Why I won’t be going back to Brazil

Why I won't be going back to Brazil

If you’ve read the last few posts you’ve probably figured out that I wasn’t crazy about Brazil. I’ll say it now: Brazil was for me the most disappointing place I’ve been on vacation. My opinion is based on 2 1/2 weeks of travel within a small portion of Brazil, so take my opinion for what it’s worth…but as equally as I can say that I loved Colombia during my 2 visits, I can also say that I really didn’t enjoy Brazil.

The biggest reason were the people. Maybe I thought the people would be “Latin”, like in Colombia, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic; happy, outgoing, and friendly people. They weren’t. I actually felt they were hostile, something I never expected when planning to go there. I’ve never felt people as unfriendly towards me as I did in Brazil.

 

I’ve thought about it a lot, wondering what it could have been. Is it because I’m Caucasian, and that they confuse me as being an American? (I’m Canadian). Is it because Lissette and I are a mixed raced couple? (I don’t think so because Brazilians are pretty mixed anyway). My best theory is that it’s political, specifically anti-American sentiment due in part to the whole Visa situation. I know Brazilians are upset about the Visa fees imposed on any Brazilian citizen wanting to visit the USA.

We can all look at other countries and disagree with their policies or politics. That’s fine. But when I, as an individual, have some Brazilian woman intentionally hitting me with her luggage cart (twice) at the airport, I start taking it personally. I would ask someone a question and they would respond but would do it addressing Lissette (maybe because she’s brown?). I can count on one hand the number of people who would respond with a smile or who weren’t brusque in their manner. Brazil was the one place where I felt that I could be mugged in broad daylight and where locals and authorities wouldn’t even budge to help you (you think I’m exaggerating? Read this post by a fellow blogger).

 

We’ve argued about this; Lissette thinks it’s great that Latin people are, in her words, “Proud, they won’t bow to the white man. Most Latinos don’t stick together and Brazilians do”. I respond that I have no problem if they’re proud and I don’t ask anyone to bow down to me. But if I’m being friendly and people are rude towards me then I have no reason to like them. I’m not American, this “anti-Americanism” is a broader brush against any white traveler.

I left Brazil with memories of the unfriendly people I met along the way: the above mentioned woman intentionally hitting me within 5 minutes of arriving in Rio, the bartender staring at Lissette’s cleavage at the $260/night Sol Ipanema (right in front of my face), the useless dumb-asses laughing at us when we asked for information. We don’t have any  great memories of the people we met along the way in Brazil.

But I’m not sure it was only this either. We took a boat cruise where almost all the tourists were Brazilian (most tourists we saw were either Brazilians touring their own country or Argentinians). They weren’t all that friendly towards each other either.

 

A few other points about Brazil;

  • “Hot Brazilian women”. I’ve seen tons of photos of beautiful Brazilian women but they must have all gone indoors when we were there. Colombian women are still the hottest Latin ladies in my books. They even smile at you in Colombia.
  • Surprisingly, it’s the Brazilian men who are very good looking. Lissette suggests that Brazil would be a great place for a single woman. Or gay man. Maybe I’ll come back to Brazil if I’m gay in my next life. Yeah: dead, reincarnated, and gay – the only way I’ll come back to Brazil.
  • Caipirinha” is an amazing drink and I loved it. Wow!
  • Despite my comments, there was incredible geographical beauty in all the places we went. Brazil is a beautiful country. I loved the combination of mountains/ocean in Rio province and was impressed by Iguazu. My dislike for Brazil has nothing to do with the geography. It is a beautiful country.

Again, this is just my opinion based on 2 1/2 weeks travelling within a small part of Brazil. I’m sorry to be negative and I don’t mean to offend any Brazilians reading this. Maybe our experience would be different if we returned tomorrow. But this was our experience and I think its important to tell it as it is.

 

Related: 12 Surprising Places to See (that you may never have heard of)

 

Have you been to Brazil? What was your experience?

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Why I won’t be going back to Brazil
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295 Comments

  1. Hi!

    I’ve never been to Brazil but for a while I really wanted to go. I find your post very interesting because it differs from the usually overly enthusiastic opinions and matches the negative experiences of people I met in real life.
    My doctor in particular had a terrible time in Rio when she went there for charity work. She’s used to working abroad in difficult condition but the days she spent there as a tourist after she finished her mission left her a very bad impression. According to her the place is gorgeous but unsafe and the precautions that you have to take to avoid danger aren’t absolutely worth it. She would never go back and she found people to be weirdly aggressive.

    I would still visit the southern region of Rio Grande though.

    1. Replying to Anna:
      Anna, as someone who is a native from Rio Grande myself, I feel the obligation to tell you this. The problem with Brazil in general is that the “violence” is not only in regards to crime, the violence is encouraged by cultural and societal aspects. Mothers encourage their sons to be aggressive from an early age because this is a sign of being “manly” in their sick twisted view, resulting in men that are violent in every possible way. Fathers, the very few rare unicorns that aren’t wife beaters and child spankers themselves, will not punish the actions of their daughters, resulting in spoiled women who learned from an early age that you can always get away with your misdoings. And then there is the societal “norm” currently accepted in most families that it is common to abuse one of the kids in sake of the others, either it’s boy or girl, there’s a clear difference in treatment between each sibling. The ones who get away with murder become aggressive adults. The ones who are abused from all directions are traumatized for life and can end up becoming aggressive assholes themselves for not knowing how to process trauma correctly. It’s a disgusting cycle of violence that starts right from the cradle. Some men will actively seek and pride themselves on having sex encounters with pregnant women because in their view this means they don’t have to wear a condom and there’s no risk of having kids themselves. The woman is no saint in this either, since there must be two in order to dance. You see where I’m going? Things that you would never expect to think in your mind because these “creatures” have gone down below the limit of what is considered human anymore. This is part of the culture and it is widely accepted everywhere. Fathers and mothers will turn the blind eye because they don’t want to be bothered, most of them are already on burnout from being wage slaves anyway, the marriage is dead for a long time already. And there’s even a more cruel aspect to it (really? what a surprise!!) : the parents will even reward the kid that misbehaves because – once more – this means that he’s a “dominant male” or whatever that means. You will start to notice that many of the abused and mistreated kids are the ones who were following all the rules and behaving properly, these are the ones who are turned into scapegoats to all the other siblings. I don’t know from where this comes from, and honestly I don’t care anymore, my mind had enough dark thoughts to think about for a lifetime. Let these animals live in the cages they built for themselves and let’s go pursuit a better place to live our lives not having to deal with any of this. You can imagine how these creatures behave in a professional environment, I bet you do, I don’t even need to start on that. I see a lot of foreigners donating their hard-earned dollars to “charity” programs in south america, don’t waste your money anymore, your charity money is only enabling all of this behavior to continue happening (incentivizing further breeding to get more donations) and none of the money reaches the pockets they should in the first place.
      Well, I was supposed to talk about my homestate Rio Grande… the short version of the story is this: they were already aggressive enough before. Nowadays, what’s happening is that the black/brown folks from the other states are going down to the developed regions in the south in DROVES. The cities and the region that I knew and loved back 10 years ago don’t exist anymore. Homelessness been rising, you see less and less white people on the streets, companies closing doors, garbage thrown on the streets, the streets stink like piss. People in the countryside don’t have jobs (it’s mostly public sector sucking out of the government tits) which leads to people becoming even more inventive in regards to ways to exploit others in order to survive.
      The island of Floripa in the neighbor state might be more worthy of an extended visit of 10 days, the north of the island is its own independent region isolated from the rest. But even then, there’s massive migration happening to the region, it will eventually die out, if it has not already. You will face many of the annoyances there as well but at least the weather is nice (not too hot) and the landscaped are nice. The sewer is still dumped into the ocean regardless of the city you choose to visit. Brilliant. Fucking brilliant.
      “How to kill an entire country – The manual”

  2. Ok, I’m commenting this without reading all the other comments first, so this is solely my pure reaction to the blog post.
    First: THANK YOU so much for your honest words. As a brazilian myself (I feel so ashamed everytime I say these words… I should not feel shame about the country I’m originally from… This is insane…) as a brazilian myself I sincerely hope the authorities will FINALLY start paying attention to what is said here and start making some changes in regards to improving the place step by step.
    The problem then becomes: the government can’t change the people’s minsets. You see, Brazil for the past 2 decades has been regarded as the “least educated” people by a large margin, even countries in Africa that are aflicted by constant civil wars have better education indexes than brazilians. This is profoundly embarassing. In short, these people are “savages”. And I speak this having to deal with all this NONSENSE in my daily live for the past 3 decades. I had to deal with NONE of this on any of my visits abroad.
    I honestly don’t know if it is genetic (DNA), if it is social, if it is cultural, if it is economical, or if it is a mix of all of the above. For this point in time, I lost hope for brazilians to evolve past “savages” and becoming civilized human beings, with a sense of moral compass and with human empathy (something that I had seen with my own eyes in countries that are considered “1st world”, so I’m afraid Economy is a direct consequence of the human spirit in that place, and not the opposite)
    For you to have an idea, I am a white brazilian citizen. Back in my home state, people mistreated me for being “too white”. After I moved to another state more to the north, this sentiment is even more prevalent here, since whites are not majority of population. So yes indeed, there is a strong “anti-white” sentiment here, everywhere you go, even for native citizens. Gang mentality is real. (I assume this would happen with italians too, everyone that doesn’t have black hair is not considered a member of the family in their mind)
    For me, all this translates into “anti-human”.
    Now, for a change of pace… Let’s go to comparisons with other countries.
    I never visited Colombia, but I felt amazing when I visited Mexico for 6 months straight, I felt free there and I felt welcomed despite not speaking the local language all that good.
    So my overall conclusion about the whole thing is: if you want to visit a place that is beautiful geographically, that has lots of beaches and that also has polite friendly people and costs cheap, stay with Mexico. The “bang for your bucks” ratio there is INSANELY higher.
    Oh, and very important as well: Brazil has insane amounts of bureaucracy for everything that you want to do, daily life here can only be compared to China in that regard, everything will be difficult. These people are not business savvy at all, and they will blame foreigners for their incompetence. That was another plus that I observed in Mexico: ZERO bureaucracy anywhere I went. In Mexico you are pretty much left to do whatever you want with zero interference. Instead of taking this as example, it seems to me these dumb countries down south are heading in the opposite direction. It’s slowly turning into a mix of China and Russia. After all, these are the economic partners they are choosing to align with.

    After reading all this, don’t be too judgemental when you encounter lots and lots of brazilians living abroad. These, the ones immigrating, are the ones who still have a sense of “human empathy” in their souls and they KNOW they have to RUN from this place as an act of desperation. It’s not everything about “money” and “economy”, it’s about what kind of life you want for yourself. I have seen a lot of anti-immigration hate being spread out there lately and I feel like it’s my duty saying this.

    1. Thank you for your various comments Diego. Your comments are quite harsh and I don’t want to comment being a foreigner who’s only spent 2 1/2 weeks in Brazil. But thank you for your thoughts.

      Mexico on the other hand is a country I know well. My mother lives in Mexico and I try to visit her every year. I love Mexico. The people are friendly, helpful, and patient when foreigners attempt to speak Spanish (even if not perfect). And it IS good value. So I agree with everything you have to say about Mexico 🙂

    2. Hi Brazilian,

      I don’t think bureaucracy is what’s wrong with China and Russia, maybe in the past but not now. You can search around and see that those two countries aren’t very bureaucratic (better than UK, Germany, France etc). In China, life is not as difficult as you described as long as you don’t try your free speech rights. You can make money whatever way you wish and the government won’t bat an eye (local officials are ranked by their ability to grow the economy). China has lots of problems from the authoritarian government, but business acumen is certainly not one of them.

      Having never been to Brazil, I don’t have any insight into Brazil’s problem. Anyway improving education, invest in infra and promoting local industries will do the trick usually. You have a beautiful country, a democratic system and I believe in Brazil’s bright future!

    3. bruh wtf?? I don’t know if we have different experiences or whatever but I’m also Brazilian, living in America now, and I love Brazil so much? Like it’s amazing? I love the food, the beaches, and especially the people, who I think tend to be much more outgoing and intimate and mush less superficial than Americans. Also I feel like you were treading the line about racism (even though you said you were Brazilian) when you kept talking about how genetics are likely what’s making us “savages”… idk what you’re talking about, but Brazilians are not fucking savages. Yes, we’re in one of the worst economic crises in history, people are suffering from extreme poverty because of that and the huge wealth gap, and we have a very bad education system. But we’re FUCKING NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS. WE HAVE EMPATHY AND MORAL COMPASSES. I think when you talk about meeting “normal people”, you’re talking about the people who have lived in the luxury of wealth in a 1st world country. Don’t be so offended when people who suffer a whole lot more than them and have barely any opportunities in life resort to stealing and committing crimes. And don’t be so offended if you feel like you’re being “discriminated against” for being white in a country where whiteness is praised and racism DOES EXIST. If they actually treated you badly for being white, that might them just taking out their rage about their situation on someone who they know has been born with so much more privilege than them (I’m assuming you’re at least middle class, as you could afford to move to another country). If Brazil could just try to help with shortening the wealth gap and bettering education system, a lot of our problems could be solved. But these problems are things all developing countries face. In fact, for a developing country, Brazil is doing quite well with corruption, crime, and the economy. Other countries are much worse. But despite all this, Brazil is not a nightmarish wasteland of savages as this commenter stated. It is a pretty cool place. I lived in Rio, and didn’t go on vacation to anywhere else, but I know for a fact that there are other places in Brazil that are great for tourists (Jericoacoara, fernando de noronha, etc.). If you’re a nervous tourist who has never experienced a risk of crime in your life, these places are great for a simple beach vacation. Rio does have crime, but please don’t let that scare you off from visiting. You’ve just got to be smart about it. My uncle, for example, always wore a fanny pack when out and about. If you’re not up for sacrificing your fashion sense for a bit of extra security, you can just not be on your phone and keep your wallet and/or purse secure while on the street. Don’t wear flashy jewelry on the street, either. You won’t need it on the beach, anyways. But the beaches are amazing. There are always street vendors selling churros or ice cream or popcorn or pastels. The barracas sell amazing açai and (fresh!) coconut water, and if you go to Copacabana beach on a Sunday, they close the highway right next to the beach for people to walk around, bike, socialize, and buy from street vendors for the afternoon. The art fair is amazing too. They sell anything artistic there, and it’s all incredible. Not only did my parents buy me my “baby mobile” there, I have saved up and spent all of my allowance on a piece not once, not twice, but three different times. I feel like I’m going on a a rant here, but my point is that Brazil (Rio specifically) is an amazing place to visit.

      1. I’m also Brazilian, and I agree with pretty much everything you said. Don’t know where this other guy got the idea of “anti-white” sentiment around here, since the majority of people dying in the favelas, suffering with low salary jobs or with no jobs at all are people of color.
        As for the experience of the blogger, well, we are living a horrible crisis and ruled by as many see it, an incompetent government, and of course there’s also the pandemic situation, so it’s completely normal people are not as friendly as they use to be. There’s lots of social (race/class), economic problems being revealed right now, leaving most of the population uncertain and frightened with what is to come, so yeah, maybe people assuming you’re from a country that is filled with white supremacists (as we’ve been seeing) and highly profits from the exploitation of third world countries does not help either.

  3. Good post, I also appreciate your candid and brave opinion because a lot of people get offended when talking about nationalities.

    I haven’t been but I want to. I have some brazilians friends who are awesome, but they are all guys. So I think Brazilian people vary a lot in how they are to foreigners or other people (211 million). In my experience if you talk enough with brazilians they will at some point complain about the poverty in their country or just be unsatisfied by safety, or politics. Since Brazil has a relatively socialist economy, it is very corrupt and currently experiences very high inflation by international standards. I’ve noticed in general that people from socialism-leaning countries, ex-soviet union, ex-communist or communist countries are less happy, kind of angry, and more anti-american. This probably stems from communist propaganda that greedy capitalists and financiers are the source of all evil in society including poverty, when the communist regime itself is the culprit of that. In Brazil from what I’ve heard in talks, there was a period of high foreign immigration into the country during an authoritarian regime, this authoritarian leader was advertising Brazil to the rest of the world as a very prosperous country, economically speaking, but using fake data. This propaganda spread around the globe and a lot of asian, african, italian, etc. flew to Brazil looking for prosperity. A lot of these immigrants though ended up not being able to make a good living or going back to their countries, a lot of them also became drug addicts, criminals or became part of the poorer classes in Brazil (started living in favelas or grouped up and made their own favelas). So foreigners may be seen badly, like muslims or latinos in the US for representing a “poor class” that some think has brought more crime and poverty to the US or just because they compete with americans for jobs. The main reason you didn’t feel welcome though, I think, is anti-americanism, Canadians and Americans are basically indistinguishable most of the time, you guys generally look and feel the same, the accent is almost always exactly the same too. You would probably have a similar experience in Czech Republic, Ukraine or Russia outside Moscow. I think many brazilians realize that a freer capitalism in Brazil, more openness to the rest of the world and less government expenses in the form of social programs, grants and subsidies would greatly benefit them, bringing more foreign investment and a more stable currency, hence Bolsonaro, a far right wing candidate was elected president. But many people are upset with this outcome still, because they dislike capitalism or what Bolsonaro represents, I’ve heard brazilians say that Bolsonaro is a “trump’s dick sucker” for example. Right now though the government is very corrupt, prints a lot of money, pays poor people for having kids and in some areas the government covers water and electricity payments. When I talked to some Brazilians about politics some also think that Brazil will never become more capitalistic or solve its issues, and this thought, that things will never change for the better is also seen in other highly corrupt mainly socialist countries like Venezuela, Cuba, or african monarchies.

    My best brazilian friend wants to leave Brazil too, the richest man from Brazil Paulo Lemann left too for Switzerland 21 years ago after a kidnap attempt to his children. Like you, unfortunately, I’ve experienced that a lot of brazilians aren’t friendly, mainly women, there are some brazilian women who are very VERY hard to deal with, many seem arrogant too. The only time I’ve noticed that brazilian girls are nice to me is when they get the impression of me being wealthy, I think some brazilian women like foreign men as a ticket to a better life in a richer country (like in many latin countries), yet many of these women don’t put enough effort to even learn good English.

