Home sweet home, and Happy Ramadan رمضان كريم

1:04am 13th September 2007

Well I'm finally back in Melbourne. Before I tell you about my flight let me just wish all my fellow Muslims (and everyone else!) Ramadan Karim! Today is the first day of fasting. This morning my family got up and had the traditional suhur breakfast. Today, while at the shopping center buying the new BioShock game and picking up my new cards from the bank, I bought a sushi pack and ate it, forgetting that I was supposed to be fasting. Oops!

So yea, I'm back in Melbourne. The flight back was OK, Lan Chile is actually quite a well serviced and well equipped airline. The entertainment systems are very good and the quality of the food and drinks are amazing. If I didn't know better I'd have sworn that they squeezed the orange juice right there are 36,000 feet. Unfortunately however, I had a nasty flu. I just discovered how much worse a raspy cough and sore throat are in the cold, dehumidified air of an aircraft cabin. Not fun. In addition I had a fever, so I went between freezing and sweating like a pig. Having not had a shower since I left Rio, by the time I got to the 10th hour in the air I smelled like a wet donkey. By the time I got home I'd been over 48 hours since showering, and my Mum didn't want to give me a hug due to the overwhelming odor emanating from me.

Anyway, so I arrived home and my Platinum Amex and MasterCard have arrived. I really am not a fan of credit cards, especially pretentious ones for old guys who use them the way teenagers use big cars, I.e., as penis compensators. However, these ones come with free unlimited travel insurance, which for me, more than makes up for the extra annual fees, and is the reason I took the deal up when the bank offered it to me.

Well I better get done, I have to install BioShock and write a review of it, because there aren't enough of those going around already. Good luck everyone and I hope to see you all soon! Take care!

Rio de Janeiro!

12:18pm 3rd September 2007

I've been in Rio now for about a week. I've had a great time. I'm not entirely sure how to sum it up, except to say that I've had an awesome time. When I got here, Lan Chile, the airline that I took to get here, lost my bags. They left them in Sao Paulo, while I went on to Rio. Not only that, it took them 4 days to get my bags to me, which meant that while I was able to borrow shirts and stuff from my cousin, I spent 6 days in the same underpants. I hope I never have to go through that again! I didn't tell my Mum at the time, as I knew that she would panic. In fact, I still haven't told her, so she'll probably find out by reading it here. Hi Mum!

Last time Rap was here he met a local named Fabio, who took us around and showed us the place and generally made sure that we had a great time. He even organized a house party for our benefit at his house, and invited around 50 of his friends and neighbors, all of whom were more than happy to spend time getting to know us despite the fact that they know next to no English, and we know next to no Portuguese. I've since learned quite a bit of the language though, and am able to converse to a fairly extensive degree with the locals. Its my first small taste of bilinguality, and I must say, I'm hooked. I'm definitely going to learn another language when I get home.

I must send out a big hello to a CouchSurfer who I have not actually met yet. I spoke to her on MSN and she helped me a lot by giving me pointers and saving me from the tourist traps and dodgy areas. Thanks Gabriela, you rock!

I have taken around 400 photographs. I will be uploading them soon. I haven't seen many of the tourist attractions like Corcovado or Sugarloaf, but I've gotten to know some locals and really gotten a taste of the real flavor of Rio. All in all, this has been one of my most enjoyable travel experiences to date, and I really think I'll be back here some time soon.

I guess I will probably be leaving in 3 days from now, on the 10th September. While I was here, I met a few people who have traveled through Chile, and they say that Patagonia is one of the best places in the world to go hiking or trekking. I would really love to go there. I would have stopped there for a few days if I had the time, but Ramadan is coming up and I want to be home for that. As I said, however, I am definitely coming back to South America, and I will stop in Chile then for a week or two to go trekking in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

So that about covers my adventures in Brazil for now, I'll post another update in a few days, perhaps on the day I leave, with a final recap. I'll also start uploading my photos over the next few days. Until them meus amigos! Tchau!