Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sandcastles and Shoelaces

hoSo I finally made it to Brazil. After hundreds of "Why did you forget Brazil?" emails over the years, I am now getting "What took you so long to come to Brazil?" emails, which are about 20% less annoying.

And I fear the rift will not be fully healed by this visit, as I have not "absorbed the whole culture of Brazil." In fact, by only visiting the two largest cities, I may have made things worse.

For what it’s worth, I would like to shift the blame to the Brazilian Embassy and the various hoops one must jump through to acquire a visa, which delayed my trip by two weeks. And I’m sure they would pass that blame on to the US State Department with a hearty "They started it!" And I imagine the US State Department would pass the blame on to the countless, nameless "evildoers" who are no doubt lurking in Brazil.

Arrived in Rio to not-so-great weather.

It took 90 minutes to get to my hotel.

Caught up on sleep.

The next morning, I wandered off through the city in search of shoelaces, as mine had frayed past the threshold of wearability.

Checked out the beaches. Copacabana is very nice. Ipanema is absolutely stunning.

Ipanema wins the prize for best city beach I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Of course, with the urban qualifier removed, things get a lot more competitive. I doubt I will ever find a beach more perfect than L’Union on the island of La Digue in the Seychelles. I didn’t have my camera when I was there, as it had just been eaten by a whale shark, but I’m sure I can dig something up. Help me Flickr!



Good luck beating that.

Someone painted this dog yellow. I know not why.

The beaches in Rio are dotted with sandcastles to wow passers by. Here’s a tip: don’t photograph them. If you do, you will be approached by guys who hang out on the periphery demanding payment. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they have nothing to do with the creation of said tourist magnets.

Having no change, I apologized and kept on walking. The guy kept pace with me and tried to sell me some pot, cocaine, women. My pace quickened, so he put his arm around my shoulder and forcibly tried to hold me in place. This created a wonderful opportunity for his partner to sweep in and take my stuff. Knowing this was a looming probability, I raised my voice considerably and let the guy know I wasn’t going to be an easy fleecing. I had broad daylight and about 50 pounds of body mass on my side. He disappeared pretty quickly.

This experience neatly sums up the warnings I got about Rio; it’s really beautiful, but watch your back.

Anyway, don’t take pictures of the sandcastles.

As if the beaches weren’t enough, Rio also has a spectacular lagoon just a short walk inland.

Now that is some fine real estate.

There’s that Jesus thing up top. I didn’t take a closer look at it, as giant concrete Jesi don’t interest me much.

Building those retaining braces must’ve been a HUGE pain in the ass.

Intimately situated amidst the steep jungle mountains that roll right up to the coast, Rio really is an astonishingly picturesque city. I can’t think of an easy comparison to any other place I’ve seen.

I ducked into every single pharmacy on this long odyssey and not one of them sold shoelaces. "Cordones" is the word in Spanish. In Portuguese it’s "cordões." Not much different, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about when I asked in Spanish.

Finally, shortly before returning to my hotel, I stumbled upon shoelace man hanging out on a street corner.

Mission accomplished.

Back at the hotel, I had enough time to relace my shoes, and then it was time to meet up with Goncalues, my bodyguard for the event. They call them "watchers" in Rio, which is a term I’m much more comfortable with.

I was supposed to get someone who spoke English, but apparently that guy called in sick, so I got Goncalues instead. He understood my Spanish though, so we got by okay.

They say Portuguese can usually understand Spanish pretty well, but Spanish-speakers have a real tough time with Portuguese. That works out in my favor.

Goncalues is a cop who does security when he’s off-duty. I felt really self-conscious about the whole idea of hiring someone. I’ve never had to do it before, and I was worried I’d come off as the frightened American who’s afraid to walk around by himself and thinks he’s more famous than he is. But I was totally on my own for the Rio event and we’d gotten a creepy email in the days leading up to it. After doing some alarming research, it seemed advisable.

Having Goncalues around meant that I could focus on having a good time. I knew someone was keeping an eye on things and I didn’t have to worry.

Goncalues and I showed up at Ipanema beach a few minutes before the specified time, close to sunset. We had 80 people say they’d be coming to dance, but it was really awkward for a while, because right up to the time we specified in the invite, it was still just the two of us waiting on the beach. No one showed up.

There wasn’t much to do besides watching sexy guys play voleyball in their underpants.

I asked Goncalues if Brazilians were typically late. He nodded in the affirmative. A few people showed up right around then, and sure enough about 20 minutes after we were supposed to start dancing, we had a decent-sized group.

We never got anywhere near 80. I’m told Rionians (making that name up) don’t like to go out on the rare occasions when the weather is less than perfect, and the folks who did show up were mighty pissed that their city was going to be commemorated on a cold, overcast, slightly rainy afternoon.

