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My Time with Pedro* – Day 7

Pedro was trying hard to be very nice to me to convince me to stop travelling and to instantly decide to stay in Brasilia and to spend the rest of my life with him. He took me out to posh restaurants and bars and paying for it. He probably didn’t realize this was not what I was looking for. While posh restaurants and bars do impress most women I don’t really care about them since on my business travels I spent most evenings in such places all around Germany and the world. Instead I have an interest in special people like Pedro is one of them and I really enjoy talking to them and getting their point of view on all different kinds of topics. Pedro was very much fun to talk to. He’s extremely smart and he a broad interest on what’s happing in the world. Why I was in Brasilia he was even following German politics more closely than I did.

I also don’t like if men always pay for me in restaurants and bars since this gives me the feeling they expect something else in return which is usually a bigger favor than money. I like to give favors because I enjoy giving them but not because someone has paid for my dinner. When I paid for dinner once Pedro gave me the feeling he hated it probably because other people or the waiter might think he cannot afford to pay for me. Back home he made clear to me I should never pay for dinner again so I stopped doing so. Instead I didn’t really enjoy selecting something from the menu when knowing someone else will pay for it. So I ended up watching Pedro eating on many occasions and just had a drink. I was also not very hungry since I had very little exercise while being in Brasilia. When I go out and eat with a friend which I do quite frequently either the both of us put the money on the table for what we have consumed or one of us is paying at one time and the next time the other one is paying.

Instead of paying for my food and drinks I would have appreciate more Pedro showing genuine interest in me as a person. Sometimes he gave me the feeling he’s not really interested in me as a person and what I want to do in life. Instead he was following his own agenda and trying hardly that I buy into it by showing me the money. Instead I was hoping he’s trying to really understand what I’m saying. He often gave me the feeling he’s not very much interested in my point of view and quickly wanted me to decide on life changing things (e.g. me spending the rest of my life in Brazil) whose impact one my life he hasn’t really understood.

(* name changed)

My Time with Pedro* – Day 6

Staying with Pedro made me feel like “Lost in Translation”. Also Travis Rice says in the movie “The Art of Flight”: “When your whole life is dedicated to travel, you have to learn how to adapt to your surroundings.” During the last years a major part of my life was dedicated to travel. I extensively travelled for both business and leisure since I simply enjoy being out there and experiencing the world. My work in the last years was very internationally because I either worked abroad or my clients and / or colleagues were not German. I also attended several cultural awareness trainings for the countries I was mainly dealing with such as China, India, Japan, US, … But staying with Pedro felt somewhat different since it was on a private level and in a country I haven’t spend more than two months in so far.

I tried to be open-minded and understand the viewpoint of a Brazilian in order to understand why Pedro was speaking and acting in the way he did. There are a few points I think I have understood by now but there are others which I still haven’t understood. In general I would say I have failed to really understand Pedro as he has failed to really understand me. I’m convinced really understanding each other simply requires time, especially if you need to bridge cultures but unfortunately both of us didn’t wanted to invest the time in the way the other one expected it. I couldn’t decide on day six to spend the rest of my life in Brasilia and Pedro had no time to lose and really get to know me since he desperately wants a wife and kids today rather than tomorrow.

One thing where I was lost in translation was Pedro saying “I love you” already on day one. This really confused me since in Germany it takes several months until a guy says to you “I love you”. I also noted saying “I love you” is used in other cultures to express that you like someone. But to us Germans love means much more. It’s a feeling which develops over time and once you say “I love you” to someone you are getting very emotional and very much attached to that person so you cannot simply walk away. Most of us are very careful to whom we say “I love you”. Myself, I can still count the guys I said “I love you” to on one hand and I heard my last boyfriend saying “I love you” only once in maybe three years, so very much special is it. But it’s not about just saying “I love you” but to make the other person feel he / she is being loved and this is what really matters to me and which doesn’t need words to express. Therefore, it felt really strange hearing Pedro say “I love you” and I simply couldn’t believe it.

