Monday, March 03, 2008

Rabs in Rio

Meet TZ's parents, Joel and Val Rabinowitz, or The Big Joelowksi and Mrs Mum as we refer to them in private. The Rabs came to visit the JeTZ in Rio de Janeiro for pleasure but were promptly sequestered to assist in urgent matters of business - the testing of various hypotheses.
First up, Jez filled in the Rabs on the hairless Brazilian coconut situation (see previous blog). A meticulous researcher, Joel conducted an independent and exhaustive investigation of his own but invariably came to the same conclusion as Jez: The Brazilian wax (when applied to coconuts) enhances flavour.
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A bit more challenging was the following hypothesis: That the ratio of bikini to skin is smallest in Rio and becomes greater as one travels further from B.E. (bikini epicentre) until reaching a maximum at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In order to test this hypothesis in a scientifically sound manner, the Rabs and the JeTZ joined forces to reconnoitre the beaches of Brazil for a statistically significant sample size.
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Conclusion: Blindingly obvious with hindsight, this theory cuts both ways. The ratio can be reduced by using less bikini or more skin. Shortly after this photo was taken the boys declared stumps.
As with any job, scouring the beaches comes with a few occupational hazards. First the boys had to contend with their burnt retinas and then Val had to retire to the fridge in her hotel room to nurse some burnt feet.
But soon we were back in business. Down at the Copa, Copacabaaaana we searched for alternative interesting subjects. We loved this one - the walking bikini salesmen. He has the best job on the beach. Where do you suppose the change room is?
The gay section of the beach was clearly indicated by the rainbow flag, but just in case you missed it, the deck chairs come complete with instructions...see Mr and Mr on the chairs:
After the beach exploits we were ready to check out the other landmarks. First up was Jesus the Redeemer or B.C. (Big Christo) towering over the city, visible from just about anywhere. Although entirely unnecessary we landed up taking a private tour with an enterprising young Brazilian named Paulo.
TZ thought after 30 years of hard work, she was finally receiving the blessing of "favourite child", but it turns out Val was giving TZ a quick reminder that she can only ascend the heavenly escalator so long as she remembers she is Jewish.
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Standing underneath B.C. we spotted our next destination, Sugar Loaf mountain:
We ascended Sugar Loaf  by cable car and watched the sun set over Rio:
After dark  the vista becomes, if possible, even more beautiful:
Look closely at the photo. Can you see that we all look 10 years younger? That's because we all splashed a bit of anti-aging holy water on our faces from a natural spring. Well, it worked for all of us except Joel. Sure he looks younger but he also looks 10 shades darker...

Ok, so the darker guy is Paulo who had more than one secret up his sleeve. He knew of a magical place where the forest met the beach, where the freshest fish was to be found, and above all else, which was blessedly free of tourists.
Not only did they serve the freshest fish, but also caipirinha (Brazilian cocktail) made with maracuja (giant Brazilian passion fruit).
We can't be sure if it was the maracuja or the cacha├ža (Brazilian alcohol) that inspired some spontaneous acts of passion...
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... but we all felt a little dirty when this local decided to get in on the act:
We soon discovered that in Brazil, quirky behaviour on the beach is not limited to the tourist locations of Ipanema and Copacabana. We were impressed by the dedication of this artist to his subject. This was no "slip, slop, slap" operation,  but an exercise in fine art.
Before leaving Rio, a less sordid discovery was made: an English style tea house serving world class afogado. As with most things, the splendour was in the delivery. Here TZ does a dramatic interpretation of how best to prepare it.
Coming up the JeTZ and the Rabs travel to the Costa Verde to be spoiled by more beautiful beaches and islands. Their research takes an unexpected turn when they discover that not all beaches are created equally.

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