30 September 2010

I missed my bed while in Rio de Janeiro


Virtually 28 hours of air traveling halfway across the globe that almost comatosed my bum, one connecting flight later, hundred of gallons of orange juice to keep my sanity well alive and a lengthy movie marathon to pacify my boredom, the plane finally landed and I was breathing the fresh air of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That was the longest continuous air travel for me so far. If I take into account the time spent wandering slowly in the airport terminals and painstakingly looking at the tv screens waiting for the boarding time, this journey actually took almost two days to reach the final destination.

It was a week after the Eid and the festive mood was still high. I still could smell some traces of rendang on my fingers when I left my house that very early morning to the airport. The tropical storm came down like cats and dogs halfway through the journey to the KLIA. Despite the rain pouring down heavily, it could not wash out the sweet festive memories left behind. The memory stick just like the persistence rendang smell on my fingers.

Traveling alone is not something that I was looking forward to especially after having a short but marvelous Raya break at my kampung. It was the call of duty that dragged me away from our glorious Bolehland. If not managed properly, traveling alone can pose a dangerous life-threatening problem too. Boredom is the main culprit and some believed it can kill. Luckily I survived.

As this trip was not one of my exotic holiday escapades and meant for an official duty with limited time to explore this vast state of Latin America, I purposely arrived a day ahead of the congress in order to deal with my anticipated jet lag. It did surely hit me well. Like a pampered Persian kitty, I slept for almost entire day and night and still feeling groggy even during the conference presentations. This however did not surprise me at all as many people experience similar effect even if they do not travel that far, especially in a monotonous meeting room.

The good thing was, there were some free slots in between the conference when the council members have their numerous meetings and luckily I was not one of them. I think the congress organizer understood well that many participants who came all over the world and travel this far to Brazil were expecting some kind of local adventures. They knew you could root and decompose in you seat trying to munch numerous data and digest endless scientific discoveries during the entire 6-day-long congress and of perhaps becoming intellectually comatose for that short period of time. So the organizer offered remedies by offering short excursions and I took a half day excursion trip in between the free allocated schedule just to satisfy my travel curiosity.

It is unfair though to pass judgment on this exciting and mystical place from that half day excursion. Though, I found this place to be a bit intimidating as almost every local speaks only Portuguese and most importantly there was no kedai mamak for a plate of palatable nasi lemak for me to enjoy my breakfast. Personally I found Rio de Janeiro is superficially attractive. Just like durian, I need to dig deeper and put extra effort in order to get into its heavenly fleshy fruits. Perhaps another trip to the mysterious Amazon jungle dancing with piranhas will make me appreciate Brazil more.

I think by now you have already figured out that beaches are one of Rio de Janeiro's tourist magnets. They attracted horde of sun worshipers when the sky is clear. Copacobana, Ipanema and Leblon beach are very popular. But Copacobana is the most famous of all and one very interesting place to be too. Especially for 'turtle'-watching.


If you are wondering why the above beach photo look so deserted, wait until the sun started to reveal its glorious cosmic rays. By then beautiful young ladies will come out and baked their tender skin with the UV. These girls however were not one of the girls in Tom Jobin's "The girl from Ipanema". The beach was just across the road, in front of the venue. So these kind of sighting was quite unavoidable.


This was one of the reasons why I felt sort of intimidated whenever I went to the beach. With conference attire and a camera in hand, i was actually considered over-dress and a bit out of place. These Cariocas (the locals) played beach soccer was a norm, displaying their muscle and bare chest and their skill for others to admire.

Rising 396 meters above the Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro, one has to take two cable cars to reach the peak of the Sugar loaf mountain. With this relatively shorter scale, I am however still wondering why this piece of jutting rock is called a mountain.

The 360 degree top view of this so-called mountain can be breathtaking though. On the top left corner you can see Copacobana beach. It seems that Rio de Janeiro is not flat at all and the view from this peak revealed many other surrounding 'mountains' as well. Corcovado mountain, where Christ the redeemer statue is can be seen from here on the top right corner of this photo. One of James bond's movie, Moonraker was also shot here in 1979.


Another top view of Rio de Janeiro coastal lines facing the Atlantic, naturally fortified by mountainous terrain against the ancient invaders.


These coconuts and batata fritas have become my regular diet during lunch breaks. Unlike our Bolehland of which lavishly provides scrumptious food during any of our internal and International conferences, our far away counterparts somehow believed that eating more food during lunch break will retard our mood to continue the evening sessions. But having to lounge myself on this strategic spot with a couple of newly acquainted friends was again a cool experience.

At 30,000 feet above the ground level and cruising at almost Mach 1 warp speed, having these sate on-board of our national carries was a marvelous way to end the interesting journey. In a way this bring back the festive mood in me. But still, I missed my comfy bed at home.

39 comments:

Ismail Fitry said...

