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A Perspective on Brasil..............

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Kds, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I'm going back to the "great white north" on Friday after 6 wonderful weeks in Rio de Janeiro and thought I would share some of the more unusual sights..........and insights, about this incredible city and it's wonderful people for the crowd at F-chat.............

    BTW one R$ 1.00 equals about $ .35 USD more or less.

    ------------------------

    1-Where else do you find people who are gainfully employed sitting inside an elevator for 8-10 hours a day pushing the buttons for you.

    2-Where else do you find a popular magazine entitled "Titi...Titi" and it is not pornographic in the slightest.

    3-Where else do you see 6 lanes of traffic on Avenida Atlantica come to a screeching halt when an errant soccer ball from the beach goes rolling across the road. This happened to me this morning and a motorist got out of his car and kicked it back to the players on the beach.

    4-Where else can you buy a watch from a street vendor for R$ 5.00 and when it doesn't work because you were too drunk to perform "due diligence", find out that you have to put another R$ 4.00 into your "investment" for a battery. PS.....it's still working 5 weeks later.

    5-Where else does the price of ice cream fluctuate "daily" in the supermarkets, based upon the current ambient outside temperature. A two litre container sells for between R$ 8.00 to as high as R$ 14.00 depending on whether it's 25 degrees celcius or 42.

    6-Where else can you buy fake Ralph Lauren "Polo" shirts that are IMHO better quality than the real thing for about 1/10 the price.

    7-Where else do the women smile back at you nicely and wink, rather than kick you in the nuts or slap your face when you say "que gostosa" at the beach...............(mmmm delicious).

    8-Where else in the world can you LEGALLY walk down any street with an open container of beer or liquor at any time of the day or night.

    9-Where else in the world do you have to pay for each 3 minute segment of a local telephone call from your own house phone or for internet usage ? This irrates the hell out of me BTW.

    10-Where else in the world do you get your choice of 2-3 friendly, smiling and extremely helpful sales people at "ANY" store when you are purchasing an item worth a mere US 10.00. Canada and the US could learn a thing or two about customer service from the Brasilians.

    I'll post more as I think of them and for those of you who have been here before....................feel free to add your own.

    Ate Mais Galera !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  3. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    KDS,

    I'll add mine in about 2 weeks. :) The FIRST thing I'll do is walk into a little corner store, buy me a Montecristo #2 and light it up!

    ...provided I get out of the airport!

    DL
     
  4. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Darth,

    They now have digital fingerprinting equipment at the airport and the wait is a few minutes as of today's news reports.
     
  5. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Isso Ai cara ! O brasil é demais :) Im glad you liked my country !
     
  6. MarkG

    MarkG Formula Junior

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  8. ski_bum

    ski_bum Formula 3

    Dec 26, 2002
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    Beware undercooked Feijoada (pork/bean stew).

    Spent many hours contemplating that thought while sitting on the john... :-(
     
  9. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
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    How about the hydofoil ferries, the cable car ride to Sugarloaf, the HUGE statue of Christ and the drive up to it???? And, the sites that are all over Ipanima and Copacabana beaches....yes!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2001
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    John Michael Gross
    I lived there for a couple of years (Sampa actually but I spent many weekends in Rio). Customer service is a specialty in Brasil, perhaps the friendliest place in the world outside of Hawaii.

    Driving is Brasil was always a blast...everyone thinks they are diving for the first corner at Interlagos! A simple rule for driving there, if the front bumper fits, the rest of the car will as well. Amazing how good the driving can be there at times. (As opposed to Buenos Aires which is just like driving in Brasil minus the rules!) My favorite driving piece was that people don't stop at red lights at night...almost scared the sheite out of my family when I returned to the states and kept the same behaviour.

    A few other memories...
    Ciparinha is a great drink when it is warm outside. (Pinga, limes, sugar and ice!)
    A freshly opened coconut is a great way to refresh on the beach.
    Football is life...life is football.
    Senna is god. (As it should be...)

    - JMG
     
  11. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes , at night you cross intersections with the horn and flashing..as well with a litte prayer :D ...
     
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  13. Chenrezi

    Chenrezi Karting

    Feb 10, 2003
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    Michael
    lolol!!
    Well, you guys have been the greatest. :)
    Amenasce, I'm going to São Paulo in April and am suposed to spend a while there... I got the basics out of what you just said, but is there any more tips you can give me?
    I mean, security related?
    I hear that there's a lot of robbers and that unless you dress casual (which I plan to do) you'll be mugged...
    Also I'll try and go to Bahia as I've read it's the greatest thing, but that will depend on my spare time...
    I'm looking forward to be there though... ;)

    Oh, one other thing, the drink is called Caipirinha; and yes it's a refreshing and alcoholic (alot...) beverage very popular in Brasil (or so I'm told)... and also... YES, SENNA IS god!!! :)

    Miguel
     
  14. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Chenrezi.....