    I used to run a small hotel in Cusco, Perú and can distinctly remember how many of the hardest customers in terms of raising complaints about anything would be brazilian, many brazilians would get upset that I only spoke Spanish and English, they expected me to speak Portuguese as well even though we only advertised knowing Spanish and English, they also generally didn’t speak english well or at all, some understood a bit of spanish, but generally they just spoke portuguese and would get frustrated that people didn’t understand them when they spoke… (???).

    We received a lot of brazilian tourists, so at some point we decided to put instructions in Portuguese as well around the hotel, still I usually didn’t see brazilian people satisfied when other guests would love the place, mainly americans and people from other parts of south america (our reviews were 4.5 to 4.8 stars on average). After meeting thousands of tourists I remember the worst guests we’ve ever had (I have crazy, CRAZY stories), and in this list I would definitely put a couple of female brazilian friends visiting Cusco in their 40s/50s. They would complain about every single thing.

    One of them blamed us for a rash she had in her skin, claimed we didn’t launder the sheets (we always do), we changed the sheets, she requested a special brush so she could shower and were upset we didn’t have this brush already, she then needed the bed to be relocated so sunlight would hit the bed most of the day “to kill the bugs”, we relocated it, then they said they couldn’t breath well and went to the hospital to get oxygen tanks, they were walking everywhere connected to oxygen tanks. Apparently they didn’t like the lower humidity and lower oxygen concentration in the air so they decided to cancel their whole trip to Machupicchu with train tickets bought after 3 days of being here, and went back home…

    They had rented the room for nearly a month, but it was so hard dealing with them that I just refunded them fully for the nights they couldn’t stay because I didn’t want to even explain our cancellation policy. When they needed medical help or recommendations they would always contact me but always upset, as if I was responsible for the oxygen concentration in the air. They left very upset, one of the women seemed to be interested in me once just before leaving (she looked fine not gonna lie), and weirdly grabbed me to a laundry area, she started smoking in front of me and told me not to tell her friend, I didn’t know what she was about I just looked at her with no reaction. Then they both left.

    They were very bizarre and always unfriendly, specially one of them. We also traded one of their luggage bags for a bigger one for some additional cash so she could pack more stuff just before she left, she was upset the luggage we gave her wasn’t totally clean but we had told her it was a second hand luggage we could give her because she was all desperate about getting to the airport, and couldn’t fit all her stuff in her old bag. About a week after they left, the rudest of these girls wrote to me on Whatsapp thanking me for everything I did to help them while they were here, but to be honest I didn’t reply because I really don’t want to deal with them ever again. She behaved worse than a kid, was very unreasonable, and manipulative.

    I closed my hotel indefinitely due to quarantines that made reservations go to nearly 0, and the fixed costs being too high. You should come to Peru though, the landscapes, old structures like Machupicchu, and food are amazing. Also, people in Cusco are friendly, because tourism makes up a big portion of this city’s revenue. In general, peruvians are laid back and friendly. I’ve never been to Colombia but I’ve LOVED dealing with all the colombian tourists that came to my hotel, I have some of them on social media even, as you say, they are very friendly. I’ve experienced very friendly people in Mexico city too, mexico is great for beaches and food, I was surprised that the capital was so affordable to live in and so fun (initially i only thought mexico only had touristic value for the beaches, but the city itself isn’t bad at all). I haven’t been to a lot of cities in Mexico, but I’ve noticed that outside Mexico city people are less friendly, still manageable though. I also remember i once saw Mexico ranking the highest in the world for friendliness.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thank you for your comment. You’ve had interesting experiences. I think I would go crazy if I had to deal with all the people a hotel owner deals with. I don’t want to comment on your experiences with Brazilians (I can only comment on my own) but like you I’ve had better experiences with Mexicans, Colombians, Argentinians, and Dominicans. All generally very friendly people in my opinion.

      We’ve actually spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe and have had very good experiences. They’re a bit colder initially. Never rude but not warm. But if you extend yourself and talk to them they get surprisingly friendly. We’ve spent a combined 7 months in the Czech Republic and 5 months in Ukraine. 2 of our favorite countries.

      Every country and it’s peoples are different and I can only judge based on our experiences. Our worst were this trip to Brazil (which dates back to 2007) and Poland (we visited just a few years ago). I never really understood the source of why Brazilians were unfriendly. Maybe we were unlucky. But in Poland it was dirty looks aimed at my wife who is olive skinned. We spent a month in Poland and it’s the most intolerant country we’ve been. Other than that I can’t really complain about our experiences in any country (and we’ve been to 50+ at this point).

      Thanks for recommending Cusco. We haven’t seen much of South America but intend to explore more of the continent in the future. We’ll make sure to visit Cusco 🙂

    2. Wow, Dave’s post is mind-blowing and seems to replicate my same experience having to deal with brazilian tourists as a tour guide (have in mind: I am a brazilian citizen, this work was done in brazil…)
      I would receive tourists from all over the world, all of them very polite and friendly even though some of them had reasons to be angry (some of them were scammed with fake car rental service, the other couldn’t make his SIM card work, not even me being a national was able to make it work, thanks to the endless dumb bureaucracy that exists here)
      By a mile, the worst people that I had to deal with during that period were the brazilians who were passing by. They would always arrived at the information booth with closed angry faces, you could tell right away they were brazilians. They never said thank you or smiled.
      What a bunch of savages.
      All of this hurts the reputation of the good apples who are decent and go seek a better living abroad. Unfortunately the numbers don’t lie.
      Mexico, by contrast, was the friendlier and most free place I ever visited. Cheap, no bureaucracy at all, etc etc. Better weather even.

  4. Hello Frank..
    sorry for my writting is not so well.
    Your blog is the first popes up once I have searched in google for “Brazilians do not like gosip?”
    To be frank, I agreed for all your points but I only did not know about the US visa issue (long ago) that Brazilians had to face with. I am Asian and now in Brazil for more than 8 months because of the Virus.
    First of all, I love Brazilians, deep inside my heart I love brazilans, love their vibes but I still do not understand how can I approach them closer (I feel a distance when I try to catch up with them but when they talk with each other on the street, it seems super enjoyable).
    I like their vibe and tranquilo style. I also feel that they have kind heart and want to help attitude and do not gosip that why I was looking something to support my thought (still don’t see, but it is from what I feel).
    I presume my problem is the launguage, once I can not communicate well then it is no point for them to continue talking with me. hopefully once I get into some level of conversation, it could be more flow living and understand more.

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Thank you for your comment. I am happy you love Brazilians 🙂 Travel is all about our personal experiences: sometimes they are great, sometimes not. I can only write about our personal experiences but I am always happy to hear about the experience of others.
      All the best to you and I’m glad you were in a good place during the virus.

  5. Jesus… “They’re upset because of the visa”? I really think that if you want to state a comment like that, you should do some research before. I don’t know which where have you visit in here, but I don’t know a single person that gives a shit for the visa situation, and that would mistreat someone because of that (????), it’s completely nonsense what you said. Unless you were trump itself, there’s no reason to give a tourist the responsability for some country’s politics. Most of the people who wants to leave the country, don’t even consider united states. The idea of leaving to live in USA usually comes only from some people that have no much structure (financial), and idealize living in the united states as something fancy, with status. Or from some other people in completely different situation, those from high society that already have their visas.

    Also, this analysis is pathetic. “Oh women in brasil are not as hot as people say” 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 FUCK, this is one of the reasons we don’t like foreigners. I’m really thankful that women here didn’t smile at you like they did in colombia, cause guess what: they’re not objects and are not made to make your landscape better while traveling.

    I can say by myself and by all the people I know that share the same opinion. I won’t mistreat a foreigner, but I won’t keep on smiling and trying to make them feel good simply cause they’re visiting my country… I don’t have to. Also, I hate these kind of dumb assumptions people do about us “brazilians are a warm people”, “brazilians love football”, “brazilians are more friendly than us” aaaaaaaaa this is fucking annoying, and not true. And we doesn’t have to fulfill these expectations, we have our own lives to take care.

    Another thing we hate, is how people assume we’re stupid and doesn’t have an understanding of things (quite shown on your perspective that we would be dumb enough to relate a merely tourist with the american visa issue). So as I said, do some research before saying these things.

    1. Julia, this trip dates back to 2007. Brazilians were upset about the Visa situation at the time (I’m talking about the tourist visa because you seem to be confusing it with something else.). So much so that the Brazilian consulate included a note along with the Visa explaining the reciprocal fee that they, in turn, were charging us to visit Brazil.

      As for your other comments, I think you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. I was being tongue in cheek (ie sarcastic) in some of my comments and you obviously took all my comments seriously. I’ve replied to many similar comments on the post so I won’t repeat myself.

      As for the other comment you left for someone else, I’m deleting it because it was quite rude. People have the right to say what they want to say, just as I’m allowing people (like you) to criticise me despite maybe not understanding some of what I wrote.

  6. I feel you. Your wife is wrong about brazilians “supporting each other”. Brazil is the most divided country I have ever lived in. Brazilians hate each other, specially if you try to talk to them about ancestry… don’t even try. They call each other “vira-latas” because they can’t stand who love their ancestors. It’s pretty ugly. I have never seen a country that hates their ancestry so much you can’t even talk about it without getting ridiculously attacked by people that consider themselves “mesticos” because some teacher told them “everybody in Brazil is mestico”, narrow minded people… To most of them knowing about their ancestry is not important, so they don’t really care about testing their ancestry DNA either. Wtf. I’m from France, I got really disappointed at brazilians and their lack of respect for their ancestry, their women and their children. Everything there is about “sex”. Every freaking thing. The novelas, the books of George Amado and others, their parties, the pop music. It’s just too much. I feel sorry for the young Brazilians that don’t participate of any of it, they should have the chance to leave and find a country that matches their personality. I was so glad when I left, but I am really sorry for the sweet Brazilians I met that hate that mess so much and can’t leave because they lack money. Sad.
    About safety. I had a gun pointed at me in Penedo during Christmas. The police didn’t do anything about it. 99% of the crimes against women and children in Brazil goes unpunished according to the UN data.

    1. Your description is pretty accurate and sadly true.
      People in this place have built a prison for themselves inside their own minds, and they seem to love that mind prison. Only solution is getting the heck out of here.

      Now, for something positive, what would be your Top 5 places to visit or even to live out there?
      I was pleasantly surprised with Mexico. If I had means of having a career there I would not hesitate for a second moving there. Out of all countries I visited it has the most qualities that I look for in a place to live combined than anywhere else, including the fantastic weather and zero bureaucracy. If only the currency was a bit more stable.

  7. ALSO!

    If you didnt go to a churracaria having “BBQ” in your blog’s title… man, you MUST come back, even if just for a stop over, and go to a churrascaria.

    We have great churrasco in my state, but in the south they are the freaking gods of churrasco.

    If you ever find a fogo de chão abroad, ask for picanha. It will be 1000000 times better in the south 😀

  8. Aw man, I’m so sorry for your bad experience.

    Most people actually like us, and yeah, you found a lot of rude people. But I would also recommend you to go for more non-super-foregner-filled places, and… well… among Brazilians, Cariocas (people from Rio) are know for being the most entitled AND advantage-taking types (we call it malandros, in its bad meaning).

    In any case, Bahia has some freaking nice places, really. I live in São Paulo – the Capital. Nothing to see really – it’s pretty much a concrete jungle, but there is a lot of cultural stuff, and you can find freaking awesome food here from any origin. Obviously, it’s mostly fusion, but if you want to eat good food, you will find it here 🙂 AND night life here is wild. Any day of the week, at any time, there is something to do: bar, clubs, parties, you can chose anything, and the options are almost infinite.

    For the scenery there is so many places, that in my opnion, are sooo muuuuch beeetter than Rio. And for services and other stuff too. Once guys mentioned the south – so many cities there are really cool. Like bombinhas for beach and Gramado on the country side (you can even go during the film festivals). The oktoberfest here is interesting, because oktober here happens in the warm months.

    In any case, I’m sorry… and I hope the view made up for the bad people o/

  9. Before the virus hit, I had an interesting experience earlier this year while staying in Brazil for a month and a half. I split up my trip, half in the Amazon (Manaus), and the other half in the South (Curitiba). I planned it this way because I wanted to see the contrast between the two different regions of the country, opting out of more touristy places such as Rio. I could write an entire book on this adventure and what took place, both good and bad. I agree Brazil itself is unbelievable from a topography/nature standpoint. I also agree with many comments below regarding the corrupt and opportunistic nature of most of its inhabitants. I knew about some things to watch out for in Brazil. I am also patient and open-minded, and this isn’t a broad-brush statement that applies to all; I want to see the good in people. It’s just the bad ones who want all your time, and for a reason not in your favor.

    The journey started in the Amazon. I had met a beautiful woman online, and we hit it off. We communicated for a few weeks before I arrived and got to know each other on a deeper level; at least that’s what I thought. Now, if I were to write said book, she would take up half of it. Twenty-five days we spent together, almost 24-7, since her flight attendant courses were on break. Rose was incredibly charming, sexy, stylish, and looked great on paper. She could sing, dance like no other, and fun-loving. We had amazing adventures together in the jungle, the rivers, and across Manaus. Things progressed quickly, and we adored one another. However, many times something felt “off,” but I would either dismiss it as cultural differences or establish a boundary when she acted entitled or rude. Halfway through my stay with Rose, she asked if I could help her cousin with rent, $130, to be exact. I made it very clear to her that I wasn’t a bank and to be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, I was too involved with her at this juncture to say no.

    After I returned to the states, we stayed in contact for a couple of months. I was planning a return trip to see her again later in the year. Things started to get weirder and weirder with her stories, and I noticed many inconsistencies. Then I discovered all along that she was using multiple social media accounts and WhatsApp numbers to communicate, sometimes posing as someone else to manipulate me. We’re talking social engineering at its best. I was livid, embarrassed, and felt like my heart had been thrown into a meat grinder. I knew a con artist had just suckered me. She had studied me to know everything and created a profile. I won’t even go into all the details of psychology and disordered personalities, which I frequently read about and study. But, this woman was more than a con, she was sadistic and enjoyed toying with me; a textbook sociopath. I told her where to stick it, blocking her on all lines of communication. Since then, she has created several fake accounts to stalk me on Instagram. Later, after the breakup, I found out that she got a tattoo of a tiger, in remembrance of me. She would call me “tiger” as a nickname. Apparently, she is my owner, lol! I’ve replaced all my credit cards and religiously watch for any suspicious activity on my accounts. You can’t make this shit up, folks. I couldn’t get over how skilled this woman was at gaslighting and selling me on a false narrative. Also, pretty heartbroken by this unscrupulous bitch. So, that was my experience with a female predator from the north.

    Now, to the south. I arrive in Curitiba. Most people have never even heard of this city, and I would consider it a hidden gem. It’s one of the safest and cleanest cities in all of Brazil. I would parallel it with Seattle. The population (metropolitan area), the weather, and the hip factor are very similar. This is where I saw the true diversity of Brazil and all the different ethnicities. Very European, and the further south you go in the country, the more it felt like America somehow — driven by money and power opposed to the north, which is more festive and community-focused. Much of the south is very right-wing and backs Bolsonaro, whereas the north is more liberal. However, I did meet some kind and welcoming people in Curitiba.

    The main reason I was in this city was another woman who I met online, strictly platonic. She used to write for the paper and knew all about the attractions there. After a few days with her, I decided to call off the friendship. She was negative and had nothing but bad things to say about her country. I didn’t need that energy. Moving on, I used the CouchSurfing app to meet up with folks who spoke English since my Portuguese was terrible. One of them was a 35-year-old law student/web developer named Sandro. The first thing he said when we met was, “I saw that you don’t have any reviews on your account, so I thought I would help you out by being your first.” I found his statement strange but whatever. He was an OK enough guy to hang out with, albeit a little on the cocky side.

    We talked about the women and the socioeconomic differences between the north and south, even the racism that does exist there. He knew I shot photography and asked if I could take photos of a friend who started a firm after recently landing a whale of a case. However, his friend was still working for another firm that Sandro was creating a website for and had a few months left before he went out on his own. Sandro tells me that the client didn’t like his photos, hence why he wanted me to take them. During the shoot, he decides to get out his lower-quality camera and take pictures when I finished up. I was like WTF, and gave him a disapproving look. I found out that he never used my photography on the site, after all. Sandro took advantage of my presence to reassure the client that the photos were professionally shot when he only presented his. I was pretty pissed since this was a “favor,” and did it hoping to form a new friendship. Fast forward to me back in the states, and guess who else is bugging me on social media? Yep, he was looking for work and knew I was in the marketing and advertising industry (facepalm). At this point, I was like, Jesus, I really let me guard down around these people.

    In conclusion, I still love my experience in Brazil and hold on to the good parts as much as possible. I can honestly say that someday I’ll return to see more of the Amazon and visit Iguazu. I was approached by many people in Brazil who were transparent enough to see their shady motives and protected myself. I’ve been to Mexico twice and the Dominican and didn’t get this vibe right off the bat as I did in Brazil. But I wasn’t prepared for some of these covert machiavellian types who plot everything out like a chess match. But the food, nature, and passion that the country has to offer makes it hard to refuse a return regardless of the shitheads I encountered. A learning experience, and now I know what I’m dealing with as a foreigner there.

    1. Oh boy…. I’m Brazilian and I’m not surprised. Specially with the last guy.

      In any case, be aware that lost of Brazilian women do not see “social media stalking” as a bad thing, and some are childish enough to create various accounts and try to manipulate people (this is a social difference – we think of people who play games as childish around here).

      Also be on your guard with what we call pistoleiras (“gunners” meaning, women that are after money).

      Ans if you ever become interested in another Brazilian, try to have in mind that some jealousy is cultural. And both men and women will voice it and will become angry.

      Now if you want more places to visit, pantanal has some nice views (its a literal SWAMP). Chapada da Diamantina is Beatiful. There is Ilhabela that is quite beautiful and is used to tourists of various places. There are some interesting historical sites, like Ouro Preto, with 13 churches, most of them decorated with gold (seriously, 13 churches, not counting the chapels, in a 70k inhabitants – there is a cool rivalry story behind that).

