Friday, 7 March 2014

"Don't worry, take it easy."

Seemingly the Brazilian mantra. So many people have said that exact phrase to me. When I asked the owner of my last hostel in Santa Teresa, Rio whether she wanted paying now or later for the laundry she laughed and said "You're so funny! Don't worry, take it easy." (I took that to mean she didn't want paying. I was wrong).

Other Brazilian things I've noticed: 

No one will happily accept a note larger than R$20. To put that into perspective, the next note up (R$50) is worth £12.50. Drives me crazy. 

If a taxi driver doesn't know where a place is, he will kick you out of the taxi. 

Flip flops and shorts are the national uniform. 

Spoken Portuguese is nothing like Spanish. If you think it is, you're wrong. If you think speaking Spanish will help you understand when someone speaks to you, re-evaluate your life. But on the bright side, written is generally okay. I basically just need the phrase 'I don't speak Portuguese, but would you mind writing everything you want to say down in my handy notepad?' 

Oh! And as a side note, more about travelling in general than Brazil. I'd read that when you're backpacking you meet people and then keep bumping into them along the tourist trail. I was like 'Yeah, maybe once or twice...' In the last two days I've bumped into four separate people I've stayed with in hostels in other cities. I'm currently in Paraty (a lovely colonial town four hours or so outside of Rio) in a dorm with two people who were in my first hostel in Botafogo, Rio. There's a storm outside, and the roof is leaking, but that's a story for another day.

It's a gorgeous place though.

Tomorrow Milena and I are going to São Paulo, with a change on the bus because you can't book in advance in Brazil without a Brazilian tax code (need to sort that out before foreigners descend on you for the World Cup/ Olympics, Brazil) or by paying commission to an English language bus middleman. And the plan is to be there for just one night before getting a bus to Iguassu Falls, but if all the buses are booked we might be there longer. (Again, sort it out Brazil!) 

Can't wait to see the Falls! Hopefully I'll sort my life out and get some photos up soon. 

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