Salam,

Best nya! Waiting for you to upload more pictures of the 'turtles' keh keh keh!!!

Sir Pök Déng said...

Welkambek, Dokter Seng! You really had a wonderful journey in Latin America. Apart from the turtles, haven't you spotted any men or women doing acrobatic stuffs accompanied by some kind of their local music? I am hinting on Capoeira.

Wan Sharif said...

Now ..I am interested to get to know how do you treat the comatosed bum... I normally have this experience after some 4 hours stay in my chair at the office.. now I seem to get it even for a short period of 2 hours.. ha..ha

catz said...

salam,
hi DrSam,
selamat hari raya..errr..walau raya dah nak habis.
wah..ke Latin Amerika!!
best!
so beraya di sana ?
hemmm..interesting.
btw, plis continue writing. and share ur experience.
:)

DrSam said...

Ismail Fitry,
Salam. ha...ha...I am quite tempted actually to upload the photo of many interesting 'turtles' roaming the beaches. But I think by doing that this blog would probably be rated as 18+ :)

Sir Pok Deng,
thank you sir. I was looking forward to witness that endemic art of self defence as well, but nope...there wasn't any sighting at all. It was probably the case of wrong place, wrong time and wrong focal point :)

yohteh said...

...hehe... the now showing "from sungei draker to rio de janeiro" followed by "from brazil with love"... an eye-catching scene of turtle "bumpers" but none of the "dashboards"...

...gambo petama tu ingat ke topeng, bila bbeso, kena-kena ke slipaaaa..!!!

aliff muhammad said...

Salam,

Doc,

patutpung lamo dok kelih. ke latin amerika.

upload more pictures ya.

*teringat kata sahabat, perjalanan di atas kapal terbang selama 2 hari ke University of West Indies buat dia lembik lotek.

Abd Razak said...

Salam sdra..

Moga sdra sihat hendaknya di sana..

Wah jauhnya sdra bermusafir...moga Allah pernudahkan segala urusan di sana...

Bila nak balik?

DrSam said...

Wan Shariff,
Well Ayoh Wang, to be frank I am searching for the answer myself :) But reading your comment it gave me some cool idea though, perhaps offices should be equipped with custom-made anti-comatose chair for each of their staffs who spent more than 2 hours sitting. That sounds like another business venture Ayoh Wang...

catz,
Salam Lebaran Catz. masih boleh beraya lagi ni, tengok kat lemari pun kuih raya masih ada lagi...kat Brazil cuma beraya dengan Brahim dan mee segera aje :)

DrSam said...

yohteh,
...Well yohteh, the bumper to bumper scenes were actually cut by in-house Lembaga Penapisang, which explains the sans dashboard in the storyline... :)

...rege selipa hok nok gi patta tu pong buleh tahang mahal jugok, baik selipa jepung kita lagi...

aliff muhammad,
Salam sdr aliff. masaalahnya...yang banyoknye gambar-gambar tepi pantai aje. nanti boring le pula tak de variasi.

...memang betul boleh lembik lottek kalau 2 hari perjalanan...

Abd Razak,
Salam sdr Razak. terimakasih diatas doa sdr. Saya dah pun berada di tanahair 2 hari lepas. Baru je nak mula makan nasi semula :)

kucingorengemok said...

selamat hari raya, dr sam!

28 hours? adoi. baca pun dah rasa sakit² badan, heheh.

pB said...

Salam



selamat pulang ke tanah air

DrSam said...

KOG,
Pergi jet lag, balik pun tak keruan. Masih dlm proses penstabilan lagi ni.

Eid mubarak KOG.

pB,
Salam. Baru nak cari balik mood raya.

denaihati said...

woooo!!! best tu. Pasal mu tak beritau aku kalau boleh juga aku teman kan mu tengok awek cun tepi pantai tu...

DrSam said...

denaihati,
sebab tu le aku tak bagitau mu :)

p/s: baju canggih kau tu camne nak bagi bro?

Small Hiker said...

Jauhnya kena beraya! Interesting observations! Look forward to more stories and pictures!!

annfrendly said...

wah.. dr sama ada kat brazil rupanya..
bestnyaaa..
teruja saya tengok gambar2 yang dr sam ambil..
cantiknya Guanbara bay.. siap ada kereta kabel.. terigin nak pegi sana..

DrSam said...

Small hiker,
apo nak dikato...dah tugas.

frankly speaking, there is not many interesting photo from this trip. But the second stop after Rio will surely has much much more interesting photos to share.

annfrendly,
setakat ni kat situ je le yang cantik. selain dari tempat tu tak sempat pula nak menjelajah.

the unknown said...

i dont quite get it.

u seem like a *pious* bloke.

why include pics of females with violated aurat?

en_me said...

terpegun tengok vontot awekks ittewww.. ekeke

Zendra-Maria said...

