Off to Rio?
So you’ve booked your dream trip to South America and Rio is on your itinerary – am I right? Of course I am.
Cristo Redentor, Sugarloaf Mountain, samba dancers and of course the infamous Carnaval season – it’s all going on in Rio. And that’s without mentioning Copacabana and Ipanema, some of the biggest names in beach culture.
However, there’s a part of these famous beaches that I don’t actually like – their beach vendors. So much in fact, that I feel the need to rant about them!
Beware of beach vendors
I understand the purpose of beach vendors, and I get that they have to employ tactics to grab people’s attention, but in Rio they’re just another level.
On Ipanema these guys are relentless. Seriously. Every 20 seconds a new vendor walks past shouting their offerings. I’m not even joking. Every 20 seconds. It’s ridiculous.
It’s literally a constant stream of clothes, jewellery, hot snacks, cold drinks and everything in between. This is fine if you have a few spare Real (Brazilian currency) to spend, otherwise it’s a persistent interruption to your sunbathing time.
The only advice I can give is to suck up and get used to it because it ain’t going away! There’s even guys spraying your feet with water guns in a ploy to make a sale! It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before, another level.
On Copacabana it’s the same story. You’ll have vendors wandering by all day long, offering all manner of goods.
There’s also a small and relatively secluded (by Rio standards) beach in the neighbourhood of Urca (called Red Beach). With great views of Sugarloaf and cleaner water than beaches of the bay, it’s no wonder this beach is popular among locals. What’s surprising though, is the lack of tourists.
Despite this, multiple vendors roam the sand offering everything from drinks & snacks to waterproof cases & selfie sticks. Fantastic news if you want to take a selfie in the sea while licking an ice cream! However, if you’re not interested in these particular offerings then you won’t exactly be enthralled by these guys walking past multiple times per minute.
Which brings me onto their unique selling methods…
Unique selling methods
Walking around shouting about that product is one thing, but half of these guys have portable microphones attached to their head and speakers hanging from their neck! You’re probably thinking “oh, big deal”, but when you can hear these guys from halfway down the beach – constantly saying the same stuff over and over – it ain’t half annoying!
Even putting earphones in doesn’t drown out the sound; your relaxing day at the beach has just turned into a Portuguese headache and you’ve only been down there five minutes. I was trying to write a blog post but kept losing my train of thought because of these noisy interruptions – even reading a book was impossible!
As if that wasn’t enough, one vendor had the cheek to start chatting up a random girl on the beach. I wouldn’t usually take issue with this except that her boyfriend and Mum were sitting right next to her and they obviously weren’t interested in buying anything. Okay, this was their problem not mine, but it’s the principle of abusing your position as beach vendor to hit on random girls – this incensed me.
All I wanted to do was put this guy on a stand-up paddle-board and push him out to sea, waving goodbye to his dumb and annoying microphone and ill intentions. Just go about your business quietly mate, then maybe more people will buy from you! After all, they can see what you have so if they want something they’ll stop you (and probably feel more obliged to buy something from a guy that doesn’t piss them off!).
Okay, rant over.
Anyone experienced something similar? What are your opinions?