Over the past year I’ve been observing the wonderful people that are Brazilians, and these are my conclusions:
- Brazilians compulsively share. If they get a beer, they’ll get you a glass, if they’re eating some food they’ll ask if you want some.
- They’re always amazed that you, a European, decided to live in Brazil. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who’ve gone ‘but, why?’
- They also think that corruption, a bad economy, and even traffic, are uniquely Brazilian problems.
- You, the foreigner, are not allowed to criticise Brazil. Especially not their coffee (as I found out after doing just that), insulting their beer is just about acceptable, but their food, culture, and other things they complain about, you may not.
- They really don’t understand why bikins in Europe are so large, covering your bum and boobs at the beach is unacceptable behaviour here. I was once asked ‘didn’t I want people to see my bum?’, well not really. I eventually acquired a Brazilian bikini, which just means that I have two tan lines, my new Brazilian one, and my previous European line.
- Brazilians say things exactly as they are. In the UK, we do anything to avoid that. Here they look at me and go ‘well, you’re very small’, or ‘you’re very white’. Once I was chatting to a shop owner, and I mentioned that I was from Europe, and she looked straight at me and said ‘yes, you look rich’.
- Following on from this, it also applies to the way (some) men hit on you here. Especially hostel owners, I’ve found, three of whom have hit on me the instant I walked through the door. Another had the most traumatising chat up line ever, we were chatting about Christmas, and he was saying it was normal to go to church on Christmas Day, and that young people tended to eye people up during mass and then have sex behind the church after, (traumatising, and apparently completly untrue), and then he looked at me and said ‘I can show you the back of the church here’. I was genuinely speechless.
- Brazilians have the unfortunate habit of wearing t-shirts with things written on English that I don’t think they understand, often it’s stuff about drugs, but once I noticed a guy and his top said ‘I only travel at night’, and it was the afternoon. There are better examples, but none spring to mind.
That’s my observations after a year of living in Brazil. Let me know if you agree or not.
A post on my travels to Peru and Colombia is on its way soon too!