Bip Bip is not much more than a hole in the wall, but since the late 1960s it has been one of Rio’s favourite spots to catch a live roda de samba (informal samba played around a table). It was a bit chilly as we made our way over to the venue, wrapped in raincoats we were better dressed for a wet night out in Brighton, but obviously the weather is no deterrent for those wanting to be part of this authentic experience and we had no trouble finding the place as it was one of the few bars showing any signs of life on a miserable Tuesday night.
Doing nothing in Rio
It’s Monday and the grey, damp weather has returned to Rio. The workshop that I was supposed to present tonight to our group of budding social entrepreneurs has been cancelled due to lack of sign-ups. I had planned an afternoon of preparation but as this is no longer necessary I find myself wondering how to fill the day. I’ve decided that I’m not very good at doing nothing, especially on a week day. It’s my northern work ethic kicking in, plus many years of full time working Monday to Friday, which means that unless I’m officially on holiday, I need to be sat at my desk working on some deliverable, preferably up against a deadline, in order to feel ‘right’. I suppose, being honest, if it was a gorgeous sunny day I’d be content on the beach with my book and a cold coconut juice. But that’s not an option. It’s strange. I feel guilty, but then not guilty. Worried and then fine. I think about it in detail and it makes me realise that I am going to have to find a way to deal with this if I am a) going to get through the next 4 weeks here and b) build the life of a digital nomad that I have been dreaming about for the past year.
Who ate all the pies?
Pies and pasties, it seems, are a main stay of Brazilian cuisine. I had no idea! Before arriving here I imagined that I’d find lots of fantastic tropical fruit, which is certainly the case, and plenty of places serving grilled meat in all its forms: also true. But it seems I have landed in pie and pastie heaven with every conceivable variation available morning, noon and night.
And so to work……..
I’m finding it quite a challenge to walk the line between being a tourist in a new city and being in Rio to work. I am no longer eating all my meals out (although it’s fair to say the majority), paying for everything with large bills and drinking Caipirinhas at every opportunity. But at the same time I can’t help but marvel at the sights of the city and still have a long list of places yet to visit. My days have more structure, with client meetings, personal development sessions and Portuguese lessons three afternoons a week, plus homework! Then there’s the morning workouts and the evening group workshops – I’m finding myself rushing through the metro station, raising my eyes at anyone who’s dawdling and blocking my way, checking my watch and beginning to feel some of the stresses that I thought I’d left behind in London. This has to stop and I need to learn from the locals on how to take a more relaxed approach to life – especially when it comes to timekeeping – although anyone who knows me will confirm that this is not going to be easy! Read more