But what can you do?

Another problem was that, as I mentioned, I was on my own. That meant I had to hand out all the release forms, take all the photos, and match all the forms to the photos by myself. To make matters worse, Brazil has some weird law that required people to fill in their tax ID number. A lot of the younger folks didn’t know their numbers by heart, so they had to go fishing through their wallets. The process took a really long time and the sun was setting and every time we were almost finished, four more stragglers would show up and I’d have to do it all over again.

But we sorted it all out eventually and danced through the last glimmer of sunlight.

Afterwards, as usual, I got a couple drinks with whomever was willing to invite me. Goncalues took me back to the hotel and I paid him every last bit of cash I had on me. I very nearly had to short him, which is probably never a good thing to do to a bodyguard.

The next day I flew out to Sao Paulo, the last of the world’s really really really huge cities that I hadn’t yet been to. I was picked up at the airport by Ricardo, a tech journalist for a local paper. We did an interview over lunch at a neighborhood community center. I forget the name of what these places are called. It’s sort of like a YMCA, but with reading rooms and movie rooms and sports facilities and a cafeteria. The crazy thing is that Sao Paulians (also making that one up) actually use it. They don’t just sit at home watching Tivo like we do.

Stride’s PR firm, Ketchum, actually has an office in Sao Paulo. Foreseeing a large turnout, I asked them for help and they were able to send a couple people to manage all the sign-ups for me. This turned out to be a life saver, as I’d forgotten to bring my own camera for taking headshots. They had a back-up.

We danced at the Monument of Independance, which some locals found to be a puzzling . The turnout was decidedly geekier, and evidently proud to be so.

They weren’t nearly as deterred by the equally crumby weather. We had about 60 people. Liberated from sign-up duty, I was able to flutter about and mingle.

I hung out a bit with Regis, the last guy in that pile of photos, and his family after the event. His name doesn’t sound anything like that Philbin guy. It’s more like rej-ee.

We went to the national history museum nearby and talked about getting a coffee, but I had to head back to Rio.

Sao Paulo and Rio both have domestic airports inside the cities and pretty much every flight in both airports goes from one city to the other. Planes leave about every half hour. It’s like a subway.

So that was Brazil.

…the comments below are going to be filled with laments over how little of Brazil I saw — how shamefully incomplete my visit was. I doubt there’s much I can do about that, but here are some words of discouragement:

– I’ve been to over 40 countries in the last year or so. I’ve done a lot of things. I’m kind of worn out right now.

– I did not come for the purpose of experiencing all there is to experience in Brazil, nor do I leave feeling that I have done so. I am working on a project, and I served the needs of that project in the best way I know how.

– I did not choose my destinations in Brazil. As with the rest of the world, where I went was determined by where the people were who wanted to dance with me.

– I will come again someday when I’m not in a hurry and actually see this country properly.

– Last and most important: whatever your gripe may be, trust me, I’ve already heard it.

Anyway, I’m heading home soon. I’ve only got one last dancing event to do before I finish this video. But first, we’ve gotta record music in LA.

103 Responses to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sandcastles and Shoelaces

  1. Mitch

    Did you deliberately select photos of the most attractive women, but the ugliest men?

    Because damn, that’s a disparity if I’ve ever seen one.

  2. You’re always welcome to come back and visit us again, Matt.
    Hope next time you get better-than-average weather with a clear sky. It really is a whole better experience. 😉

  3. Great article! Brazil is my fav country, but I’m really not a fan of Rio, so I understand your feelings there and if there’s anywhere I’d get a “watcher” that would be it…
    Now I feel bad about not helping you with the release forms, and headshots or properly inviting you for a drink after the Montreal dance! I shall do so for your next trip to Brazil 😉 I totally understand your feelings of being too worn out to really check out the country. This is why I only go tourist mode once a year; after a few months of it you get sick of seeing even the most beautiful buildings/beaches/monuments/joining in with locals customs etc.
    Despite the similarities in Spanish & Portuguese, the “carioca” accent is tricky, so cordões would be something like “Cord-ONG-eesh” 😛 BTW, people from Rio are called “Cariocas” and people from São Paulo are “Paulistanos” 😉 But your words are way more amusing!! 😀

  4. Lucia Helena

    Hi Matt,

    when will you come to RJ again…


    Hope next time you have a better chance to enjoy the hot weather.


  5. Phil

    Yeah, the beaches of La Reunion are absolutley awesome. They seem like they fell out of a screenwriter’s dream.
    If you ever get the chance to go to Grand Keeling Island (a province of Australia in the Indian Ocean) GO! Go snorkle in the Rip and see what diving in an aquarium is like. The beaches aren’t as good as those in other places, but the lagoon/archipeligo is one of the world’s best!
    Just don’t play any other the games by “Aussie rules.”