Another thing where I was lost in translation was Pedro insisting to “show the money” to me. It seems when a Brazilian guy likes a woman he expresses this not only by saying “I love you” but also by showing her the money he has. Pedro did this by paying for my food and drinks when eating out and also for cinema and such. For some reason he was also keen on signing a paper which would have made him legally responsible for me and I could sue him on in case he’s not paying for my living expenses. He also offered me a monthly payment in case I stay with him in Brazil and other kinds of financial benefits such as an instant marriage without any prenuptial agreement or giving me half of his flat on paper just in case I need any security to stay in Brazil. He also pointed out it’s the dream of every good looking Brazilian woman to have a husband who is making enough money so she don’t need to work anymore. But sorry, this is not my dream! I only want somebody who truly loves me and who is very much attached to me.

My perspective on this whole “show the money” thing is very much different. First of all I really don’t care how much money my boyfriend is making. He only should have some kind of job he likes and be able to earn enough money so he can live from his own work and not from taxpayer’s money. I rather stay with a “poor” guy I truly love and who is making me happy than with a “rich” guy who treats me like a bird in a golden cage. I don’t want anyone than myself to pay for my living expenses which also gives me the freedom to not be dependent on someone and act by what I think is right or wrong and not by what people holding the money want me to do. Living on someone’s money would give me the feeling of being bought and I really hate when someone gives me that feeling which Pedro didn’t understand. All things I do in live I do because I believe in them and not because someone is paying me to believe in them. I spend my time with people I like, I love people I have true feelings for and I never accepted an offer from someone to have sex with me for money. I fuck with whomever I like to fuck and if I don’t like I simply don’t do it. My very good education, my intelligence and flexibility have luckily put me on the bride side of life. I have one of the highest paying jobs one can have in Germany and earned enough money to be independent. I really like not to be dependent on someone. And although Pedro has one of the highest paying jobs in Brazil what I make back home in Germany is still more he’s making what he probably found difficult to believe.

I also would never request from someone to sign a paper which makes him responsible to pay for my living. I think it’s nothing but stupid to sign such a paper especially on day one or even day six. I never would sign such a paper for somebody and in case I get married again one day I will request a prenuptial agreement as I did for my first marriage to make sure the only reason from both sides to get married is pure love and not financial benefits they can gain from it.

Pedro, believe it or not, I only came back to Brasilia because you are someone very special and I started to fall in love with you. I really don’t care about your fucking money as Brazilian women do. I even lost significantly more money just for being with you than you paid for my food and drinks while being in Brasilia. Actually it’s a nightmare for me to be dependent on someone’s money. I hope you understand one day that true love is more worth than all the money in the world and you cannot buy it. Whenever you get married again, I hope your wife truly loves you and she’s not doing it for the money you were showing to her.

(* name changed)

My Time with Pedro* – Day 5

A new week has begun. I waited for Pedro to come home from work to spend some time with him. This was all I was in Brasilia for and so I didn’t go out to do more sightseeing. Most pictures I’m posting for the blog entries “My Time with Pedro…” were actually taken during my initial visit on Feb 11st and 12st.

Pedro came home during his two hour lunch break and we had lunch in a buffet type of restaurant which serves very tasteful food at a low price. Pedro’s life seems to have lots of routines consisting of things he likes to do and I wasn’t able to break these routines. I didn’t really try to do so since I wanted to experience him as he actually is. Routines I spotted are the places he has lunch on weekdays and breakfast on the weekends. Others are a nap during lunch time, watching movies and playing chess online. He seems not to have many friends in Brasilia since he moved to the city a few years ago leaving his friends in Rio behind. He needed to do so since he works in the governmental sector and there are much better career opportunities for him when he’s working in Brasilia or abroad rather than Rio or São Paulo. This probably makes the life of his girlfriend challenging since she will be his main focus point for social interaction. I can only guess this will lead to problems when his girlfriend is busy with work or other friends and is not able to dedicate most of her time to him. During my time in Brasilia he didn’t introduce me to any of his friends and I spent all my time exclusively with him.

