Rio de Janeiro

The plan was to get there early. The plan for me, anyhow. For everyone else - who knew? We didn't make plans, really. I didn't even know who would show. It had been an off-and-on topic of conversation for the whole year. Whoever I met, whoever they met, messages going around between people who met, who travelled together for a day, a week, couple of months, whatever. People who seemed alright. Meet up in Rio, for New Year. New Year at Copacabana.

I'd never been, but everyone's heard of that, right? The carnival there, on the beach. Who could pass that up.

It wasn't like I had anywhere else to be for Christmas. I don't go home for Christmas. I know some people do, but I never did. A card, some presents. My family usually sent emails - never knew where I'd be. I didn't mind that - my choice, after all. So I decided to head to Rio for Christmas. The hotels are empty then, loads of free rooms. People generally start arriving about the 28th - I was there on the 23rd.

It was strange, wandering the beaches during the day, trying to imagine what it would be like - all those people, the atmosphere, the music, the costumes, the fireworks. I lay on the beach under the sun on Christmas Day with a turkey sandwich, just imagining it. Close your eyes and just imagine - the music, the dancing. Take you away.

I loved that Christmas, lost in my imagination about what it would be like. I stayed there all day, watched the sun go down. I could almost hear that music.