Some thoughts on Brazil after a year of living in no specific order.
- Brazil is the only country in the world where some people would tell me I look 100% Brazilian. Interesting because I don’t quite fit in in my birth country nor my current (adopted) country.
- If you want to see real (stereotypical) Brazil, go to Bahia state and around that area.
- Brazilians are obsessed with beer and football. It didn’t take long before I become obsessed with both as well and I couldn’t care less about the either before.
- Everyone in Brazil has a favorite football team. What’s yours?
- Brazilians drink moderately (mostly beer) but eventually stop. I have rarely seen a visibly drunk Brazilian (male or female).
- In Brazil, all foreigners are given a fit-all label ‘gringo’. That term originally came from Mexico to mean ‘green—go (away)’ referring to the green uniforms of the US soldiers. American in Mexico? Gringo. Russian in Mexico? Not gringo. But you will be a gringo in Brazil if you were not born there. Even though Brazilians do not consider it condescending (it just means foreigner), I personally wouldn’t like to be labeled merely as ‘a foreigner’ if, let’s say, I was living in Brazil on a permanent basis.
- Brazil is incredible diverse country. It’s difficult to comprehend this thought unless you travel around. One of my regrets is that I didn’t travel around when I was living in Rio for a year. When I started to travel around the states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, I was impressed with the difference of food, and especially how different the people acted and spoke.
- Brazilians are very proud of their nationality. I got the feeling of segregation in some way as one can be either a Brazilian or someone else (regardless of nationality). Every time I met a Brazilian, they would always ask how long I’d been in Brazil and if I liked it here. Always expecting a positive affirmation, the latter question seemed to me as an ego boost, than to satisfy their curiosity. Yes, I like your country. Yes, I’d love to come back. However, I like other countries as well for other reasons and Brazil is far from perfect.
- It’s difficult to create a strong friendship with a Brazilian (in Rio). Most of the friendships I’ve created were with other foreigners. The only Brazilian who I consider a good friend was actually someone who lived in America for eight years (18-26) and is more Americanized anyway.
- There are really two types of Brazilians: those who lived in Brazil all of their life, and those who traveled/lived a bit abroad. I found the latter to be more open in terms making any kind of connection; while the former more close minded about dealing with foreigners.
- Cariocas (Rio residents) are flaky creatures. I can’t blame them because time moves slower in Rio and commitments take a backseat to enjoying life. It’s completely normal to invite someone over for 7pm, and have them show up at 10:30pm. It comes with the territory. After a while, I stopped moving against the current and became a bit flaky myself. Don’t take it personal because that’s never the intention. If you’re very punctual, forget Rio; try Sao Paulo instead.
- Brazilians are very diverse, and it’s easy to look Brazilian yourself. If you look Brazilian, your experience will be vastly different than someone who screams ‘gringo!’. The latter brings more curiosity from opposite sex, and more chances of getting into trouble.
- Every major area (Sao Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte) has its own dialect. Speaking Rio’s street dialect outside Rio de Janeiro state brings negative connotations.
- Going out in Brazil is very different than going out in western countries. Confidence, persuasion, determination is the key.
- Brazilian women are extremely sexy, feminine and passionate.
- Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful – if not the most beautiful – city in the world.
- Rio de Janeiro is suffering from gingo fatigue and will most likely increase in the future as the sites of both the Olympics and World Cup.
- Rio de Janeiro International Airport is one of the most ugliest I’ve seen.
- Sao Paulo is a very underrated city.
- As a foreigner/gringo, you come with a built-in reputation as a sex tourist (especially in Rio/North East).
- Brazil’s food is healthier. I ate some ‘unhealthy’ food in Brazil: white rice, white bread, french fries, acai (full of sugar) but I never gained weight. I would blow up if I tried the same diet in US.
- Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the best in the world followed by a dip in Copacabana beach is truly exhilarating.
- Brazil is one of the few countries that has no internal conflicts or external enemies.
- Brazilians do not consider themselves Latino(a)s
- Brazilians are very courteous in general. If someone tripped or tapped me by accident in a crowded place, they would always say ‘sorry’. I do not have this feeling in America.
- Brazilians are very relaxed people (especially in Rio). I’ve rarely seen any sort of tension between individuals; fights were even rarer. Life is about enjoyment and not stress over meaningless issues.
- Even though Brazil prides itself as ‘country for all’ (o pais de todos) you are and always will be a foreigner (gringo) if you were not born in Brazil, no matter how long you’ve been living there. In contrast, in America, if you’re living there for sometime, you are pretty much an American.
- Brazil is a place I can see myself living in. I never felt like this in Central America, not in Peru, nor Argentina or Mexico. But Brazil – I can see myself moving to and living the rest of my life in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, and take vacations to the coast or to Bahia. I never felt like this in Lima, Peru or Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Brazilian Portuguese is cooler than the abrasive sounding European Portuguese. Even more so when spoken by a woman.
- Portuguese is very underrated. Many people spent a lot of time in Spanish-speaking Latin America and cross into Brazil speaking Spanish. But Brazil is arguably the most important country in Latin America and Portuguese is a very logical and beautiful language.
Did I miss anything?
Interested in building your own passive, location-independent business? Want to avoid needless trial and error? Want to start off on the right foot under proper guidance?
Check out the Maverick Mentorship program. It has helped 100s of guys just like yourself to build their own business. Click here to learn more