，午餐或下午茶就不吃太飽，一杯鮮果汁加一個 Coxinha 炸物。Coxinha 的外層是芝士溝麵粉，內裡是咖哩雞絲混入小量墨西哥辣椒，拳頭般大小，味道像雞絲 Mac ’n’ Cheese。如果想吃得輕一點可選擇 Açaí 巴西莓沙冰，巴西莓是近年世界各地的潮流健康食品，味似沒有酒精的紅酒。Kim 愛 Açaí 加穀物，而我則愛 Açaí 加香蕉。
晚餐我們偶爾會點 1、2 塊烤肉，因為價錢平品質高，不過最愛還是巴西的國菜 Feijoada —— 黑豆慢煮豬腳、豬耳、豬尾等「下欄肉」，配木薯粉和白飯。有說當年創自奴隸，但學者追尋證實，黑豆為殖民期時歐洲人的主食，只是有錢人吃黑豆和肉，窮人則吃黑豆混木薯粉。
Don’t judge Brazil by the cover／Kimberlogic
When planning this Home2Home journey, I spent many months doing my research on our planned destinations. I focused heavily on South America since neither of us had ever been and it seemed so different and secluded than any other continent (Antarctica excluded). After reading about the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Foz do Iguacu, I was more frightened than excited to visit Brazil.
All of the travel websites warned about the crime and the dangers of being a tourist in Brazil. Most of the articles about Sao Paulo say how big and gray the city is and not to attempt it if you don’t know someone who lives there. The information about Rio focuses on the petty crimes, especially getting robbed in broad daylight on the street. The articles about Iguazu Falls tells you to stay on the Argentina side because the Brazilian side is dangerous and there isn’t anything to do there.
So, with all of these negative outlooks on this country, I was hoping to move quickly through it as a means to get to Argentina. We entered South America from Sao Paulo, stayed there for a few days, a week in Rio de Janeiro and then a couple days in Foz do Iguacu. By the second day in Sao Paulo (without knowing someone who lives there), I realized how much I was enjoying it and didn’t feel threatened at all.
Sao Paulo is a HUGE city, it is grayish when you look out at the skyline, but that is like biggest cities. We stayed in a neighborhood near the city center which was industrial, but colorful! There were different kinds of street art everywhere we looked, wide walkable streets with old elegant styles of architecture and friendly people. We did not attempt to see the entire city during our visit. We only explored about five or six neighborhoods but we got to know them well and many of the shop owners too. We almost felt like locals by the time we left.
In Rio de Janeiro, we stayed at Copacabana beach and we ventured into the city a couple of times. Copacabana was very lively and safe. We walked the entire beach town both day and night. We even left our bag and beach chairs unattended when we went for a swim. While in the city, we walked through different districts to get to tourist sites and we took the public bus. Everyone was friendly and helped us out when we didn’t understand how things worked.
Getting to Foz do Iguacu was a very long bus ride (18+ hours), but safe and comfortable. Turns out that both the Brazilian side and Argentinian side of the falls are beautiful and fun. We had a nice dinner in Foz and walked back to our hotel with no issues, only friendly faces.
Doing research about your travel destination is necessary. With so much information out there and most of it being just someone’s opinion based off of their personal experience, don’t base your ideas of a place all on what you read. Going off of someone else’s opinion of a place could potentially spoil your time abroad.
During my time in Brazil I saw so many homeless people, groups of boys that looked like they were up to no good and streets that I wouldn’t walk down. The potential for crime is evident in this country, but where in the world is it not?
When traveling to any destination, even places that are labeled “safe”, you should always have your guard up. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings close, don’t flash money or expensive items, etc. But also don’t be afraid to interact with locals, it’s much more fun and authentic than consulting the internet every time you have a question.