I am not a big fan of dancing, and I´m not very good at it.By dancing I mean the hip-gyrating, pelvic-thrusting, and basically sex-mocking that is popular today. In seventh grade I went to the hip-hop team tryout and only lasted an hour before calling my mom in tears and telling her to pick me up because there was no way I was coordinated enough to do what Coach/Miss Gourdine was asking. Samba dancing is different, however, and while it can sometimes encompass the same idea of hip-hop, it also can be done without a partner and is different in footwork. Anyone who has ever worked with a foot-speed ladder can do the samba, and since I had to work with one to help me in soccer, I am not half-bad at it and I even like it a bit. Friday and Saturday nights a couple friends and I went to two blocos, one in an area called Lapa in the middle of the city and one in a favela, or slum, where we danced with the natives to live Samba bands. I danced by myself, I danced with guys, I danced with girls, and generally enjoyed myself like I haven´t been able to before. So take that Miss Gourdine.
Sunday we were fortunate enough to get tickets to a soccer final between a team from Rio and someone else (it doesn´t really matter who because the team from Rio was much better). We took the subway filled with Rio´s team´s fans who were singing and banging drums all the way there only to find even more fans singing and banging drums. Inside the stadium the visitor´s side was nearly empty and we were struggling for standing room in the cheap seats. It was so much fun to see the enthusiasm which all the fans had, with the songs and drums and waving flags. The game itself wasn´t very exciting; I thought both teams looked rather flat, and I bet if the fans had been put on the field they would have at least made up for their lack of skill with energy and attitude.
Last night I had another one of the purely happy moments (I feel very lucky to have had two in the past week!), when a friend and I took a gondola up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain where there is a 360 degree view of the city. It was sunset, and the colors of the sky couldn´t have been more perfect even if they been painted. It was the best money I´ve spent since being here, and though I didn´t bring a camera, I managed to get my friend to take a picture of me.