Thursday, November 08, 2007

Florianopolis, Brasil

after almost a year and a half of talking about it, golden lotus and i finally went to brasil for a short (5 day) trip.

the country is huge, and we didn't see much of even the town we visited, but i'll give you some general impressions here and follow it up with some pictures in a later post:

It's a cool place.

They have a lot more diversity there than uruguay -- even in the whitewashed south east corner that we visited. some (especially uruguayos) may disparage it, but it was a welcome change for me.

it's a lot more of a car culture. i think the taxes are lower on cars. the roads are big. lots of malls with big parkings lots. looked a lot more like the US than either argentina or uruguay -- closer to chile. btw, i noticed that gasoline was 2.50 reales, and ethanol was 1.50 reales per litre (sugar based)

the dollar's shellacking has hurt "affordability" for expats. it's still cheap-ish but the real has gone from about 3 to the dollar to 1.75 (ouch) -- i guess that's what energy independence and subsequently not being forced to secure supplies in the desert will get you. amazing, since these guys are notorious for destroying currencies.

weather in SE part was awesome. this would be the "colder" part of the country

although i'm sure there is crime there, it is NOTHING like advertised from what i saw (again in SE part only). saw no crime, or signs of it. saw people walking around with valuable watches/jewlery in not that great of neighborhoods. i was very concerned about security after talkin to people about rio and sao paulo, but again, it's a big country with lots of texture i guess.

portuguese, while relatively understandable for spanish readers (while in written form) is pretty hard to follow with only 5 days of exposure! :) i got by with a little bit of hacky portuguese (VERY little) and spanish most of the time. lots of people will understand your spanish and then talk back to you in portuguese :) good luck. i've been told speaking spanish loudly with a gringo accent is bad form in sketchier areas as it can make you an easy target of tourist crime.

the people --

almost *anyone* could look like a potential brazilian -- we even saw asians.

now, all my single guy friends will want to know about the women. i've *heard* that the NORTH is where all the beautiful women are. again, we were in the south.

golden lotus and i talked about this and concluded that people in the south (for the most part) looked very average -- with women wearning tighter clothes and heels (not very typical in Uruguay).

however, the "looks" didn't follow a normal bell curve distribution. there were a bunch of average people but a disproportionately larger number of women that were very well "taken care of" -- outliers if you will....only there were too many to account for them all as outliers.

i assume that the guys followed the same pattern but golden lotus was kind and said that she only had eyes for her balding spotted dog! :)

I'll follow up with some pics once i download them from the camera.



fuBarrio said...

p.s. i don't think i mentioned this in an earlier post, but regarding brazilian visas -- do yourself a favor and get these in your country of origin...especially if you are US.

it costs 100 per visa but it is good for 5 years (assuming this policy is still in effect).

when we went to get ours we were told it was the decision of the "jefe del puesto" to hardwrite in a limit on a typical 6 month visa to the lifetime of the ticket you have to supply them with. in addition the price went up.

in other words, i spent about 170/visa (ouch!) and it was only good for 10 days from the date of issuance. double ouch!

on top of that, you can argue with the embassy people in english easier in the US when they try to pull a stunt like this.


Anonymous said...

Florianopolis is one of the best cities to live in Brazil. Many people are living from other parts of the country and moving to Florianopolis searching for a higher quality of life. I´ve lived in Florianopolis for 18 years, but I´m currently living in Sao Paulo. It´s a completely different experience. I´m glad you liked Florianopolis.