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Mar 17

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!

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10 comments

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  1. Marcos

    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!

    1. tomlemes

      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.

      1. Marcos

        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.

        1. tomlemes

          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.

  2. Isabella

    kkkk this Marcos guy is delusional. The guy wanted his picture taken, that’s all.

    1. tomlemes

      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 :)

  3. The Gritty Poet

    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.

    1. tomlemes

      Hey Gritty – shall I bring a shovel and a bag of lime too? ;)

  4. Richard

    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

    1. tomlemes

      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.

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