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Easter in The City of God

Living in Favella like conditions, Resurrection at Christo & The Favella Funkparty

So after being nearly attacked by a drugee.. We had had it. We had to make a decision what to do next either Salvodor, Rio or B.A. Buenos Aires is going to be our final destination anyway so either Salvodor or Rio. We had been to Rio during the carnival and were curious to see the city in its daily buzz. So we decided to come to Rio. Also it was the easter weekend and we thought what better way to celebrate Easter than going to Christo himself.

The guy at the information place in Sao Paulo was like the Lonely Planet book. Exact directions and information about the bus terminal, bus companies and tickets. It was wierd coming back to the Sao Paulo bus terminal, as the last time we were here, we were with our big GAP group.

The bus ride was pretty smooth, got to Rio at about 8.00pm. The decision of leaving to Rio was pretty quick so we had not booked any accomodation. So at 8.30 in the night we were calling all these hostels from the Lonely Planet. Called about 4 places, all full. Finally the wave hostel had 2 spots left in a dorm. It was the busy easter weekend so everything was full getting a double room was out of question. We arrived on the same street where we stayed the last time. It was difficult driving past the street as the place we stayed at was absolutely perfect. Anyway we arrive to this hostel. I realised that we had walked past this place a lot of times during our first visit. There was cluster of different hostels; CLUSTER Anthony was happy. Lol !!

Worse Than Favella like conditions (we have seen the favella its up market) -

On arrival a girl from a different place to what we had booked hostel called¨ The Girl from Ipanema¨ greeted us and asked us if wanted a room. We asked if they had a private room which we would prefer over the dorms. She said as it is a busy weekend all their regular doubles are full but they had a private room which she would do it for a cheap price for that night. The other room was going to be available the next day ie Easter Sunday. OMG the room was ssoooo SHOCKING!! I couldnt believe that we had to pay them money to stay in that room. It should have been the other way around.I have never seen over 20 socket holes drilled in not even a 10 by 10 room. It had 3 beds, one double and 2 singles.The beds looked like they were from the junkyard from the Favella or a donation from the Favella to the hostel. We told the girl that we will check our initially reserved place first and then tell her. So we walked next door to the Wave Hostel thinking we will defintely prefer to stay in the dorm instead of that shocking room.
This other place had a nice and clean social area, so we thought ah thats a good start. Walked into this dorm OOOOHH MY GOD ! it was the dirtiest room I have ever seen (Yes worse than our room. it just has clothes and ear-rings everywhere !!). The walls were painted marroon with cob webs nearly touching the top bunk bed. The room had no ventilation of any sort, so you would have to leave the main door open and a cieling fan (another donation from the Favella). We have stayed in a dorm in Mendoza for a night. So its not the only exposure to dorms but all of a sudden the Hole we saw before in the other hostel was like a 3* hotel. So we checked in there and tried to stay out for as long as we could. We were going to Christo the next day that excitment took over us and slept on the dodgey beds praying that we dont get bitten by the bed bugs.Hopefully the other room in the apartment that she was talking about be a better room or else we are calling Sonia getting in Ipanema Palace.

Resurrection at Christo

Next day we were up pretty early and took a 7.30 bus to get to Christo. We thought we had got there pretty early as we were there before the first train left but nnnoooooooo! There were about 100 people already there.What a noble idea - celebrate easter at Christo as if no one else thought of that. lol !
We had to wait ages to get a good shot. After about a good hour and a half I think we got the shot we wanted. Surprisingly, there was a Preist there this time blessing people who I think missed the morning mass. So that was special.Unlike in India this guy didnt ask me what religion I am nothing, just the language we spoke and where we were from and then blessed us in English. The day looked pretty cloudy on the way there but surprisingly it was very clear near Christo. I think this time around we could appreciate the statue even more. This time around I didnt get the magical feeling when I caught a glimpse of the statue from the stairs but I was still in an awe !! It is just a magnificent structure I think everyone should visit it once in the lifetime Christian or non Christian. It got really busy by now so we went ot have to breakfast at the same place as last time where I still think they serve the best Mango and strawberry mixed juice ever. After the breakfast we went back near the statue and enjoyed the views of the Rio. It was simply a divine moment celebrating easter sunday in this wonderfully spiritual site.

We left at about 12 from Corcovado mountain and made our way back anxious about this other room. As mentioned before we were staying in a shocker of a room in the Girl from Ipanema hostel on Holy saturday, I think Jesus´Tomb would have had more light and comfort. Luckily for us though, Sofia the owner had another double room for us a few houses down from the main hostel in a shared unit. We Jumped at the chance to move on sight. The apartment was clean, spacious. It brought back sanity to us after staying in a bad location in Sao Paulo and the shocker the night before. After taking nice warm shower and coming back to sanity we were ready to socialise with the people in the hostel so went to the reception and check what can be done.