      Anyway, I hope you have more luck next time

    2. To be honest as someone who lives in Curitiba I’m very impressed that you knew about the regional differences in my country, since most foreigners only visit Rio and Bahia, which to be honest are the most unhygienic, dangerous and unfriendly areas towards Caucasians and have a huge amount of Communists . As a Brazilian, I would not dare stay for more than a week in any of those regions unless I really needed to. I mean xenophobia between regions is really bad in Brasil, so if you are Caucasian the main reason people treated you badly is probably because they assumed you are from the capitalist South were 80 per cent of the population is white, mainly because of the massive immigration of Italian, Polish, German, and Japonese people during the end of the XIX and the start of the XX century.
      If you ever return I would recommend visiting some Japonese or Italian or German colonies in Santa Catarina, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul they have a very distinct architecture and people tend to be more polite at least. Santa Catarina is also one of the best beach states to visit, it is as beautiful as Rio, IDH is considerably higher, it is considerably more hygienic, and people are mostly nice, but very flaky and service tends to be very slow, actually people from there seem to be in slow motion all the time, it is kind of funny.
      It is really sad that your experience with Brazilians was so bad, but if you ever fell like returning I have to say meeting Brazilians in the internet is normally a bad idea even if you live here; since most Brazilians distrust each other, only shady people use meeting apps. The best and only way to meet genuinely nice people here is unfortunately in person. Also people with higher salary, especially from the South, tend to be, unfortunately, most likely to approach foreigners without any second objectives and speak English, most likely also Italian or German. Brazilian barbecue in Rio Grande and Paraná is also very good, including a regional food called ground bull ribs.
      However I have to agree 50, 60, and 70 years old women and old people in general tend to be very disrespectful and loud towards everyone and poverty stricken areas can be hard to avoid. It is just a sad fact about Brazilian culture that sadly doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

    3. BB73, wow… the “photography” story down in Curitiba surprised me even as a local brazilian. Holy shit these people… everytime people ask me why I chose to live abroad from brazil, I will shot this blog post and all the comments as a source of information. People have no idea (which is an indicator that they still have some resemblance of human soul inside of them)
      Also, your description of Curitiba being the “brazilian Seattle” is a very accurate one, this was also my perception while living there for a year. The downside of Curitiba is that people are very locked down within their social circles, it’s very hard to form real deeper friendships there (from what I’ve read this is also the case for Seattle to some extent)
      In terms of most “authentic” local culture in Brazil and still on the “sanity” side of things, I would recommend going even more south, down to Porto Alegre. The state has its own rock music scene, there are local bands that only tour there, release albums with original music, etc. Very bohemian night-life. But not everything is roses, in the last decade I witnessed with my own eyes the nightlife dying out because of all the stupid bureaucracy and regulations being put in place, like the one that forbids people from drinking outside on the street, there’s heavy gentrification going on at the bohemian neighborhoods, etc. Before all of this, it was a very lively place to live in and have fun. Nowadays, it’s shadow of its former self. The few good places that remain are being slowly killed, in favor of becoming this homogeneous “China-like” grey mass. Very scary outlook for the future.

  10. Okay, it’s very unfair what you write, but of course, against a nation, you deserve a bit of angry, but also a lot of clicks.
    It’s good to read “I’ve never felt people as unfriendly towards me as I did in Brazil.”, it’s exacly what we feel traveling to Europe and NA, I hope you enjoy!

    1. Thank you for your comment but I’m not sure why it’s unfair when it’s honest. If you look through this blog you’ll see we’ve visited about 50 countries – and there are very few where I’m negative.
      As I’ve told other commenters, maybe we were unlucky. Maybe if we came back tomorrow we would have good experiences and meet friendly people. But that didn’t happen on this trip…and I’ll always be as honest as I can when writing about our experiences.
      And as far as people being unfriendly towards you in NA and Europe: I’m not surprised but I’m sorry to hear it. There is a lot of racism in the world.

      1. Brazilians love to play the victim.
        Racism is one thing.
        Lacking BASIC SOCIAL SKILLS when you are living in a foreign country is an entirely different matter.
        Brazilians often come back from abroad after a brief time because they quickly find out their mischeavous ways will not fly out there, people will not take that crap. And I agree with them.

  11. Hello, as a Brazilian I don’t feel offended by your comments at all. I’m sorry for your experience, It’s never good to do a previous judgement about a country or its people (even if it’s good), you assumed Brazilians were all fine easy going people and it turned out not to be true. I’ll tell my experience: I’m from Recife and went to Salvador this last week, the receptionist at the hotel didnt smile at us at all and we felt that, how come at a touristic area in a four stars hotel the women didnt even smile? Also when we went to an ice cream place, two of the attendants looked at us like we were shit, with no apparent reason. Some years ago, I had a friend from Bahia over in Recife for a visit, when we were going to a restaurant I always go, there was a man walking his beautiful dog, she started to pet the dog like dog people do, the only thing the man said was something like “I don’t like when people touch it”. I guess he could have said it in a nicer way, I was surpised because I never expected that to happen right in my friend’s first day in my city.
    A few years ago my parents went to Paris and they were worried because everyone tells us that parisians are rude, and I told them not to expect to be treated badly, but to have her own experience, which turned out to be amazing. Here’s a few examples of how not all latinos are warm and smiling people.
    I dont think your experience has nothing to do with anti americanism, dont try to find a reason on how people treated you badly, I guess you were just unlucky enough to meet only rude people along the way.
    PS: I hope you have a great time travelling anywhere else? Lol…or dead and gay back in Brazil?…there’s still a chance.

  12. I agree, seriously doubt I’ll ever be back. I just went to Rio, but experienced the same animosity. If you are a pretty girl though, I’ll bet at least half of the population would be nice to you, but for a white single man, I am really looking forward to getting the hell out of here. I did a google search to see if Brazilians were prejudiced and found your post. And I agree with your comments about Colombia. Love was in the air there while here in Brazil, I feel disgust. I was actually assaulted on a train for taking a photo of a Brazilian girl dressed up for Carnaval. The entire car turned on me. They said it was ilegal to photograph people in Brazil without there permission. Tell that to the people on the beach, or in a parade, or Christ the Redeemer.

    1. As a Brazilian, I’m sorry you didn’t have a great time here, some people can be really rude indeed, so I assure you the behavior isn’t because you’re not from here. Also, a lot of people here don’t speak English, so if you talked to someone and they seemed to ignore you or looked confused that was probably the reason.
      And sorry to tell you, but you really can’t take pictures of people without consent like that, it’s rude and you could even be sued. If she were part of a carnival group and they were presenting it would be fine, but you can’t just go out there taking pictures of people on the street and expect people not to be mad at you.
      And why did you suppose you would walk on the streets and women would smile at you? You’re just a random guy walking on the streets and the people you see are probably busy with something(they have their own lives, after all), so it doesn’t make any sense that you hoped women to give you attention.

    2. 100 percent I agree with you!! Overall Brazilian are nasty money hungry people. Having traveled to over 40 countries this country is one of the bottom places to visit or deal with people. Women are all about getting one up and men are gross. Sorry you had to experience what you went through.

    3. here in Brazil unfortunately it is very common for men to harass women, especially in public transport. This type of action is not acceptable and is responded to with this type of reaction, you shouldn’t have taken a picture of her without authorization, just because we are known for being nice and etc. does not mean that we will meet both expectations

    4. Man… Rio is the most hyped place. Yeah, its beautiful, but there are so many more places, that are soooo muuuch better.

      But yeah, do not take photos of people without asking. We are campaigning here for years (the people, the goverment, private business… everyone basically) for people do not harras others in sexual ways during the carnaval – that people probably took your photo as something like “oh, he is photographing her cause she is wearing a custome” and not because you found it interesting / beautiful.

  13. Somebody just pointed your post out to me and cannot help but make a “couple of comments” (mini-rant) regarding your observations/experience in Brazil.

    First, I am an American (and very obviously so, according to every Brazilian I meet – the first question I am asked is normally “are you American”), have been living in Brazil for 12 years (Bahia, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul) and have NEVER encountered any anti-American sentiment whatsoever. On the contrary, when people find out I am from the US it is nothing but love and loads of positive questions (normally, “what in the hell are you living here for?”) along with people wanting to speak English. I have other friends from the US who live in Brazil and we all have had the same experience, so I think that your assumption that people mistook you for an “American” and then subjected you to anti-American behavior is misguided (or just downright incorrect). Brazilians are pretty much the opposite of xenophobes (unless you are from Argentina). Not only that, but I was surprised to find that you found Brazilians unfriendly in general. It could just be Rio but I wouldn’t know because I have only been there one time, and will never go back (couldn’t stand it). City dwellers can be a bit less friendly than people in smaller urban areas, but that is the same no matter where you go. Overall, I think Brazilians are of the nicest, warmest, happiest people I have been around.

    Having said that, I think that what you experienced is not so much about your physical status as an obvious foreigner, but rather your non-Brazilian brain and its inability to understand the incredible lack of patience combined with a complete and total lack of courtesy and/or social politeness that exists in Brazil -(which I too have still not been able to fully process, even after a decade of living here). To sum up: nowhere else in the world (that I have been to) have I seen the degree of “rudeness” in social settings or public places that I encounter on a daily basis in Brazil. That person hitting you with their cart at the airport? Normal. This used to happen to me every time I was in the airport (among other things), which is why I now simply stand back and let all the impatient Brazilians get their shit off the conveyor first – its amusing to watch, actually. They way they act, you would think that once their luggage passed it was headed straight for an incinerator if not immediately retrieved (didn’t you notice how the Brazilian passengers acted as soon as your airplane came to a stop? Everybody jumping up, grabbing their bags, and pushing and shoving in the aisle to get out of the plane first, as if it was a ticking time-bomb!).

    This behavior is unfortunately not limited to airports. It happens anywhere that you must wait for something (ATMs, grocery store checkouts, bus stops, restaurants, etc). I have actually turned around and kicked carts behind me in the supermarket line after having been rammed several times. Just last week I had to yell at not one, but TWO people who had started piling their shit on the checkout counter where my (as yet unchecked) stuff was – this happened because I stepped back one (1) meter to put the hand basket back in the proper place while the checker was ringing up my goods, during which time they both moved in and physically blocked me from getting back to and paying for my stuff. Basically, Brazil needs to institute a national program of Patience and Personal Space Training.

    Another typical Brazilian behavior that us non-Brazilians can not get our heads around is the propensity of Brazilians to hold conversations in areas that are not meant for such activities, or to rudely block passageways of all sorts out of what appears to be pure selfishness and/or lack of social awareness. I routinely see Brazilians holding conversations: (1) at the top, bottom or middle of staircases, (2) in front of elevators that they are not waiting for, (3) in the middle of walking/running/bicycle paths and sidewalks, (4) grocery store aisles…well hell, just about anywhere that will impede your ability to get where you want to go. The amazing part of this is that they seem to have NO idea and/or notion that they are blocking the way or inconveniencing anyhow. They will look you right in the face, see you coming along the vector that obviously leads from point A to point B, know that they are blocking that (public thoroughfare) vector, and not give a rat’s ass nor move a centimeter to allow you to pass. For a person who grew up in a very polite society, it make you want to start practicing your bodyslam/suplex technique. Anyhow, the point to the above is that you are correct that Brazilians can be extremely rude, especially if you are not used to it.

    So, please do not think you were mistreated because of your ethnicity/race or country of origin. I can assure that Brazilians are not like that at all. They are probably the most “accepting” people I have lived around with regards to such things, which is why I have been here for this long. The feelings that you experienced while in Brazil were most probably due to a short-circuit in your North American brain and a complete system crash due to a failure in your logic algorithms that occured while trying to decipher behaviors that were simply not in your programming to process and/or understand.

    1. HA! I know your comment was meant to point out all my shortcomings but I have to say I enjoyed reading it and laughed a few times.

      You’re right. Maybe I’ve just never experienced the kind of rudeness that I experienced in Brazil. It’s nice to know that it’s not personal (I guess) but doesn’t really say too much about the average Brazilian.

      This post is one of the oldest on the blog, dating back to our trip in 2006. So it’s way dated and I’m surprised I still get so many comments on it. At the time there was a lot of resentment towards Americans about the whole Visa situation. I guess today it’s all blown over.

      I will say however – since that trip we started travelling full-time (back in 2014) and have been at it now for almost 6 years. 50 countries later I still haven’t experienced the rudeness and unfriendliness I experienced in Brazil. I’ve often wondered about it and if it was personal.

      Thanks for the time taken to write this detailed and entertaining comment.

    2. True (Brazilian here). We do the same things that bothers us as well. A program for patience and personal space would be perfect! Lol

    3. oh lol, yeah, we need that.

      Man, the number of times we interrupt each other in conversation, I often think foreigners see us as a bunch of angry parrots.

      And yeah… man, Rio is the most hyped place here. And Cariocas can be so freaking entitled.

      And as for rude behavior… I’m guilty of being rude back, which is probably why I usually forget about it a second later. I first try to say “hey, could you please be more careful” but the second bump on a line usually receives “could you please shove all the stuff in your cart up all the holes in your body” (Frank, here in Brazil we access if someone is being polite or rude based on their tone of voice. Someone could use “could you please do this if you have time” in a rude tone of voice, and we would take tons of offense while “hey, can you pass that to me? ” in a nice tone, and we will consider super nice.

  14. Wow !!! I’ve had the opposite of your experience, I’ve been to over 23 countries and Brazil is by far one my of favs and actually I find Colombia dull or boring , the women are beautiful there but they all look the same , in Brazil the women are beautiful and very diverse, and I’m really shocked that you don’t think women here look beautiful especially after seeing pictures of your wife. I’m American and don’t speak much Portuguese, but people here are always cheerful to me, even in the elevator people always say hello or good morning , they sure as hell don’t do that in the u.s lol , and yes there is racism here , please tell me of a country where there isn’t any lol and yes Rio is dangerous but it is also beautiful but it is not just dangerous for gringos , it’s also dangerous for locals but the danger is mostly of muggings , so just watch your belongings and don’t flash things and you’ll be fine , it’s not dangerous like your gonna get kidnapped or murdered. This is my second time to Brazil , and I love it even more it’s diverse like the u.s but the people here actually have passion unlike people in the u.s which are just like limp noodles

  15. I live in the hills around Niteroi (a city on the outskirts of Rio) as a missionary in Brazil. Honestly, there are so many places to go besides Rio…that are far better than Rio. Paraiba do Sul, Minas Gerais, Juiz da Fora….Copacabana also is vastly overrated and in my opinion ugly and crowded like a sardine can. Also I want you to take a moment to think about how much pee you’re swimming in with thousands of people drinking beers crammed into a few miles of beach. Yeah. I honestly don’t see the draw other than saying you went to Copacabana.

    Assuming you have to stay in the Rio area due to a cruise ship port or the airport, my suggestion is to take the time to drive around the bay. Get out of the Copacabana stretch. For the most part, the areas around the bay are the richer areas, so you get the same good restaurants, the same beach, the same famous black/white walkway, the same amazing view of the bay…but the beach is uncrowded and it’s more laid back and cleaner.

    Also, I suggest taking the time to drive from Rio to the cities I mentioned above. The view is jaw-droppingly beautiful and takes you through the mountains. You’ll see far into the distance with mountain ranges, small little towns up on the edge of the water, waterfalls next to the road and little fruit stands. The road back offers a different view, as it winds a different way down the mountains.

  16. I do agree with many of your opinions about my country and our people, but I’d like to point out something that you might have missed:
    Brazil was settled and controlled by the Portuguese for over 500 years. We were exploited, our natural resources stripped from us (there are many extinct tree species because of their exploitation during colonial times, as well as a shortage of certain minerals in many historical mining regions), our native populations driven to the brink of extinction and our politics, economy and society completely shaped to meet Portugal’s ends. We didn’t get to actually choose any of this, and we still struggle to cope with all this inheritance left to us after we got independent (which we just became because of economic ambitions of our European descended, landowning elite, and not out of an autonomous patriotic feeling of the population). I understand that most of the underdeveloped countries nowadays were also colonized and exploited by European superpowers, and even Canada and US were, but our colonization still differ from most of those in a lot of key points; for example, most of the Spanish America utilized Native Americans as their main workforce, usually focused on mining, with centralized, planned cities acting as the main government hubs — here in Brazil, on the other hand, most Native Americans were annihilated and forced out of their ancestral homes, and our workforce was mainly composed of enslaved Africans brought here against their will and forced to work their entire lives on the sugar plantations owned by the Portuguese elite and their descendents; also, most of our administration was decentralized, with individuals governors responding directly to Portugal, lacking any form of interaction or interest to develop our country as a whole. As a result, some regions of Brazil, such as the South or the Southeast, are vastly better developed than others, such as the North or the countryside of the Northeast. In many ways, our colonization was very similar to that of the Southern British colonies in North America. After the end of slavery (Brazil was the last country in the world to end it, and only because of intense opposition by the British government), most Africans were left scattered around the country, no longer able to work because of government sponsored plans to “whiten” our population, bringing in immigrants from Italy, Germany, etc, to work on our newly developed industries and coffee plantations. Many “favelas” were built by the ex-slaves who were left homeless after the end of slavery and the lack of a governmental plan to include them in the broader society. We never had a legal apartheid system, but Brazil is, to this day, an EXTREMELY racist, segregated country, and in many ways some slavery institutions exist to this day, such as the maids who work in middle and upper classes’ homes, some of which even live in these homes and are not allowed to have a full life of their own outside their master’s home (sounds a lot like slavery, doesn’t it? Believe me, it’s still VERY commonplace in Brazil). I couldn’t really go on and on, but my point is: yes, we do have MANY problems, especially now with the recent upturn in our politics (if you consider yourself a right wing supporter and agrees with Trump’s politics, it’ll be a good moment for you to come back here, as Bolsonaro was even dubbed the “Trump of the tropics”, but I myself absolutely despise him and everything he represents, and believe he’s won the elections exactly because of this racist, colonial thinking of our upper classes who wanted to stop at any cost the economic growth our lower classes were experiencing with the last decades’ social politics by the Workers’ Party, and broaden their social distance with the poor once more, keeping themselves in the position of the masters, the elite) BUT I think it’s important to understand most of these problems weren’t created solely by us, but by the interference of many countries in our history, politics and sociocultural development. The US for example sponsored a coup during the Cold War, which resulted in a violent military dictatorship that ran for almost 3 decades; even in the last elections, there is evidence Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign strategist, helped Bolsonaro shape his electoral dispute. I’m not trying to blame all our problems on external factors, but I do believe that you, as foreigners from developed countries, need to be aware how different our history has been, and how much your own countries influenced and exploited us, and even got benefited by us. This might help you understand we did not choose to be like this, but rather this is the result of centuries of interference and exploitation. (Also, I find it EXTREMELY sexist to visit a country expecting to see “hot” women. You know, women aren’t a resource and definitely not a touristic attraction; this is STILL not Handmaid’s Tale, at least not officially.

