-The traffic is interesting. I’ve seen worse drivers in other places but a few things stick out. There a lot of motorcycles and they drive in between the lanes, zipping in and out of traffic. In fact, most of the bikes have modified handlebars to make it easier to slip by. Also, red lights and stop signs are more of suggestions than rules. In Rio, I had a cab driver who just flat out ran the red lights if he didn’t see a car coming. We’re not talking about rolling a stop sign, acceleration, if anything.
-Walking in such big cities has the same vibe as the traffic. There is very little personal space. Occasionally back home you are walking towards someone and you move right and they move the same way, then you move left and they follow leading to an brief awkward dance with a stranger. That has never happened in the history of Brazil. People walk in straight lines and will not stop, if you run into someone, so be it. I had several collisions but kinda enjoyed it, a slow version of football. After you run into someone there is no “excuse me” or anything, just go on with your day.
-I’ve heard from many guys that Brazilian girls are the hottest in the world. That argument can certainly be made. The bodies here are unbelievable, in particular. However, I don’t know if I can declare it a fact. Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel, and the girls in Hawaii don’t take a backseat to anyone. I had several girls approach me in parties or bars (probably due to the gringo factor) but with no ability to speak Portuguese it didn’t go far.
-Much to my delight Brazil loves meat and they do it very well! At some restaurants a server comes to your table with a giant spit of meat (all kinds) and cuts you a piece. This continues with every type a meat you can think of and it is unlimited! I did this several times and it costs about $10. On the street corners guys are grilling kabobs of beef or chicken. I loved grabbing a stick of meat while heading to the metro. The private BBQs are just as good. Brazilians celebrate everything with a BBQ. Going away? Got promoted? Having a baby? Anything? Have a BBQ! I was lucky enough to attend one and it was tremendous. I am not a foodie, but I could eat here the rest of my life.
-Public displays of affection are another strong suit of Rio and Sao Paulo. No one has ever yelled “get a room” here! People are full on making out, and groping, anywhere and anytime.
-Some of those people making out might not be what they appears. I have never seen so many lady boys as I have here. The funny part is many of them look great! Unless you are really looking, you’d never know. I don’t care either way, do you, I just didn’t expect it.
-The funniest thing about Brazil is the flag. It has “Ordem e Progresso” (Order and Progress) scrawled across it. I haven’t been to Brazil before so I can’t speak to the progress, but I can tell you there is little to no order! When I was told what it said, I literally laughed out loud.
-I have now moved out of the city to Foz do Iguacu and the Pantal. I’ll write about it soon.
Can’t wait for your next post!