Find out why Rio is the ultimate Sin City and what it has to offer by reading below.
Holding a plane ticket that read Destination: Rio De Janeiro gave me butterflies. After an amazing few days of pandemonic (pandemonium and demonic = pandemonic) debauchery in Sao Paulo, our crew bolted to the city that’s on every boy’s bucket list since coming out of his mother’s womb.
From New York to Shanghai, each of us have daydreamed about sipping mind-blowing caipirinhas (refreshing national Brazilian cocktail made with rum-esque Cachaca, sugar and lime, and other accountrements such as mint, basil and fruits) while gawking at Brasilera butts and tan lines on the white sands of Rio. For heaven’s sake, there are songs written about this place like Pharrell and Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful!” And if you say you haven’t dreamt about man’s most fabled mecca, Copacabana Beach, then you need to re-check your priorities in life, because this should be your numero uno goal!
Rio is surrounded by beautiful mountain columns jutting out from the blue-green ocean waters of the Atlantic. As we looked down at the city below us, our hearts were pounding hard, skipping to the beats of a Diplo set because we were nervous. Shit, this was our Super Bowl and we didn’t want to lose. When the GOL Airlines stewardess asked me if everything was okay after seeing tears running down my face, I turned to her and replied, “I made it.” Did I mention she looked like Natalie Portman, but hotter! This was our damn flight attendant and she could’ve been a Hollywood actress!
We checked into a small boutique hotel that wasn’t too expensive, just a few blocks from the beach. We were itching to get our feet in the sand, but first, we hit the streets looking for lunch. Again, we found delicious food/bbq around every street corner; great local places that didn’t take reservations, serving heaping bowls of Feijoada, which is Brazil’s national dish. It’s very similar to an American chili but meatier and definitely heavier, loaded with beans and vegetables. If you’re worried about your diet, then you shouldn’t be in Brazil. Surrounded by cariocas (locals), there were NO OTHER Asian bachelor parties that mirrored us. Can I get an Amen?
With our stomachs protruding out like pregnant chicks, we hit up the beach in our board shorts and not those tight ass Speedos everyone else was wearing. (Asians in banana hammocks should be banned and against the law if it isn’t already.) You had to be there to understand the surrealism of the moment with the white sand, the mystical warm air and the scalding sun. We chilled on rented chairs, sipped on cold fresh-fruit juices and beers, as vendors hawked all sorts of cheap bites that made my belly weep with joy. We threw on our sunglasses and perused our surroundings like a finely tuned submarine scope; our crosshairs targeted on Brazilian buns in thongs ….let’s repeat that…buns in thongs, buns in thongs. We bought drinks for several local sunbathing women, who then happily agreed to distribute suntanning lotion to our chiseled physiques (beer belly = chiseled in my book). Yeah, this was not just cool, but a great cultural exchange.
As the sun started to set, we packed up and hit up one of the legendary “termas” called Monte Carlo. Termas are similar to a massage parlors but amped ten fold. This famous one was located in a small strip mall, yes, a mall where people go shopping for clothes, food and other goods. And in our case, goods meant Brazilian ass. After entering, we were greeted by a stoic female cashier, who exchanged keys for cash with us. None of us knew what to expect but we did as we were told. The key led us to a locker where we placed our belongings and changed into a robe. We all washed up, separately of course in different shower stalls, then hit the bar where the ladies were waiting in typical sexy club attire. We had a few cocktails, then blatantly lied to the sexy hostesses about our lives back home in America; some of us were Hollywood producers and others race car drivers. What were we supposed to tell them? That we were second generation immigrants who worked 15 hour days at our parent’s liquor store or dry cleaners? We had these escorts hooked and I think they fell in love with us. Or maybe it was the other way around? Anyway, we had the option of making sweet romantic love to these women, but passed because there was an extra fee. We’re Asian, so yeah, we were being kinda cheap because we spent a grip in Sao Paulo. But it was hard keeping our distance from the ATM machine to pull out more dinero. One of them was Italian-Brazilian and looked like Elizabeth Hurley. Need I say no more?
Instead, we excused ourselves and hit the buffet room where a full spread was laid out for its patrons. This feast was free and we were gonna take advantage of it. Once again, we ate like the gluttonous American mofos we were, eating everything in site: BBQ meats, rice, salads, and fruits. While dining, we met an expat from NYC who left his hometown because of increasing financial debt. He now worked in Rio as a sex tour guide, leading Euro travelers around the city, getting them laid while getting paid. Not a bad gig. We all wanted to know how to apply!
Next stop was the Lapa area known for its street partying atmosphere. Fat from feasting and tired out by the sun, we still managed to live it up. The area was off the hook. So many bars, restaurants and revelers. We continued the drinking onslaught with the locals who were all very friendly, buying us a never-ending round of shots and offering to take us out the next night. We flirted with too many women to count, sucking face with a few…dozen that is and just had an amazingly good time.
We were finally in a cab, thinking we were headed back to our hotel. Our cabbie, who didn’t speak a lick of English, kept speaking to us in Portuguese, laughing, gesturing with his hands, rambling on about something. We agreed and nodded with whatever he was telling us because we were drunk. When we got out, thinking we were back at our hotel, he gave us a smile and drove off. This maniac had dropped us off in front of the legendary Club Barberella, a sorta Scores type mega strip club where once again, women don’t just dance for you, they want you to take them home, or in our case, back to our hotel. It was just like the Monte Carlo, just without the showers, the spa, the buffet and the private rooms. Everything’s pay for play and your options are unlimited. Our time at Barberella was a total blur and none of us remembered anything that happened besides ordering our first round of drinks. It was dark and dizzying. Hopefully it was all good.
The next two days were much more low key since we had totally exhausted ourselves out, both physically and mentally. When first planning this trip, we had a lot of expectations based on what we had read and heard about from friends and online travel reviews. Foremost was that Brazil was very dangerous. It wasn’t and we can attest to that since none of us were robbed, assaulted physically or verbally in our visits to two major cities. We felt safe everywhere we went and had the sickest time of our lives.
Looking back at our trip, I miss Rio. Yes, the women were as hot as advertised. And all of them, from the flight attendant, to the sunbathers to the hostesses made us feel extremely welcome in their country. None of them ever copped an attitude, never treated us like we didn’t belong and didn’t give us the Vegas treatment, acting as if they were inaccessible. The Brazilians are generous, cool, and most definitely sexy.
On our last night, we were sitting inside a hotel bar/restaurant on Avenue Atlantica with the final round of caipirinhas in our hands to go along with our amazing meal. With the rain drizzling outside on a quiet night, scores of young kids were playing their country’s football in the sand under the moonlight. They were oblivious to everything else except for that ball. And I wished I was one of them.
This was Brazil. This was Rio. This was perfect.
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