Life in Brazil so far...
OK, so I'm finally settled in more or less (still waiting for my health insurance to take effect).
Physicswise, I gave my introductory talk on gauge/gravity correspondence and applications to QCD, and I'm starting to work with different people on issues like walking Technicolor, Sakai-Sugimoto models, D7-anti-D7 branes in Klebanov-Strassler backgrounds, superfluidity in D3-D7 backgrounds etc. I'm actually having fun down here.
Life however, is not as simple and laid-back as it used to be anymore. I still need to learn portuguese and make more friends. It takes a huge effort to move around in the city, traffic is messy and public transportation is, at best, chaotic. So hanging out with friends is virtually impossible, at the very least it takes very thorough planning, because I live up north (close to university) and all the nice restaurants, bars etc. are located in Zona Sul. Biking would be nice, but bikes are expensive and roads/traffic make biking a suicide mission. So instead, I'm trying to save some money (for traveling), and I try to go running or work out almost every day...
Living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, where corruption, drug lords ruling favelas and police violence are a widespread problem is also kind of weird. The difference between rich and poor is much more pronounced than anywhere else I Have lived so far. I think it's a good experience that more people should share, but I couldn't imagine living here for a significant period of time. It's just depressing and frustrating!
on the other hand, the natural backdrop of the city is amazing. Beaches, hills, atlantic rainforest, you name it....the nature is still awesome. I will continue to explore Rio's surroundings!
So to conclude: I have a lack of social interaction and language skill but I am in a nature lover's paradise....trying to enjoy it for the one or two years I'm going to stay!