    1. Thanks for the time you spent on this comment Raphael, appreciate the background and current political situation. I was familiar with it all but it might help others.

      By the way, about the “hot woman” comment, it was a quip based on the reputation of Brazilian women being the hottest in the world. Not to be taken seriously.

    2. Aplaudindo de pé Raphael, que aula incrível, não sei quase nada de inglês, obrigada Google Tradutor rsrsrs Fiquei emocionada.

    3. Such typical Brazilian antipathy blaming, blaming. Your country has been independent since 1822, more than enough time to have gotten your shit together.

      The Portuguese gave Brazilians your beautiful language, which Brazilians always say there are so proud of. Okay, granted, the Brazilian accent and sing song lilt is what makes it sound so exotic and sexy. But you still got the language from the Portuguese. And the colonial architecture in all of Brazil’s town and cities is simply beautiful, treasures, beautiful masterpieces of architecture, gifts left for Brazil.

      No European colonizing country was beyond reproach, the Spanish especially come to mind. The brutally decimated the native peoples of South America for gold, silver, etc. Is that not greed! The English in America were just as bad with the brutality of their form of slavery. Compared to these two, the Portuguese were pretty docile.

      And let me remind you that nowadays Brazilians are flocking to Portugal and love it there. Many of them admit that Brazilians have generally had a very wrong impression of the Portuguese, and unfairly branded the Portuguese so negatively.

      By the way, Portugal is doing very well, and everyone from all over seems to want to go live there. After the first visit there, the fall in love with the people, cuisine, fado music, the climate, the beautiful landscape, etc., etc. Even Spaniards and Italians say these things, and they don’t compliment others too easily, and so for them to say so many wonderful things about Portugal and its people says a lot – – it speaks volumes!

      Today Portugal is ranked in the top 5 of the best countries in the world to live in. The one thing, out of the many, many positive things that people say about Portugal concerns the Portuguese people themselves, and how they are very warm, humble, hospitable, mild mannered, polite. Portugal’s greatest resource is its people.

      So negative comments such as from the poster of this comment, has no credibility. It comes from ignorance, anger, inferiority complex, self loathing, etc. It’s actually so sad that some people can have the shameless audacity to such such hateful and erroneous things.

      God help you.

    4. Esquerdista de merda, que desculpa vitimista a sua. Sou negro, nascido e criado na favela e consegui meu sonho de estudar e me tornar juiz, vencendo todos os obstáculos que tive desde a minha formação no ensino público até o preconceito na carreira de magistratura. Esse texto seu me cheira a vitimismo e a desculpas.

      1. I’m trying to understand but if people are mad at the comments or the article? Can someone explain to me what the previous comments pertained to? One mentioned Portugal being a nice place.. is that why Brazil should or is a nice place as well?

  17. Brazil is a worthless shithole.
    Want proof of that? Ask any brazilian where they’d like to live. 100% of the time they’ll say another country.
    No good nation makes its inhabitants want to leave.

    1. I don’t think Rio southern suburbs was the best place to visit. Did not make his visit any justice. Understandably, the majority of Rio is pretty unsafe, so the safest option is always the upmarket areas. But also, these major cities in Mid-to-South Brazil (From Rio de Janeiro state, all the way south to Parana & Rio Grande du Sul state) tend to hold a superior complex, mostly because of their European dependance (Italian and German), and are weirdly proud of it and point it out ALL THE TIME. This group of people is also the wealthiest group in the country because they we brought to start industries after the Brazilian independence. Oh, and Frank should’ve also noticed how racist Brazil is, I think it is the most classist & racist country in the whole world. They should stop claiming they are “half of every colour” and start treating black african people with respect, considering they were slaves who we brought unwillingly.

      1. I get that. But for me there was nothing special for northeast people too (which don’t include a big amount of those europeans who have just landed on) while european descendants of southern states can be somewhat arragant and racist sometimes based on stupid white supremacy. In contrary I had better impressoin with southern people and people from São Paulo. Most of cases they were bright (except curitibanos) and kind, friendly. To be honest as an east asian, I experienced racism against me in south a few times which was pretty iffy to say it was not. The reason why I didn’t get a nice impression from northeast people after all is because most of them were too ignorant or jealous that they could be even hostile sometimes. Although I’ve already lived in northeast and met some nice people with angelic favor, I can’t help but saying so since considerable number of them were like that. The place also didn’t help. Almost every single day I heard a news like someone got assulted or murdered by a bandit in public place, even in their own house from time to time, also a teenage girl got pregnant by her boyfriend and he ran away to have fun with other girl. Also there IS racism as well (among white, mixed, black, native american). However, I don’t call this place hell yet because of some angelic people I met there… and some heaven looking fortresses for white riches. Brazil is a nice place with nice people… but just with a bunch of serious problems.

  18. As a teacher from Europe I’ve lived in many counties around the world and in Brazil for almost 10 years, I must say I can’t wait to go back home. First of all the country ( as a nature & resources ) is marvellous, but the problem with its own people, let me clear things !!!

    people say :

    1. Brazilians are friendly ( true only if they have interests )
    2. Brazilians are happy ( not true I live in the south and the majority with frown faces )
    3. Brazilians are positive ( nope sorry they complain even about the colour of the sky and why everyday is so hot lol but they like the sun hmmmm)
    4. Brazilians are helpful ( only if they will need you in the future )
    5. Brazilians are victims of the politics ( entirely not true in fact they are bad and blaming the gov)
    6. Brazilians are trusted ( NEVER NEVER EVER)
    7. Brazilians are considerate ( NO and NO they are the most selfish nation I’ve ever lived in)
    8. Brazilians are polite ( well you must see he true colour when you in the traffic or the money wise issue … RUDE 100% )
    9. Brazilians are curious ( yes curious to know how much money you have or make lol )
    10. Brazilians are creative ( ok here I need to think … 1.2.3 Nope they copy each other even in the hair style)
    11. Brazilians are religious ( Oh MY GOD , only they use it when you got them lying lol, also religious people are the most hypocrite )
    12. Brazilians women are hot ( True specially in the south where the majority are decent from Germans and Italians but don’t get fooled by the face terrible character and cocky)
    13. Brazilians are hardworking ( yes but only for low class people and in the north of Brazil but more you go higher in the class the more they get lazy )
    14. Brazilians are united ( well only in BBQ and parties – drinking and driving together that’s all, zero help to the community)
    15. Brazilians are family lovers ( in fact the families are corrupted to the root they will sell their mothers for money )
    16. Brazilians are sexy ( true they only show you how big the butt is also zero personality, watch out for the shemales )

    having said that, I have met lot’s of nice people but the surprise they want to leave Brazil forever also I notice that this group of people always brag about their decent like my ( grandfather … blah blah is German, Italian, Spanish …. ) clearly they are ashamed to be Brazilians and I can understand that.

    finally I don’t mean to offend nobody here but come on Brazilians get together and do something for yourself and your nation and stop getting emotional about the reality it’s pathetic. also if you like to visit Brazil it’s really nice place and for me I think it’s heaven but shame the people don’t match the area!

    cheers

    1. you are completely right, thank you for your comment. It will certainly bring many dislikes but some people prefere living in fairytales

    2. I agree with you about most of your statement but that part was very lame and says a lot about your character, which is not that far from brazilians’:
      ” True specially in the south where the majority are decent from Germans and Italians but don’t get fooled by the face terrible character and cocky”.

    3. I really don’t know what are you talking about, Brazilians can’t care less if you are black or white, what about all this color talk? We have all colors people in Brasil. You definitely went to the wrong place with the wrong attitude. Go to Porto Seguro have some fun and stop with the Caucasian color bullshit . Brasiliana love Americans, I’m a Brazilian woman married to an American men for 18 Years and my husband who’s Caucasian always feels very welcome in Brasil.

    4. All truth with a few pack of bullshits mixed in it. For instance “12. Brazilians women are hot ( True specially in the south where the majority are decent from Germans and Italians” you exactly sounds like one of those racist white brazilians lol. Come on… get over with that typical and stale racist nonsense.

      1. I agree with you. The most beautiful Brazilian women are the mixed ones, they look exotic from the mix Portuguese, Native, African or any combination thereof.

    5. John
      How are you ?
      I have to say … Your list nail it! best classified . Hey ! I borned there , grow up in europe now leaving in america . exactly like you wrote more i try to think differently more i agree with your list as I will say , years delling with the people from brazil including the family I left there you are right ! their mentality is “Brazilians are friendly ( true only if they have interests )” . My close family contacted me many years asking for money only and exclusively . Brazilian rich, midle -class or poor passing by here or trying to survive here are for my surprise the same mentality . As i see life in a different way I try friendishp but they alway hidding something . Be ware! women are stremelly jealous of other women and yes can betray their on family . I can not write america is a blue sky nation on people personality and is not easy but at least if you can make it here . .

  19. I am no fan of Brazil myself but you are wrong!
    People are friendly and the women are hot af…. maybe the problem is with you.
    No one is anti-american, why would they be? Are they in a war with US?
    You have the prejudice and think the others are unfriendly. Shame on you.

    Also, Brazil and Argentina don’t like each other. That is a fact. The only thing you were right about.

    1. bbqboy is wrong. Typical of Canadians, he doesn’t like Americans. Sorry, but we don’t allow ourselves to get triggered by women with luggage carts and then sulk in the shadow our Brazilian girlfriend. We learn enough Portuguese beforehand to intelligently connect with people. Brasil is another culture; they have their own way – it’s up to us as guests to adapt and take the anomalies with a grain of salt. I go to Bahia twice per year, and find the people to be absolutely delightful and accommodating. White western men do have a reputation in Rio as “those guys” with their baseball hats on backwards, drunk, 45lbs overweight, and looking for that 21-year-old model… yeah.

      1. Actually my wife is American and not Brazilian. So there goes your theory of not liking Americans.
        And I’m not sure what the whole last line is about but I guess you’re thinking I picked up my wife in Brazil.
        Maybe you should read to be able to intelligently connect with people….

        1. Frank, I’m an afrobrazilian. It says a lot about me. First of all, cute couple you both.
          I’m from Rio too. And I hate this city and the country, but only the social and political part. The native and natural territory is magical and rich. That’s why it sucks, rich lands are usually attacked.
          But, look, it’d be fair if you said Rio de Janeiro. That was a huge mistake. We brazilians we are divided because we are quite different. Me, for example, I came from a Rio’s favela, I am a physicist, I’m an atheist, writer, and I am having now my master degree in nuclear engineering. I speak french too, besides English. And I am very friendly to africans in my country. I avoid latinos because they treat me with prejudice for me being a black woman.
          But, in my country, white people are gods. When I started reading your text I assumed it was your wife typing. Everything was making sense until I see that it was you.
          So your experience is very awkward.
          It’s also true that all that love for americans, canadians and europeans is all for money. My people is really terrible. Classism and racism are a big rule here, and hipocrisy and falsehood.
          And they are quite stupid. A lot of earthflatters here, and anticommunists, homophobics. A terrible people.
          But, white people usually don’t suffer for that. And Rio is not Brazil. Brazil is a country of contrasts. I don’t think it is fair for northest people being judged as the same as people from my region. And, in the end, nothing of that matters, right? You were mistreated, maybe it was good actually, although very unusual, because if you be able to look at us deeper you’ll be able to understand why we burned Amazon and why that guy is on power now. He represents the real values of my people.
          Here you would find left-wing, right-wing, fascists, LGBT, black people, indigenous, christians, few atheists… and they could be very friednly to you. In my opinion you were unlucky but lucky in the end. Visit Fernando de Noronha in the future, not now, or Bahia. Rio is full of fascists now. I don’t recommend visits to Brazil for a while.

          1. Thank you Arian for taking the time to comment. This is quite an old post and maybe certain things have changed (like politics)…while certain things may have not. But I appreciate the feedback.

  20. I’m Brazilian and had lived in Ireland for a while, where I met loads of people that had visited Brazil at some point and it surprises me that you had so many bad experiences. I know how it is to be a tourist, so it bothers me that my country might seem not welcoming.
    My husband is Irish and moved to Rio with me recently, so I comprehend a few of your impressions because he’s thought the same at first. I’ll try to defend our honor, though.

    When it comes to that woman in the airport, I’m sorry for that, but you can find rude people everywhere. She wasn’t rude because she was Brazilian, she was just rude. In general, we tend to be very talkative and start conversations easily with people we’ve never seen before. We hug, we kiss, we touch a lot more than other cultures, and that’s why we’re known as friendly. But you gotta understand Brazil is the size of a whole continent, so even though the friendly behavior is common, it’s definitely not gonna be found in every single corner.
    My husband still doesn’t speak Portuguese, so when we go out, people do tend to speak looking at me (and I’m whiter than him, if that’s even possible). I think they could have spoken more to your wife because she looked more familiar to “our people” than you. Definitely not for “a reverse racism” or something like that.

    As an English teacher, I know how afraid Brazilians are of speaking English (even the ones that are good at it). This is really something super common! We tend to think that every other country is better than us, specially North Americans. In the language and in everything else. Every time my husband speaks to my friends (that I know that have been going to English courses since they were kids), they panic and ask me to translate. And also laugh at each other when someone makes the most simple mistake. My husband always thinks they are laughing at him, and 100% of the times I have to explain to him they are actually making fun of themselves for “being stupid”. This might have happened to you as well and you didn’t know.

    He also always complains about the starring. It’s something I noticed myself when lived in Ireland. Brazilians stare a lot! Most of the time though, I can assure you, it’s not to ofend. It’s more curiosity than anything. We’re always starring at what is different and it has become something super natural to us.

    What we do not like is “gringos” speaking Spanish to us. It shows you know nothing about our culture and is very offensive. Also, thinking our women are not beautiful because they do not have giant asses and tiny thongs demonstrate the depravation of our beauty by the Foreign media. We are indeed beautiful. We’re just not all the dumb sexual beings they make us to be.

    Last of all, we do have a lot of problems with violence. Specially in Rio. Our police and politicians are corrupt and the population got used to it. We have a lot to improve and do not deny it.

    My husband got over his first impression when he understood how Brazilians’ minds work. Now, he doesn’t wanna leave it. Hope you have a better experience next time 🙂

    1. I think the word “gringo” is ugly and that word alone is one of the reasons why I avoid Brazilians.
      What’s wrong with Spanish?
      I’m from Sweden and I would not be angry if some tourist spoke Danish or Norwegian to me.
      My dad was Brazilian and I’ve been many times to Brazil, but it’s over now. If I want sunshine and palm trees I can go to Spain, Italy or Greece. I don’t want to risk my life flying over the Atlantic Ocean just to come to a corrupt country where people are ignorant, immature and impulsive.
      Tchau Brazil. Já chega !!!

      1. I hope your father explained to you that “gringo” is simply a word for foreigner, and unlike in other cultures, does not carry a derogatory meaning.

        And the issues is not speak spanish – is speak spanish and expect I understand it, and then say “but you are in latin america, and you don’t speak spanish?”

        Well, let me start with a “screw you, you freaking ignorant. Are you patronizing me in my country when you did not spend 5 freaking minutes on google to discover that we SPEAK FREAKING PORTUGUESE”. No one here have a speacial love for portuguese, it’s just another language. But we happen to speak it, and if you are visint, you dont need to know it, but at least to know the basics of the place you are.

        It’s quite patronizing, and I hope you dont mind my sincerity, since you seem to value it, but the amont of prejudice and patronizing bullshit we endure from some gringos is unbeliaveble. Like… lumping every single latin people together as if we were a homogeneous mass. If you lived in Brazil, we know that within the country there is so much plurality. Brazilians are not alike all over, as other people from other counries are also different in they ways.

        But yeah, why not set foot in any latin-american country and not presume they are the same freaking thing?

        Also, probably your animosity (and any other people showing animosity towards us) probably made for a lot of your bad experiences. There are few people that have walked this earth that will go out of their way to be agressive back once you start to be agressive towards us – which is why you are seing so many angry coments here.

        But as most grandpas here say “you do me a favor when you are nice to me, but you do me two when you are not AND you say you don’t want to see me anymore”. After showing your true colors, it will be awesome not seeing you anymore.

        I hope you enjoy life on your side of the atlantic o/ beijonaomeliga

  21. I’m trying to understand what makes someone sit down in front of a screen and write bad things about a country that you don’t know – you just spent 2 1/2 weeks there! I’m sorry but you don’t know anything about Brazil and don’t expect Brazilians will be nice to you if you’re not being nice to them. How would you react if someone posts bad things about your family on line for everyone to see but this person just spent 2 1/2 weeks with your family. Douchebag!!!

    1. I have done biz with Brazilians here in the US. They suck. They’re petty and have a thieving mentality… Experience baby

    2. Ele escreveu e descreveu o Brasil com toda sinceridade.
      Eu passei quase um ano da minha vida no Brazil e eu concordo plenamente.
      The vast majority of Brazilians are extremely ignorant and have a low IQ. Friendship and love in Brazil? Easy come, but also easy go.
      I cannot take Brazilians seriously.
      Lying selfish alligator-smiled people. And you get SOOO DEEPLY OFFENDED when a foreigner honestly criticizes you, but You think it’s totally okay to insult and cheat foreigners. I agree with the guy, Brazil is geographically nice, but most Brazilians are shit.
      And another thing, here in Europe I usually don’t get stared at nor laughed at because I have an ACCENT. In Brazil the people make such a big deal out of a foreigner’s accent. You think the Portuguese language is so important and so fantastic and you laugh at the foreigners speaking it. You are the real douchebags.

      1. My first impulse was going to say ‘I’m sorry’ for the highly offensive Raissa’s post. But actually, that’s what Brazilian people became: sh!t. As a Brazilian, my day-by-day dilemma is how to find my place in this country. People blame the politics for being this way, but the thinking line it’s totally the opposite: the politics are this way because of the people.