  6. Aline

    I just found out you were here…
    I’m from Rio and i’d love to have danced with you…
    Come back!!!!

  7. Yellow dog: Either to make it more visible, or they are a PPC Linux fan?

    Shoelace man: Your luck during travel never ceases to amaze me.

    Travel: I think you need to take a break. Your posts have been getting increasingly negative and cranky. Like Seinfeld said, stop before it goes bad. Leave them (you) wanting more.

  8. Salut Matt!
    Your trips are great great great!!
    So, what’s your next trip? NYC? For the next Marathon? 😉
    See you soon for the beach of Paris Plage!

  9. Matt,

    please, the most important thing to us (brazilians) is that we wish you liked our country. As you might have noticed, it’s HUGE. So, there’s no way anyone can grasp it in just one trip, don’t even bother. Come several times. And you’ll actually notice that those cities aren’t that dangerous, nor is the rest of the country. Really, no I-want-to-lure-tourists-so-I-can-rob-them talk. Mostly just keeping a low profile is enough for you to be able to walk around without hassles.

    Please save a spot for us in the next video, in the beginning of the trip, if possible.

    And by the way, shoelaces in portuguese are “cadarços”.






    Sorry man, but pissy posts like this aren’t going to perpetuate what you’ve got going here. It’ll be interesting to see the tone of the new video and compare it to your other videos and your recent posts.

  11. Paula

    Mitch´s comment is PERFECT! Where in the hell are the handsome guys???? Terrible picture´s choice.

    Well, anyway, you didn´t find easily your ´cordões´ because here in Rio we say ‘cadarços´. Maybe the paulistas say cordões, I really don´t know.

    It´s a pitty that I didn´t hear about your dancing, otherwise I would be there at least to watch. I hope you´re luckier with the weather if you ever come back. Try the northeast next time, it never rains there!!!!! Good luck with your video!

  12. Matt, the guys who tried to mug you sound a lot like the guys who mugged me when I was last in Rio. One guy stopped me to ask for a light. When I held up my hands to tell him I don’t smoke, he wrapped one arm around my shoulders, held a knife to my chest with the other, and his associate took everything out of my pockets, including nail clippers, chapstick and a handkerchief.
    It’s a crappy experience, but try as they might, no carioca or paulistano can honestly say that crimes like this are not commonplace in their fair cities. I still love Brazil, but I am far more cautious when out on the streets.

  13. Rodrigo Mothé Gonçalves

    Hey Matt, I loved to dance with you in the video!

    one more thing: I think that te name of your bodyguard was “gonçalves” instead of Goncalues( V instead of U). It’s a common last name here in Brazil, and it’s my las name too!

  14. matt

    Thanks, Rodrigo. I had him write it down and I guess his ‘v’ looked like a ‘u’ to me. Also, it’s hard for me to find the character for ‘ç’ with an American keyboard, so I figured a ‘c’ would suffice.

  15. Regis Zerbini

    Hey Matt! So it’s me, Regis, the one who we don’t say like the Philbin one, huahuauh!
    A little delayed, but I’m here.

    It’s an honour for me to be quoted in the journal! 😀

    Hey, you really gotta come again someday.
    I think you haven’t really seen about anything from Brazil, and much less from São Paulo and everything the city have to see and to do!
    Hahuauhuh, as always, I’m here marketing the city, but whatever.

    If you’re coming again someday, feel free and please lemme know it, so we all can do something better than going to the Museum huauhau… Like, having a pizza 😀
    And I swear we won’t do all that confusion again when thinking on what to do, and how do to it huahuahu, sorry again for that!

    See you, and regards to Melissa!

  16. Alessandra

    Hi Matt! I can´t wait to see this new video. I´m sorry if you have that not so good impression from Brazil. But like others here said, for us it´s not that dangerous once we dont´d walk showing cameras, expensive watches, jewerly.
    Anyway, I hope you come back soon.

    And Paula, we “paulistanos” also say “cadarço”. Who the hell said to Matt that was “cordões”???

  17. Claudia

    When I saw the weather in that saturday I thought that the dance could have been postponed. That’s we do here in Rio when it rains in events settled in the beach! And, as you experimented, that’s true that we have the “late disease”. My father used to say that, that this was a disease… We are always late for everything.
    About the beaches – here in Rio, the beaches I find more beautiful are Joatinga and Prainha. Maybe they wouldn’t beat this one you showed, but if you found Ipanema astonishing, you would get crazy with these two. But the best beaches are outside Rio – in Ilha Grande (“Big Island”) or Paraty, which are 3-4h far from here, and certainly are as great as l’union.

