Ollie and I set out clearly defined roles for our trip in order to minimise arguments and maximise efficiency. These were based on our previous performance in certain areas.
Ollie was designated Financial Director. He is good at maths, and I can’t be trusted with foreign currency. This comes from me trying to tip a porter £20 in Vietnam before Ollie intervened. An unfortunate situation that followed my paying £16 for 2 coconuts, in a country where a beer is 20p (I really struggled with counting the zeros on those high numbers).
My position is Head of Comms. Ollie’s foreign language skills are… well… it took 2-3 days to teach him how to say thank you in Portuguese, and his beautifully staccato enunciation of the word still brings a smile to the faces of our Brazilian friends, even more so when he uses the feminine version, just copying me. I don’t know why I’m surprised, it should really have been a sign when we were asked where we were flying to at JFK airport and he replied “Rio. Rio, er, de je je je je?” Hmmmm.
Anyway, we rocked it in New York, my English got us around fine and Ollie, having lived for a year in the States was a pro with the monies. Our NY fails were minimal. Ollie’s friend Miz smiled when we moaned about having hired bikes to cycle round Central Park when most of it is pedestrian only. She said that that was nothing compared to the mess we’d cause in South America and that she bet we’d wish 100 times that we were wheeling bikes round Central Park.
1.5 hours after landing in Rio, we wished we were wheeling bikes around Central Park.
After paying for a taxi and then deposit at our very well located Copacabana Air BnB, we’d spent all the money that we’d drawn out at the airport. Wow, £200 gone! Rio is expensive now.
We sourced an ATM quite easily and felt pretty proud of ourselves until realising that the Financial Director had left his bank card in the ATM at the airport. Within 20 minutes of being out of the West, we were 1 bank card down. #Fail1.
Luckily we were using a joint account and I still had my card so we popped back for a phone to cancel Ollie’s card.
I wish I had videoed our FD on the phone to the bank. The poor bank man, Ollie couldn’t pronounce the name of the city he was in, wasn’t 100% sure that the city was in Brazil (had to call over to me to check), took 6 attempts to pronounce with currency and then had no idea how much he’d drawn out at his last transaction. Turns out it was only £52 rather than £200, which is why we’d spent it so fast. Crisis of maths #Fail2.
By now it was 11am so we decided to get some food and then go for a walk on the beach. Ollie was absolutely petrified about taking his expensive camera out in Rio following all of the stories of muggings that his friends had been telling him. So he disguised it by wrapping a supermarket carrier bag round it and just poking the lens out, nobody will ever know. Doesn’t draw attention to it at all. Anyway, he struggled with that for a bit before we had a rest on the sand, where he just fell asleep. Isn’t that when you get robbed anyway? When you’re asleep on the beach? #Fail3.
Ollie blames the Nytol he took on the plane and vows never to take it again.