Diary of a World Cup sportswriter: Wake up in Belo Horizonte, write a story about the mood of Brazil day after 7-1 humiliation, then head to airport for 12th flight of the tournament. I should sign up for GOL/TAM frequent flier plans! Land in Rio, check in to a hotel called Rio's Nice Hotel, which is Not-So-Nice. Checked Trip Advisor and all reviews mentioned same "highlights'': the staff is very friendly, and there's a grocery across the street (Both true!). It's a low-budget hotel that is old, dingy, nowhere near the pretty beaches, only light in room is a light bulb on ceiling, only plug in the room is the one the tiny fridge is plugged into, so to use computer had to disconnect fridge and move little desk over. No drawers. Tiny twin bed. The safe is old and rusty and uses a giant block key thing that is tough to figure out. The safe is also on top shelf of the closet, so I had to pull chair over and stand on it to open and close the safe. Ventured across street to eat alone at a restaurant, which was fairly good. I asked for a small "vino tinto'' and they brought me a shot glass with wine in it. At one point, a guy walked in selling stuffed-animal pigs. I don't know why. Nobody bought one. Back in hotel now, watching Portuguese re-run of Argentina-Holland.
30 Days Down, 5 to Go!! Ole-Ole-Ola!