  18. ME

    the problem with “cordões”was that we don’t use that word often to refer to shoelaces. The really commom word for that is “cadarço”.

  19. John

    Man, and I thought we (French guys)got pissy when you pointed out their country has bad aspects.

  20. Leonardo

    Just so you know.. Cordoes = necklaces.. Cadarco = shoelaces Next time you should bring a fuck dictionary!

  21. Cristiane Tilelli

    Next trip, try “Fernando de Noronha” – your sponsors will also like the idea and you will have a wonderful, peaceful time! :-)

  22. chicco


    I have watched your creative videos along the years with joy. So has my 7 years son, who loves it as every kid. I like the fun and the inspiration it brings. It makes me feel like travelling more and more. I am just happy my son learnt to read in Portuguese but not yet in English. I am afraid if you don´t take a break and review your project, he may in two years time, be able to read your posts and learn you travelled a lot but learnt little about it all. Your travelling mistakes are basic. Your posts are becoming defensiveness. Please don´t take for grant what you have in hands nor allow your creation to kill your creativity. This should not be an obligation for you neither to the million of us that support you through the Internet. Relax, enjoy the environment amd learn to keep the best memories in your journal as they will always carry the spirit of your video message… All the best and better luck in your next trip or next time you decide to stop by… If I can I will try to be there to dance and without being late…

  23. Roberta Barreto

    Gosh.. I CAN’T BELIEVE I missed Matt in MY city… When i checked… it was too late. Hope you come back soon, Matt… Rio has really wonderfull places. And I’d still want to dance with you, wherever.

  24. Guilherme

    Victor Gonçalves, “that jesus thing” is stupid and shouldn’t be one of the seven wonders. I feel ashamed of things like these in our country.

    Its really a beautiful country and all, but most people are extremelly narrow minded.

  25. rodrigot

    Been following you for some time, and i must say that with every post u make it sound more like a job (“working for the goals of a project”) than the it was your initial intention, sometimes I wonder what happnd to the happy and joy and the guy who left it all to enjoy the pleasures of travelling the world.
    Sorry, I don’t want to sound like an ass, I have nothing to do with the way u drive your life, but I didn’t know how else to put it.
    best regards

  26. Marcelo Valente

    I’ve just discovered your project and find it fantastic!! I’m from Sao Paulo and had I known you’d be comming here I would go dance with you.
    I’d like to suggest a few places for you to dance (or get to know) in Brasil. They are:
    Cataratas do Iguaçu (the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, just huge. Jackie Kennedy, I think it was, said that Iguaçu made Niagara Falls look like a dripping water tap)
    Fernando de Noronha (the island off the cost of Recife in northeast) has the most beautiful beaches in our country. And off course, the Amazon! Near Manaus where the Amazon river meets the Black river (Rio Negro) and the waters run alongside without mixing. Just Fantastic.(I can send you links to my flickr photos of these places later, if you want).

    There are many, many beautiful places to go in our huge country, but for me these are very nice.
    I will continue to look for your videos as I really enjoyed them. And if you come again to Sao Paulo please let me know. Love to join you in a dance!!!

  27. Maite

    Hey, Matt!
    I’m terribly sorry for what happened to you in Rio…I’ve been living here since I was born, but I’m not blind: we do have serious issues with violence and other stuff. I’m sorry, really.
    If you ever consider coming back here (which it doesn’t seem very possible), come in December or January, beaches are great this time of the year..
    I hope you enjoy your next trips. I just love your videos, I’m a big fan. Good luck! :)

  28. Tiago D'Ambrósio

    Hey, Matt

    I danced with you in São Paulo, and my friends and I were really willing to invite you to drink something, but we didn’t know any place near Monumento da Independência, and we thought you would be a very busy guy. Anyway, if there’s a next time, we won’t forget that.

    It’s really sad you had those bad experiences here. I mean, I live in São Paulo for almost 20 years, and I had never been robbed or anything. But almost everyone I know had, and I’m pretty sure things must be a lot lot worse for a tourist. I hope that kind of image that tourists get from Brasil makes our country WANT to change. If you come back to São Paulo, I would be happy to show you arround and keep you in the safe (and fun) places.

    Good luck on your next trips

  29. Ananda

    Your honesty is what makes your posts real. Don’t let all of these people deter you from saying what you truly felt and experienced. And from all the defensiveness from these comments, I can see why you probably felt the way that you did in these cities.

  30. Eduardo


    About the beaches in Brazil, we’ve got some just like that in Seychelles, especially in the northeast. Try Fernando de Noronha, Itacaré, Morro de São Paulo, Porto de Galinhas, Jericoacoara.
    I know, I know, I understood all about the “not knowing all the country” thing, I just put that to say that maybe Brazil should have some shots on the next video. Amazonia would work on the subject of global warming too, if you’d say something about it.