Dinda... lain kali kalau pegi ke Rio bawalah katil sendiri... ish,ish,ish ;)))

DrSam said...

the unknown,
firstly thank you for visiting this blog and leaving your frank and judgmental comment. I appreciate that.

secondly, I apologize if that image offended you. your point is noted. My only intention is to illustrate the actual scenario that is a norm when we go to such a place.

FYI, I don't consider myself as a pious person. I am still learning and traveling in a big learning curve.

Pls do come again and share your thought.

en me,
tengok kena pakai teropong iman tu...

Zendra-Maria,
tu le kanda...lain kali bawa toto atau katil lipat pun bagus juga :)

3yearshousewife said...

Dr.,
Going travelling mmg best tapi yg tak tahan flight hours.
Interesting visit, I see.

arsaili said...

salam doc..wahh bestnya ke Rio...interesting....ehehe beaches mmg famous kat sana....but mencuci mata la nampaknya ehehe

sahromnasrudin said...

salam ziarah..tahniah doktor berpeluang ke Brazil kan..apepun, peluang keemasan ini memang jarang dpt..pasti doktor gunakan ia sebaik mungkin

Faisal Admar said...

i used to think that rio de janeiro is the capital city! haha weird but not only me but some friends too :)

at first i thought those hunkies with undies were you... but they were not LOL

kayteeze said...

Wah...
Cantiknya!
Copacabana tu mengingatkan Tie kepada lagu nyanyian Barry Manilow... :)

ckLah@xiiinam said...

Sampai gambar ke empat tu ckLah pejam mata...dan buka pelan-pelan. Ingat kan ada dr Sam kat situ...



:)

Selamat pulang ke tanah air...

sally said...

Mana komen Sally..? Hilang ke?

besi said...

wah...cantiknya, seronok dr sam.
welcome home ya.......

Naddiea said...

Doc,dah balik yer..nadia bet doc dh losing few kgs sbb rindu nasik,rendang etc kan.hehe..

eehh Doc,dis weekend nadia nk pi shah alam.umah doc kt mana yer?area subang ke?kalo dijemput beraya boleh la singgah sekejap.heheeh...

my email kalo Doc nk bg info..naddiea@yahoo.com

DrSam said...

3yearshousewife,
kalau ada kawan atau teman borak kurang sikit terasa perjalanan tu. tapi sorang-sorang ni, makan tidur aje le...

arsaili,
Salam. Tempat baru memang seronok pergi...sekejap. Actually Rio has not much to offer for us the timid traveler. Quite expensive and not so tourist friendly with language barrier, lack of good public transoprt and can be a quite disasterous experience for us as a Muslim to search for a halal food. Still, I am looking forward to taste the Amazon adventure. That is more to my liking.

DrSam said...

sahromnasrudin,
Salam sdr. Peluang menimba pengalaman dan menajam pandangan sentiasa dicari. Yang paling berharga apabila menghadiri persidangan besar sebegini ialah mendapat maklumat terkini dan juga jaringan (networking) baru untuk kembangan kerjaya.

Faisal Admar,
Very interesting to know that Rio de Janeiro is the second biggest city in Brazil after Sao Paolo and yet Brasilia is the capital of Brazil. Didn't realize that earlier.

While taking those photo, those hunkies with undies did actually ask me to join them...tempted in the first place but you know lah...me the malu-malu one :)

DrSam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrSam said...

kayteeze,
betul...betul...Copacobana memang meriah dan lagu tu menggambarkannya dengan betul. Cuma lagi popular ialah lagu the girl from Ipanema...dari hotel attendant kepada drebar teksi dan pemandu pelancong nyanyi lagu tu (trying to impressed me with singing the song and they sang it well)

ckLah,
biar betul ckLah...gambar ke-empat dari atas atau dari bawah gambar gunung ada le...

DrSam said...

sally,
komen yang mana satu ni sally? saya check dalam in-box email account memang takde email utk entri ni...komen entri sebelum ni kot?

besi,
thank you besi. Tour guide bawa ke tempat yang cantik-cantik je...yang kurang cantik memang dia tak bawa punya :)

Naddiea,
betul tu...sampai depan pintu rumah aje wife dah komen kurus :)

rumah saya sentiasa terbuka. Kalau nak datang memang dialu-alukan. cuma kuih raya tu mungkin dah tak ada le :) Alamat saya emailkan.

idasm said...

mcmn pun bilik kita sendiri jugak yg best.

tp Dr. dpt pengalaman bagus. jauh berjalan, luas pandangan..

pic cantik2. nak lagi yea.. hehe

abu muaz said...

salam Dr. Comelnya... ada gok woh nyiur.

DrSam said...

idasm,
setuju benor tu ida. gambar kat Brazil balik balik tepi pantai... tak banyak yang menarik sangat. Entri lepas ni lagi banyak gambar yang lebih menarik.

abu muaz,
Salam. Woh nyor tu hok kite dok khekoh tiap-tiap hari kelaparang :)

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