When in Rio – Part Oito – The Language Barrier


Look it’s a guy thing, alright? Hey you got a nice body an’ all, but those you can see coming around the corner. You got time to comb your hair.” – Mitch Henessey, The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Each morning I duly fetch 3 double expressos and a couple of bags of pão de queijo from the local Panettiere. Today I get an extra bag for the guards. My gesture is received with a stone-walled expression, however one of the grunts opens up and applauds me. Interesting thing this language barrier. Another language entirely is the communication between drivers on the roads out here. At first I considered the incessant sound of car horns as a form of hectoring. Whereas we (western civilisation) would pound the horn in anger at being unduly treated, or in recognition of a hot blonde on the sidewalk, here a ‘toot’, is rarely given in anger. Moreover a civilised form of signalling.


After another morning watching the girls try on a thousand stones in H.Stern, we head off to watch the mens Volleyball. It’s hard to know who wins the points sometimes with both teams seemingly celebrating with high fives. Even when a player faults by serving it long or into the net, he gets a propitious pat on the arse from his fellow team mates, which I personally find befuddling. If the guy that’s faulting gets a pat on the arse then surely the guy that slams a volley unanswered into the opposing teams court should get a reach around, no? I digress.


In the evening we dined out in Barra Shopping, the Moriohta Sushi. The service was prompt, came with a genuine smile and the food was abundant and kept on coming. Actually thinking back, I think we ordered the all you can eat buffet.


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