  31. Talita

    Hey Matt!

    I recently saw your last video and I hadn’t realized til now that you still hadn’t been to Brazil.

    Anyway, although you were a bit unlucky (more than I was in 18 years living in Brazil!), I hope you could enjoy the time you had in Rio and SP. They’re tough cities to visit all by yourself, especially if you’ve been traveling around for such a long time as you have. But hopefully you’ll go back as a real tourist to see many other beautiful places and learn more about the cultural variety we’ve got.

    And keep the videos coming as often as you can… it’s very inspiring for many of us!

    Wish you luck in everything and who knows, maybe I’ll find you dancing someday, somewhere… Til then, take care!!

  32. I’d like to respond to Artur, who says Rio is not a dangerous city !
    For the record : I am a huge fan of Rio, went their twice and will return very soon ! I’ll be married shortly ( in July ) with a real Carioca ( stubbern beautiful girls :-p ) and I worked on a TV show througout Brazil … as a security coördinator ! I can asure you that Rio can be véry dangerous if you don’t know your way around or playing the typical tourist too much, believe me ! I am pretty sure you know all the reasons yourself if you are from Rio de Janeiro ? And it’s quiet the same problem around every big city in Brazil. Still, it’s a minority who causes these problems and I can honestly say that the Brasilian people are about the nicest I’ve ever met in my life ! And indeed, it is a huge, beautiful country ! So if people act normaly and visit other places then only the touristic spots like Copacabana they will be mighty surprised by the beauty of this country. Ciao from a real Brasil fan

  33. Bruno Costa

    Hey Matt?

    I am glad that you liked Brazil! You probably had problems with finding your “Shoelace” because the best word is portuguese is “cadarço” i stead of “cordões”. Anyway, you have to come back to brazil and go to OURO PRETO, it is the most famous historical city in brazil! Check it out on wikipedia or anything like that! It would be a honour to dance there with you!

    Best wishes,

  34. Rebeca Abdala

    Hey Matt,
    I understand why were you so upset about the violence here in Brazil. The violence here is really bad, and also makes tourists away.
    I really like your project, and I want so bad to travel at list 1/3 of the countrys you visited. Well I hope I can travel all of them!
    I just wanna say that I’m so sad about what you wrote about Brazil. I think Brazil has lots lots of places to explore, so I understand that you were in a hurry and you didn’t research about places that you might be interest to know here in Brazil. I’ve been to some places around the world, and I think every place has something good behind…
    And your project seems to be a project to show goods stuff about the world.. Well we are tired to hear bad news, and tragedies, at TV everyday…
    So enjoy the opportunity that you have and I hope you can tell us good news, tell us about the beauties, the GOOD stuff….
    And research about the country that you’re visiting.
    You came to Brazil during a bad weather time, if you come here during summer, I’m sure you’ll enjoy more, or maybe see where is good to go here during winter, or spring.
    I traveled a lot around Brazil, I also have a lot lot of pictures, if you wanna talk about and see this pictures I show it to you with pleasure, and I garantee that you will have a great time, not just in Brazil, but in every little place around the world, nothing is perfect, let’s see the GOOD stuff and be positivy….
    Good luck to you
    And I’m big fan!
    Take care

  35. Cristina

    You’ve been doing that for years and I’ve just found it out, sooner after you came to Brazil? That’s my bad luck, dear!! I don’t like to be in pix, let alone videos, but you’re invited to come to my town, Florianópolis, Southern Brazil, and stay with us- as a commom tourist, please!! But it’s a great idea you got, congrats!

  36. Silvio Ribas

    You have to know Brasilia, capital of Brazil, and dance amog great monumets. Ouro Preto and Florianopolis are good places too.

  37. Flavio Souza

    Brazil is a wonderful place with one of the worst governments of all times. The sandcastles are a trap. We all know that. The police too. But the police, a really mob, receives money from the criminals. We, brazilians, live in a land without hope, and elected a criminal, corrupt, liar presidente, called Lula and we suffered the rules of a devil group, PT.

  38. Andrea

    The video is great, and your comments about the city are alright. Just a note to “Guilherme” who said “that jesus thing” is stupid and shouldn’t be one of the seven wonders. I feel ashamed of things like these in our country. That Jesus thing is called Cristo Redentor, from there you have an extraordinary view of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. Nothing to be be ashamed of.

  39. Liege

    Next time you plan to go to Brasil (with an S, please, since an S in Portuguese sounds like a Z if it happens between vowels as in Italian, NOT as a sibilant as in Spanish), Matt, let me know ahead of time so I can refer some good and reliable interpreters who will not leave you out in the cold! Too bad I now live in NYC or I’d have done the job myself, but if your next dance episode happens around here I may very well join in as a transplanted carioca (the real name for those you called Rionians)!