    Relax, you'll have a great time.......Sampa is a big city, they are all alike, more or less, take what you hear and read and divide by half and then only believe the 5th word of every sentence, and the end result is probably the truth. Before my first trip to Rio 4 years ago I was utterly terrified of the place based solely on what I read and heard. I'm still alive and have never felt endangered once, 18 trips later...........

    Ski Bum......

    Too many caiparinhas will also do the same thing to you.

    Just a couple more before I get on the airplane tomorrow........

    The one that got me started on this whole thing, and which I forgot to put in the initial post is a wedding photographer here in Copacabana whose store has 2 foot high gold letters with his last name emblazoned across the top of the entrance.........ASSMAN............seriously.........I expected Cosmo Kramer to walk out the door at any minute.

    I went to the bathroom tonight and lo and behold, was caught sitting down without paper....heh, no visual pictures please....so I reached into the closet and pulled out a new package. On the plastic cover was a nice, white, fluffy teddy bear with the namer "BOB" written across the front in huge white letters. Now.......I wonder how the "BOB's" of the world feel about this.........I mean..........it really gives a new meaning to the term "Bob, you're such an asswipe !!!"

    HONESTLY..........I lack the creativity to make this stuff up.....it is all real.
     
  15. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Kds,

    I just got a call from our friends in Angra. I am told it is pouring down there. I hope it gets nicer by the time I'm there!

    BTW, I also sent a link about that aircraft carrier to him. I told him I wanted to go in with him and turn it into a casino.

    What do you think?:) :)

    DL
     
  16. Chenrezi

    Chenrezi Karting

    Feb 10, 2003
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    Michael
    LOLOLOLOL!!!!
    Great story kds, laughed my "BOB" off :)
    Seriously, thanks for the tip!

    Have a great time and the best of luck with the "gatas"

    Miguel
     
  17. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes never dress like a hot shot , esp if you will need to walk to find a cab or cant park near the restaurants/clubs etc..
    When just walking in the streets , a jean/bermuda and a tee shirt with some basics sneakers ( not the latest from Nike !! ) or a pair of dockside will be perfect..
    When i go there , i put my swatch on..my mom leaves all her jewelry at home and just when we are going to a nice restaurant or to someone's place does she put back on some of it but juts the basic. lol..

    Also if you do get mug, it can happen ( never happened to me ) , dont resist because they usually carry gun ...

    This summer i went to Rio which is worse than SP for robbers , and i worked in the city ( so not in the wealthy place ) and i never felt in danger...but it can happen unfortunately.
     
  18. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2001
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    Both cities are a little more dangerous than large US cities but not overly so. One of my guys was actually shot and killed at a bus stop over a watch so my advice is to leave any nice stuff at home. Dressing down helps but if you are an American, you will also notice that your casual clothes do not look the same as the natives so you are still fairly wasy to spot. Travel in groups, look confident and learn a bit of Portuguese...I was there for two years and never had any trouble after I learned the language. Remember, there are a lot of folks there making far less than you do so common sense and even a bit on humility will go a long way. (Come to think of it....this would apply to Ferrari ownership as well).

    Sampa is a lot less fun than Rio during the day...equal or better at night. Perhaps the best restaurants in the world can be found in Sampa as Rio tends to cater to the tourist industry. I have travelled around the world and still think about at least 5 different places in Sampa for a great meal. However, finding a local contact in Rio or Sampa can really open up great restaurants for you.

    - JMG
     
  19. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    974
    Berlin, Germany
    Eu adoro o Brasil!

    I have been living in Sao Paulo for almost three years w/o being overly anxious about being robbed - and it never happened to me. Of course the probability of getting robbed is quite high (at least compared to Germany, from an US perspective this might look different ...) but the good part of the story is that in 99% of all incendents you will just lose some money. I also worked in South Africa for a couple of months, where the probability of being robbed is in the same range but the mortality rate is far higher :-(

    Anyway, Brasil is a great place to live and also a great place for travelling there. It´s also a country with many homemade problems but with the current government they are on a good track.

    One downside coming to my might right now: It´s a rather bad place for driving and owning a Ferrari. Road conditions and car jackers are an issue. Also the high importation taxes which double the price of a Ferrari compared to Europe. While I was living there I only once saw a Ferrari - a 355 Spider on our way to Maresias.
     
  20. RussianM3_dude

    RussianM3_dude F1 Rookie
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    I must say, I would really love to go to Rio for the carnival, as I used to dance competitevely when I was a kid, including samba. But the whole security issue has me concerned. I just do not know what to make of it. Some people say Rio is extremly dangerous, some say it is actually safer then US cities. Hmm, don't know what to think.
     