I was also confused by Pedro coming home for lunch every day. First I thought he’s doing it because he wants to spend as much as time with me as possible and I certainly enjoy spending time with him. Later on I found out he’s also coming home when he has no guest and all his colleagues do the same. In my profession as a consultant this behavior would be a career killer. Usually my calendar is booked two weeks in advance with people I’m having lunch with. People I go to lunch with are clients I’m currently working for, clients I used to work for a few months or years ago, people I want to discuss certain business topics with resulting in them buying the services of my company, colleagues I’m currently working with, colleagues I used to work with several months or years ago, people from which I seek career coaching / advice, people seeking my coaching / advice, people I went to business school with, etc. And some of my dinners are spend with similar people for similar reasons.

Over the course of the past years I discovered making a career is not dependent on how smart you are, how hard you work or your actual work results. Basically your work needs to be very good and the rest which makes you really successful is your professional network. You basically need to establish a strong relationship to successful and influential people and as they progress in their career they will also make you to progress as well and get promoted. I tried to explain this fact to Pedro but I guess he didn’t really understand me since he thought establishing a relationship with a client or colleague is to have sex with them which is not the case at all. I never had sex with a client or colleague for career reasons and I don’t know any of my female colleagues who do so. Probably there are a few but I don’t know any in person. I’m also sure if such a behavior is detected in my company this would result in people getting fired.

Relationships are also the reason why there aren’t many women on the boards of multinational companies. The upper management levels (c-levels) and the boards are controlled by “old boys clubs” and they promote people who are similar to them: males with a dominant behavior which belong to their social network. When you search the internet for “social network” you will find more information on those networks, how they can be analyzed and used for multiple purposes such as influencing people. The popular website Facebook is nothing else but a social network and people can derive lots of information about you and how influential you actually are by looking at your social network and the communication streams in it.

(* name changed)

My Time with Pedro* – Day 4

It’s Sunday and we had breakfast in the same buffet type of restaurant as yesterday. In the early afternoon Pedro wanted to go to the cinema to watch the movie “The Women in Black” since he enjoys watching movies so much. It was a horror movie unfortunately focusing more on shocking effects than telling an interesting and unforeseeable story which I appreciate most in movies.

In the late afternoon Pedro and I went for a walk in one of the major parks of the city. When walking you have the option of three different round trips differentiating in their lengths. We chose the medium one which was 7km or so. Walking in the park seems to be a popular activity since there were quite a number of people. I also enjoyed the walk since it gave me the opportunity to talk to Pedro, learn more about him and tell him more about me.

One topic we talked about was what Pedro actually likes in me and I was very much surprised hearing him saying my blond hair and blue eyes. So far nobody told me he mainly likes me for my physical appearance. I consider myself as average looking and most times people like me it’s because me and my whole life are somewhat special and there is for sure no second person like me in this world. But in Brazil it seems to be different. Whenever I walk on the street or go to a bar or nightclub I feel men being more attracted to me than back home and try to speak to me, touch me or kiss me straight away. Brazilian men seem to be attracted by blond women with blue eyes and light skin since they are perceived as somewhat exotic and probably I’m also attracted by Brazilian men because they look exotic compared to German men even when I don’t care much about physical appearance.

I don’t know if it’s true or not but my gut feeling was Pedro is more attracted by my physical appearance than by me as a person. Probably he would not be interested in me if I was in a different body. While I don’t like this feeling Pedro didn’t seem to have any problem with it. He actually said men in general are attracted by physical appearance and he’s just speaking out loud what many men think. Maybe he’s right, maybe not. I will definitely investigate further and ask some of my previous boyfriends and lovers why they were actually attracted to me.