    BTW, what’s your upcoming dance schedule?

    Oh, and for the record, was your “watcher” really called Goncalues or Gonçalves???

  40. Lucia

    Hi, Matt! Just for the record, people from Rio are called “cariocas”, though Rionians is pretty funny!

  41. fabricio castro

    cara, voce é demais!!
    voce pode da proxima vez dançar no cristo redentor! na amazonia! gasometro no rio grande do sul, porto alegre, gramado – rio grande do sul, cataratas foz do iguaçu!!!

    lugares lindos!!!

  42. Yuri

    “I am working on a project, and I served the needs of that project in the best way I know how.”

    Stop acting like a bureaucrat: you only make a stupid and funny video. That’s all.

  43. Roberta Machado

    Those “annoying” questions mentioned on the top of your post were nothing less than people trying to show their interest on having you around.

    Did you dislike Brazil? Fair enough. I do agree that Seychelles has more attractive beaches than Brazil does. Nevertheless, the minimum you could have done, even not enjoying the place, was showing a bit more respect for those who admire your video. You were really rude to them.

  44. Mônica Miranda

    Hello Matt,
    I am of Salvador – Brazil, I loved his dancinha, is the maximum. You need to come to El Salvador to make dancinha in Pelourinho.
    Ai vai a sujestão, perhaps its dancinha combine with the dance of créu, of Rio de Janeiro.
    Continue vijar world by making its dancinha, I loved.
    Goodbye! Abraços!

  45. jou

    is it possible to speak about tunisia??? this country is not mentionned!!
    sorry for my english, it’s not really fluent!
    nice pics 😉

  46. Aline

    I am so sorry Matt for the events that occured to you in Rio. I am originally from here and I just came back 2 years ago. I lived in Michigan -east lansing, for about 8 years ( studing at MSU. Brazil can be very dangerous specially for tourists, but if you are with a `native` is better. Next time I can walk you aroud , show you places and even invite you to eat with my family- brazilians are well known for their hospitality and gerenosity. Have a good time in traverse city and go to see the slepping bear dunes at lake michigan I also heve been there at interlochen camp. Take care and good luck.

  47. William Toshio Kawasaki

    Did I miss the opportunity to appear on your videos??? I hope see you again in Brazil and be showed on YouTube…

  48. Juliana

    My God, how grumpy you are… relax man, you’re having such an amazing experience, come on… most people wouldn’t even dream about doing something like that… we understand you must be extremely tired, but every single one of us who follow your steps and comment here just want our country to be well represented and that everything goes well, the best way possible…. in other words we want YOUR trip to work out great, don’t come and get deffensive like we are all a bunch of annoying brats who just complain… you’re the one with a bad mood.. i think you should take a break… what’s the point of travelling the whole world if you can’t appreciate it properly? Everything will suck if you’re not feeling physically well, right?
    Go chill a bit… Brasil is an awesome place to do that by the way :)

  49. Carolina

    As someone raised in Rio (for 24 years)I’m just happy nothing terrible happened to you. I’m also sad something bad did happen.

    Next time, I’m sure my fellow cariocas (rionians)will give you the best of times!

    Too bad I missed you there! Ok, by around 6 years hehehe, but still!

  50. Nhanho

    Viva os brasileiros “paga-pau” de gringo rico que inventa uma besteira qualquer e tem grana para ficar viajando pra cá e pra lá… e falando mal dos lugares.

  51. Nhanho

    BTW who invented that “weird law that required people to fill in their tax ID number”?

    That “law” doesn’t exist, it’s just a kind of “precaution” for the use of personal images. Probably a stupid lawyer’s idea, since it’s not feasible to sue a foreigner because of that.

  52. MadSam

    ‘Stop acting like a bureaucrat: you only make a stupid and funny video. That’s all.’

    Does anyone else find this statement from one of the posters above hilarious?

  53. Edson

    “There’s that Jesus thing up top. I didn’t take a closer look at it, as giant concrete Jesi don’t interest me much.” – Its not made of “concrete”… Its a sculpture made of solid stone! 😀

  54. Camila

    I studied with Regis, many years ago, and I live close to the place where you danced in São Paulo… This world is such a small place!!! Anyway, you’re welcome, come back any time you want.

  55. Meg

    Hello Matt,
    Sorry for the inconvenience that found in Brazil, you agree that we are at the predisposed to unpleasant situations anywhere in the world. What about your difficulty in finding the “shoelace” is a matter of language, and we have difficulties in finding certain objects in other countries justicável is the case with you, do not be upset by so little.
    See I love your movies, I feel a joy odd, I really emociono because it is an opportunity to show many countries and also give example of fraternization, or “Union and acceptance of the Race”
    Come dance in Vamboriú Spa, we have beautiful beaches in our state, and let me know if your coming to Balneário promise many people get to dance with, interpret and demonstrate the cooking of various Brazilian states.
    Do not stop the project!
    Congratulations! Success! Prosperous life is what you wish for.

