Less than two weeks ago, I boarded the plane which should bring me into my new life. From Berlin via Madrid through to Rio de Janeiro. My final destination. For 15 hours I was in the steel bird, waiting to have solid ground under my feet again. I like to fly, no, I even love it, but somehow it was different this time. Because I knew that this flight would be my farewell for an indefinite time. My farewell from home, my family and also from everything familiar. Many questions were in my mind and kept myself already awake days before my departure. It seemed as if my body was so excited that it would oust all natural needs. Even my broad need for sleep was blown away. And now, as I sat on the plane, I had only one goal: to enter the Brazilian mainland and to get rid of all doubts, shake them off and never look back again. And then it finally happened. I disembarked the huge bird that had brought us safely, but with turbulences to Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro.
A plume of mist and sweltering heat flowed towards me already at the Gateway. I wouldn’t have expected anything else from this metropolis. As a plume of steam the hot air takes hold in Rio almost the whole year and makes it very difficult for travelers to walk around without having beads of sweat on the forehead after even a few steps. After a brief heat shock – lately I was used to -5° C in Germany – I joined a long queue at the immigration desks of the Polícia Federal who controlled my documents and my visa. Because I entered the country as a tourist, I just needed my passport and the filled-in cartão de entrada/saída. This document is given to any traveler on the flight, whether Brazilians or not. It must be completed with the flight number, the final destination and other travel data. I have never experienced on my four stays to Brazil that there are problems with this document. Rather there are lots of police officers who don’t even deign to look at it. Less than one minute later I had a new entry stamp in your passport. Now it turned out to be serious, my stay in Brazil. And again doubts overwhelmed me: Did my two suitcases arrive safely? Do I have all the documents to apply for my permanent residence at the Cartório de registro in Juiz de Fora? And is my boyfriend at the airport to pick me up? He was there. And how.
No sooner had I entered the waiting hall of the airport, he and an acquaintance of us, an ingrained carioca, darted at me. My boyfriend glomped me and showered me with kisses. Finally we hadn’t meet each other for more than four months. And then there was the big surprise. Somehow I had already guessed it, perhaps even feared it. He got on his knees at the airport and proposed in front of dozens of pairs of eyes. After 15 hours in the plane, completely exhausted and sweaty, I didn’t even know what to say. Well, we wanted to get married anyway, so that I can stay there. Therefor I also carried many documents. Because there are very few ways to get a permanent residence permit in the South American country. And so I said “Yes”. After more than three years ultra-long-distance relationship, as I liked to call it, that was probably the right, Hollywood-like ending and also the beginning of my six-day stay in Rio. From there I will go to my new home Juiz de Fora in the state of Minas Gerais. In the upcoming weeks I will be visting more Brazilian cities, including Belo Horizonte and São João del Rei at the carnival. My first carnival in Brazil. Of course, I will keep you updated!