Annie Anywhere

5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner (guest post by Annie Picard)

In the beginning of March, I had the pleasure of meeting Annie Picard, the girl behind the travel blog Annie Anywhere, as I already told you here. In that occasion I invited her to write a guest post for My Little Rio Journal, to share with us a little bit of her impressions of Rio de Janeiro. She kindly accepted and now I am very glad to announce the 5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner, by Annie Picard!! It is always good to know the point of view of a foreigner about habits that for us are so natural!! Enjoy it!!!


5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner

Written by Annie Picard, from Annie Anywhere

To be honest, it wasn’t on my plan to visit Brazil in a near future, but I like to follow where life leads me.

Last summer, I met a Brazilian friend travelling in Montreal, and this gave me the opportunity to visit Rio de Janeiro last March. I like it when life surprise me with beach destination! I could have met someone from Antarctica, you know…

I like to discover cultural differences while traveling. In only 10 days in Rio de Janeiro, a few things shocked me as a foreigner.

1. Don’t touch your food!

In North America, it is really common to eat food with your hands: chicken, fries, fruits, etc. We don’t call some appetizers “finger foods” for nothing. So, when we went out for dinner and I just grabbed a piece of chicken directly with my hand, my friend looked at me like I was a disgusting little kid! I swear my hands were clean but in Rio, you just don’t touch your food. There are napkins on the table for that.

2. The thumbs up

I know the thumbs up sign, but Canadians don’t really use it naturally. In Rio, people use it to say “yes” or “okay” or to confirm anything. For me. it was like giving constant real life Facebook likes!

3. Raise your hand to catch the bus

“I’m at the bus stop, so the bus will stop, right?” Nope. You need to raise your hand to get in the bus. It’s like calling a taxi, but I prefer to see it as “bus flirting”. Manifest your interest to the bus if you want it to pick you up.

4. Constant noise

I haven’t realized how Montreal was calm before going to Rio de Janeiro. How is it even possible to concentrate in this constant noise!? Music, honks, people, motors, street vendors. It just never stops. In a way, it is part of the town’s spirit an I liked it.

5.The bikinis

I already knew about this one since it is common knowledge that Brazilian bikinis are microscopic. Once at the beach, I felt like a prude grandma with my bikini! People of any shapes wore these bikinis. Thumbs up for positive body image!!

All photos on this post by Annie Picard

Annie is the blogger behind Annie Anywhere. Based in Montreal, she explores the world trying to learn new skills and connect with people. Ukulele player, life lover and self-proclaimed professional learner, Annie likes to discover cultural differences and works on her faculty of adaptation. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Having a guest!

IMG_1010 IMG_1004

IMG_1008Last week I had a very nice visit from Canada!! Annie, the lovely Canadian girl behind Annie Anywhere, was spending some days in Rio and suggested we could meet. Obviously I accepted! We have been connected for a while and she hosted one of my posts on her blog some months ago (check here), and I thought it would be fun to invite her for a typical carioca activity! So I took her to have a Stand-Up Paddle session and we had a wonderful time together!

It is nice when people are open to experiencing new things, specially when travelling  to a country with a totally different culture, weather and traditions from your home country, like Brazil is.

We met at Posto 6, the area in the very right corner of Copacabana beach, by Dorival Caymmi statue, where there are many tents renting Stand Up Paddle boards. Although there are many options , we decided to go to Universo Paddle Surf , as I am already used to their service.

A nice thing about Universo Paddle Surf is that they have instructors speaking english and spanish. After a 5 minutes of introduction and basic instructions to SUP given to Annie in english by the helpful instructor, we were ready to start our adventure.

We paddled for half-an hour, and it was enough to enjoy the afternoon and to show Annie Copacabana beach from a different angle. The sky was a little cloudy but the water conditions were perfect, right temperature and clear water.

Annie did a good job on the board. In her first 5 minutes she was already stood up paddling!!! We had a lot of fun!!! When our 30 minutes session finished we stayed a little bit in the beach, just enjoying the view and feeling the sunrays on our skin.

Later, I took Annie to eat something in a small place I’m used to go in Ipanema neighborhood, Felice Café, a small café/bistrot/gelateria with a cozy and casual atmosphere.  While chatting, she ate a sandwich and I had one of their tasty gelattos.

It was a lovely afternoon and it was a nice way to know her a little better.

Thanks Annie for your visit! Hope to see you soon in Rio or who knows in Montreal some day!!!

To know more about Annie adventures in Rio, stay connected to her blog where she is sharing something of her experiences in Rio.

Universo Paddle Surf – email:  – Av Atlântica, n° 3.700 (posto 6) Praia de Copacabana-Rio de Janeiro