  22. I have spent 3 weeks in Brazil. I will try to make it short (if anyone cares I will extend it)
    1st week rio: I did not feel insecure (there was a shooting police vs thugs 200/300 meters from a church we were taking photos) but the rest of the time I did not feel like I was going to get robbed) was disappointed most … how to say it was depressing . …A lot if people on the streets. Some neibourghood just looking at will make you cry
    For most of the time people were nice (my girlfriend is Brazilian so no language barrier). And yes you can’t find any hot girl (Brazilian marketing is top notch you think you will see the hottest girls in the world… and they are average at best

    2nd week natal 3th week sao Paulo.. it did not get better

  23. Thank god someone said it. I have to agree with you Frank. I’ve been around Latin America and Brazil is so far the most unfriendly country whereas the other Latin American countries I’ve been to (Colombia, Mexico, Cuba etc), people were so friendly and helpful it made me want to move to Latin America. Then I came to Brazil … Salvador and Rio to be exact. People were not nice to me in Salvador at all (then again I wasn’t sure if they were tourists from other parts of Brazil or locals). I agreed your points on Brazilian women and the nature.

    Yes, Brazilian women are confident but unfortunately plastic surgeries are part of the reasons. Nature in Brazil is incredible. I dont know if I would come back to Brazil. It’s not somewhere I’d live in.

  24. I live in Rio and I wouldn’t visit this place for tourism. But I liked Foz do Iguaçu(you can visit paraguay and argentina easily from there), and João Pessoa(everything is cheap in there).
    I think Rio de Janeiro is a nice place to live, it’s the right combination of big city and calm city, you can live in a calm neightborhood or in one of the cities next to rio and it’s a nicely developed city, you can find anything here, and if you don’t find, you can order things from São Paulo and it takes between 3-7 days for your stuff to arrive.

    Negative points in my perspective:
    Violence in Rio. And it’s not like you are going here for a risky adventure, mostly places look really safe, but they aren’t.
    People are proud of their beaches as if Rio was the only place with a beach.
    The beaches are too crowded in the summer.
    It’s an expensive city for few good places to visit.
    In Brazil there’s a bias against foreigners, people actually think when a foreigner speak Spanish trying to communicate, they think Brazilians speak Spanish. People here are more likely to speak English than Spanish, but most people can’t speak English, and Spanish is the closest language to Portuguese. But I think we have a reasonable amount of English speakers.
    We have some anti-americanism, but probably most people Brazilians have positive thoughts about the US. Some people will actually say that we are inferior and uneducated. People always compare Brazil with countries like Switzerland, US, Japan, as if we were inferior. We have some education problems but we are not that bad.
    What I’m trying to say is that we may have some anti-american thoughts, but people here are more likely to say mean things about other Brazilians than to an American or any other foreigner. And I would say that probably Americans are more anti-American than we Brazilians, and it’s a guess, perhaps not.

    The main negative point about rio de janeiro:
    Favelas and the steriotipical “favelado”:
    Not everyone that lives in a “favela” is like this, but nearly every civilized person who knows how to behave in public, that happens to be poor and lives in a favela, doesn’t like living in there.
    And Rio is full of those uneducated people.
    We use a lot the world “gringo”, I don’t like this word and I don’t use it. But they don’t want to offend anyone by saying that.

    So my last thing to say about this article is that you probably chose the wrong city to visit. I see that you visited other cities but think Rio is too overrated.

    1. Thank you Daniel for your detailed comment. Very much appreciate. I still think Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world (geographically) and I am happy to have seen it. But as you say there are many issues.

  25. Brasil is a very racist country. I have been to Brasil 3 times, and had various experiences. I have been to Belem, Salvador, Recife, Sao Paulo, and Rio. Salvador was the best, Rio the worst. The people stare, and looked shocked that you have money to spend as a Black person. Only Blacks and people of darker hues, were friendly. All whites, and near whites, were overtly, and covertly racist. Beautiful country, but very godless people. Afrikans were brought there, are the majority, but they don’t want them as equals. What crap??!!! You brought us there. We will rule that country one day. It’s an Afrikan country thanks to you.

    I am from the U.S. Satan, but I left the land of KKK, and retired to a colony of it, Puerto Rico. It is racist as well, but I get a good climate, and don’t have to mingle that much. It’s better than Brasil by far!!! The only reason I’m not in Afrika, is because my wife would only move this distance. I travel there often. That’s my real home!!!! I demand reparations to go there, and live a great life.

    1. Serious? Do you think Brazil is racist, if more than half the population is half-breed?. If you do not know, learn one thing: Brazilians are not accustomed to seeing people from other countries their stupid…

  26. Loud and reckless people. I moved from Salvador to Velha Boipeba (a remote island village) to find some peace and quiet – it’s even louder than the city. Drums and screaming literally all day long, every single day.

  27. I agree really with everything, my wife is from Pára in the North. In fact I’m here now visiting her parents for a month. We come here every year. 1st the country is beautiful, an explosion of colour and noise in food an music. The problem I feel is the origins of the first settlers. The reasons they came and the extremes of rich and poor. I’m Northern European, 6,4 Scottish/Irish. I love the fruits and food produce but corruption is a BIG problem here. The weather here is not temperate enough to relax. The reason I come back is for my wife and family, that’s it, yes play hard carn né val and all that but work hard too.

  28. well sir,
    what can I say ? I came across your website and I just can’t agree with you. (You can call me an angry brazilian)
    I’d like to use just 2 simple arguments to refute your whole big test about your bad experience.
    How can you just assume in a naive and general way that every brazilian will be like a cake recipe that you read in articles around the net? Are you freaking kidding me? That was even a part on your diary, where you insult us by saying the beautiful women should have stayed at home when you were around…. How ridiculous is this argument? Keep your personal opinions on beauty standards to yourself. You should come here to observe and respect the culture and the people.
    Secondly, how can you judge a whole country by 2 weeks travelling here? It sounds bitter, exaggerated and superficial to write such stuff based on a tiny bit trip.
    I can understand that we can face bad situations and meet some rude people during travels. I had myself, a personal bad experience while in NY. People ignoring or bullying us for being latin americans, or being plain rude with friends of mine for not being fluent in English… You won’t find articles written by me saying I won’t go back there…
    So, definetely it’s odd reading this portrait you paint of us all by your one side telling of the story.
    Think before writing, please! Peace and blessings!

    1. Thanks for the comment Viviane.
      The beauty comment was tongue in cheek, a joke. As I’ve mentioned before, of course Brazilian women are beautiful, they are known for it. My personal experience was that we didn’t see many, therefore my joke that they must have been indoors when I was there.
      I say right off the top that my opinion was based on 2 weeks and to “take it for what it’s worth”. I think most people will have an opinion on a place when they’ve spent 2 weeks somewhere. And I dare say that if you had your own blog you probably would write about your experiences and your opinion. And knowing NY I would agree there is truth in what you are saying, just as much as there is truth in some of the comments some have mentioned about Quebec.
      Remember, this is a personal blog and not a New York Times article. I can write about my experience and state my opinion just as freely as you can comment on your disagreement with it. It is why people read blogs.

      1. Hello, Frank.

        I’m sorry to read about your bad experiences in Rio.

        I really don’t understand Brazilians trying to say that you’re wrong in your impressions. That arrogant behavour is one of the worsts things about our country.

        Let’s get to the point: You were a tourist. You came here to know their country and you got a terrible impression. Thats ends here. No excuses.

        As a Brazilian I’m feel that’s correct to say that our people don’t understand the difference beetween explore the tourism and explore the TOURIST. That’s exactly whats happens all the time, specially in Rio de Janeiro.

        Even other brazilians are aware of how difficult avoid from scams and other kind of violence in Rio de Janeiro. And it’s like imposible to deal specially the infamous bad maners, even in tourist places and hotel staff.

        To me Rio de Janeiro it’s just a non civilizadad place, where you should always doubdt the other people intersion. And the worst, Cariocas are proud of it.

        Sad but true.

        Our country just need education. Period.

  29. Hi Frank!

    I’m really sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience in Brazil. Us, brazilians, can be very warm and welcoming towards gringos, just like some of us can be rude and brutal. I’ve read some comments on this post and I am sure you’ve read this statement before haha. Well, as for my experience, I went to Canada a few years back and didn’t have the best time with locals in Montreal. They refused to talk in English with me and did no effort to understand my terrible French, but still, I loved Quebec and most things about this beautiful country.

    I admit I was slightly offended to read the sexist comments about the Brazilian women, specially because we’re not meant to prove no one’s intention of objectification. I really wished you could see behind all that, and maybe give a try to our rich culture – our delicious foods, beautiful fauna and flora, our native people living in indigenous communities, our Samba, Soccer, music, and so many other things, way beyond appearances and some lady that bumped into you at the Rio airport. Even our Favelas have a cultural importance for us and we treasure our country very much. See, for a long time in my life, probably until I was sixteen or so, I was so ashamed of my country, I used to hide my nationality from my foreign friends just because I saw Brazil as a poor and boring place. But as I grew older, I started to understand our history and everything behind it, and I learnt to love my country and every bit of it. No, we’re not perfect – far from t! We have yet so much to change and improve, we make mistakes and screw up big time, specially with politics, but we’re trying, and maybe, someday, you could too. Maybe, like me, you can learn to find the beauty behind everything you hated in here.

    Sincerely,
    Amma 🙂

    1. Ha! I’m an Anglophone Quebecker and I know exactly what you are talking about in Quebec. We are not immune to stupid people.

      I made a joke about the Brazilian women. Of course they are beautiful, they are known throughout the world as beautiful. But I also mentioned the men, so I think I balanced that out pretty much (and I’m sorry, since when have Brazilians not cared about physical appearances?). And you are right about the culture. But I’ll say what I told many commenters – if you go somewhere and people are nasty to you are you going to leave with a good impression? Because in the end that was our only issue with our visit. I did mention that it is a beautiful country.
      But as I also always say: our experiences are our experiences and it doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same. It’s been over 10 years since we went to Brazil now. If we went back tomorrow we might have a totally different experience for all I know. But this is a personal travel blog and I’ve always believed it’s best to be honest about our experiences and opinions.
      Thank you Amma for your comment and for standing up for your country.

  30. Hello, Frank. I am a native Brazilian citizen from Belo Horizonte (MG) ad I would like to tell you or, more accurately, to pinpoint something you seem to be missing when writting your review about Brazil: you haven’t visited Brazil, my man! You have only visited Rio de Janeiro City (RJ)! And trust me on that very much: Rio de Janeiro, both the city and the state, are NOT the whole Brazil, nor does neither one nor the one represent it!

    As a Brazilian, I can assure you that Rio de Janeiro, especially the capital city of the state, stands out compared to the rest of the country as one of the most dangerous, most expensive and most unfriendly places of the country. We Brazilians are not too much excited to go touring in Rio de Janeiro, I swear to you. People there are extremely classist, prejudiced and very disrespectful. It seems that whatever is wrong with Brazilian society is thrice as worse in Rio de Janeiro!

    So, I would ask you to give us another chance, because Rio de Janeiro is just one of the 27 states in the Brazilian Federation, and Rio de Janeiro city is just one of the 5,570 Brazilian cities that there are. Belo Horizonte will welcome you with open arms, I can tell you that much!

  31. Well…for me there are some simple explanations…You didn’t visited “BRAZIL”, you visited Rio de Janeiro. Me, as a Brazilian I don’t see any reason to visit Rio, not at all…only if a huge group of friends choose to spent Carnival there and I’d never live there, Rio it’s a corrupt place, it is in their DNA (Just look the history from that place).

    So…my guess is; people there are full of Americans who go there and think it’s a open brothel (Rio Olympics is an Example the American Swimmer). And I guess it’s normal to be missguided as an American since you speak English and it’s white, even with me, in Italy people think I’m American. Also, depending on how you try to enforce your spanish into them they’ve might got mad…since we don’t speak spanish at all…but maybe that wasn’t the case.

    So, conclusion is…Brazil…There is not a SINGLE Brazil, one thing…see?

    It’s huge, it’s populated and every single part had a different colonization/history which has shapped those people are now. Rio was 100% colonized to be explored and by the other hand the South of Brazil was mostly Colonized by people who were trying to have a better life, not explore but to colonize. Those are two COMPLETELY different Brazil. Anyway…Brazil has lot’s to offer but those are hidden places for the average tourist.

  32. I’m Brazilian but I live in Montreal, QC. I completely understand you and I hate my own country too. Canada, on the other side, gives me lots of opportunities; friendly people from everywhere in the world, well, I love this amazing country. If I don’t want to go back to Brazil anymore I can imagine you. I think there’s nothing with you being a North American, Brazilians love to lick their boots, they’re just unpolite and that’s it. Colombia is really amazing and it’s a place that I’d like to revisit. Brazil, never more, better if somebody drops a bomb there.

    1. Ouch!! That’s rough. I would not go that far…
      I lived in Montreal 25 or so years so I am happy to hear that you like it (I have a lot of information on Montreal on this blog). It’s cold in the winter but that’s the worst thing. That and taxes.
      But you are right, what is great about Montreal is people from everywhere and they all (mostly) get along. I still go back every few years or so.
      Glad to hear you also love Colombia, I found the people there very friendly.
      Thanks for the comment and all the best in 2019.

  33. Hello, Frank! I am Brazilian and, even though it is possible meet interesting people in here, generally Brazilians are prejudiced, deeply racist, and hate opinionated people. Brazilian men are usually chauvinist, disrespectful of women. Empoverished Brazilians from smaller towns tend to be really nice. As for US Americans, um general, they are not admired here, except for the elite, who dream of being US American citizens. Yet, there is history there which justifies why the USA represents danger to most Brazilians. Check it out! I myself feel rather disappointed with how rude Brazilians can be… Trust me, I know what I’m saying. I ‘m sorry you and your wife saw Brazilians’ true face in such a short stay. Take care!

  34. We do have a saying here: Brazil is a beautiful country, its biggest problem is its people. It’s kind of a self-loathing view but it’s quite rooted in truth.

  35. I am German Brazilian from Rio Grande do Sul living in Sao Paulo. I am blond with blue eyes with caucasian features.
    Braziian women are the hottest women in the world, you can find girls of any race.
    The best looking women are from the south of Brazil. it is not for nothing that women from Brazil are considered to be the hottest women in the world. 80 per cent of brazilians living in the south of Brazil are white caucasian looking
    Brazilian people don’t care if you are white or black, they care more about your status.
    Many foreign women travelling to Brazil are ashamed of their body when they compare their body with Brazilian bodies.
    Copacabana is shitty, there is nothing out there so never judge a country if you only visited one city or one place in a city.
    I m not attracted to black and mixed women but that doesn’t mean I am racist.

    1. Well actually you sound very racist already indirectly implying that white features are superior in beauty criteria than other races. You are justifying yourself in the end of your comment not to look like one but that was pretty lame. I guess it’s this kind of mindset among “racist” brazilians that makes some blonde blue eyed caucasian looking people condescending.

  36. Im brazilian and i can tell you many people from rio are really rude and sometimes VERY unfriendly. Brazilians from other parts of Brazil are likely to be mistreated in rich/tourist areas of Rio. It’s not related to race.

  37. Living here in Brazil for 5 years, i can clearly tell you there is no anti American sentiment among the people. I am basing this from living in Rio and not in the touristic areas but normal neighborhoods like Botafogo and Flamengo. Also worked here and never had an issue or anti american speech brought up. Most of the middle class and upper class have families that live in the US or have either been to disney, san diego or new york. Although the visa issue is hard, if you have the correct documents and proof of stability in brazil, its not hard to get.

    Also i dont think they were unfriendly to you…. If you go to New York and ask someone busy with their lives for directions, most of the time they will not be overtly friendly with you and tell you “Welcome to NewYork”. Why would you expect this is Rio? Also imagine a chinese walking up to you in your city and asking directions in Mandarin. How would you answer?

    Brazil is a great country. Even with the corruption mess and problems, its greatest treasure its the people. They are funny, like to have a good time and after a while of living here, you start to think like them and take life easier. I will recommend you come back to Rio, dont stay in Copacobana or Ipanema, but in the neighborhoods and enjoy the real carioca life.

    1. Thanks for the comment David. Glad to hear your experience living there.

      This trip dates back 10 years now. At the time there was all the fuss about the reciprocal Visa fees and I remember Brazilians being upset towards America (although maybe not specifically Americans).

      I think my point when I wrote the post was WHY? Why were people unfriendly and even rude? As I say, this was 10 years ago. 4 years ago we started travelling full time and have been to many countries. But Brazil still sticks out as the unfriendliest based on our experience (Romania and Poland weren’t favorites either). Over 45 countries and Brazil still sticks out as the unfriendliest for me (for Lissette it was Poland). And I guess I’ve never understood why.

      I understand what you’re saying in your Chinese in New York analogy. Nobody is asking anyone to welcome me. I’m just asking for people to not be rude. Maybe just a smile if I try to talk to you and you don’t understand. Isn’t that the “normal” reaction? Is it normal to bang someone on purpose with your trolley (repeatedly) at the airport?

      Understand all your points and I appreciate feedback from someone who’s gotten to know Brazilians much more than I ever will. Like everywhere else, maybe it takes an adjustment (I’m in Morocco right now – 3 days into a 5 week trip and believe me it’s a culture shock!).

  38. Não me arrisco a escrever em inglês, mas acho em engraçado as coisas que este sujeito que viajou até o Rio escreveu. “Será que as pessoas me trataram mal por ser caucasiano/branco?” Sério mesmo que você acha que no Rio de Janeiro não existem pessoas brancas, inclusive loiras e de olhos azuis e que em algumas cidades do sul do país, uma grande parcela da população tem estas características? “Ou será que eles nos trataram mal por sermos um casal inter-racial?” Você só pode estar gozando com a minha cara, não é não meu amigo? Que eu saiba casamento inter-racial é visto como tabu e ainda é odiado na sua tão civilizada América do Norte, vide estados como Alabama e Mississipi, onde até pouco tempo atrás, existiam leis que proibiam este tipo de relacionamento. O que para nós seria algo totalmente impensado. Mas concordo no ponto em que ele descreve a população do Rio de Janeiro como rude e mal educada, pois a maioria é assim mesmo, quando você pede informação, a maioria não te trata bem, verdade seja dita. Fora que os gringos são sempre vistos como bobões e alvos fáceis para serem furtados nas mãos de malandros e garotos de rua. Definitivamente, o Rio de Janeiro não é para principiantes. A fama de cidade maravilhosa fica só no nome mesmo. Mas aí, o sujeito quer rotular o país inteiro com base em um experiência pessoal. Já conheci pessoas que visitaram Nova York e disseram exatamente as mesmas coisas sobre o povo de lá: frios, rudes e racistas.

