E and I have been obsessively watching Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, NY Times and whatever other outlets we can get to on our computers tracking Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. The devastation is mind boggling. To see our beloved DUMBO under water broke my heart. And to think of all of our East Coast friends without power and with flooded basements, wondering how to get to work, how to get groceries, when they’re going to get their on lights again….sad would be an understatement.
In between pouring over our friends status updates, we spent hours searching for hotel rooms and updates from TAM Airlines on our flight home. After two days of closures, East Coast airports are starting to reopen, and TAM Airlines rebooked us on a flight home from Rio de Janeiro for Friday night. Meanwhile, we’ve spent our rent money on a week’s worth of hotel rooms all over town, and had to fight to even secure accommodations closer to the weekend since hoards of our of towners were coming to Rio to celebrate Brazil’s “Finados,” i.e. the Day of the Dead. Rooms were so scarce, we thought we would have to stay here. Thankfully, the Sofitel Copacabana was available.
We’ll miss certain things about Rio. The biggest of which will be being able to go to the beach here with absolutely no gear or food whatsoever—including a bathing suit—and being able to score a suit, towels, chairs, suntan lotion, beers, empanadas and the tastiest pork sausage sandwiches right along the surf. AND YOU CAN PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD FOR ALL OF IT! (In contrast, New York’s beach patrol tried to kick us off the waterfront this summer because we had a cooler in tow).
Another constant has been this chicken salad sandwich at our favorite hotel, Hotel Santa Teresa. It’s a double decker ‘wich packed with shredded chicken and mayo, with slices of boiled egg and tomato and wedges of batatas fritas on the side. We will have switched hotels six times during this trip while waiting out Sandy, but lunch at Santa Teresa was one of the reassuring consistencies of our trip. We hope our friends in New York can find that same sort of comfort during this frustrating time.by