Speaking about true blonds being perceived as exotic in Brazil I guess every Brazilian man having a blond girlfriend is also using them to show off as they like to do with their exotic cars. See I can afford this exotic car and I paid a high import tax on it so I’m rich. Or see I own a blond girlfriend with blue eyes so I must be great and I also spend lots of money to satisfy such a woman. But actually women are human beings and they cannot be owned unless they sell their soul for money. I really don’t care how much money my boyfriend has but seek for true love. I wish Pedro saw more in me than just my physical appearance but probably there was not too much more he was attracted to which I found depressing to experience.

(* name changed)

My Time with Pedro* – Day 3

It’s weekend and I really was looking forward to spent some more time with Pedro*. We had breakfast in a buffet type of restaurant. Actually Pedro never cooks and has a nearly empty fridge. Probably single Brazilian men, who are able to afford it, prefer to eat in restaurants rather than cooking. I fully understand this since my fridge used to be very empty as well. While being on business travel from Monday to Friday, I stayed in 4 or 5 star hotels and ate in restaurants all the time. This was mainly due to the fact you simply cannot cook in a hotel room and even when I would have moved into a fully serviced apartment I was not in the mood to cook when returning from work at the late evening or in the middle of the night. The more I appreciate now to select fresh ingredients on the market and to cook because it’s the key to a more healthy lifestyle, control what I’m actually eating and to use less fat and sugar as cooks do in restaurants.

I also observed Brazilians starting to eat less healthy as they used to eat a couple of years ago. As citizen of an emerging country they enjoy the benefits of a better lifestyle and are attracted by everything which looks American. There are long lines in McDonalds and other kind of fast food restaurants and people start to get fat as the Americans are. I hope they discover one day not everything coming from the US is actually good for them and worth to adapt to.

Even before breakfast Pedro went to a drugstore with me because he wanted to buy me some contraceptive pills in order to have sex with me without a condom. Actually he would also have sex with me without any kind of protection so obsessed was he with his desire to get a wife again and to have kids. To make a woman pregnant seemed to him also a method of securing a woman since the likelihood of a pregnant woman or a woman with a little kid leaving him is significantly smaller than without kids. He also stated when a woman starts to take contraceptive pills this is actually a sign to him how much she likes him which I find weird as well. Usually with most women you need a couple of days and dinners until she actually let you to have sex with her. Although I don’t like to play this female type of game and can have spontaneous sex with somebody I desire, it’s a big step for me to leave a condom away as it is for all woman I know and who care about themselves. I truly hate condoms but they are simply a proven method of not getting pregnant and protect you against all kinds of strange diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis you can actually die from. Sorry, I love my live so much that I don’t want to jeopardize it for a few minutes of enhanced sexual pleasure. Most Germans have the same point of view resulting in both partners taking a HIV / Hepatitis test to prove each other they are clean. This is not a question at all.

I actually started to take the contraceptive pill and all people I know would say this is crazy on day three, so do I. Pedro would have been extremely disappointed if I wouldn’t have started taking it and so I did it although I didn’t really wanted at this point in time. As much as I hate condoms I’m very much convinced good sex is actually not dependent on using a condom or not. Good sex is about providing pleasure to your partner which some men have not understood so far. They think it’s enough to lay three minutes on a woman and ejaculate in her, have no clue about female anatomy and how women can actually orgasm on someone. My theory is that there are many women out there who have never had an orgasm in their whole life or experience it seldom because their partner simply doesn’t care and is putting no efforts in it. This results in many women being sexually frustrated, losing the joy of having sex, faking orgasms and men go and fuck prostitutes. A whole industry is living on that. I decided not to become one of these frustrated women resulting in selecting my sexual partners pretty careful.

