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Monday, June 18, 2012

A Dream With My Beloved Rio de Janeiro

Last night I had a long and interesting dream about Rio de Janeiro. I was at San Francisco International Airport in a long line trying to board a plane to Rio de Janeiro. I had decided to go and live there for the rest of my life. I was sad that Elena would not come along. Then for some reason I was "teleported" away from the airport to a vacant field nearby and all of my carry on luggage was missing. I was struggling to get back to the airport, find my carry on luggage and make the flight. Then I awakened and it was time to get up.
I spent some of the happiest years of my life in Rio de Janeiro despite the fact that it was during Brasil's military government. I remember approaching Rio for the first time in a plane. The worst shock was all of the slums I saw from the air. When I landed a customs officers stole things from my suitcase and a cab driver cheated me out of $50.00. I went to Copacabana and checked into the Acapulco Hotel that was to be my home for a long time. Despite the jet lag I walked around for a long time. I fell in love with Rio instantly. It's a love that continues to this day.
Rio is glamorous. Rio has incredible people who are always happy and optimistic despite a life that is really very hard for most. Rio has great food and culture. Rio has incredible sites like the Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado.Rio has incredible beaches. Rio is over 500 years old and has deep roots and traditions. Rio also still has poverty and some really heavy violent crime. You learn quickly to be "street wise" in order to survive.
Back in 1991 I was offered an apartment right on Copacabana for about $26,000 US. I turned it down. If I had taken the deal I would be a rich man now. If you want to retire to Rio you need to bring at least $500,000 US to buy a one-bedroom  condominium. Your medical insurance will be cheaper than the US but not much cheaper. Food will be just as expensive as the US. Cars and electronics will be more expensive.
But if you really love Rio none of that matters.
Elena does not love Rio and would never go there so it's out for me. But I still go every year to get back in touch with one of the happiest parts of my life and the city that I will always love so much.
The dream was telling me that it was not meant for me to go to Rio and live because I would lose Elena.