It was hot. Even the breeze was warmer than the last few days. Young and old draped mostly in Brazilian flags thronged the venues, stood in the queue, quietly waiting for their turn. Not a scuffle or too much of noise. It was like a carnival with everyone humming to tune of Latin music.
Among them was a family with three children – one holding an Indian flag while one of the other two kids was wailing inside the tennis stadium where Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna were playing their first round doubles match. It was quite an unusual sight here. Curiosity grew and after closer scrutiny it came to light that the family hails from Kochi in Kerala. Abraham K John is living here for the last year or so after shifting from Houstan, Texas. He works with Shell as a senior consultant, exploration and competition skills.
Interestingly, John revealed that there are not Indian restaurant in Rio. At least he has not found one in the last year he lived here. According to him Rio is quite a livable city and the cuisine is a typical coastal one so he has not problem in adjusting to the city. “But I am always thrilled to meet someone from India,” he said. “Unlike in the US, there are not too many Indians here so there are no Indian restaurants. But we are used to the city. It has crime but if you are careful it is like any other metropolitan city.” His wife Susan is from Kottayam. Their next destination will be a men's hockey encounter between India and the Netherlands next week.
McDonald’s in the Games Village
Eating in McDonald’s at the Games Village has turned out to be the best past time for athletes. Contrary to popular beliefs, some of world’s best indulge in this kernel sin – of eating ‘junk’. When one enters the International area in the Games Village the longest line is in McDonald’s outlet. Some even wait for hours to have a bite of their favourite food despite having an array of cuisines from all over the world being served in their dining hall.
Can you believe it that some athletes apparently eat without the knowledge of their coaches. Ask any athlete and they will say it is usually out of habit they visit this place. Some to relax while some for the heck of it. One Angolan athlete – Pedro Penotes – said his event was over and his coach knows about it. However, an Egyptian sailor Nadia Negm said it was not right to have such outlets in the Village. “I am surprised why it is here,” she said. “This should not be allowed but it’s a controversial topic. Anyway I don’t eat because I am a vegan.” By the way this fast food joint is an official sponsor of the Olympics!
Indraneel Das @ Rio de Janeiro