After I took the contraceptive pill Pedro thought it’s working immediately. Personally I have no experience with combined products containing oestrogen and progestogen since when I started taking the pill I decided to take a progestogen-only micropill which is less harm to your body because I actually got sick from the combined products. The micropill requires much more discipline as combined products since you need to take it every day at the same point in time. If you miss the point in time by more than three hours the pill is not working. Therefore, not many women take it. Since I was lacking experience with combined products, I looked up the internet how they are actually working. In Germany it’s impossible to actually buy contraceptive pills and you need to see a gynecologist every half a year at least in order to get them prescribed and be able to buy them in a pharmacy. Since there was no gynecologist to consult and the sales stuff in the drugstore seemed to have no clue either I needed to search the internet. I found out the pill only provides immediate protection if you start to take it at the beginning of the menstrual cycle which was not the case with me. If you start to take it in the middle of the cycle it is either not working or starts to work after you have taken it for 7 or 14 days in a row but I’m not sure if I can trust the internet sources I found. This fact disappointed Pedro and from now on he was asking me every day if I cannot shorten this timeframe which I obviously didn’t wanted to do. I was also very much confused how a guy, who is as smart as Pedro, can be so careless when it comes to such life-changing acts such as jeopardizing health and future life by making someone pregnant you know for three days only.

One might think Pedro was keen on marrying to get a German passport as a key to a better life in a developed country. I could quickly exclude this thought because of Pedro’s background which I don’t want to describe further to protect his identity. So what was it actually? Was it craziness, hormones or true desire which was blowing his mind away? I haven’t found out so far.

Since Brasilia is very hot during daytime, Pedro likes to go for a walk in the neighborhood in the late afternoon or early evening. So we did today. I really liked walking with him since this gave us time to talk to each other, exchange what happened in our lives so far and discuss a number of topics. Our walk led us to a video rental store. Pedro enjoys watching movies very much and every day we spent together we were watching 1-3 movies a day. Although I also like good movies I found it a bit too much to watch so many movies in a short period of time and would have liked to spend the time on more interactive activities but I was probably unable to articulate it clear enough. I can’t really recall what movies we watched each day. Today it was “Zoolander” and “The Trotsky” or so and we had lots of Häagen-Dasz ice-cream with it.

(* name changed)

My Time with Pedro* – Day 2

So who actually is Pedro* and what makes him very special to me? Pedro is a Brazilian guy at an age comparable to mine. He was born somewhere in Europe and spent his early childhood abroad since the job of his parents was demanding it. Pedro speaks very good English since he attended an international school which made it very easy to communicate with him. Despite his mother tongue Portuguese and English he is fluent in two other major languages. As most of my close friends, Pedro is very smart and interested in history, politics and what is happening in the world. He works for the Brazilian government and is very proud of having achieved this.

What attracted me to him? I very much like to be surrounded by smart people like him because I enjoy talking with them and being constantly pushed to broaden my own horizon. I also enjoy his straight talking meaning to come to the point very quickly. There are not many people like this since most people are either not able to articulate what they really think and desire (especially women) or they are too afraid to hurt the feelings of others which can be the result if you directly say things which are not so nice for the other person but help him / her to understand and develop. There are also some things in which we share a similar interest or opinion on such as religion, movies (excluding some comedy), education, general lifestyle, etc. He’s an easy going person, likes to extend the laws, e.g. by constantly exceeding speed limits and I could imagine to share my daily life with him as far I can say after a few days with him. One of Pedro’s largest desires is to find a new lifetime partner and have a family which is in line with my general life plan but he seems to be much more obsessed about it and wants to have it all today rather than in a few months’ time which I and probably most people find more normal. Last but not least I like his dominant male behavior, his casual dress style, his smile and (I know this sounds weird) his eyelashes.