  39. Mate, you probably didn’t intend to come across that way, but when you talk about your expectations of people -women in particular- and being poorly treated for being white/gringo, does it sound self centred! I’ve read the comments above, and understand you didn’t mean to bring race into this, but it seems you completely missed the white privilege that exists everywhere, Brazil very much included. Sexuality, danger in cities, party culture and such are all part of the country, but it goes so beyond that. Also, you had good intentions, but speaking Spanish to people in Brazil is not taken well – it reads as “Latin people are all the same, everyone speaks Spanish”. On that note, Latin is not a race, and Brazilians see race very differently than north Americans. As everyone else pointed out, half of the population is white, and people are suckers for American culture in Brazil – so many influences on everything, from clothing to tv shows.
    Your country was lovely, and I thought that Canadians were more open minded and less sexist/racist than some of the things I’ve read here. There’s a couple of really disgusting comments above of misogynist and racist folks (like wtf is that bloke saying with “not really white, more like grey skin?”), including Trump supporters, which I guess says a lot. Women are more than their arses, people are more than their skin colour, rudeness is often rooted in some deeper social/historic issues.
    Anyways. It is your experience, and you’re obviously free to speak about it, but when you paint a whole country in such a shitty light for thousands of people to see, in spite of being there for only a couple of weeks, it doesn’t look good.
    Still, Canada is a fucking ace place, and I wouldn’t dream of ever generalizing Canadians from a few bad experiences -hopefully you would do the same for Brazil. It’s just constructive criticism, though I’d avise you not to go anywhere with the media stereotypes in mind.
    I’m just venting, you don’t have to answer, plase don’t bother -its been like four years anyway hahaha sorry for the long post, you’re probably a nice lad, it’s just the way you expressed your feelings that came across rude (as rude as you felt Brazilians were, I suppose) and as if you were expecting people to bow down to you (again, I know you didn’t mean that, but it reads off as it).
    Having said that, yes, there are rude people everywhere. I know both shitty and sweet people from everywhere -Italy, France, China, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine… the list goes on, but I digress.
    Hope you had better travelling experiences in those four years. Again, this is only an opinion, not trying to be accusatory.

    1. Ha, got a kick out of your comment. Thanks “onlyventing”, I think I get it. But you were nice towards Canadians so I appreciate that (not that I speak for all Canadians but at least you didn’t lump me with Americans)

      I’m not sure why you mention 4 years but this Brazil trip actually goes back to 2007. Not sure why I get all these comments now. My latest whipping boy is Poland.

      Friendliest people in Europe? Might just be Lviv (Ukraine). Don’t know if that’s a Ukrainian thing but about to spend a month in Kiev so we’ll find out.

      Take care and thanks for the comment.

      Ps. hate that grey skin. Such a turn off.

  40. I am German who lives in Amsterdam and I have been to Brazil 5 times and had a long relationship with a Brazilian guy from Rio.
    Here is my personal point of view about my experience having been there many times and knowing Brazilians closely.

    1. I am really surprised you found that people were hostile! My German and Dutch friends who have been there always say how much they love Brazilians. I guess it could be maybe a language issue..I’m not sure. From my experience, the first time I went to Brazil I was 19 and didn’t speak a word of Portuguese and didn’t know people there, I did end up in a few tourist traps but that is something that could have happen anywhere. I did notice a huge difference when I went there for the second time and I could speak some Portuguese. It was much easier to communicate with people. I noticed that for Brazilians who don’t speak english tend to get a little scared and insecure with the language barrier. If you approach them speaking English they might not know how to react. They don’t do it intentionally but it’s because they feel insecure. The same happened to me a few times in the beginning. But once you speak Portuguese you realize that this changes and people feel more confident to talk to you. Could it be that maybe that’s why they seemed unfriendly? The ones I met who spoke a little English were actually very enthusiastic and happy to speak to me because they could practice their English.
    I lived in japan for 6 months and I had the same experience when I would speak English to someone they get very shy and would answer to my Japanese friends instead of me.

    2. Brazilians value genuine contacts but when they have a feeling you are trying too hard they immediately notice it and find it weird. Here in The Netherlands where I live, you are encouraged to give a big smile and say hello and be formal to people but not really engage with them, it takes a while to break the ice with people here. For other cultures, the way people interact here might seem superficial. My Brazilian boyfriend would find it strange that people in our building say hi with a big smile and just keep on walking and don’t want to interact with you. In Brazil, I noticed that when people ask you “how are you?” they are not doing so because of formalities but they are asking because they genuinely want to know how you are doing, so when someone acts too formal or “try too hard” they feel like is insincere and don’t really want to engage. They actually love to chit chat with the neighbours and talk about their personal lives without any problem. During my first times I still had my strict and formal German mannerisms but after dating a Brazilian for a long time and getting to know more Brazilians, I learned I didn’t have to be formal to be accepted, I just had to chill and be myself and I have always been welcomed with open arms.

    3. My boyfriend and I were also a mixed race couple but we usually have had no problems with it. We did notice some weird stare when we were in Copacabana. But Copacabana is the tourist area where foreigners go to look for prostitutes, so I’m guessing this might be the reason why. He used to live in Barra da Tijuca where there are not many tourists and is a very relaxed neighbourhood. There I felt that people were just living their lives and it didn’t feel as hostile and unsafe as Copacabana.

    4. Anti- American sentiment is everywhere in my opinion!I constantly hear my co-workers here in Europe bashing Americans on a daily basis.

    5. In terms of beautiful women, I agree that the men in Brazil are much more good looking than the women, no doubt about that! I think that what makes Brazilian women so famous is because beautiful women in Brazil have more confidence and charisma while American or European women tend to be a bit more cold and less confident. In terms of looks, I think Brazilian men are by far much better looking and tend to take more care of their bodies than the women! What I have noticed is that women in Brazil are not ashamed of their bodies. If they are overweight or not, they are not ashamed of wearing bikinis on the beach. I did notice that the women got more weight from since I went there for the first time.

    6. The men are very forward in Brazil! If they are interested in a girl they will have no problem hitting on her. The bartender staring at your girlfriends boobs is definitely rude but its something that could have happened anywhere I think. I had a similar situation with a friend in a bar in Kreuzberg in berlin, but in berlin the bartender threw a shot of tequila on my friends face and got away with it. I would not stop going to Berlin because of that.

    7. The things I hate the most about Brazil are politics, the difference between rich and poor and how the taxi drivers sometimes try to trick and take advantage of the first time tourist. But again, its the same in other Latin American countries. Once you learn Portuguese, it is very likely that you will not end up in a tourist trap. ( at least in my case)

    8. I’ve been to Rio, Sao Paulo, Minas, did a tour in the south and in the northeast. My favourite are is Rio closely followed by Minas gerais. I fell in love with Minas Gerais. Not many tourists, warm and genuine people and the best food. The place I liked the least was Salvador. I felt very unsafe in Salvador and would have people come to me all the time to ask for money. I didn’t really connect with the city but many people I know who have been there love it though.. I met rude people in every single country I have visited but I must say most people I met in Brazil were actually warm and kind. The only Brazilians I’ve met who tend to be more entitled and generally rude are from Sao Paulo. They somehow feel like they are better then the rest and I did not like that attitude.

    7. It’s a shame you had this bad experience. I made great friends in that country, had a beautiful Brazilian boyfriend for years. I was welcomed with open arms by his friends and family, they would cook for me, invite me to spend time at their beach house and asked nothing in return. For me, that’s warmth and kindness. I have been to Brazil 5 times and I can’t wait to be back there soon!

    1. Thank you very much Frank for your great comment.

      You’ve described many of the traits that we knew of Brazilians before going. Unfortunately it just didn’t happen for us. Language is always a factor, but a smile usually gets anything done. They didn’t like my smile in Brazil 🙂 My wife was fine though, I think she would have been ok without me (funny enough we just encountered the opposite in Poland).

      Japan – totally different experience for us from Brazil. They’ll bend over backwards trying to be helpful and friendly. Sometimes it feels forced and maybe that’s because it is. I think they have so much pride in trying to be hospitable to foreigners. We spent 7 weeks there and they were incredible. I don’t know if we met 1 rude Japanese 🙂

      Thank you again, great feedback.

  41. I’m brazilian and live in Rio, and it saddens me that you had a bad experience in my city, of all places. Maybe if you had stayed in a less posh neighborhood it could have been a different experience (I’m not a huge fan of Leblon of all places), but I don’t know the places you did visit, so I’m not commenting on that.
    Anyway, I don’t want to be dismissive of your experiences and interpretations of them, but I really think it is unlikely that whatever negative experiences you had in Rio were due to your whiteness. After all, Brazil has plenty white people, specially in a fancy place like Leblon. So, even if it was about appearance and/or foreigness it probably wasn’t about race, and I find it very unlikely that it was something political as brazil is a very xenophile country.
    Maybe people misread your attitude, or vice-versa? I really don’t know, but I honestly think whiteness/race was the issue, not in Leblon of all places. Maybe having race as a first top-of-the-mind explanation makes sense in north america, but I’m not sure that’s always the case in other places. Anyway, I’m sorry if I sounded a bit passive-aggressive there, but english js my second language and what I’m tryibg to imply is that, well, I could be wrong, but I think people are often too quick to point at x or z as what caused them a problem when travelling because that makes sense at home, but what they forget is that they aren’t home…

    1. Hi Felipe,
      Thank you for your comment. Don’t worry about Passive-aggressive, you didn’t come across that way.
      I was merely questioning why people were the way they were on that trip. I don’t know the answer.

  42. Sorry you didn’t enjoy Brazil as much as it can be enjoyed in different circumstances.
    I’m Polish and I’m in love with Brazil. I’ve been travelling there many times and each time I try to visit a new place, although I’ve been to Rio 3 times.
    My travel experiences in Brazil are totally different from yours and I’m not sure if it can be explained by the fact that I speak Portuguese – they can hear I’m not a native. Or perhaps by the fact that Polish and Brazilians have a lot in common, surprising as it may seem.

    Of course, there are always people who treat the European (American, Canadian…) tourist as a cash machine, try to sell you stuff you don’t need and are offended if you don’t want to buy. Or are not as open and smiling all the time as you read on the internet before going there. They are not even impressed by the fact that Eastern European speaks Portuguese fluently, I assure you – it’s normal to them that someone coming to their country speaks their language and they even correct my mistakes haha.

    I understand Brazilians as very proud people – that’s one of the reasons of their reciprocity policy regarding visas, for example. I don’t need one, just because Brazilians don’t need a visa when they come to Poland. You can feel the sense of dignity in Brazilians, even the most humble ones. All that doesn’t explain being rude to tourists or foreigners, of course. As I said, I haven’t experienced that and I even asked my husband, who travels with me and doesn’t speak Portuguese – he said that in his opinion Brazilians were super friendly and kind.

    I think that you need 2 things when visiting Brazil: respect and distance. Brazilians will feel if you don’t respect them – you don’t need to be rude, but you may think that you are better and they will know it. I’ve seen a lot of this “imperial” behavior towards Brazilians from foreign tourists, even if it was not intentional. Again, I’m not suggesting this was your attitude – just the observation based on my travels. And you never know what the Brazilians will perceive as disrespect, haha. That’s why you need distance. I just don’t care if they are rude or not. I would prefer if they were kind, but if someone is impolite, doesn’t matter. There are so many kind and friendly Brazilians, that I can ignore those who are not. Funny thing that the most impolite Brazilians I’ve met were paulistas from my work (I work for and American corporation, they are based in our Sao Paulo office) – this is rudeness level pro, but I ignore them as well and say coldly: “Thanks for your feedback, can we move forward?” hahaha

    Regarding safety – it’s true that you need to be careful in Brazil, especially Rio. But your attitude is the key. You can sneak around, expecting danger anywhere and it will spoil your stay, because most tourists will be safe. I’ve never been assaulted in Brazil, not even a single try. But going to Rio for the first time, I expected that it would happen – well, it didn’t. Now I feel safe in Brazil and my explanation is that my love for Brazil is reciprocated 🙂
    Anyway, it was an interesting post to read and if you decide to go back to Brazil one day, we may meet there and have a caipirinha 🙂

    1. Thank you Anna for the nice and informative comment. Very much appreciated.

      By the way, we are in your country Poland right now. Spending the month of July in Krakow. Any special tips?

      1. Wow, what a surprise that you are in Poland! 🙂 I’m curious about your opinion about the Poles – be honest! haha

        Tips: visit Auschwitz – even if you are not that interested in WW II or history, it’s a must see because it’s the unique place.
        You can go further south to the mountains as well, however AVOID Zakopane, a tourist trap and full of people in July (Jul and Aug are school holiday in Poland). Any other mountain destination would be better.
        Btw, I will be in Bieszczady Mountains for the last week of July, if you by any chance plan to go there, let me know – I really mean it 🙂

        In any case, I hope you enjoy Poland!

        1. We just got here a few days ago and it is hard to judge Poles at this point. We’re used to Eastern Europeans – we’ve spent over 6 months in the Czech Republic and lived a year in Croatia. They can be a bit stone-faced but my experience is that they’re more friendly when they’ve seen you a few times. But I don’t think they’re generally unfriendly. We’re right across from the Farmer’s market in Krakow and I go there almost every day and the people have been pretty nice.
          Give us a month, we’ll have our opinions!

          By the way: we started travelling full-time 4 years ago. Before that we would take vacations, like we did in Brazil. But we weren’t any different then then we are now and we’re always friendly and open to people. So I don’t know what happened in Brazil, it’s still the unfriendliest of the 45 or so countries we’ve been. And it wasn’t against my wife, it was me.

          I don’t think we’ll be visiting the Bieszczady Mountains at the end of July…but we are going to L’viv at the beginning of August (not so far away..)
          Anyway, thanks again with the comment, feedback and tips!

  43. I am Libanese American from LA, I have been working as an urologist in Brazil for 2 years. I find Brazilians very friendly. The country is very multicultural unlike other latin countries. I studied in Germany, I can tell you there are way more unfriedly people in Europe. Please stop judging because people don’t have to bow down to you just because you are from Europe. Brazilians are proud people. Concerning women, I ve seen many beauties especially in the south of Brazil, most are caucacian looking out there. I am living in Sao Paulo and there are people of every ethnicity, there are nearly 9 million people of Portuguese/Italian /german descent, 1.7 million Africans or mixed people, over 1 million Arabs, 665,000 Japanese, 150,000 Greek, 120,000 Chinese out here, the problem is from people like you that moan nonstop. Speaking portuguese is useful.
    Many women are beautiful in Brazil and many people are friendly.

    1. Glad to hear you had a good experience Ryan. But it doesn’t mean everyone does – as you can see from the comments there are many, like us, who did not have great experiences visiting Brazil.
      I don’t know where you got that I’m European. I’m not. And we’ve found Germans friendly.
      The thing is that people’s opinions are based on their experiences. I’ve said that above. Everyone has different experiences and just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean they’re wrong. And the thing is that it’s my blog so I’ll moan as much as I want 😉

  44. Hello, Frank!
    I came across your post while curiously looking for impressions foreigners have of Brazil. Coincidently, I am a Brazilian undergraduate student at McGill University, in Montréal. I always say Brazilians are both the worst and the best part about the country, it’s complex to explain. Also, Brazil is the worst country to live in, but also the best one to spend vacations!
    Living abroad, I have noticed how harder it is to make friends. Brazilians are warm-hearted, and usually carry very positive energy. The only people who I don’t really get along are from São Paulo; every time I travel internationally and have a connection at the São Paulo airport, I dread having to make contact with those arrogant people. On the other hand, I believe Brazilians are also responsible for the corruption, even little gestures that sum up to a whole.
    I considered living in Rio de Janeiro, but my parents didn’t allow because of the violence. Nowadays, I thank them for not even letting me consider. It is dangerous and frustrating having to always look around, afraid of suffering an attack. Also, the economy isn’t great and things don’t really work out. But this is the residents’ problems. For vacations, i love traveling around my country. It is filled with natural beauties and extremely pleasant people who are proud to present their culture to tourists, who are treated like kings! The best places to visit are cities in the Northeastern region, and I’m not bias because I’m from there, but this is coming from someone who has a beach house in Maceió. I love traveling to the South during winter, but it wouldn’t be as incredible for someone coming from Canada. I’ve also been to the North, in the Amazon, where, as I said before, for tourists it is mesmerizing, but for the residents it is a nightmare.
    It was interesting reading about your impression on Brazil, and at the same time shocking to hear so many bad experiences towards a tourist! I thought only Brazilians talked shit about their country haha but I really hope you try again! Brazil has many wonders to offer and people are usually really friendly, I’m not sure what happened to you.

    1. Hi Mikaela,
      What a nice comment, thank you! If anything, it’s comments like this that might get us back to Brazil one day.
      I hope you are enjoying Montreal. I went there as a student (back in 1990. Studied at Concordia) and ended up in Montreal 25 years.
      Thank you for having taken the time to comment.

  45. Hello mate,

    I am Brazilian and I have been living abroad for a few years now.

    So, here’s to the points:

    FFS do NOT judge Brazil just because of feckin’ Rio or Iguazu. There is more to see in such a big country. USUALLY people from the countryside places are more hospitable, but as my grandma would say, “somebody else’s heart is a piece of land where you can’t step.”

    Rio IS a SHIT-HOLE. I don’t f…ing understand how you gringoes feel so f…ing attached to it. I would advise you going either to Minas Gerais for its countryside tourism and any northeastern destination for its beaches. Espirito Santo is quite good too, specially because is completely off the touristicky sort of track and for its easy access to Southern Bahia, where all the decent beaches in the region are.

    And, to be honest, sorry for your experience in your swanky hotel. I mean, you surely should have complained.

    As for the current political – criminal situation, well, not all the country is affected by this wave or criminality. It’s mostly Rio, where the state government is bankrupt and the police is understaffed and corrupt. Sadly, other states are in bad shape as well but none of them as bad as Rio. That’s what communism and socialism does for you.

    Sad you have had a bad experience, but unfortunately I got to advise you. Don’t judge a whole country for just a couple of cities. I’d say, why would I not go back to Rio instead of Brazil. Rio is in Brazil but that does not mean that Brazil is only Rio.

    Cheers mate!

