People from the Orkut Community "Eber, I wanna backpack"- Eber, quero fazer um mochilão
Hallo, good people from all over the world! I’m sorry I’m writing only in english, but as it is still an international language to communicate with other peoples(thanks to the Brits), and the one I domain quite well, let me greet you for, at least intending to visit Brasil AS A BACKPACKER. And let me talk a bit about this traveling style here.
Brazilians are not used to backpack.
Today some TV shows, tourism agencies and the few experienced backpackers we have here are trying to bring this style to the youngsters, at least.
Brazilians have a visiting family culture and agency tourism culture, which restricts a lot the adventurous spirit and the curiosity for the unknown. Brazilians are happy to be among people they know and places they is used to be. We have several resorts here, invading nature, so, you don’t have the need to invade it. Wonderful beds in hotels and bathrooms out of Hollywood movies. That’s what this people like! Believe it! They want something different from what they have in their homes. Luxury. And they want someone, like a teacher guiding them to knowledge. But not that much knowledge! Come on! They’re on vacation and want to toast under the sun and go to parties at night. That’s what the youngsters think too! They choose now, instead of a party for graduation, a trip to PORTO SEGURO, in Bahia, where they will have parties everyday and drink a lot and possibly return a "mother or father".
About the elders
They are mostly living dead. They have to pay for their medicines and there’s no money for anything else. But, is it true or do the press don’t tell about possibilities? Do Brazilians at least search for a better life with more excitement, more knowledge, more discoveries?
As Fernandinha, my dear friend told me once, we are still fruit of the 70’s where we had remote control coming, more cars, telephone and traveling agencies allowing the ordinary citizen to travel abroad. The thing is hotels and restaurants are more lucrative than taking someone to a museum, or to trek in the jungle.
Now I'm gonna tell somethings about this people from Brasil.
What we usually don’t do here and what you better not do:
- Most people can’t speak English or any other language, BUT we’ll do everything to understand you;
- This is not a hitchhike friendly country. It’s not easy to get a ride and it’s not recommended unless you can speak the language and you know where you are.
- Some people don’t like when you ask if brazilians speak Spanish. Study about any country you travel avoiding embarrassment. By the way, we speak portuguese, but the accent and some words are totally different from the portuguese spoken in PORTUGAL.
"Why so serious?"
- Like any other big city there is danger of robbery, assault, etc, in capitals, mostly. Don’t walk like a tourist and don’t wear not even a watch. Be discreet with your guide book and don’t walk with lots of money.
- Don’t buy tourist stuff at the beginning of your trip. You’ll probably make friends in the middle of the journey and will get many gifts. We like to give. If not, buy your souvenirs at the end of the trip and ask people about the cheapest places.
- Don’t trust the traffic lights. Drivers are very wild and disrespect pedestrians. And they will curse you if you are on their way!!! Haha! Be careful.
- Don’t leave your things unattended anywhere. Not even in the hostel. Get locks to your things.
- Try not to speak your language out loud. Some crook can hear you are a foreigner and immediately think $MONEY$.
- The south and southeast are more developed than the northern part. It’s easier to meet people who can speak english and spanish.
- Don’t get crazy with our good food or you’ll be out of budget very soon. The food is really good!!!
- Don’t think every Brazilian woman is a potential prostitute. Even more if you are in big cities like São Paulo, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and many more places. We are a smiling people and we touch a lot. That doesn’t mean we want to do “something more”. Of course you’ll probably find these “professionals” during your trip, but don’t think they’re everywhere. And don’t ask to someone if she/he is one! Just respect and enjoy the pleasure of kisses on the cheek and some pats on your shoulder, or leg. Maybe even a warm hug. This will probably mean friendship. I like you. You’re a good person. That’s it.
- If you are a typical european or united states citizen, people will immediately realize you are a tourist. Don’t let it happen. Try to change something you are wearing, because we have all kinds of people here and maybe a change of style can do the trick.
- Try not to be tempted to do some “tours” while you are here. You probably know what tour I’m talking about. Something like a tour to GAZA? I think you got it.
- Don’t let people charge you more because you are foreigner. It can happen. If you are in the northeast, there are much more probabilities. I have a friend (and she’s Brazilian) that was overcharged for fruits at one street market in João Pessoa, Paraíba. She is blond and tall. When she spoke in portuguese arguing about the price, the attendant was amazed and excused herself saying she “thought she was a tourist”!!!
- We kiss on the cheek (two or three times)people we hardy know. You better kiss back!!! Hahahah
- We show affection everywhere. Not pornographic, but expressive. We are close talkers.
- We ask a lot about intimate life. Be kind if you don’t want to talk about it, or diverge. Brazilians can be very emotive because they’re just making conversation.
- Most young people you make friends with like to invite travelers to dine at their homes, and they will serve you Brazilian food. You’ll love it. Don’t have to bring anything, but it will be charming if you come with a beverage. We are not a “bring your food and drink with you” people.
Renoir, a Leitora
- Be sure you learn some basic words in Portuguese. People will be very happy to know you’re trying your best to know more about this country.
- If you need information, better talk to the police, young people or try a store. And, of course the Tourist Information Centre(put some adresses in São Paulo).
- We have hostels here and they are pretty nice. And we also have the ACCOR’s hotel web that has interesting prices.
- Try to do most of the things by yourself. After all, you’re a backpacker!
The nature here is amazing and you’ll be bewitched by many beaches and bucolic landscapes, but there are many cultural themes here as well. Remember to study our history and probably you’ll find out that your great great grandpa was in Paranapiacapa helping to build the railway as we were a colony for Europeans, like, dutchs, Portuguese, English, and later on we had a great number of Japanese, german, Spanish and Italians arriving here and staying.
- We respect the elders like giving seats and letting them pass first when standing in line, things like that.
- We greet people before asking for information.
If you go to a restaurant see if they charge on the bill 10% for the waiter.
- We don’t give tips to taxi drivers nor to “throwers”. You’re a backpacker. Don’t use them. Only if you feel like they deserve some extra money. *************Gay Parade in São Paulo
- Big cities in the south are relatively gay friendly and it's prejudice to discriminate them in public places, but we have some specif areas where you guys can feel more comfortable and you find them on line, in papers and magazines. There are lots of places!
- "It's on me!"
- If you go to a bar with new friends, share the bill. They will possibly not let you pay. Be quiet….hahhhaha! And thank them for the kindness.
Cheers and be always welcome in this country that belongs to all of us like the whole world!!!
V for Verônica