On the other side Pedro’s values are very much Brazilian. I’m sure he would deny this fact since his life is far away from the standard life of a Brazilian, political wise he thinks on a global scale and he’s much better educated as 99% of the Brazilians. But what I mean are more values which are in the core of a person and which are mainly driven by culture rather than education. Since rich people in emerging countries very much enjoy the benefits of globalization and capitalism they tend to ignore the dark side of it such as the impact it has on the society as a whole. In my eyes they need to learn to think more critical about what is happening in the world even when this critique is putting their own lifestyle into question. Most Brazilian people, who have achieved a certain lifestyle, don’t really want to deal with poorer people or countries, e.g. they prefer to travel to the US rather than Africa or Asia. The same people also like to show their money, e.g. by driving an imported car which is more expensive due to a high import tax. Showing the money also seems to be the major proof of liking somebody which feels very strange to me.

The people in Germany, who have an above average income, more like to stay on the ground and there are even occasions where we specifically asked to do so. As an example we are asked to not park any very expensive car in front of a clients’ office. The reason behind is clients paying 2,000 to 4,000 Euros a day for a good consultant and they should see the business value they can gain out of a consultants advice rather than the feeling consultants getting rich from the clients’ money and driving expensive cars. So in general we prefer to understate rather than showing off. Sure we like to have some money because it gives us the freedom to do whatever we like but we don’t like to show it to others too obviously.

Pedro left around 9am to go to work. His work schedule is much more relaxed as mine used to be which gives him the opportunity to integrate his work and private life. Every day he comes home for a two hour lunch break giving him enough time to eat, to have a nap or to do other things he likes. His work finishes around 6:30pm so he can actually have some leisure time in the evening. My previous life, the life of my colleagues at the same level and the life of Michael, one of my best friends, is very much different. My work usually started at 8am in the morning and I used a taxi to drive to work because I could already have first phone calls in the taxi avoiding me even getting up one hour earlier each morning. Then there was my calendar which was often packed from 9am to 8pm with physical meetings or conference calls, sometimes there were even up to four meetings in parallel and I needed to decide which one to attend. And after all those meetings around 8pm I started to deal with approx. 200 emails each day, reviewing presentations, thus actually doing physical work. It was also not seldom colleagues calling me at 9 /10pm or physically working with me until midnight. And all of this happened several hundreds of kilometers away from home and you can imagine what my partner thought about a girlfriend flying to work very early Monday morning and returning totally exhausted at Friday night. I didn’t realize how unusual and sick this fast moving life was until Daniel, my boyfriend at the time living a more relaxed lifestyle, was holding the mirror in front of my face. Now as I have quit this fast moving life I feel much more alive and for no money in the world I would return to such a crazy lifestyle. My friend Michael is very close to change his life as well. In the last three weeks I tried to call him which was impossible because he was simply too busy. Now from a distance, I really start to realize how sick this lifestyle is even when the both of us made extremely good money. Michael told me about colleagues of him who got burned out, got sick from this lifestyle and died at an early age. And one of my less close friends committed suicide last December because he started to suffer from depression and was not able to deal with his fast moving life anymore. All in all, I find it more attractive to balance work and private life as Pedro is able to do and even when I don’t know what I will be working in the future, I’m sure I will not destroy the rest of my life for it.

While Pedro was at work I used the opportunity to walk around in the neighborhood and to wash some clothes in the laundry area of the apartment complex. There is also a gym and a pool but I wasn’t in the mood of using it.

After dinner we had some wine and watched the movie “The Producers” which is about two producers aiming to produce a flop with the musical “Springtime for Hitler”. The movie was made in the late 60ties by an American film company. It’s a parody on Hitler and all sorts of Nazi stuff. While people abroad are often fascinated by Nazi stuff, we Germans feel really much ashamed about what happened during the Third Empire and simply avoid talking about it in any sense despite from historic facts. People talking about Nazi stuff are mostly perceived as Neo-Nazis and sympathizers of the extreme right wing parties National Democratic Party of Germany (NDP) or The Republicans (REP) and nobody really wants to be associated with them. Probably because of my values and cultural background I couldn’t really laugh about this movie, sorry.

