Getting to know the language and people.
If you want to learn a little about the language before you arrive there are a couple of good books I can recommend.
The first one is "How to say anything in Portugese" by Ron Martinez. It is full of useful phrases and advice on manners and has a lot of explanations for some of the strange things Brasilians do.
The second one is "How to be a Carioca"; unfortunately I cannot remember the authors name. It is more of a guide to living in Rio and surviving the strange customs and rules of the city. It also contains a lot of useful slang.
A third good book is "Rio for partygoers"; it is a guide to the bars and clubs in Rio and the type of characters that frequent them. It also has a useful guide to local customs for flirting and dating.
Please, do not ask me why.... but there are two types of each coin - except for the R$ 1 coin
The real is divided into 100 centavos.
Coins are handy for a bus ride, gum, and the coffe ( cafezinho ), of course.
The value of the real against the US dollar varies according to the daily rate. Banks and exchange bureaux charge a commission on exchange transactions, which the visitor should check beforehand. As elsewhere, the rates of exchange for cash and travellers' cheques are marginally different, and coins are not exchangeable. Money changers are obliged by law to display net rates of exchange. Receipt notes must be issued by law; it is advisable to keep these until after departure
MONKEYS IN RIO PART THREE
Hehehehe these I found last year, they were with me in the sugar Laof, when I took some maltese friends to see the great views of Rio, they are everywhere in ouu forest.
This kind of monkey are called MICOS ESTRELAS!;)
FEIRA DO NORDESTE - PART ONE
It is one of the most interesting places to go in Rio, you will see different faces, different costuns of people who one day came to Rio seeking for a better life, and in this place they can live their own traditions and buy their own food!
The Feira do Nordeste is a big market for the people!
And my friend elton could feel how we really live.
Rio has different levels of way of living, and this is where regular people in our suburbs go and have fun!
Eat them Coconuts!
This is a really good tip, if you ask me.
Just take in this picture. You're at one of the most beautiful beaches you've ever seen, with a good friend of yours next to you,taking in the view, when all of a sudden you think, "my god, I'm so thirsty!", and you start looking around, only to notice... some 20 coconut stands!
Yes my friends, then you will know you are in heaven :-)
Just go to the people selling them (e.g. at drinks stands, lounge chair hiring places, vendors on the beach, ...) and order one coconut (about 1 or 2 R$, I believe). They will take a fresh coconut, chop the top of (very creatively) with a huge machette, put a straw in it and give it to you.
Quarter of an hour later (there's just so much juice in it!) you give the coconut back, and they chop it up even further, so know you can eat the flesh as well. Believe me, this is pure delight, and so refreshing. They make a scope out of the husk of the coconut, so you can just peel off the white flesh.
If you have not done this while you were in Brasil: SHAME ON YOU!
Oh and by the way: coconuts don't taste that much like the fake coconut juice you get over here...