Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
Clearing customs in Rio was a breeze. I had heard nightmares about fingerprinting and all, but I had no problems. My bag made it too -- and was the first one off the plane. Whew!
I took a taxi to my hotel, the Meridien Copacabana. My driver spoke no English and understood no Spanish either (although I doubted that actually). It as a fairly quick ride to the hotel even in the rain and traffic. I observed a couple of interesting gestures from the taxi driver. My favorite was kind of a "hook 'em horns" sign like we do in Texas for University of Texas games (in Texas, index finger and little finger only extended) only it was the thumb and little finger extended here, and you wave the little finger very fast. I am sure I got the meaning of that one down!
My hotel is a typical glass box.
I went to dinner that night with my friends, Wendy, Dwight, Scottie, Skot and Jessica. We dined at a place called Zuka in Ipanema. The restaurant was billed as "eclectic" and it truly was! We started with a white wine (fairly sweet, but to the liking of Wendy and Skot) and we all shared appetizers on skewers -- hearts of palm, oyster mushrooms, sausage, octopus tentacles, shrimp, tomatoes and potatoes.
When we got back to the Hotel, we were met by a guy who had done a mock up of a Rio license plate with my friends' company on it (CMM Global). He had evidently seen it on the hotel's meeting schedule, and so did the mock up. He had messed it up though, and embossed "CMM Investigators" onto the plate! Skot haggled with the guy and got it for 16 reals!