(* name changed)

Ipanema Beach, Return to Brasilia and Day 1 with Pedro*

It’s time to say goodbye to Rio. After breakfast with my roommate Gerda from Belgium she was picked up by Silvio a Brazilian guy she has met a couple of days ago. Gerda is already 67 and Silvio in about the same age. It feels good to see that adventure doesn’t stop when you are 50 or 60 but can continue as long as you want and you set your mind to an adventures mode. Since my childhood I’m afraid of getting old and especially the fact I will need to die one day because I enjoy life so much. But when I see people like Gerda or my fellow traveler Bob in his 70ties this encourages me to make most out of my life every single day I’m on this planet. But it feels also good to see my life changing. Coming from a hardcore working life which nearly sucked the joy of life out of me, I now travel around the world, enjoying life and the freedom to decide on every single day what I want to do without being controlled by a packed schedule I have little control over.

The freedom to do whatever I want made it also possible for me to return to Brasilia, a city we stopped at 1.5 weeks ago. The reason for returning is a guy called Pedro* I met in a Samba bar on Feb 11th. (Please note that Pedro isn’t his actual name. I changed it because I respect his identity and want to be discrete. Therefore I will focus on what happened and what I experienced rather than expose somebodies private life. I will not publish any facts which would make it possible to easily trace back on his true identity why some of my descriptions will be rather vague than specific.)

In order to leave a Dragoman truck you have to sign a paper declaring you are now travelling on your own and Dragoman cannot be held responsible for whatever happens to you. By doing so I instantly lost 1,300 USD which is the non-refundable value of the transportation, insurance etc. between Rio and Buenos Aires which is the leg of the trip I was signing off. What I didn’t lose were the joint living expenses (kitty) of 900 USD since I will not need a hostel / campground, participate in joint cooking etc. I also accumulated additional travel expenses (flight from Rio to Brasilia and from Brasilia to Buenos Aires) which brought my overall loss to more than 2,000 USD just by deciding to leave the trip for a while and spend some more time with Pedro. In addition there are things I will miss to experience and why I came to South America such as diving at the islands of Parati, boating through the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Iguazu Falls.

So is it worth to give all of this up for somebody you don’t really know and you have only spend a few hours with? Actually you don’t know unless you go back, spend some more time with him and find out. I also talked to some of my friends and fellow travelers what they would do if they were in my situation. In the end more of them said I shouldn’t go back but make him come to see me because then I will know he is really serious about me. One of the people I asked for advice is Michael who is one of my best friends and probably the person on earth which knows me best. His advice was: “I have seldom seen a guy confusing you like this. You should take the three weeks’ time to get to know him better. You cannot decide everything by just using your brain. What do you really have to lose? But please remain skeptical. You should be prepared that South American men are quickly excited about someone but this can also turn around quickly. And please let not put you under pressure!”

After having received conflicting feedback I was still very much undecided what to do. But in the end I thought if I don’t go back to Brasilia I will never find out with what kind of person I’m dealing with. And my friend Michael was right in saying a guy seldom confuses me like this and I wanted to turn this confusion into knowing. I also thought I can always return to Brazil to see Parati, the Pantanal and the Iguazu Falls but there is seldom the opportunity to meet someone very special. I also had to learn some lessons in my previous life teaching me that special people (family, friends, lifetime partner) are in fact much more worth than any money and any business career I want to achieve. Therefore, I decided to return to Brasilia and booked the airplane ticket.

I checked out of the hotel around 11am. Since my flight was not until 6:45pm, I put my luggage in the baggage room of the hotel. I also gave Ross and Anki a bag of luggage I won’t need in Brasilia such as my anorak, thermals, hiking boots, camping equipment etc. I also decided to leave the majority of my valuables in the safe of the truck since I don’t want to carry a huge amount of cash with me. I also left Pedros contact information with Ross, Anki and my friend Michael in Germany, just in case something happens that they have a starting point to search for me.

