P1030235

Top Fifteen Interesting Observations About Brazil and Brazilians (In no particular order…)

1. Ice cold beer. They don't mess around in Brazil. Literally the beer has frost on or sometimes in the bottle. And typically a big bottle is served in a koozie along with small cups for the whole table to share. Which means the last sip of beer is just as cold as the first. Awesome.

2. Night time showers. Everyone showers at night. Sometimes in the morning too. I have yet to adopt this night time bathing routine for fear of frightening people in the morning with my bed head.

3. Coxinhas. Cream cheese and seasoned shredded chicken surrounded by a mass of fried, breaded dough. Enough said.

4. Ham and cheese on french bread for breakfast. Sometimes served with cream cheese, butter or jam. It's called a “misto quente.” Amazing.

5. “Oba!” A common expression of pleasure in Brazil. I thought it was only exclaimed in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

6. Diminutives. Brazilians like to diminituize everything with the expression “-inho/a” at the ends of words for emphasis. Examples: “bonitinha” (pretty), “fofinha” (cute), “coitadinho” (poor little thing), “jeitinho” (way of solving a problem).

7. Kisses on the cheek. The number of kisses varies depending on the city you're in. Particularly confusing for a foreigner. And this has made for many awkward moments of people diving in for the kiss on the other cheek when you're not expecting it.

8. Odd moments for congratulations. Cat calling females is pretty typical all over Latin America in my experience. But here I've noticed rather than than the simple “Hey beautiful,” Brazilian men say “parabems!” or “congratulations!” while scanning a female up and down. Seems like a strange way to pay a compliment, especially since it might be more appropriate to compliment the woman's parents for their aesthetically pleasing gene combination.

9. Skimpy swimsuits. Regardless of your body type, on the beach in Brazil it is not only acceptable but also seemingly expected to cover the least amount of your body. This applies to men and women alike.

I think the man in this picture was a foreigner

And this pic deserved to make it in two blog posts!

10. Shoddy napkins. Seriously, the napkins served in restaurants in Brazil have got to be some of the most useless pieces of paper I've ever used. The quality is more like the paper used to pick up a donut in a bakery. The only good use I found at the table was making napkin roses…

11. Brigadeiros. Chewy balls of semisweet chocolate and sweetened condensed milk rolled in chocolate sprinkles. Need I say more?

The cooking process

12. The Brazilian “thumbs-up.” While the thumbs up may be a globally universal sign of affirmation, Brazilians use it abundantly. It can mean everything from “yes,” to “I agree,” to “hey, thanks for letting me in that line of crazy traffic.” Thumbs up!

13. Sweet avocados. Yes, I realize the avocado is actually a fruit. And fruits, by nature, are typically sweet. But Brazil is the only place I've been where people find salted avocados as in guacamole, on sandwiches or salads to be strange. Instead, the preferred method for avocado preparation is to blend it with milk and sugar into a sweet pudding textured dessert. I was reluctant to tamper with my taste buds in such a way, but actually the dish was quite good!

14. PDA (“Public Display of Affection” for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym). Brazilians are very affectionate and very hands-on. This affection extends into the public arena between lovers who seem quite oblivious to the rest of the world. It's not uncommon to see a couple heavily making out on the subway, in the middle of the street, on the dance floor, in a museum, wherever. Took some getting used to on my part.

15. Botecos. Botecos are essentially small bars with tables extending out onto the sidewalk and sometimes street. In the evenings they are usually packed with friends sharing beers and appetizers and are one of my favorite places to just hang out with people in Brazil.

1/6/14 Note from Author: I am overwhelmed, pleasantly surprised and flattered by the number of comments I've received on this post in the last couple weeks. I started off replying to everyone, but there have been too many recently to keep up. This blog was originally (and still is) meant as a means to share with my family and friends at home my experiences of traveling abroad, and this particular entry was the first one that seems to have gone, as some of you have stated in your comments, “viral.” I had an amazing time in Brazil, and enjoyed visiting several cities in this beautiful country including Foz do Iguacu, Curitiba, São Paulo, Campinas, Vitória, Brasilia and Rio. I have enjoyed very much reading all of your feedback, and in response I'd like to say if I had to pick one more thing to add to my list about Brazil and Brazilians (aside from the feijoada, caipirinhas, pão de queijo, etc.), it would be to mention their warm and open hearts. I am no longer in Brazil, and will be leaving home in a few days for the Dominican Republic, where my travel blogging will continue over the next few months. Who knows, maybe I'll have to continue these top 15 lists in each place I go? Muito obrigada!

Standard

429 thoughts on “Top Fifteen Interesting Observations About Brazil and Brazilians (In no particular order…)

  1. Hey, I am from São Paulo and I thought was really fun to know your perspective about my country! You are totally right about the useless napkins

    Just one thing, about the number 8. We hate to be “scan” by man on the street, really hate. I know it unfortunately happens, but it’s disrespectful.