  46. Hello. Firstly I would like to make some considerations that may help other foreigners who are planning to visit Brazil. I’m Brazilian and I live here. Foreigners have no real knowledge of how Brazil is currently. You know it’s dangerous but it comes anyway. My advice: do not come here. The population itself is afraid. But if you still want to come, never come to Rio de Janeiro, and avoid other big cities, like São Paulo. Prefer the northeast Brazil (for example, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Norte, south of Bahia) if you like beaches. Otherwise the south of the country is a good idea (the city of Florianópolis, for example). You are most welcome. The Brazilian is tired of his own political, social and economic situation, and sometimes unloads in others. Sorry for the rude people. With regard to your partner, yes, Brazilians usually look at all women, but it does not go beyond that.

  47. Was thinking of Brazil as a travel destination, but after reading your blog, I am not so sure now. Thanks for the advice. I’ll reconsider.

    Cheers Sharon…

  48. Hello Frank, I’m sad to hear that you had such a bad time in Brazil. Our country is lovely and, although we might have some issues, as you described above, I’m pretty confident that the people are the Brazilian biggest asset. Talking about experiences, I went to Toronto during the past Thanksgiving and also experienced funny situations. For instance, an old lady was naked and peeing in the subway just when I got into the Bloor-Young station; I booked an AirBnB and was hosted by a guy using underwear only (btw, he later invited me to participate to his drag queen show and we became friends) and, on top of that, they guys working in the construction just by my AirBnB screamed unintelligible words every time that I crossed the path walk in front of them. Although this was my personal experience, I don’t think that every single Canadian is weird and unpolite (of course, some exceptions apply). Instead, I believe that Toronto is a big and crowded diverse city, with a broad mix of people living together. Thus, I opened my mind and brought only the good experiences that I had in the city. As a final remark, I kindly disagree with your statement that your “caucasian” profile may have caused you problems. I’m blond, white, half-portuguese and half-italian – a true Brazilian mixture – and never had problems in this sense. Maybe because, before demanding respect and consideration, I understand cultural differences and treat every single person – and country – with respect and consideration.

    1. Thank you Gabriela for your comment. You definitely met a strange Airbnb host 🙂
      I was just questioning if being caucasian might have been a possible reason for the unfriendliness – not because of the colour of my skin but because I could have been identified as a American (note: this trip dates back to 2007. There was friction going on at the time over the whole Visa situation).
      Our opinions of places are shaped by our experiences. We don’t demand respect, but I think anyone travelling somewhere would be put off if people were downright unfriendly to them. Maybe everything would have been different under other circumstances? I don’t know.

  49. From my point, the people, authorities and staff were mostly nice, although too straight but I’d rather not carry many valuables and stay alert. Maybe being a native spanish speaker helped. Interracial relations seemed most ordinary.

  50. It’s likely you just come off a certain way that doesn’t fit with Brazilian culture. I’m white and I’ve been to Brazil at least 5 times but my personality just clicks really with them: I’m fat and I’m merry!

  51. I am sorry you had a bad experience. I am actually surprised that people treated you like that. I am Brazilian and I have been to Rio de Janeiro before and I had such a good experience. People would talk to me and treat me like family. I also went to Sao Paulo and it was horrible. People were so unfriendly. I think it depends a lot. I disagree about them not liking Americans. Brazilians do like white people. They are actually a little bit racist. But I also agree that people around the southeast have a lot of prejudice towards others who are “different” or if they can find something on you that they can take advantage of. They feel superior when they do that. I am from the north and we suffer that prejudice if we go down there.

  52. And … if you like meat … The Brazilians have a special way of grilling … and you can find All-You-Can-Eat Buffets for about $10-20. The higher priced ones usually — giving you that extra $10 money’s worth … if you like all kinds of steaks, porks, bacon rolled chicken, chicken hearts (a great Brazilian grill snack) — also something I rarely saw, but is great when you kind find it, is the Seafood — and Shrimp Empanadas are reason enough to go …. Great Salad choices at these buffets/great (and closer to $7-$15), ‘just the salad bar-without the grill (nao churrasco)’ – is great for vegetarians. Even the cheapest buffets will have too much to choose from, for vegetarians.

    Another convenient feature — when you are ready to leave … you just walk to the beach, any time during the day … and for a few dollars, there is a very comfortable bus, that takes you, straight to the airport. So you can enjoy one last look at the beach, and leave in more comfort than a taxi ride, and enjoy your last hour with the wonderful Brazilians … making their way … and maybe make one last new foreign friend.

    For sports people — all along the beach, there is open games for all kinds of beach sports imaginable — though of course mostly games with soccer balls … but you can join most any game you want — and if you have a ball — you bring it with you to the beach — and instantly make new friends any place. It is hard to find a Brazilian, who wont jump up, ready to toss a ball around, on the beach.

    Brazil has a yellow beer company, that is less for a whole liter at the Beach Bars, than one small glass at home.
    They have their own sponsored yellow beach bars, that often have live music, late in to the night.
    … all of Copacabana and a lot of Ipanema is well lit at night … and where the beach is thinnest, you can go for night swims, along with many families and all peoples …

    The rare days that the seas are calm … it is also a swimming paradise – I saw a blowfish (unpuffed) the size of girl’s head — gradually with its tiny fins trying to swim away from me … until it even got startled right on to the rocks … fortunately right back in the water, with the next wave…
    You can meet all types of people on the beach. I got meet all kinds of top scientists and athletes – just out for a day at the beach … Rio is an International Convention Center.
    Friendly little monkeys.
    my friend did get spiked TWICE by some tree in the forest — BUT — the hospitals were free and SUPER FRIENDLY — actually it is this Brazilian medical staff, that first made me decide to start to forget USA again … it was at that moment, closing the doctor’s door, when I said, “I never want to go back to USA” the doctor was overly engaging – cant say it was the highest quality medical care … but then also … in USA, you can go YEARS of waiting for appointments, doctors ignoring symptoms, not thinking about what — NOT LISTENING to their patients ….
    maybe in Canada doctors work to be doctors, and not to have movable atm machines that come to them ….

    EVERY DAY, that the sun sets behind the Mountains at Ipanema, it feels – it looks like God is saying, “Thank You for coming, I am glad you enjoyed your day. Hope you have a good evening.” “Come again, but dont tell everyone, because we do want to keep down the congestion”

    well, if I ruined your plan, to do that — trying to deter people, so that we can keep down the costs, please delete my reports.
    I do regret saying anything nice publicly about Rio … because I know … one person will come, then another, then two more … then 3, then four, then ten … I saw it happen with a secret back road parking area at the lake by my house — until finally the police had to start ticketing, because that neighborhood started to complain too much.
    SO … remember … to all those who read my reports — I studied martial arts my entire life.
    I traveled every where. (not really, but a bunch)
    After a TERRORFYING bike ride across Long Island, New York, where I mapped out a route, using google maps – for the SAFE – WALKING route across the island — only to discover all along the way, that it was sending me ON HIGHWAYS — and PITCH BLACK ROADS – with no side-walks … I could feel the cars wizzing by my elbows … well … it was an all night terror ride — by morning … when I pulled out, exhausted onto yet another ‘WALKING Friendly road’ – according to google, only to have a car brush against my shirt … at that moment … my sense of fear just died.
    I just didnt … it was too much … fear of people and so much, just dissipitated ….
    RIO de JANEIRO is VERY DANGEROUS — you CAN take many precautions to avoid those dangers — DO NOT TAKE ANYthing with you, that you do not need!! Wear clothes/dont carry pocketbooks – have all such, that thieves see no pockets, or obvious goods you might have.
    Try to refrain from walking too far at night — never go out alone at night. STAY COOL, CALM, and COLLECTED with any dangers — expect that POLICE might be the ones to mug you at the street corner … mostly people just want money — they dont want any other problems … but they are also not afraid to get violent.
    Expect that if you turn your back on anything you have — anything that is not being held on the front of your body … expect those things to be ‘gifts for the poor’ … anything left unattended will likely dissappear … for ever … their is violent poverty on a massive scale unlike anything, most anywhere … right in the middle of Oppulence … so like USA — poor people, are living in lavishness – and so want more, than they often need … but … mostly the criminals, are poor youths, just trying to get what they need – money for food and housing….
    And Ironically — these poorest people’s of Rio — actually have some of the best real estate to live — tiresome to climb every day — but they have hung on to the sides and tops of the mountains which have some of the best views of the majesty of this place … Sitting on Top of the World … watching all below ….

    that is the balance … AND … I think, that this bbqboy – probably experienced those peoples who only work/live away from the beach … and never have chance to enjoy what is best of Rio and Brazil — the Nature, and the Beautiful people … well … and for food lovers … well … get out of the more touristy areas, and the prices can drop dramatically, and give you some different very cheap lunch special deals and such ….

    AND Brazil has Guarana!!
    Way better than coke.
    and less damaging to your teeth.

    1. Thanks for the follow up comments Adra Traveler.
      I think you’re maybe overthinking the reason I wrote the post. Maybe it was just a post detailing my experience on this one trip, nothing more?
      Anyway, I can’t possibly answer all your points but hopefully others benefit from your wisdom and experiences in Brazil.
      Happy travels!

  53. I was there for 3 months … the max allowed for usa citizens, a special offer made only if we arrived during the Olympics.
    Soon after arriving, I learned I could not access my bank cards, nor my online businesses, together which was to pay for my time there.

    After about a month, I was out of cash … I could have gone to the airport, and changed my ticket for free.
    But, for 6? weeks, I stayed the course – I could not imagine leaving, until I was legally required to do so.
    For 6 weeks, I did not know where / if I would have a home the next day or 3 days later …
    But I remained calm … and made the best of every day, and did what I could, to get by.
    The thought of ending up on the streets of Rio, was more favorable, than needing to leave Rio.

    It is a land of Enchantment … but … yeah … if it wasnt for the Booty Dunes (its like little sand dunes, all across the beach – I cant believe you missed it!!) – I think it wouldnt be the same, as enchanting … though, lush tropical tree lined roads, with orchids carefully placed in many … the excitement of the waves at the shoreline … the strict code of conduct to always keep a positive attitude (cant understand how you saw a different way … but … I do think you have to make an effort perhaps – keep smiling, and people will smile bigger back at you — I even notice, that the Brazil people, have genetically evolved to have a face, with a bit of a permanent smile on them!! I dont see how you missed it…. – I never heard anyone speak ill of Brazil, except the corruption and crime)

    3 months … lived on less than $10 a day … most of the time, I was in a state of preparing for street life … at home, I own a house in top 100 wealthy usa town – house over half a million … but I would have rathered sleep on the Rio cobblestones….
    (Though now that I am home, I am very much in love here — I live in a USA paradise! haha … crazy … cant imagine, I would leave this, to go be poor in a poor country … BUT — it is all I strive to do now … I hope I will get a work visa, so I can work there … but if not — I will go and give out my art for free, and just enjoy the people and the place (AND – NOTABLY — the NATURE — Rio, has the world’s largest Municipal National Park … and to have mountains BOUND up in front of you suddenly, when you take a turn … some buildings seemingly cut right into the rock face … South America is great.)

    BUT … also … people there DID start to tell me, that Columbians are even kinder, and smile more.
    Americans have gotten accustomed to the idea, that Columbia is too dangerous, because in the 1980s, their politicians were using Cocaine – PUBLICLY SPEAKING OF THIS in the their campaign speeches – as a ‘Nuclear Bomb’ on the usa population. And they did a good job of it. And for some time, Americans were forbidden to go there, without risk of losing our passports …
    Anyhow … interesting world.

    I hope I can spend much time now, exploring all the beach resort cities of this hemisphere.
    And what of Belize?
    No one speaks of Belize?
    is that a hidden, low cost jewel, as Costa Rica once was?

  54. Haha!!
    I have to laugh when reading your report!!!
    I can believe it. But I can understand perhaps that it is real. And you just had the wrong turn of events.
    Probably having the bad introduction at airport, started a bad tone. And you dont have very much other interactions with Brazilians.
    I will say that from 30?+ years of experimenting, I have NEVER met a more festive – ALWAYS ready to smile – group of people from a large country. I grew up around the world’s largest concentration of Brazilians outside of Brazil. And in other world travels … whenever I see one, I run to them – and I make the test — to see if it continues, that they are ALWAYS — ALWAYS — ALWAYS — ALWAYS — the FRIENDLIEST — most approachable, kind and smiling people imaginable from any of the large countries. For me, I have only seen friendlier in the tiny island of Bermuda — and perhaps equally only near the beach tourist areas of Florida.

    HAHA!!! ANd you must kidding!!! You didnt see sexy girls in Rio? I truly had mild whiplash one day, when suddenly passing through a busy part of Copacabana Beach.
    You must be gay.
    Racist.
    Or just dont like thonged Booties.
    My friends wanted to go the Strip Clubs, and I soon realized, the beaches there, are better than any U.S. strip club, unless you find a place, where the girls can also dance well. But often they are dancing on the Rio beaches also.
    I never met ANY man, there, except a Russian who prefers starved Russian girls, that wasnt blown away by the girls. And actually … It is so wonderful, that all my female friends were also adoring the majesty of the Rio girl. (La Carioca (which is actually the same name for the guys)).

    BUT … so … obviously your Brazil experience was away from the Rio Beaches.
    Either in the over-populated Sao Paolo — which like any big city – people are fighting for space and attention, and think they rule the world.
    Or you were in the more poverty stricken states of Brazil, … where life is more hopeless, and they have no glorious beaches to relax and enjoy sometimes … in any place in the world – and in the United States — people always want to blame Americans for their misery.
    In the U.S. poor uneducated white people, blame the educated half of America for their misery. Though they always promote policies that promote violence, and lower paid jobs …. and funneling money to the wealthy.

    If you and your girlfriend are jealous types — then yes – Rio is no place to go.
    If you will smile — I cant imagine ANYONE not smiling back — except a few cops or sad child criminals.
    The homeless street people, resting their heads next to their pee and poop piles, would jump and wave, if you gave them a short hello when passing …
    If you like booties … Rio is an unreal paradise.
    And the people … while might be hard to really befriend … are always ready to be festive, and positive.

    BUT GREAT!!! Thank you for posting a bad review, that comes up on first page of google searches.
    Rio, was almost as expensive as my home city (4th most expensive in USA), so I adore all the bad reviews of the city — CRIME is outstandingly out of control — and terribly managed … and the prices are at the edge of being too high. SO DONT GO!!! … too much foreign money, will quickly jump prices. And I cant afford to go anymore.

    Also another plus: though it has some strong riptides — I am told, and a google search confirms — that there is no known shark threat in Copacabana Bay — so you can safely swim all over, if you are a strong swimmer.
    I LOVE the kindness and smiling of Brazilian People. SO MANY gentle hearts. And WELCOMING spirits and open-mindedness to be accepting of any kind peoples … BUT Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world. In space and population. It will have ALL types!! And has attracted many immigrants — and so must have all types of subcultures …
    Sorry, and thank goodness there is so much anti-American sentiment – keeps americans away from nice cheaper places. Fortunately for me, I am multi-lingual and can fit in any place soon. And in Europe – people usually think I am Italian or Greek. Or from their country.

    * Please note, I only read the first report — I did not have time to read all responses. So sorry, if I ignored any updates.

    1. Thanks for your comment, nice to see someone so in LOVE with Brazil. I guess it all depends on our experiences – yeah, I expected beautiful, bootied girls on the beaches. Believe me, I love coloured girls (my wife Latina). I saw the Olympic women’s volleyball team practicing on Ipanema beach…but otherwise was pretty much like any beach anywhere. So maybe we weren’t lucky this time around.
      But I never mind anyone having a different opinion as long as they can describe the reasoning. It sounds like you have all the right reasons to love Brazil 🙂 So thanks for the comment, I’m sure for many it is exactly what attracts them to Brazil (I had the same hopes but obviously the reality didn’t live up for me).

      1. I thought about what you said … I mean … again, pondering your first words.
        It occurred to me, that I owe you an apology, and deep gratitude.
        And perhaps I was errored in what I said, and I cant delete it now.
        … your words, each hit on all the right points.
        Except the crime.
        You should have emphasized the crazy high level type of crime Brazil can have.
        One of the most violent non war countries in the world.

        Obviously, your article was intended to deter further ‘Gringos’ as the Brazilians call us, from ever going to Brazil.
        The prices though often cheap in many parts — can be similar to U.S. prices in the big cities.
        And so you did the write thing, in writing the most unpleasant things about Brazil — to KEEP ALL THE FOREIGN MONEY AWAY FROM THIS PARADISE ON EARTH!!!

        You were there during the Olympics?
        Maybe, as I know from living in other party cities — the locals were staying away from the beach, with all the foreign crowds there.

        Or you only went on cold cloudy days?
        BUT — actually … if you were there in August? Remember that is the heart of the Brazilian WINTER!!!!
        Actually … yeah … when I first got there … there were less locals on the beach — it was more tourists (but mostly Brazilian tourists).

        It really makes no sense that you didnt … that you didnt have relationship problems, if you went there with a girlfriend.
        … Copacabana? I mean, even a night stroll there … though many are not so especially attractive, once you get near the road with the all the strip clubs, there is already high concentrations of very attractive Brazilian night workers — a country where it is legal, and so somewhat controlled.

        Maybe … you came in the winter … during a time, when the city was overtaken by foreigners …
        The people awaken more in the summer … You are from Canada? Do your girls go out in bikinis in the winter time?
        Well … remember for them — it is THEIR winter … and so they stay in more.
        Even if their winter weather is warmer than your summer weather …
        It was the case when I lived in Florida.
        I went there to swim … but after a hot summer, I almost never stepped foot in the water, all winter long …
        then I came back to the cold north USA, for July … soon I realized, that our summer waters are warmer than florida winter waters, so I started to swim again in the winters there … but the locals thought I was crazy.
        Though they also think you are crazy for swimming in the summer – because then the water is too hot!

        … I saw Brazil play Brazil at the Athens Olympics. It was awesome.
        You were so lucky to see them — practice out in the open on the Beach?

        Well, thanks again.
        I hope to spend much time in Brazil.
        Especially Rio.
        So your article discouraging foreigners from going, is most helpful.
        I hope the news spreads more about the return of the ridiculous crime — which I saw start to turn to the worse again, very quickly after the Olympics ended, and the military / special police was immediately leaving the streets.

        I was able to live in Brazil … for the cost of just a full day’s of food.
        And now I see even cheaper prices.
        … 86 places … include breakfast — daily maid service, some security, washed linens, some have a pool … new friends to make every day … all for the cost of what you eat for breakfast, if you had to buy it yourself.
        It helps to make the experience better, if you can get a place to live, all just for the cost of food you would eat anyhow.