I killed the time until my flight to Brasilia by hanging out at Ipanema beach which was very much packed and by lying down in your bikini you were immediately exposed to hundreds of people surrounding you. To have a beach in the middle of the city is truly amazing about Rio. Therefore, many people think Rio is a beautiful city but Pedro brought it more to the point by saying Rio is a city which was built in a beautiful spot and he’s right about it. The city features beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema as well as tropical forest surrounding Corcovado Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain. I always felt very welcomed and save but heard other travelers saying they were attacked during the carnival by people holding a knife or a gun.

When I picked up my luggage in the hotel, I ran into a young couple from the UK who looked like they were leaving for the airport. I asked them if we should share a taxi and they agreed. We spent the travel time to the airport by exchanging our experiences of the past weeks and I found it very interesting listening to them since they were coming from the south of the continent where I will be going in a couple of weeks.

While lining up to check in for my flight I spotted two guys with a “Berlin” t-shirt and started to talk to them. It turned out they are members of a Samba club in Germany and came to Rio for three weeks to join the local people on the streets and play Samba with them. They were staying the whole time in the apartment of a Brazilian couple they haven’t met before and only got the contact by other people back home. In return they have invited them to spend some time with them in Germany next year. After check-in I had a drink with them and they were explaining me a lot about the Samba culture in Germany and Brazil. This included an explanation of the rating scheme which is used to rate the different Samba schools parading in the Sambadrome. It also happened during this carnival that a member of the jury ripped the rating form because his favored school was not about to win. I don’t know exactly was happened since I couldn’t find the case in the English speaking media.

The two guys boarded their flight to Salvador to spend their last week in Brazil on the beach. Only minutes later I boarded my flight to Brasilia. The plane was supposed to land at 8:41pm but actually it landed half an hour earlier resulting in me walking out of the baggage claim area even before the scheduled arrival time. I waited ten minutes or so until Pedro arrived and felt very happy to see him.

Pedro took me to a place which was supposed to be a German beerhouse but despite a few pictures of German cities and landscape there was nothing reminding me of a German beerhouse. It’s interesting to know that upon entry in a Brazilian pub or nightclub you have to show your ID card and they register you on their computer. Brazilians seem not to care about them being registered for a pub or nightclub visit. They even appreciate it because it gives them more security that no dodgy people are in the location and the owner of the location seems to feel more secure about people paying their bill when leaving the location and not trying to sneak out. In Germany this procedure wouldn’t be liked at all since many people don’t like it when they are being registered and controlled which would probably result in people simply not visiting this specific pub or nightclub and go elsewhere. Even when I’m leaving or entering Germany the immigration officer is not registering it which in my eyes gives me the right level of personal freedom.

While having a drink Pedro came straight to the point and asked me what my plans in live are probably to validate if my life would fit into his. Actually it’s hard to explain that currently it’s the first time in my life I have no big plans and I really enjoy the fact my life is really open and I have the freedom to turn it into every direction I like it to turn. Since my life was moving very fast during the last years I sometimes had the feeling I have experienced already more until now than most people will experience during their whole lifetime. Currently there are only two big experiences I haven’t made and I really would like to do so in the near future. One of them is having family & kids and the other one is starting my own business. I’m not heavily attached to any specific place in the world thus can imagine living and working outside of Germany which I have already done in the past. I’m also not attached to any specific type of work or too picky when it comes to specific features of my lifetime partner. I simply require an open mind, straight talking, true love and good sex, no more and no less. Believe it or not, this freedom and flexibility feels really great.

We spent the late evening watching the movie “Beerfest” at Pedros house. It’s really interesting to see how people living outside of Germany actually perceive German culture and laugh about things most Germans don’t perceive as funny. I will write more about it tomorrow.

(* name changed)


Booze Cruise in Rio


Carnival Blocos and the Gay Ball

Early Morning in the Sambadrome and Sugarloaf Mountain