What’s the deal with?

DSC05104Everything being so goddamn pricey?
The dollar and euro are weak and the Brazilian Real is strong. Most of the world’s wealthy are parking their money in Brazil, expecting the high interest rate local banks offer, while being somewhat unware of the real rate of inflation. So, large influx multiplied by the difference in currency strength and you get a standard chesseburger costing US$20, just about everywhere. What´s worse is that apartment prices having skyrocketed to Manhattan prices, to a point where US$500k won´t buy you anything decent in Zona Sul and. US$2500 won`t rent you a 3 bedroom apt in Ipanema.

Beach vendors?
Just like the street vendors, the beach vendors tend to offer more practical stuff like snacks, ice cream, beer or sunglasses. Forget the hammock guy.

Flanelinhas?
These are guys that watch your car for a few R$. You pay them R$2 and they don’t kick your rear view mirror off; fair and square. Each one owns a block and is responsible for whatever happens to your car. Since that is where they will permanently work for a few years, should something go missing, you can find them the next day and open a can of whoop-ass.

Running stoplights at after midnight?
For safety reasons, most people slow down at red lights, check for traffic, then speed up again, as stopping at a red light in the dark can be dangerous, due to car robbery.

Street vendors everywhere?
Selling mostly stuff made in China, street vendors account for about 1/3 of Brazil’s work force. This type of business is illegal but frequently overlooked, as most escape the regulating street cops.

 

Dog TV?
These are rotisserie chicken ovens, referred to as television for dogs. For around R$18 you can get diced chicken to go.

Poor people in rich areas?
They come to nicer neighborhoods to beg from the rich (makes sense), but donation is not recommended unless they have an obvious condition. Many of them are in a condition to work but choose to beg. Don’t give them anything, as this doesn’t help anybody. If you want to help, check page 76 on how to give back.

Reckless driving?
Since most Brazilians bought their license, or forgot most of the rules and regulations, everyone drives like its Super Nintendo.

Lack of tribes?
Where are the punks? The nerds? The hippies? The heroin addicts? The emos? The rastas? Rio doesn’t have visible factions of any of the above. It is mostly preppies, jiu-jitsu fighters (pit bulls), artsy-fartsy (neo-hippies) and normal people. You can find more tribes in São Paulo.

Shanty towns on the hills everywhere?
Why do the poor have the views, while the rich are locked down to the flat areas? A law from when Brazil was still a colony is still in use, prohibits anyone from building on the hillsides, allowing Cariocas to have a green view from wherever they live. In the last 40 years, the hills have been overtaken by the poor however, and the government has had little luck in stopping them.

Those mini “Washington memorial monuments” in the middle of the side walk.
Those are placed by the city to prevent pig-parkers from parking on the sidewalk.

Excessive waiters?
Given that the minimum wage is R$670 (US$320 per month), most businesses can afford a large staff to improve service. Unfortunately, most of this staff is under-trained, which lowers the quality.

Hot women by the side of the road?
These tall, hot prostitutes are state-of-the-art transvestites or transsexuals. Don’t fall in love.

Explosions and screams on Wednesday and Sunday nights?
Don`t worry! Those are soccer fans rooting for their teams… more like roostering for the teams…

The lack of luxury cars?
Brazilians get hit with 120% tariff on imported cars, so a BMW325e goes for about US$80K.

What’s the deal with consuming beer anywhere?
I know, isn’t it great?

 

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