  56. Meg

    Hello Matt,
    Sorry for the inconvenience that found in Brazil, you agree that we are at the predisposed to unpleasant situations anywhere in the world. What about your difficulty in finding the “shoelace” is a matter of language, and we have difficulties in finding certain objects in other countries justicável is the case with you, do not be upset by so little.
    See I love your movies, I feel a joy odd, I really emociono because it is an opportunity to show many countries and also give example of fraternization, or “Union and acceptance of the Race”
    Come dance in BALNEÁRIO CAMBORIÚ(estado de Santa Catarina), we have beautiful beaches in our state, and let me know if your coming to Balneário promise many people get to dance with, interpret and demonstrate the cooking of various Brazilian states.
    Do not stop the project!
    Congratulations! Success! Prosperous life is what you wish for.

  57. Renata

    Hi Matt… Shoelaces, in portuguese is cadarços. Cordões means necklaces. Thats why people didn´t understand you. I hope you can have a better experience next time you come…

  58. Maíra

    it’s not “cordões”, it’s “cadarço”
    you could say “cordões”, but really really few people use it

  59. Romulo Pinheiro

    Hi Matt, like many of you have danced in Brazil, but I would like vovê visit Brasilia (the capital of Brazil), ensuring that you’ll love, I think the video shows that we must keep united as one people despite ethnic differences and cultural, we should love more and live life as we feel better.
    A big hug and make peace.

  60. Ebelson

    Hi Matt
    I really enjoyed your video Matt, Congratulations!

    When Matt comes to Brazil, but just in Rio, go to Christ Redeemer, the Sugar Loaf and the Maracanã.
    Seats are very Beautiful
    Ham. also the Fort of Copacabana!
    Take a package of beautiful photo of Copacabana full!

    Matt when I was in Rio, not prefer to leave alone in Copacabana days of little movement prefer rainy days to go, Pos well have more people on the streets.

    The time when you are going to Fortaleza with guides,
    In Va Beach in Fortaleza are many fine beaches.

    Ham. Return to Brazil are always welcome!

  61. Beatriz

    You did seem upset in this text, too upset, and I can understand why… But I think you shouldn’t go to a place just to acomplish the project. You should enjoy it for real, otherwise it hasn’t worth it.
    Anyway, I just love the videos!

  62. marina

    hey matt,
    what about knowing some cities a little bit smaller?
    it has not that much violence and there are some amazing places for you to see, like ‘fernando de noronha’, or the ‘cataratas do iguaçu'[iguaçu whaterfalls]

    brazil has a lot of beautiful thigs for you to see… you should try!

  63. Danielly

    Hey Matt i´m sorry to hear about your bad experiences in Rio, actually is not one of my favorite cities in the country once is so dangerous… I hope at least the good experiences were worth it. And hope some of the people had treat you well. Anytime that you want to go to AMAZON (yes the forest) to visit, being in the project or just curiosity, i´ll be glad at showing you and your crew everything i can! I don´t know if i can find people to dance with you, but i can try!! i´ll be there at least. LOL
    keep doing the good trips you are, we love it!
    take care!

  64. Hi Matt.
    Thanks for visiting my country. We love your work. I suggest you to come visit the city of Porto Alegre, at Rio Grande do Sul state ( – my personal website). Our culture is influenced by italians and germans so I think you will like.
    If/when you come to here you can be in touch with me so I can help you and show the city and all the things.
    Congratulations for your work. It show how all the world is one, we are all togheter.

    Thank you.

    Fernando Faganello Madeira

  65. Gunnar

    hey matt, i think you might have met my brother in Sao Paulo, he was a missionary for the LDS church and he’s from Idaho…do you by chance remember him?

  66. Luiz M Braga

    Congratulations, great!!!!
    The best video, energy, and real motivation, free will.
    Fantastics places, peoples, experience, life, next time in Brazil visit Curitiba Pr, South Brasil, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, let me know, I dance with you!!!

  67. Gabriela Shimabuko

    Hey, Matt!
    I loved you videos, they’re cute and inspiring. Sorry about the difficulties you went through when you were here, but, if you come back, please let me know. I’d love to dance with you!! <3

    By the way, don’t mind people who get that upset so easily. Brazilian are actually very nice, out-going people. And you gotta see our sky on summer or spring, that’s just beautiful!

    bye bye. :3

  68. Barbara and Marcelo

    Of course nobody can understand “cordones”or “cordões” in pharmacy, it’s other thing! Shoelace is “cadarço”…
    So it happens in every language, isn’t it? You know better than me!

