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Safe in Rio

I’m safely in Rio after minor delays. Unfortunately the Internet is not always with me. This is a placeholder until I fill in more about the trip later, though there wasn’t anything terribly notable.

OK, I think I’ve got the Internet and such mostly fixed for tonight. Review of the trip:

Short typical delay out of Charleston, followed by wandering around the Atlanta airport for a few hours (bought a copy of the Economist and a meal from Popeye’s, they went well with each other). The flight from Atlanta to Rio (DL 61) was delayed for an hour and a half and gate-changed three or four times. Somewhere in there they switched planes. I suppose we left soon enough after the delayed time (10:05, originally scheduled 8:35).

The gate agent in charge of the flight looked frighteningly like Scotty McClellan.

The flight itself could have been worse. I had interesting conversation around me, though not always as interesting as those speaking seemed to think. It was more fun to listen to blowhard-Brazilian-hotshot-physician and blowhard-Canadian-oil-rig-dude than the chorus of babies in the center section of my flight.

The plane was a ratty old 767-300 with the communal movie screens and other atrocities of age. Cheers to Delta for springing for free headphones (I can’t believe I’m writing this), but no cheers for scheduling only one movie (King Kong) and following it up with some of the least inspiring “television” programming I’ve yet seen aloft. An ABC story on some BBQ festival reminded me of helping a friend shoot the Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood, so that was kind of fun. The one-hour-long profile/detailed sucking up to Home Depot redefined excitement, though.

Breakfast was edible, which merits a mention: a warm bagel with cream cheese and jam, a cereal bar, and a banana (yellow, not green!).

Immigration in Rio was about as strict as ever: someone looked at the picture page of my passport and handed it back to me. Customs was interesting though: traditionally, one pushes a button and a big traffic-light gizmo flashes green (go ahead) or red (stay for inspection). There has always been speculation about how random this flasher is and whether it’s controlled by agents nearby. Today I was stopped before I could press it and sent straight to the red line, where I was hassled for a bit about my laptop: no worries about randomness at all.

Here begins the food-blog that will comprise the rest of the Brazil trip.

Lunch was at my grandmother’s, with a traditionally over-the-top presentation of carrots and a cauliflower salad with garlic olive oil dressing, a torta de bacalhau (a codfish torta… mmm, codfish), and for dessert some mango, and some torta de maça (apple torta) washed down with guaraná.

Various people visited the apartment in their evening to pay their respects.

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to be dragged off to the beach before lunch and waste most of the day, even though the weather is not quite what I’d call beachy: warm but not that warm. When I landed it was 21 ºC at the airport, and it might have gotten up to 26 or so but the water should still be freezing.

Skype works from the cable modem here: that’s pretty cool.

Guess that’s all for tonight.

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