Category Archive: Musings

Jul 23

Eat Rio in Mexico City

Hola from Mexico everyone! Just a quick update because if I spend too long on the computer, Mrs Eat Rio will kill me! Still, I think I’ve just got time to show you the ridiculously delicious dish we tried yesterday lunchtime. This is Cochinita Pibil:

Cochinita-pibil

Pork that has been marinated in bitter orange juice and then slow roasted. Served on a banana leaf.

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Jul 18

The way things are right now

Image source

Chilaquiles Image source

 

Well it’s Friday, and in days gone past that would have meant a guaranteed post here at Eat Rio. Then along came the World Cup and a deluge of food tours and my whole writing/posting routine got messed up.

So now that the World Cup is over, things should be getting back to normal, right?

Well, not quite yet. Mrs Eat Rio and I have been working 7 days/week for the last 3 months, so we are both completely exhausted. A few weeks ago we decided to book ourselves a holiday to Mexico so we can get away from everything and fully unwind.

I visited Mexico back in 2010 and absolutely loved it. For Mrs Eat Rio it will be her first time in the land of tequila, mole and chilaquiles (we plan to indulge in all 3 of those items, plus much, much more).

Of course I’ll be indulging in some serious relaxation, but I will also be taking my camera with a view to record my experiences and perhaps draw some parallels and contrasts between Mexico and Brazil. And when I get back, things will get back to normal (promise!).

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Jul 15

World Cup 2014 – How did it go?

Brazil-World-Cup

So long, and thanks for all the football…

 

Well, that’s that then. The World Cup 2014 is over. All the worries and concerns about whether the tournament would be a success can be laid to rest because this thing is over.

How do you think it went? Sadly, through an overabundance of work, I didn’t get to attend any of the matches in any of the stadiums, but I was out and about on the streets of Rio throughout the tournament and also met a huge number of tourists who were in town specifically for the World Cup. Here’s my take on the tournament:

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Jun 19

Watching Brazil vs Mexico

Casa-Alto-Vidigal

Casa Alto Vidigal is a hostel and bar sitting right at the top of the Vidigal favela.

 

Well, Brazil have played 2 games now and I think it’s fair to say that most people have been pretty underwhelmed. So far there have been no dominant displays and no goleadas – just a feeling that something isn’t quite clicking when the team get out on the field.

I have a few Mexican friends living here in Rio, and they had all decided to watch the game at Casa Alto Vidigal, a hostel/bar at the very top of Vidigal favela. The journey would normally take a little over an hour, so I gave myself a little over 2 hours and set off on my journey. Within minutes I received messages from other friends who were also trying to get to Vidigal – everyone was telling me that the traffic was the worst they’d ever seen in Rio.

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Jun 13

World Cup 2014 day 1: post-match

brazil-football-dogs

On my way to the game, I saw that even the dogs were getting in on the act.

 

Well, things didn’t quite go as scripted for Brazil: an underwhelming performance, an own goal, a very dubious penalty decision and many people saying that Neymar should have received a red card. However, the score finished 3-1 and Brazil have the expected 3 points.

I was planning to watch the game at the FIFA Fanfest on the beach in Copacabana, so I hopped on the bus. I decided to stop off in Ipanema first to see what the World Cup atmosphere was like. With just a couple of hours to kick off, the beaches were eerily empty.

empty-ipanema

Where is everybody? Getting comfortable in front of a TV somewhere…

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Jun 12

World Cup 2014 – Day 1

vespera-da-copa

This was the scene on the beach in Ipanema yesterday. Mostly cloudy with the beaches fairly quiet. Was this a bad omen?

 

Well, after all the anticipation, speculation, worry and protest, the day has finally dawned. Day 1 of the World Cup 2014. Yesterday was my first chance to get out of the house and wander the streets of Ipanema to see how things looked and I have to say it didn’t look great.

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Jun 11

#SkypeSavvyChallenge Competition!

Brasil-rumo-ao-hexa

Obligatory World Cup image.

 

In case you missed it, Brazil is currently hosting one of the biggest competitions in the world. With the help of my friends at Skype (I’m their Food Ambassador, remember?), I’m starting up a new competition and you’re all invited to take part.

 

#SkypeSavvyChallenge

The challenge is simple – tell us about a fun, unusual or inventive way you use Skype. Do you carry out training sessions with your band mates when you can’t all be in the same place at once? Are you one of those people who can tell an entire story using emoticons?

Here’s one of my tricks. When friends are working late in the office, I’ve been known to tempt them out to play by hanging around the vicinity of their office and Skyping them a photo of something tasty…

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May 30

A photo, an update and a competition with a prize

backlit-butterfly

 

Well, the World Cup looms ever closer and, like many people, I can’t wait for things to get going. Putting aside doubts and objections about chaotic organising efforts and public spending, I love international football and the thought of having the best players in the world playing for their countries in my own back yard – well that’s pretty awesome.

I’m also looking forward to the start of the tournament because I’ll finally be able to break away from my laptop and enjoy a little free time in Rio. It’s not easy to blog when you hardly leave the house and that’s part of the reason I haven’t been posting so much recently.

Today I’ve got a bit of a mish-mash for you. Firstly, check out that nice butterfly I saw this morning. It landed in a patch of sunshine on my jasmine plant and stayed there just long enough for me to get a photo.

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May 28

Are Brazilians capable of organising a Mega-Event?

 

Yesterday I stumbled across an article in the New York Times, Brazil Is Tired of Being Scolded, which takes issue with the criticism that FIFA and the IOC have been directing at Brazil recently. The article’s author, Vanessa Barbara, is upset with what she sees as the condescending tone from ‘Mummy’ (FIFA) and ‘Daddy’ (IOC), and quips that Brazil may soon be grounded by its ‘parents’.

Well, I guess patriotism can make us all say strange things from time to time, but for me, this article is not only incoherent, but also rather depressing.

 

Incoherent

Barbara appears to be taking all this criticism very personally, while at the same time listing all the failings and injustices that the people of Brazil have suffered at the hands of their incompetent government. Now I’m no fan of FIFA or the IOC, but the criticism they are making is not of the Brazilian nation/people – it’s of the organisers of these events, in other words the government.

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May 21

Spotting Toucans in Rio

Picture the scene: it’s 9am and I’m sitting at my desk with a full day of work ahead of me. My phone is switched off, I’m logged out of all instant-messaging applications and Mrs Eat Rio is in São Paulo. Today nothing will distract me. Today will be different. Today I will achieve! 

I start tapping away at the keyboard and it feels like things are going well. Then a strange noise starts up outside. It’s actually quite annoying and for once it isn’t man-made. This is the sound I heard:

 

 

See what I mean? It is pretty annoying isn’t it? It’s also quite hard to ignore and it sounded like it was coming from the trees just outside the window, so I decided to investigate.

channel-billed-toucan

As tormentors go this fellow was rather charming.

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