Travel opens your heart and broadens your mind. It fills your life with stories to tell so here comes mine.
Brazil an untouched beauty, my husband had a project going on in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was going on a short-term assignment and asked me if I wanted to join him. “I would love to come”, I said. I was on the top of the world and then the planning and packing started. The days passed by dreaming about Brazil, I was all geared up with my essentials, learnt some basic words of Portuguese to communicate, medical kit, swimming costumes, sunscreen, camera and sunglasses that’s all you need and that’s the picture I had about Brazil in my mind. Precisely, I was wrong, Brazil was beyond my imagination.
Hurry up Ships! we are getting late, my husband said, I usually get confused when packing for a long trip. Yes, I am done, I said.
His first few trips were in business class which made him the Platinum member of Emirates airlines. It comes with a provision for families to reap the benefits of lounges in Emirates. Since we had an early morning flight we didn’t eat much while leaving home neither did we have much at the lounge, only took snacks for munching and the next meal was served by the air hostess on the way to Dubai. There was a short layover at Dubai, but we still had enough time to explore the souvenir shops at one of the world’s biggest airports. We freshened up and grabbed something to eat.
Next boarding started after 15 minutes and we got aisle seats, what else I could have asked for in a nonstop 13 hours to Rio. Though it was a long flight, travel was smooth. Half of the time we were sleeping, and the rest half went chit chatting.
Much awaited landing announcement by the pilot brought smiles on our faces, I had never been comfortable with landing, but this time since my excitement was over the top it had overcome my fear. We landed at the Rio airport at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and now we were 11 hours behind Singapore.
Rio Airport was almost empty at the arrival gate, we proceeded to immigration counters. FYl Brazil has a sticker visa and nothing else was required. When our turn came, my husband sent me first, I didn’t say much and handed over my passport to the immigration officer. He smiled and started scanning my passport, he smiled again and said something, which was a bouncer to me. I begged his pardon and asked him to say that again. He said something again but didn’t sound like English. I told him, I don’t understand Portuguese, but I can understand English if he wants to talk. By the time my husband went to the other immigration officer and completed his formalities, waiting for me on the other side. Officer got tried repeating many times, but I didn’t catch a single word, then I suddenly realized that he was saying something in English, I asked him to say it slowly.
Here came the magical words “You are beautiful” , it took me five mins to understand, by that time that officer was pissed off and he must have been regretful for telling me beautiful. “LOL”.
I came out laughing and my husband gave me a sarcastic smile which was obvious. 🤭
A company’s driver was waiting for us at the airport taxi stand, he had a placard with my husband’s name on it. We both greeted him and started our onward journey to Angra Dos Reis, my husband’s workplace, around 3:30 pm from Rio. Since the airport was in the outskirts of Rio, I didn’t get to see much. Driver did not enter the city and he took us from the highway, so we crossed Rio within 15 minutes. Whatever I saw in that small glimpse was roads full of mud and dust, I hardly saw any traffic lights, crowded streets, old cars, though, surprisingly some classic car models. And a very ancient looking house with some peculiar marks on the walls. Some historical houses had mesmerizing artwork on the walls. I had seen wall paintings in many other countries, but that piece of art could not be compared. After a while I asked my husband if I could open my side of the window for fresh air, he whispered and said this is a bullet proof car you can’t open the windows. I was shocked, surprised and curious to know that we were sitting in a bulletproof car! Are you a mafia or something? I asked my husband, he shushed me and said, that should talk about this later.
After around 30 minutes, we left the city behind us and the outside world had totally changed. A huge blue sky was in front of us, mountains were running besides us. The driver was breaking the speed limits and the next view was breathtaking, the Atlantic Ocean. All wonders of nature were coming together, and I was loving it. I had never seen an ocean before in life, deep blue waters were astonishingly beautiful, as far as I could see was only and only water.
After a little over three-hours’ drive, we reached our destination, Hotel Golden Tulip, the hotel was divided in two parts, one side were apartments and other side were the traditional hotel rooms, since our stay was long, we were put up in an apartment. A large hotel with a grand entrance welcomed us, after a while a lovely young lady with a cheerful smile greeted us, she was the HR person in Angra Office, taking care of all the expat families.
She escorted us to our apartment, the house was more like a studio apartment with a huge balcony facing the magnanimous Atlantis watching over us, I was awestruck by the beauty. I could not believe my eyes that such a place can ever exist. We both could not even talk to each other, perhaps we both wanted to embrace that moment in hush, the view was so romantic and calming, something out of this world. I wanted time to stop there at that very moment. I actually fall short of words to describe what I felt.
It was raining hard the next morning, we got up at 5 a.m. probably because of Jetlag, I unpacked some stuff, he made tea for us and we both sat in the balcony with cups in our hands. Suddenly I noticed on the other side, there were houses on a mountain beside the sea and few boats were anchored, I was totally astonished by the scenery. As I earlier said, Brazil is pure, untouched and raw. After a while, we decided to go out for breakfast, we went to the reception to check if they had started serving the breakfast, there was only a non veg buffet and till that time I was herbivorous. We asked the waiter if he could get us some white sauce pasta with toasted bread and milk tea. Our first attempt to explain our order failed miserably because he couldn’t understand English. The second attempt was successful as we used some Portuguese words thanks to google translate.
He nodded and left, after 15 mins he brought us our meals, happy to see our food.
After the meal we decided to go to PIRATAS, a mall just a few miles away from our apartment. The mall was quite compact, we bought the same essential foods, SIM cards, swim suits for me and grabbed Brazilian’s special coffee for both of us. I was so amazed to see people were so helpful, soft spoken and pleasant. However, they didn’t know much English.
We came back and went for some swimming, the pool was fully packed with gorgeous people. The view was breathtaking, I had never seen a sea facing swimming pool before in my life. We kept seated there till sunset.
Next day was a bit busy as my husband had an office and I unpacked the remaining stuff. He came back around 5 o’clock in the evening with a surprise that coming Wednesday we are going to Rio de Janeiro. The most awaited trip of my life.