Copa do Mundo
When I got back to Rio, I had only planned to stay for three days, but with all the world cup commotion and seeing all the old friendly faces, I ended up staying for nine days.
On Copacabana, FIFA has set up a Copa center with a gigantic TV screen, and pre and post game shows. A great place to cheer your team (for me the US and Brazil) and have a few beers. I stayed long enough for the first Brazil match vs North Korea, and after the victory they had live samba and everybody shook a leg. I also watched the United States vs England match there with some English friends from the hostel who were much more serious about soccer than myself, but I represented the best I could.
In Brazil, as you might expect the place goes crazy for soccer. For example, the game I watched was on at 3:30 pm, but by noon it was pretty much impossible to get anything done (like buy an airline ticket for the next day). The beaches emptied out (except for Copacabana), and everybody watched the game. Sort of like the super bowl, but bigger. Mind you this was only the first game of the cup.