  69. Luciana

    Hey Matt, yeah.. you were rude in lots of your comments, but nice in others.. I just think that instead say things like “There’s that Jesus thing up top. I didn’t take a closer look at it, as giant concrete Jesi don’t interest me much (…) Building those retaining braces must’ve been a HUGE pain in the ass.” you could be more careful and looking for what it means to Rio. I’m not religious but that “thing” means a lot to me, it’s something that we are proud of. It’s is Rio hugging all the cariocas and tourists, like you.
    Try a dictionary next time.. “cordões” means “necklaces”.. portuguese can sound like spanish, but it is not.

    You lost the meaning of this video on this post.

  70. Cristianne Lobato

    Meu nome é Cristianne Lobato tenho 45 anos, vivo no Brasil, nacidade de Belo Horizonte no Estado de Minas Gerais.
    Passo aqui apenas para dizer que é uma pessoa iluminada, por encontrar uma maneira assim tão simples e divertida de tocar os corações humanos nesta louca dimensão.
    Seu brilho contagia o planeta, sua alegria é espelho de tua alma grandiosa…sou feliz por saber que você é real e verdadeiro e que pode preencher meu AGORA com tanta intensidade!!!
    Só tenho mesmo a agradecer e lhe desejar sucesso cada vez mais!!!
    Ès um ser humano incrível!!!
    Beijos doces de uma brasileira, mas única neste universo maravilhoso!

    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  71. Gabriel....

    Hi, Matt.
    yellow dog? here’s more strange things = P.venha to Brazil again. and is not “Gonçalu” is “gonçalves.” foreign language hehehehe. I’d like to dance the next time …

  72. Diogo

    Where the hell is the 2009 video dance? I like to send it to my fellas by e-mail as a Christmas message. So….I will keep waiting!

  73. Edson Costa

    Matt, just let me know whenever you’re coming to Brazil again. I wanna dance!! I’m from Sao Paulo but may commute to the city of the dance… regards

  74. Carla Pontes

    Hi Matt. Great job. Being from Rio, I can totally relate to what you’ve been through. And it’s all so true:
    1- Watch your back ALL the time;
    2- Avoid making appointments on a rainy/cloudy day. Chances are they won’t show up.
    3- Cariocas are usually around 15 minutes late. Count on that.
    4- “Shoelaces” are called “cadarços”. :)

  75. It’s such a shame you’ve got such a weather. Cause man, Rio is awesome, but if you are looking for beaches, you won’t find the best ones on the cities. Brazil can beat that one on Seychelles! Search for Fernando de Noronha pictures! Still, shoelaces are called “cadarços” in Brazil, not “Cordões”. When u come back visit Brasília, the capital.

  76. Julia

    Wow! I saw one video of yours like in 2006 and almost cried with the beautiful images and soundtrack. Today I went through your website and looked up for the tag Brazil, which is where I live. Sadly, I found out that you’re not 0,1% of what your videos really represent. You should be more aware of the power of your words over people and maybe if you don’t have anything good to say about a place, maybe because you had a bad experience there, well, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

    Your description of all the long and boring process to gather the people who went to dance with you (man! they went to dance with you!!) just put ALL of the magic of your video right into a trash can. Too sad that you are not able to enjoy a trip through another culture because you are too stuck with your project comitments and can only see the bad things of a wonderful city like Rio.

    I really hope you have reviewed your life, your goals and realized by now (almost 2 yrs after this post) that we can enjoy the result for 1 moment, but what does really matter is to enjoy all the way through to achieve it.

    Millions of people would just love to travel around all those beautiful and incredible places you have been around. Just think how lucky you really are and start enjoying what you do. Or you should try another thing to do for life.

  77. Sheila

    Hey, Matt, I’m paulistana (from São Paulo). Shame I wasn’t in Brazil when u came over. I just love ur videos. I was kind of disappointed when I read about ur experience here :( I wish it could have been better and smoother. Shame on us, I guess. We have some attitude and we think we are the coolest people in the world, nothing wrong with that unless it get too close to arrogance which it usually does…
    Anyway, glad ur are willing to come back…sometimes things go really nice over here!

  78. michael jacks0n


  79. michael jacks0n


  80. Frazzle

    Hello Logan,
    What are you doing?
    Im bored so…
    Im going 2 go 2 UK page cya!

    (Oh and matt have u showered lately I can
    Smell U from Manchester and your in LONDON!)

  81. Liked your photos… The entire area of Rio hold so many attractions, the landscape is so very diverse. Photographing there must feel amazing. Too bad we almost always see the exact same photos of Rio. It’s so much more to see there…

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