    You can take a look in this two links to understand more
    https://www.catarse.me/pt/videochegadefiufiu?ref=blog_fiufiu

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsrq8qv8Uig

    Beijos

  2. cular order…):
    Hey, I am from São Paulo and I thought was really fun to know your perspective about my country! You are totally right about the useless napkins

    Just one thing, about the number 8. We hate to be “scan” by man on the street, really hate. I know it unfortunately happens, but it’s disrespectful.

    You can take a look in this two links to understand more
    https://www.catarse.me/pt/videochegadefiufiu?ref=blog_fiufiu

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsrq8qv8Uig

  3. Hey, I am from São Paulo and I thought was really fun to know your perspective about my country! You are totally right about the useless napkins

    Just one thing, about the number 8. We hate to be “scan” by man on the street, really hate. I know it unfortunately happens, but it’s disrespectful.

    You can take a look in this two links to understand more
    https://www.catarse.me/pt/videochegadefiufiu?ref=blog_fiufiu

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsrq8qv8Uig

    Beijos,

  4. Pingback: 10 Things About Brazil That Shock First-time Visitors | WOE

  5. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site
    to come back later on. Many thanks

  6. olga says:

    Don’t forget to visit the northeast of Brazil next time u go there. Recife, Fortaleza, Natal, and Joao Pessoa are awesome cities to visit. Nature, sunny days, waterfalls, and the nicest calm beaches ever. We have: tapioca, arrumadinho, frevo, caldo de cana, rolete, and much more….

  7. renam says:

    Came south in a next trip, you will enjoy santa catarina and rio grande do sul states. Florianópolis is just amazing also Balneário Camboriu and a near beachs as estaleiro, pinho, laranjeiras, etc. Nice blog, we liked so much. Hugs!

  8. THIS IS BIG LIE!
    LUCAS says:
    the napkin is made in such way that it is also used as rolling paper for marijuana joints…. for everything there is a reason, lol

    THIS IS BIG LIE!
    Who started using napkins tramps were bakers who sell their products cheap and not excel in quality and hygiene, because they are cheap! … Only taverns / bars ordinary, dirty and 5th category use this type of paper napkin as a bum!
    Thank you for speaking the truth about our people and our country!

    O Velhinho in: or The small old Man

  9. Lucas says:

    the napkin is made in such way that it is also used as rolling paper for marijuana joints…. for everything there is a reason, lol

  10. Guilherme says:

    Amazing! Thumbs up forever for you, Nicole =))) Brazil is really nice mood country and its great to see foreginers seeing as a half FULL cup. Thanks for the posts! Brazilians are loving it😉

  11. Amir says:

    Hi Nicole,
    As a gringo here (in Brazil) i must say that i agree with all you said here!
    congrets, great blog entry!
    cheers!
    Amir

  12. This country has many ups and downs but what really puzzles me is that we can eat rice and beans and drink coffee with milk with French bread and butter EVERY single day and NEVER get tired of this. Beijão!

  13. Pingback: How travelers see Brazilians | Rio Experience Blog

  14. Lu says:

    Oi Nicole!

    I live in US for 20 years and my boyfriend(American ) is excited about the culture. Funny enough I catch him so surprised about food, parties, my way to deal with things…lol
    Thank you so much for the great way to describe brazilians and obviously feel welcome to come back anytime. I’m in Boston, btw.
    Regards.

  15. Gerson says:

    Hi, NIcole. I´m carioca (the one who is born in Rio de Janeiro) and is such a pleasure to us to read good things about our land. Ok, there are some minor problems that has to be solved in our city, but nothing that fades its beauty. Be always welcome to our country.

  16. Guilherme says:

    Well I’m impressed! Never see a accurate and positive kind of “review” about us… Everything you said is true, we’re warm, open hearts and something we’ve learn is that if we love something or someone we demonstrate, there’s nothing wrong with that! I live in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo (summer here is like a taste of hell, seriously). The problem in Brazil is that the government doesn’t care about its people and some of the people that has not so much financial resources go for crime, they don’t have a choice! We’re trying to change that, its a delicate and slow process, and we have to hold on to the idea that this nation possess a great and brilliant future ahead.
    Best regards and fucking huge hug!❤

  17. Priscila says:

    Interesting article and accurate, for sure. Thank you for talking about avocados. I try to explain to people and they don’t quiet understand. I grew up eating avocado just like you’ve described here(I’m from Brazil) and it took me a long time to start eating guacamole.

  18. I’m exchange student from Brazil in Denmark, and now reading this post, makes me feel so homesick… But Brazil is an amazing country, I miss so much (especially these 15 things)

  19. Ana Cristina Mercanti says:

    OMG! Love your post! You really did a great job describing Brazil . You put a big smile on my face! Congrats! Oba !

  20. Carlos says:

    Hello, I am Brazilian and I would like to thank the brilliant form that defined habits and things we do.
    Reading your post made ​​me want to try it again each of sensations.

    Thank you!

  21. When people visit Brazil open heart, can capture the essence of their People! Simple is wanting to live and be happy. Visit the Brazilian interior, because in every corner you will find a single “way” to be! Always Be Welcome to Brazil, our language, is when a friend feels at home.Firmou Lindamente!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s