Paradise Lost?

Today I visited a customer who's guard (behind bullet proof glass) pressed a series of buttons to let me in to a series cages where the last set of bars opened and I was finally allowed on the property.

It looked kind of cool and I felt kind of important... but then I realized that things don't often look cool just for the sake of being cool... It might be out of necessity... out of security...  

I'm not really getting the dose of happy adventuresome vibes that I usually get when I travel.

Pondering my extended stay, I emailed a colleague
(who recently moved here with her husband). 
She offered these sound words of advice. 

"I would not suggest exploring on your own. I have a driver and a bullet proof car"

I resheduled my flight.
(Mom, you can finally relax)

For such a beautiful culture...
I just cannot get over the poverty, the grafitti, the slums.

and yet the happy Brazilians love it. Maybe I'm hanging out on the wrong side of town... but I've heard more than one refer to it as their paradise.

Is this any indication?


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