Photo Post: Beach Acrobatics!

Ah, Saturday was another nice relaxing day on Copacabana beach! If I have a few drinks on Friday night then I find that nothing clears away the heavy head like a nice swim in the sea followed by a relaxing snooze. But not everyone is so lazy at the beach!

Last weekend I was taking pictures of the sea-spray caught in the late-afternoon sun when a rather outgoing individual approached me and told me to follow him and bring my camera. Here’s what he did:

Beach-backflip

Raoni doing this party-piece!

 

Afterwards he told me his name was Raoni – apparently an indigenous name meaning Jaguar, made famous by Chief Raoni Metuktire, a campaigner for indigenous rights and protection of the Amazon.

The Raoni I met in Copacabana appeared to be a bit drunk in high spirits and told me enthusiastically that he had been to Ipswich (in the UK) as part of a Brazilian youth gymnastic team. I wasn’t sure whether to believe him at first, but then I thought “Who’d make up a story about Ipswich?” – surely it’s too obscure to be a lie!

Anyway, he was a funny guy and his leap made for a pretty cool photo!

10 replies
  1. Marcos
    Marcos says:

    In Portuguese there’s a word to describe these guys. We use the word “malandro” and I don’t know what is the best way to translate this word, maybe clever is more suitable but I’m not very sure. They try to entertain or start a conversation with people to get something from them, I mean they can steal something from anyone without being noticed. They usually make up a story like this guy on the photo to get what they want. Be careful with them!

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Marcos – I think you misinterpreted the way I described this guy. I know the kind of guy you are talking about – they have some clever way to distract you and this is a well-rehearsed method to steal a bag or snatch a camera (etc). But this guy was actually just a bit of a show-off! 🙂

      To give you more background – this guy had been doing some other jumps and flips in front of his friends and was obviously showing off and being a bit silly. When he saw me taking photos (of other things) he came over and said something like “Take a photo of me!” and his friends laughed. It was all quite friendly and nothing sinister.

      Reply
      • Marcos
        Marcos says:

        I see, I’m a pre-intermediate English learner. Sometimes, I read or listen to something in English and I don’t understand but I’m trying to improve my English. Thanks for your reply, Tom.

        Reply
        • tomlemes
          tomlemes says:

          Hey Marcos – I totally understand 🙂 I just wish my Portuguese was half as good as your English.
          I don’t believe you are pre-intermediate – you’re much better than that. And like the others have already said, I think my initial description did make this guy sound quite suspicious.

          Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hey Isabella – I think my introduction on Facebook made this guy sound a bit suspicious – “Follow me and bring your camera” – that does sound a bit dodgy doesn’t it?

      But you are correct – he was certainly a bit of an attention-seeker, but friendly with no ulterior motives 🙂

      Reply
  2. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Tom,
    In fairness to Marcos the initial description is a bit misleading, beyond that I agree: the Raoni dude seems harmless. Speaking of harmless I hope we are still on for our 3am meeting near the steps of Cristo Redentor so to check out my stamp collection. Don’t forget to bring money, credit cards, a rope, and blindfolds so after our stamp appreciation we can do that montage I envisioned in front of the statue.

    Reply
  3. Richard
    Richard says:

    i can see logic in all of the comments, as i get older i find i am checking myself. 10 years ago, if someone had come upto me in in a bar in London and said there was a cool party happening down the road i would have been there until sunrise, here and now I am wondering: how many days it will take to empty my bank account before the kidnappers release me? does entering my pin backwards really set off alarm bells at Bank HQ? Would i develop Stockholm syndrome?

    I am sure he was just part of the 99% who was just friendly though

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ha ha! That made me laugh 🙂

      But I know exactly what you mean Richard – when I look back on some of the things I did when I was travelling through Latin America, I think I was pretty reckless at times. Still, as long as you’re not really reckless (or just plain unlucky) then a little risk often leads to some great experiential rewards right?

      I find I worry more about other people – I feel perfectly safe and relaxed 99.9% of the time in Rio, but I often worry a little when I have friends/family come out to visit me.

      Reply

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