In Braaaazil, Rio de Janeiro, Sud America, travelling on November 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm

So when I get to Rio, the big christ is draped in scaffolding, and I put off going to see him, as whats the fucking point! I did not come to Rio to see a tall box of scaffolding, rather than the big christ. So I wait, and I wait, and I wait, and every so often I look to the big hill to see that the scaffolding has moved down a few feet. To begin with only his head is visible, then its’ his arms, then his torso, and when I finally pay the money and do the big tour, big christ, sugar-loaf, samba drome, maracana, the tiled steps at lapa and the Rio Roman Catholic cathedral, the only scaffolding left encloses his feet and the plinth that he stands on.

Doing touristy things, is at once enlightening, especially if you’ve got a tour guide who knows what they are talking about, and depressing. Depressing because there is such a mass of humanity, trying to get to see these landmarks, and whilst standing there, being jostled left and right, edging into gaps, and trying to make sure I”m not in someone’s photograph, I go all greta garbo (repeat after me in a deep stereotypical german accent) “I Vant To Be Alone”. I just want to stand and gaze at these testaments to nature and man’s ingenuity, these iconic symbols of a great sprawling city, and the people who inhabit it, those photogenic shorthand, that films will cut into a montage that tell you where you are without the spy film location subtitles rolling across the bottom of the screen.

So I grin and bear it, or rather stare over the side and watch the cloud cover roll past the mountain.

Highlight for me was putting my feet in the foot casts of the Brazilian players at the maracana. My heroes from the ’82 team, falcao, socrates, junior, zico, though to my dismay no eder. standing in the footprints of pele, ronaldo (the first one) and garrincha. Discovering that their feet aren’t that much bigger than my own. God I love football. And all the twinkle toed, nonchalant, arrogant, preening, charismatic, alcoholic, furious, demanding men that have played the game.

So see below what I saw when I went on the grand Rio tour.

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