Oi! Up for a little soccer? – Copacabana, Brazil

After a ta ta with lovely Louise at the bus station on the Brazilian side of the falls, I was approached by a couple of Israeli guys who wanted to trade bus tickets with me. I was a bit skeptical but decided it was a good day to do a good deed so I agreed to switch to this lesser known company.

Turned out to be the right decision as my new bus was less crowded, less noisy, and not caught up in a drug bust. Also I was surrounded by quite friendly people who were sharing food and playing music. It was a nice intro to Brazil as I sleepily gazed out the window at the hills of forests almost able to see the moisture in the air.

We pulled into Rio and after puttering around the station for a while trying to get my bearings, I jumped on a bus which took me literally a block away from my apartment in Copacabana. Nice one.

I caught up with Sarah learning I had missed out on quite the adventure through Uruguay (a little bit of drugs, robbery and kidnapping) by opting to come up with Louise through the Falls. She asked if I was up for a little bit of footy and we were off to the game.

After finding the other girls, we hiked around Maracana, one of the world`s largest stadiums. We couldn´t seem to sort out where we were sitting so we just ducked in an plopped our butts down in a open spot. I really don’t know much about this sport but the Flamengo and Vasco fans are very, shall we say, zealous.

The game was alright but I had much more fun watching the fireworks and humongous flags waving around. There was a constant drum and bass beat coming from somewhere behind us which made it a little hard not to get into it. As far as soccer goes, I guess it was a decent game but it was afterwards that the real excitement started.

We (7 foreign chickas) grabbed a beer from the vendor and planted ourselves on this bridge type thingy just out of the gates, in order to wait for the massive swell of a crowd (68,000) to die down. We were slightly amused by the groups of young men running around like lunatics being corralled by the dozens and dozens of fully armed police.

We laughed it off when a concerned Brazilian guy began questioning our sanity for coming to a game like this. How were we to know that it was dangerous? He played the chivalrous rescue ranger shoving all 7 of us into his tiny little hatchback to drive us home.

On the drive home we witnessed some intense fighting and messes of shirtless hooligans lining the curbs for blocks with their hands on their heads. We found out later that two men had been shot only meters away from where we were situated after the game. All that fun and action for only 10 reals ($5 CAD). What a deal!

This entry was posted in South America. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply