Why Tourists Should NOT Attend The 2016 Olympics

Some life updates. After a long time living abroad, I am going back to Brazil! It’s a good feeling, but is it the right time to go back??? Is it the time for anyone to go to Brazil at all?

As we all know, it’s an olympic year and, this year, it’s in Brazil. I, for one, don’t think the country deserves it for several reasons, but they are too long to list, with some historical motives. So, today, I will just list a few present events that should be enough for most people to avoid travelling to the country.

  1. Uncontrollable dengue fever outbreaks
  2. At this stage, even if you are not from a tropical country, you’ve heard of dengue fever, thanks to Brazil! I am 30 years of age and, coincidentally, this is year marks the 30th yearly outbreak of dengue fever in a row! The government promises that the mosquito will be eradicated before the olympics, but how can one make such a promise? It might sound like conspiracy theory, but I grew up watching Brazil’s most powerful broadcasting company. They have been known to work in favour of the government. When I was a child, Dengue was a character in a children’s TV programme. My generation only found out what dengue really was (and how dangerous it was) when we were teenagers!

    This guy was the character Dengue, in “Xou da Xuxa” (look it up if you don’t believe me!):

  3. The Zika and Chikungunya Viruses
  4. As well as the known Dengue virus, there are “new” viruses in Brazil to worry about: The Zika and Chikungunya viruses. Even though these are not new viruses, they are new to Brazil and they are believed to have been introduced to Brazil during the Confederation’s Cup. All three diseases are transmitted by the same mosquito: aedes aegypti. The latter two can be asymptomatic in both men and women, but as most of you know, it can be dangerous to pregnant women. The Brazilian government says that no link has been made between microcephaly and the Zika virus, therefore it is safe. The WHO says otherwise.

  5. The H1N1 is back!
  6. Remember swine flu? Well, it’s back, bigger and stronger and has killed more than 80 people in Brazil in the first three months of the year. Read here. No new vaccine has been developed to fight the new strain of the virus, so, better pray not to catch it!

  7. The melting economy
  8. Thinking that economic crisis means cheaper prices? Think again! Rio is as expensive as ever! The collapsing economy has forced local business to hike up the prices pre and during olympics as a last fast buck before they close down shop. I just returned from Brazil and I could feel the absurd prices in other regions of the country, so, if you think it’s the right time to go, based on economy only, you are sadly mistaken!

  9. The brink of political collapse
  10. If you’d like to understand better what’s happening in the country at the moment, I would be more than happy to write a post about it, but I will summarise it for now. Brazil is in the brink of political meltdown, with everyone in the top of the pyramid involved in some kind of corruption scheme. The president is about to be impeached, former president being given government jobs to gain some kind of immunity, the head of the house of deputies, who put forward the impeachment process, have been found with million of Brazilian public money in accounts in Switzerland, the president of the Brazilian senate involved in dozen of corruption scandals……….. just to name a few. It’s an interesting time to be in Brazil to see all of this going down, but in times like this, anything can happen and you can be caught in very violent revolts between fanatics, pro- and anti-government. Be careful! The biggest problem is that if the president is out, these people, including the vice-president, much of the same! So, it seems that the country is on the beginning of a long and arduous struggle for survival.

I am going back to Brazil to work. I am Brazilian and have family in Brazil and often question myself: “Why the hell am I going back?”. If you are a tourist, save your precious money and go somewhere else! I bet you will have a better time and be safe from the horrible moment the country is going through. Better safe than sorry!

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Rio de Janeiro: A Place of Contrasts

A photo I took from the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Look closely at the photo. Favelas out of sight from the sandy beaches along the coast, but you don’t have to look very far to see luxury buildings competing for space with the half built brick buildings. Well, I find it interesting… don’t you?

First music video post: Coração Leviano – Paulinho da Viola

For a long time, I wanted to have a channel where I play the guitar and sing my favourite songs, but never had the courage, as I am very self-conscious of my voice… well, I will let you be the judge of that. This is one of my favourite sambas. Hope you enjoy it!

A Cidade Maravilhosa – Rio de Janeiro

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Published at The University Observer

There is no bad time to visit Rio de Janeiro. All year round the sun is out, the beaches are full of people and the city is radiant with life. The most accessible public transport is the Metrô, which will take you to all major tourist attractions including the Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar), Copacabana, Ipanema Beach, Leblon and it will always drop you off just two blocks away from the seaside.

But Rio is known not only for its beaches, it is a city with something to suit all tastes. Located in the southeast of Brazil, it surrounds the Floresta da Tijuca, the biggest urban forest in the world. Those interested in climbing or hiking in the forest can do so with local tour guides, while the vast array of waterfalls and native wildlife ensure that such trips are more than worthwhile.

Located deep within the forest is Rio’s famous tourist attraction, Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer. The statue stands at an incredible 125 feet on top of the Corcovado mountain and can be reached by public buses, which will bring you to the bottom of the mountain, leaving you to trek the three to four hour walk up to the statue. Visitors can rest their feet at the Mirante dona Marta, where they can soak up a panoramic view of the city.

Save some energy for Lapa, Rio’s bohemian headquarters. Bursting with restaurants, such as the many churrascarias which run on an ‘all you can eat’ policy, Lapa offers a great variety of dishes, for very reasonable prices. After dinner, be prepared to party early into the morning to the sounds of typical Brazilian music, such as Samba and Choro as Lapa’s bars have no set closing time but operate a ‘last customer policy’ instead.

Anyone who feels uneasy at the thoughts of dancing the Samba should visit one of the many Samba schools that open their doors to visitors each Saturday night. The schools are located in the favelas (slums), and have a great atmosphere. Live Samba continues until 6am- don’t miss it.

But Brazil isn’t Brazil if you don’t talk about soccer. Don’t forget to go to one of the matches in Maracanã Stadium on a Sunday afternoon, where you can enjoy the game whilst surrounded by one hundred thousand energetic supporters.

So whether you want to chill out or be adventurous, you can be sure that Rio is the right place for you.