  21. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I really like Rio as well, and followed the advice about how to dress etc. Never had a problem, and it was heavenly early in the morning before business meetings got started to take a walk along Ipanema Beach. So calm and soothing, and yet, even early in the morning, a bit of excitement in the air!

    Friendly people, wonderful food, electric nightlife, a real joy of life!

    Newspapers here is U.S. have reported on recent increase in violence in the favelas of Rio, so much so that double digit numbers of people killed last weekend (?) and that the city is actually considering walling off some of the neighborhoods with 3 meter high concrete walls.

    The sadness of Brazil to me is that it has so much and yet still has to find a way to bring prosperity to more people.

    John
     
  22. pozzi

    pozzi Formula Junior
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    I live in Belo Horizonte, Brasil, the 3rd largest city, after São Paulo and Rio.

    The situation in Rio is getting out of control in some places (favelas and neigborhood), the power of the drug dealers is HUGE, they have the best weapons (AR-15, AK-47, USI), they are in big number agains cops and fearless to the police. This week the president is considering to send the army to act in some places.

    Of course yu can go to Ipanema and Copacabana beach and don't see any kind of violence, but the real problem is when you go to the poor areas.

    For me all this situation (not only in Rio, but the hole country) is a result of bad administration (politicians are more worried to get rich, not to help the population), lack of investiment in education and security, and bad justice (few people pay for wrong acts, the max time in prison is 20 years, and they can scap form prison the time they want).

    So, the situation is not good, but easy to correct if the F***ing president, governor, and othes want to.

    Regards.
     
  23. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Were you at the big wedding?

    DL
     
  24. pozzi

    pozzi Formula Junior
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    What big wedding ?
     
  25. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Couple of weeks ago. Friends of mine flew there from Angra. The said it was the "Event of the season" 700+ people.

    DL
     
  26. pozzi

    pozzi Formula Junior
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    LOL !! No, not there... still single... maybe in a year or two...
     
  27. Stackhouse

    Stackhouse F1 Rookie
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    Feb 14, 2004
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    If you are going to be in Sao Paulo take a flight down to Iguacu Falls. It Will Blow your mind! Purchase a Brasil pass and (like a buss pass) you can fly from one end of the country to the other for a fixed price. Take a look at Varig.com.
    If in Sao Paulo stop by Via Eropa and take a look at some nice F cars!

    Brazil Rocks! Great food, Beautiful women, BIG ASS BUGS! and
    Friendly Muggers (I was assaulted once in the past ten years and considering the places I hangout that is a damn good record!)

    Advice: Dont dress like an american! NO Fancy cars! I drive VW's. Wear a fake watch, fake sunglasses, fake cell phone and a fake wallet filled with small bills. If you are assaulted give em your fake $#it and move on. Think of it as a simple transaction. As long as they get enough cash to buy a new bag of glue (The poor mans crack) they are fine.

    Also when you enter the country you may have to be fingerprinted and have your picture taken. Whatever you do DONOT flip the bird to the camera. I know of two cases where it cost the flipper over $14,000 in fines and a direct flight home! Be polite and you will see that Brazilians are the friendliest folk around!
    Anyone interested in more info in traveling to Brazil feel free to ask. I have lived there for several years and travel extensively throughout the country on a regular basis. (Also fluent in Portuguese should anyone need assistance)


    Enjoy!
     
  28. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2001
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    Heed PD's advice...if you look like a star and hang out in the wrong places...you will pay. Simple matter of redistribution of income. If you look local and try not to act flashy, I always found Brasil to be as safe as anywhere else. (Certainly more so than Columbia...)

    I used to stay where the locals stayed, dress, eat and act like a local so I never had any trouble. When the posters above are talking about favellas, well, I assume most of you will take a look and decide not to venture there but this is the same as looking at certain sections of cities in the US. You know you are out of place and because you stand out, you will be a target. Perhaps the only difference between cities there and US cities is that the bad areas tend to be more mixed in the cities in Brasil. Between my office and my home in Sampa, there was a favella. I did not walk through it and I never stopped but one block outside of that area, I felt comfortable because a) I spoke the language and b) I looked like a local. My inlaws came down, looked like Americans and took cameras to Leblon beach in Rio. I promised them the things would be stolen and - of course - they were but that would happen on just about any beach if you ask me.

    As for the people, outside of Hawaii, perhaps the friendlies lot of folks I have met in my life. Different sense of perspective on work, family life etc and I liked it. If you are going there, you should feel safe if you follow basic things outlined from the experienced folks above...give the place a try and you will enjoy.

    - JMG
     

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