The day after consuming enough alcohol to probably kill a sumo wrestler (4 vodka tonics, 3 caipirinhas, 4 beers and god knows what else) I felt fantastic the next morning.
The group of us headed over to Ivan’s stand where he made me a hangover cure, then looked at me and told me I should probably also try some water, a Gatorade and some fresh coconut water. I thought the bit of alcohol would help me not die from the hangover, but an hour into the beach, even passed out face down trying to tan my ass in my new tiny brazilian bikini (sorry mom) I felt like I was going to vomit all over the sand. Which probably would’ve gone unnoticed since the ocean resembled more of a garbage dump than the clear blue beauty we had seen upon our arrival. Fucking tourists.
Unable to take the heat and the hangover anymore, I told the group I needed to leave and fortunately Gian was in the same boat since he had brought SPF 70 but refused to put any on since he’s Filipino and “doesn’t burn”. Smart move. We both left the beach in our incredibly uncomfortable states and headed back towards Copacabana.
Had we not been idiots, and not waited until the next day to figure out what a bloco was, we would have realized that the biggest bloco in Rio on that given day was in Ipanema. The second we got off the crowded sand onto the sidewalk the street was completely packed with people in all kinds of crazy costumes – tutus, masks, wings, underwear, garter belts, capes, wigs, ears, bows, hats – it was a warmer version of Halloween, which basically equates to doubly slutty costumes since you can wear less in the heat. It was also impossible to cross the street as the everyone was shitfaced, dancing and having a good time. I walked slowly and deliberately trying to take in fresh air through my mouth so I could bypass the smell of $3 Antarticas and $5 liters of cachaca. I figured once we got off the beach block things would get better. WRONG.
As we headed to one of the squares the crowd got even denser as it was close to the subway and moving was a near impossibility. I was convinced that if I didn’t get robbed (Rule #1 of traveling in South America – you will get robbed) I was going to vomit all over everyone. Those hangover burps were hovering in my throat – the kind that tell you you need to force the air out, but in the process, you may or may not projectile vomit all over anyone in a 8 foot radius. Fortunately Gian was considerate and walked at my pace, accepting my random stops where I would hold my mouth closed and nauseously sway back and forth trying not to throw up on people.
Fortunately for me, by the time we had walked for about 45 minutes to get back home the exercise had me feeling a lot better so I took a shower, watched the parade that came down our block every day, and was ready to go again. Or at least ready to take a walk to try to find a costume for the Sambadrome the next day. On the bright side, feeling green from the hangover aided in the realization that the next day was Chinese New Year, kicking off the year of the snake, and accordingly I would paint myself partially green and go as a serpent for the Sambadrome. Thank you hangover for your inspiration.
For dinner that night the 9 of us decided that it was time to appropriately embrace the Brazilian food culture. It was churrascaria time!
From a guidebook we had decided upon Porcao a chain notorious for it’s pornographically sized dripping hunks of meat, and celebrity clientele. Sold – I hadn’t eaten anything all day (except the chicken finger Gian and I snuck from KFC during our costume walk).
As soon as we sat down at Porcao meat came. And it came again and again. There were sausages. Rib eyes. Prime rib. Pork. Ribs. Chicken. Parmesan encrusted fillets. Not to mention the full buffet with seafood, salads, vegetables, sushi and everything else you could possibly want to accompany your hulking slabs of animal. We sat in total silence stuffing our faces with tender meats, blood and juices dripping down our faces onto the plates. We looked like barbarians, but fuck it we were hungry and the food was delicious. And best of all, the restaurant had speedy wifi so I was able to instagram the whole thing. Perfect ending to a horribly hungover day. Tomorrow morning, bright and early, Sugar Loaf mountain!