Jul 2, 2014

Viva Rio! A field guide to recognising the tourists of the Cup

The sunburnt, drunk tourists of the World Cup are having the time of their lives. But they're certainly not seeing the real Brazil. Freelance writer Django Merope Synge reports from Rio.

Ask any foreigner about Brazil, and caipirinhas — the sweet, zesty and deceptively strong national cocktail — will likely form part of their answer. The voluptuous bikini babes sip them while lazily reclining in their deck chairs on the beach, silhouetted in the twilit ocean haze as the sun sinks slowly behind the favela-clad hills of Ipanema, somehow always Ipanema. Half an hour earlier those same girls were playing impromptu volleyball, a samba rhythm seeping from no one quite knows where …

This is the stuff fantasies are made of, but it’s more or less a made-to-measure national identikit put together by the propaganda department of the Vargas dictatorship in the mid-20th century and handily promoted by Bond girls, Coke commercials and pop-samba music videos even since. As a result, the world sees Brazil as some sort of cross between holiday for lovers and city of god.

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2 thoughts on “Viva Rio! A field guide to recognising the tourists of the Cup

  1. mikeb

    Surely a nice place to be if home isn’t in the favelas and dad is a drug dealer.

  2. mikeb

    “isn’t” a drug dealer that is.

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