Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 4: Rio

Day 4: Rio

Weather: Hot! 80 at 5:40 when THB gets out of bed (there’s a time/temp sign outside THB’s window), cooling off as we sit in Macaranazinho to around high 60s
the last of the Bay Area rations

His name was Rico
He wore a diamond
He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancing there
And when she finished, he called her over

QOTD2: When were you last at a major sports event where the line to pay was longer than the lines to use the toilets?
THB on the inside...DA on the outside

Breakfast: same as it ever was. Today is our first time transiting to the VB venue, Maracanazinho (baby Maracana), it is right next to the giant stadium where the Opening and Closing are being held. Stop at our favorite bakery for another plain white no-taste baguette and a few slices of cheese (since we’re unsure about the new concession stand status, we’re supplementing…and THB forgot to bring the cheese we bought at Zona Sul last night).
Metro not crowded in our direction...direction?
DA again has his metro card rejected while THB is through and clear in no time. THB hangs out while DA finds someone who gives him a new card (DA brought his receipt, carefully saved for just this type of emergency). And, the Rio metro has adjusted: now someone stands in front of the new machines with a stack of 7 day cards and a takes hay-eyes and makes change out of a fanny pack. Every O has adjustments! It looks like you can still use your debit card at the metro machine. THB reco: use your debit card at a nearby ATM and pay for your 7 day metro card in hay-eyes.

How bad was France? This is an impossible score...

Writing about O adjustments: DA and THB are on the Line 1 going straight to the Maracana station. OOOOOPS! We’re on the Line 1 train that requires you to transfer to the overlapping Line 2 to get to the Maracana station. We realize our mistake and get off 2 stations too late for the transfer, go back the 2 stations, transfer, and now we’re on Line 2 to the Maracana station. We won’t be making THAT mistake again.
Oh no, a team get's two challenges per game

Lots of empty seats for the first game

Short bursts of in-game entertainment

The walk from the metro station to the mini-Macarana arena is short and we descend from the platform walk-way on a newly installed stairway made of scaffolding. We had a similar scaffold stairway incident moving to/from the express bus station at the O Park. Another pre-adjustment to handle the crowds more easily?
Portuguese challenge, though THB thought maybe the scoreboard guys were commenting on France's skills

We’re at our entry gate: no crowds! THB flies through. Waits just past the security/ticket scan folks for DA. C’mon, can the guy really be lost? After what seems 10 minutes and is probably only 5, he’s through and we’re up and in our great seats for the first two matches at kickoff time. Great planning! Nobody could figure out why DA is setting off the alarm and needing extra scans.
Brazil team glowing

People on their phone flashlights

Stands are full now; we have empty seats on either side of us (not in conflict, arenas are never 100% full)

The two morning matches: Italy crushes France 3-0 and Brazil toys with Mexico, 3-1. The concession stands on our level appear to take hay-eyes and sell coupons for drinks and drink stands also take hay-eyes.
Crowd not upset all when Mexico won first game

This fan watching one game, guy below him following TWO other events on side-by-side phones

Never in doubt

Negotiate staying inside between the morning and afternoon sessions: no go. So, we head off to lunch (it's around 1:30) with a local tip from the woman we’re negotiating with: a local mall. Hmmmmm….instead, we go into the first restaurant we see, a crowded place with what looked like 15 people standing outside waiting to get in.

No problema, they seat us right away. The staff no habla ingles, and we no speaka the Portuguese. THB gets up and walks through the restaurant and figures something out: they have a pretty decent buffet and guys are also going from table to table with skewers of meat and large knives and putting portions on the plates if so requested. Now we can place our order using sign language: skewers!

Dos cervezas (small, light, draft), some crummy fries and onion rings, and all the meat you can eat (THB ate in one of these type places when visiting Iguazu Falls years ago and had the buffet AND the meat).  All items heavily salted and most are fatty (THB really liked his meal). Here’s some of what THB ate:

Salt, fat, garlic...heaven!

We're well into the meal, hardly any fries eaten

Rib was awesome

In the afternoon session, DA again has trouble getting through security. After his ritual disrobing, we figure it out: his new knees are setting off the machine. Didn’t at O Park security, did at mini-Macarana.

Pics are for personal use only; people publishing these for commercial use will be exported or shot, whichever is easier

We end up in seats near the top of the arena; not great, easier to stand and watch than sit non-stop in the small seats. In the, matches, Poland has no trouble with Egypt, 3-0, and USA loses to Canada 3-0. Not looking too good for the Americans winding up in the medal round. They stunk (good thing we weren’t too close to the court). Priddy played in his 4th O’s, and probably should’ve retired after London.

Egyptian down

Medium-large crowd for afternoon

Unusual: USA ahead #canadabuiltthewallafterall

Metro back, transferring lines appropriately this time.

Lunch carried us the rest of the day

A few snap observations (Ed note: formatting strange in blogspot on bullets and numbers)

11. Almost no smokers in and around the venues or to/from metro stations, even in the gigantic O Park

22.  When you buy water or coke at small Macarana, they take the lids off and won’t give them to you. Why?

3. At Macaranazinho, there was a roving cashier. Not sure what she was doing as some concession stands took cash and gave you food/drink in return (how novel).

4.  They now have instant replay challenges at VB, 2 per team per game; THB does not think this is a good idea, more sitting around for fans. At least they play a cute song after denied challenges: (a cover version) you can’t always get what you want….

6. Many Brazilians in attendance, doesn’t seem like many foreigners are here; there was a vocal rooting section for the USA today

6.     Canada is way more popular than US if you listened to the cheering and booing at the VB match this afternoon. Way more!!

The volunteer outfits

No customers? We take hay-eyes! We take hay-eyes!


  1. Brazilian BBQ! (in Brazil). I'm so jealous I ate a place like that in Texas someplace like 10 years ago. I still remember the meal it was great.

    1. Well, today the word on Brazilian fish bbq aint near as positive. actually, it wasn't bbq, which was half the problem. Meat came hot and grilled; the fish came warm and fried. wait, that's the whole problem