Adapt­ing to the ex­u­ber­ant Brazil­ian way of life in Rio de Janeiro

Rosie Ubacher pre­sents a pho­to­graphic homage to her new home in Brazil

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents - @rosie_ ubacher

I FIRST WENT TO RIO DE JANEIRO

for the World Cup four years ago, with my hus­band and a bunch of friends. We ab­so­lutely fell in love with the city, so much so that we ended up im­pul­sively buy­ing an old, ram­shackle house in the same neigh­bour­hood that had got us hooked in the first place: Santa Teresa. High up in the hills with breath­tak­ing views over the rest of the city, it was once an area where the wealthy built their man­sions. It’s still full of crum­bling colo­nial prop­er­ties with or­nate façades and ro­man­tic bal­conies. These days, it’s also a haven for the city’s artist types. It’s Rio’s bo­hemian quar­ter. It has taken us a good few years to ren­o­vate the house, and over that time I’ve learnt so much about Rio and the unique way of life here. I think the big­gest thing Brazil has taught me

is to re­lax, take it easy and en­joy life the way the lo­cals do. No mat­ter who you are, how­ever rich or poor, young or old, the Car­i­o­cas (as the res­i­dents of Rio are called) love beer, samba and the beach. All beaches are pub­lic land in Brazil, and they’re a part of daily life for cit­i­zens here: there’s a real cul­ture of hang­ing out on the sand and en­joy­ing the sun or the cooler air in the evening. There are lots of other sur­prises in Rio, too. The palm tree-lined streets of Santa Teresa are packed with vin­tage, brightly coloured Bee­tles. There are about 300 in this neigh­bour­hood alone! What’s more, the re­hearsals for Rio Car­ni­val are some of the best street par­ties you’ll ever come across. They’re open to the pub­lic ev­ery Sun­day lead­ing to pa­rade day, and ev­ery­one turns up to drink shed­loads of caipir­in­has. Al­to­gether, Rio re­ally is such an ex­u­ber­ant, joy­ful place and there’s nowhere that’s more ap­par­ent than in ev­ery­one’s ob­ses­sion with sport, par­tic­u­larly foot­ball. Peo­ple get so ex­cited about games – play­ing them, watch­ing them, talk­ing about them. There’s a real joie de vivre in the city that’s hard to match.

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