Benny´s Favella Funkparty

The girl at the reception told us about this Favella Funk party as a popular thing to do for the night. The list of people going to this party looked pretty big as well. Anthony met this guy Faisal (not Oliver) who was also going and said that it was the place to be. All we could think about is Bené/Benny´s going away party from the movie The City of God. The receptionist also said that we would get access to the VIP level which is the upper level and you could see the dance floor(I could imagine the scene from the movie).So we got pretty hyped. We didnt really do too much during the day just relaxed and took a nap as we were told we will come back at 4.30 in the morning from the party. After dinner we met the rest of the group at 10 pm at the hostel reception where we going to be collected from to go to this Party. Anthony was speaking to Faisal, it was Faisal´s last night there he was going to B.A. the next day, he seems like a nice guy we will definitely catch up with him in B.A. I was a bit anxious as I didnt see any girl names on the list and I didnt want to be the only girl there. But luckily there were 3 more girls there and I kinda got friendly with Inquin and Karen. Inquin was with her B.f and it was there last night there aswell.

We left the hostel at about 10.30 pm and drove to this favella which was about 40-45 mins away from Ipanema. When we drove past the parking lot we saw atleast 350 people just in the parking lot. Everyone got really excited thinking of the number inside as it looked like a big concert like area. Just outside the entrance there was small vendor selling Caipirinhas for 2 Reals. We were told that drinks inside would be expensive so everyone decided to have some drinks outside and then go in. The scene outside was pretty happening. Everyone was dressed in this Favella Funk promotional T- Shirts with a Johnny Bravo print. I sooo wanted that T- Shirt (I so love Johnny bravo- Anthony doesnt know who he is and most of you wouldnt either). I must say people were a bit agressive with their advances; we had 2 Scottish guys who actually got scared of the 2 girls making advances and begged me and this other girl to stand with us so the girls would go away. But we had our own issues, one specific mention was this guy standing not even a meter away from us salvating and staring right at me. It wasnt very comfortable.

It was just before 1am and our tour guy who was Brsilian told us that we could get in. Everyone bought a drink and got ready to walk in. By now we couldnt see the people outside so we thought they have all gone in. We were about 15 people we walked in together and everyone single one of us had the same reaction. WHAT THE F$@K ?? Where are all the people?? This place inside did look like Benny´s party but instead of 1000 people in his party there were not even 50 people here (and the place could hold about 1000 people ). We just didnt understand where did the over 350 people go who were waiting outside. When we went to the toilets they all were flooded and the dance floor corner were full of piss. We couldnt contemplate that 50 people could do that.
The girl I was talking to Inquin was telling me how much fun these parties are as they had been to one before. It looked like it could be a great spot but where were all the people ? I must the say the music was great, cheap drinks, and we were on the upper level which was supposed to be the VIP level. The VIP level was totally empty apart from the 15 of us. After I finished my massive Caipirinha I didnt really care and I was getting it on with the Baila Funk music that was playing. Anthony was disappointed though as there was no crowd.
Everyone enjoyed but I think missed the crowd. There were dance comps with people being pulled out from the crowd, the moves were far more aggressively primal than any where else in south america. There also was also strippers both male and female picking people from the crowd and giving them massive shots of Casacha straight from the bottles and shaking there heads worse than a Indian massuer. If that was me I would have puked right on the stripper man.

We got out at about 3.30 am as I think, everyone wanted to leave but for some reason we stayed another hour outside. When we finally left our driver apolozised to us saying sorry about the empty place and told us that there was a shooting inside just about 30 minutes before we got there. Thats is why when we arrived everyone was outside or already gone or leaving. And thats why the place was empty. Now it all made sense the flooded toilets, piss puddles on the near the dance floors, empty cups and beer bottles lying everywhere. In the movie after Benny was shot, people start running everywhere but they dont show how the club looked later. I think we saw how it would have looked. I cant believe there was someone killed in there and we werent told. Finally we left at 4.30 am and got to the hostel just before 5.30 in the morning.

Anthony and a couple of others didnt get over the fact that there was no crowd, but I think it made sense to them after the shooting story. All in all a very wierd experience, I had a great night until I heard about the shooting.
Hey one good thing atleast I got the Johnny Bravo print T-Shirt thanks to Faisal.

Looking forward to just lying on the beach at posto 9 now.

Chao

Posted by Harshu 07:27 Archived in Brazil

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