        EVERYBODY is blown away by the girls … I did notice I was treated COMPLETELY different, when I was with my pretty female friends on the beach, or when I went with my tough guy friends.

        But I only saw 2 or 3 angry people/and had maybe 2 or 3 rude reactions from people — one some fancy dressed kind of macho guy – to good to answer some simple question on the beach …
        But one thing most of us (me and my foreign guy buddies) noticed, — and actually the Argentines also love about Brazil … is that not only is there too much amazing girls, for any man’s health … but almost ALL of them are Approachable!! Almost any girl, no matter how – ‘Too Beautiful’ she is, will welcome a greeting and a chat!! You simply need to go to them.
        … and my friends (with some muscles), could go from girl to girl on the beach, kissing a different lady about every 100 meters.
        Brazilians LOVE – are passionate – enjoy life as best they can – and make the best of things — they try to be festive always … I think especially in Rio — again, probably as I have seen living in other party cities — they keep alive a bit of the spirit of Carnivale – all year round — keep in mind, that some people work hard ALL YEAR — for that one celebration — customs, dances, songs … and to that spirit IS alive all year in Rio.

        BUT — thanks again … I realized later what you were doing with your article … basically going down the checklist, of what all to appropriately say, to best keep this a Hidden Paradise.

  55. I’m so sorry to hear you had a such bad time in Brazil Frank.
    As a Brazilian I can tell you that the lady that was hitting you with her cart didn’t do it intentionally just  because she thought you were a foreign or white, we do have white people in Brazil too,  read the Brazilian history . Why the Italian, German, Poland and others  that went to Brazil are not white and those that went to other part of the world are!! I have  a lot of people hitting me at the supermarket with their cart in Brazil ,some say sorry, others even don’t pay attention they did that, it’s very annoying I know. The reason for that is ,  Brazilian are always in such a hurry and late for everything, still a very rude thing to do, I also had the same problems at other Country too, Americans are the most polite of all when they do something like this. After what happened to you at the airport ,you start to see things differently  and was not really open to change. I do believe you had  a share of responsibility in this matter, from everything you wrote, I can say you are a little closed – minded person ?, that reminds me of this blog a came across , I’m going to try to leave it here for you in case you want to read it, it’s very good.
    The other thing is, Brazilian do not like when foreign talk with them in Spanish , why? Because we speak Portuguese , I know many does, specially in Rio when there’re a lot of Hispanic tourist, but there’re those that don’t speak and can’t have a conversation in Spanish , including  myself .I know the two languages are very closed, but still not the same language. I think you didn’t  like to be mistaken  for an American, I know that(I lived in Canada,and now I live in USA),most of Canadian are tired to be over- shadowed by USA . The true is, American don’t really talk much about Canada, there’re few or none news( bad or good) about Canada here, we started to see some after Trudeau , people likes him here.
    I lived in Canada for one year, and I can tell I haven’t met a nicear and friendly people like Canadian . My husband was transferred from IBM in Brazil, to IBM in Canada, he came a month before me , and a coworker just offer him to stay at his house with his family , I was amazing by that, and started to like Canadian even before a put my feet there, they really made my life a little easier since I didn’t know the country or the language( the language still bad though,hahaha),I  lived in a small city named Whitby, almost one hour from Toronto . One interesting thing about Canada, it was when I went to Quebec, they don’t like to talk English over there, a lot of people does, but some refuse to, I saw a lot of people covering their ears when somebody was talking in English, I also notice that Canadian are very proud of their French part,  I didn’t see the same about  the people in Quebec regarding the rest of the Country. What I didn’t like in Canada? The weather , I hate cold. My husband didn’t like the amount of taxes we were paying, he used to say Canada,is more like a socialist Country, and people with a lower income is better off here, then with a higher.
    We moved because he got a job offer from Apple, but I’m always coming back every time I can, since we have so many friends there.

    1. Thank you for the comment Lara!

      While I appreciate it, I think you are making a lot of excuses for the Brazilians we met.
      – “Brazilians are always in such a hurry”. That’s true everywhere, not just Brazil, and is not an excuse for rudeness.
      – Language factor. While speaking the language helps, it doesn’t explain unhelpfulness or rudeness either. Look at the countries we’ve been: 90% don’t speak English, French or Spanish (the languages we speak). We now live in Croatia where the level of English is quite low. But I haven’t complained about the people in these countries (except Romania where we didn’t find people so friendly generally speaking). Where there’s a will there’s a way, it just takes a bit of willingness on both sides (as you point out in your example of coming to Canada). But I’m sorry, but I’ve never had an experience as bad as in Brazil.
      – on me being a “close minded person”. I paid $250 for a Visa Lara, took a 12 hour plane ride, spent over 3 weeks (and a lot of money) in Brazil. I would not have done any of that if I was a close minded person.

      As I always say, we can only judge based on our experiences. This was my experience in Brazil. Maybe it would be totally different if I went again (but that’s not going to happen).

      Also appreciate your Canada comments.
      – yes, Canadians are (generally) very friendly, helpful, and will help you out regardless of race or colour.
      – What you say about Quebec: very true. I was born there and it shames me that people are like that. I lived in different parts of Canada but spent over 25 years in Montreal – but when I retired we left exactly because of the kind of mentality that you are referring to.
      – “socialist country”. Yes, that is what my Americans friends call us. But they are the first to complain about the level of violence, racial segregation and the cost of healthcare in their own country. That’s why Canadians don’t mind paying taxes and ‘spreading the wealth’ somewhat. Like in Europe, it makes for a better society. You can’t have it both ways and like everywhere, it is the people who have the most that seem to do most of the complaining.

      Thanks you for your comment Lara!

      1. Thank you Frank,
        for getting back to me 🙂
        You are from Quebec eh? Why I didn’t think about that! Just kidding , I said that because I was talking with a Canadian friend about you, and she just told me , “maybe he’s from Quebec” . Even though Canadian are very proud of their French part, they also know how Québécois can be hard to deal with, the separatist movement still very alive in Quebec.
        I’m sorry if it seems to you that I was giving excuses to justify her bad behavior. That was really not my intention, I even said she was very rude. My point it was just to show you she didn’t do it because you were a foreigner or white( I notice you mention you are a white guy all the time when I was reading your posts and your replying to some people) ,this is not making any sense to me. Other thing, how do you know she’s a Brazilian ,the airport in Rio gets thousands of tourist each day, Brazilian are a mix people, so we don’t have a “Brazilian” face, so basically anyone can look like a Brazilian .
        Yes, free healthcare in Canada is a plus, even though Canada’s system is not perfect however. Vision, dental, mental health, home visit services and prescriptions are not covered, the last one just for retired people. While living there I just went to the doctor once(same with my husband ), for a physical, can’t say much from my own experience, but a have a friend diagnosed with breast cancer , but waiting three month for treatment start, still better then here for sure, specially now. My opinion Switzerland ,has the best health system.
        Just to let you know that the reason we left Canada , it was not because of the cold or neither the high taxes we were paying, it was because my husband was not happy with IBM anymore, it’s not the same company that it used to be, even though, he was not looking for a new job, he was found by recruiters, and didn’t think twice when he got the offer.
        what you said about people that have too much are the ones that give less, it’s not always like this. Take Bill Gates, for example , he is one of the richest people in the world ,but is one that helps poor people the most. All the time we see news that he donate to hundreds of causes , and he is not alone, I also have seen a lot of poor people donating the little they have. I’m not a millionaire, but every Saturday I take time of my busy schedule to get together with a group of friends to do what I like the most, cooking for homeless people , and then walk up the street passing the food. Paying high taxes is not the only way to help poor people, especially in Brazil, where there are so much corruption and horrible politician.
        I have to confess that I’m jealous of you, not because you are white ?, if there’s something I learned from my father since when I was a little girl , it was that I’m not better then no one , and no one are better then me, my father was a doctor and he didn’t want us to think we were all that just because he was a doctor, specially in a poor country like Brazil, he always asked us when we go to the bathroom ( to do number 2?), just pay attention that we stinky just like someone else. That was a really good lesson for us ,I’m jealous because you do something that I would love to do , travel all around the world, you were lucky that you found someone just like you.
        Just one more thing “We are beautiful no matter what you say” ?, Cristina Aguilera.

        1. Thanks for the comment Lara.
          – Yes, I studied and worked in Montreal 20+ years but I’ve lived in different places, including in Africa (Zambia) as a child. I’ve never identified myself as being a Quebecker but rather as Canadian.
          – Lady at airport definitely Brazilian coming home from New York. This post dates back to 2007 (10 years ago) and at that time there was a lot of anti-American sentiment in Brazil with the whole Visa situation which is why I mentioned that maybe unfriendliness was due to being mistaken for an American. But in the case of that lady it was just a case of somebody being rude.
          – Healthcare in Canada definitely not perfect you’re right. But you’ll never die in a hospital waiting room or go bankrupt because of a medical procedure. Anything serious will be taken care of and are usually handled on priority basis.
          – Of course Bill Gates. All I’m saying is that people should consider themselves fortunate when they are in a position to pay taxes. The more taxes you pay, the more income you are making! 🙂 Congratulations for helping out Lara, not everyone is as generous.
          – Travelling the world: It’s just the choices we make in life AND being lucky enough to have everything go right with job, savings, and the health of family. For me it was something I always wanted to do and I planned around it, giving up many things along the way. Lissette never dreamed of it but had to follow my dream. She says now that it was the best thing she’s ever done and that she wishes we had started earlier. But we have to give up things like friends, family, having roots somewhere…So nothing is perfect but like anything else, if it is something you dream of then it is sometimes worth sacrificing other things. I hope for you that maybe one day you do it 🙂

  56. Great article, thanks for the tips! As the biggest country in South America and as the soccer mecca of the world, Brazil is a marvel to visit. However, there are numerous tourist targeted scams to be wary of.

    Do be wary of the Cinderella goodnight girls, pickpockets, assaults/robberies/muggings, lost and found money, drug planting, black market tickets, the place is closed scam, music charge, can I help you scam, fake merchandise, rogue drivers and many more!

    1. Thanks for the tips David. Never heard of the “Cinderella goodnight girls” and looked it up – wow, 2-3 days you can be out when they drug you. That’s pretty hardcore.

  57. I am a Brit married to a Brazilian wife and have travelled to Brazil several times. My Brazilian family and friends treat me like a King when I am over there and watch out for me, so have no complaints as I have always been treated well.

    Language wise it takes a while for a Gringo to acclimatise to the lingo but living at home with wife, step daughter and visiting Brazilians the language changes between Portuguese and English and I picked it up fairly quickly…..not fluent but get by.

    I have been trying to get to grips with understanding Spanish but find it a lot faster on the ear than Portuguese – perhaps its because I am used to the rhythm of Portuguese now! Spanish just seems like a rapid blur at times.

    I have to confess I don’t like the cities especially Sao Paulo – nasty sprawling graffiti ridden hole and Rio I think is highly over rated although the backdrop is beautiful – Cape Town is a far nicer city (lived there for 20 years so yes I am biased). The smaller coastal towns and inland mountains in Brazil have some real gems and the wildlife and forests are amazing.

    I also agree with another poster on here I felt safer in Cape Town than in Rio. For some reason a Gringo stands out in Rio whereas in SA the Africans don’t give one a second glance.

    Even my very Anglo-sized Brazilian wife and our Brazilian friends here in the UK become enraged by the lack of manners, inefficiency, loudness and rudeness of the people along with the utterly SHOCKING driving standards whenever they go back. Oddly enough I know more Brazilians in the UK than English people and after a few years of living here many of them could never envisage the prospect of living back in Brazil.

    I am a bit more open minded and hope in the next few years to rent my house out and live in Brazil for a few years and springboard to the rest of South and Central America. However there is NO WAY I would live in any of the big cities and NO WAY I would ever want to entangled myself financially with that part of the world…..one does so at their own peril.

    Through my wife I have seen Latin American bureaucracy in action and I know many Gringos who “invested” in dreams of paradise and ended up getting badly burned. Nope this part of the world is enjoyed when your cash lives outside the region.

    1. Thank you for the detailed comment, always good to here what people with family (blood or not) think of Brazil. Ours was a short trip, but enough for us. We’ve been to many places but Brazil stood out as far as unfriendliness and, as you say, complete “lack of manners”. Sometimes I wonder if we were just unlucky…but we can only form opinions based on our experiences.
      By the way, we totally, totally loved Cape Town and the Western Cape (a more recent trip, we spent 3 months there in early 2016. Rio was back in 2009 I believe..). And the people were just the complete opposite: friendly, helpful…and again, we are a mixed race couple which I think that worked to our benefit in SA…in Brazil it didn’t. We would go back to SA in a heartbeat.
      Yes, I would never invest in South America. Just too unstable, too many corrupt politicians.

      1. Hi Frank – I spotted your South African travels and will comment over there later.

        My wife is also mixed race (most Brazilians are) although she is light skinned. Believe me racism and economicism is alive and well in Brazil. My Mother in Law is practically Tupi Indian and speaks the lingo and because she is darker skinned is discriminated against all the time…..they often won’t serve her in shops or banks in Central Sao Paulo, however the moment they see her with her Gringo Son in Law or know that she has spent several months in the UK the attitude towards her changes in an instant…..INCREDIBLE.

        This is strange for me because I lived in South Africa during the height of the Apartheid years in fact I am a dual citizen – British/ South African – the country once considered the pariah outcast of the world……and yet I have seen levels of racism in Brazil – and believe it or not in America – that were in many ways worse. (I witnessed an incident in Florida between a Black Taxi Driver and a Cop that left me speechless!)

        As an outdoor adventurer I have done a lot of travelling in my life and I can hand on heart say that South Africa (especially Cape Town) is one of the finest places to live in the world (my opinion of course). My brother still lives an hours drive north of Cape Town (in the Swartland). I miss Africa with every fibre of my being and would go back in an instant if it wasn’t for the overall situation. I will continue this conversation in the South Africa column rather so that your posters can follow..

        Interestingly enough a lot of white South Africans are heading for Colombia and state striking similarities in the economics, politics and development of the two countries.

        1. Thanks for the insights Colin. I’ve previously heard much of the same but it is good to have them confirmed by someone with close connections to Brazil. About the USA – you’re right. I’ll never understand it. I’m from Canada and I went to high school where all my friends were Chinese, Arabs, blacks…never any issues. Lissette is from NY and she’s got lots of stories. Shame.

          As far as South Africa – absolutely loved it. My ex-boss (have known him over 20 years) is the same as you: South African as well as UK passport. And he feels exactly the same as you. He’s back there at least once a year, his family still there and we got to meet them on our visit. I think it’s the most beautiful country anywhere and we’re planning another visit.

  58. My wife is Brazilian and we go to Brazil to stay with her mother every year for a few months in a state called Espirito Santo, and I’ve spent a lot of time there in the past. Like yourself I like to travel, but I’ve never been to a country with such a lack of compassion and awareness for their own fellow countrymen. You talk about being bumped into by a lady at the airport with a trolley. The last time we were in Brazil the same thing happened to my wife at a supermarket. My wife says they are so thick and uneducated that this is normal behavior in Brazil.

    Did you notice how the women pull sarcastic childish faces (there is an example of this in the link that you link to by a fellow blogger, at the top of the blog. Look at the lady in the photo where an old man gets sprayed with fake snow. Spend any time in Brazil and you’ll see this expression on a regular basis).

    Also in the link the blogger mentions about the amount they drink and didn’t like how the men throw themselves at women at the carnival, if she had spent more time in Brazil she would have realized that this is how they men are, all of the time. It’s as if a large amount of Brazilian men are alcoholics and sex addicts.

    The more time I spend there the more I understand the culture, and I’ve noticed how the adults will sulk like a child and seem to make assumptions about everything and everyone without the need to check any facts?

    As said I’ve been to many countries and I have tried to understand many cultures, but this country has too many faults. I wake up every morning thanking god that I was not born a Brazilian.

    By the way thank you for letting me post on your blog and I wish you and your partner a Happy New Year.

  59. Hi Frank

    Yes I do despise them. My baby daughter was very sick and was struggling to sleep with the constant loud music. One day I explained to a neighbor that lived opposite that his loud music was keeping my sick baby girl awake, and asked him if he wouldn’t mind turning the music down. With that his little face smiled and told me to call the police. Here in Great Britain they would apologies and wish my baby girl better. But not with your average thick selfish Brazilian. Everything is confrontation. Walking through the shopping mall with my baby in a buggy no-one attempted to move out of the way, and wouldn’t help with the stairs etc. (and they claim that family is everything in Brazil). Mothers regularly try to give their children away and seem more interested in dressing up as if they are going to a night club, rather than looking after her children.

    To a Brazilian violence, theft, rape and anti-social behavior is the norm, and borrowing money from family and friends that are trying to help them, then not paying it back is also normal behavior. I found myself becoming more aggressive so that I wouldn’t be seen as weak, being far less polite as manners such and please and thank you aren’t used that much (not like here in the UK) as you would be seen as being fake and insincere.

    I was staying in the more nicer parts of Brazil. I dread to think how awful it must be living in a favela that is run by a drug dealing dictator.
    I think Brazilians must despise each other, why else would the murder each other in such high numbers that more people are killed in Brazil, than the Syrian civil war each year.

    I’m off to trauma counselling to get over my experiences of living in that vile country.

    1. Wow! That doesn’t sound good at all.
      How long did you live there? and where exactly? Were you on a work contract?
      I totally get how other people can make you more or less aggressive by their behaviour. We recently spent 7 weeks in Japan and the people so polite, so orderly that you end up acting just the same…then there are those other places where you have to be aggressive to survive (recent example: Romania).

  60. I’m from the UK and I have to say after my last trip to Brazil I hate the Brazilian people with a passion. I hate Brazilian people because of their sky high murder rate, anti-social behavior, lack of respect for all those around them, filthy streets, constant loud music, crazy driving, mad obsession with clothes, general dislike of the rule of law and corruption.

    I could moan about how vile and uncivilized the Brazilian people are for days, and I totally understand why the Americans want to build a big beautiful wall, to keep south Americans out of the USA.

    1. So I guess you don’t like Brazilians, from the sounds of it even worse than I. I agree with all your points (although I generally like Brazilian music)

      I don’t think that wall will do anything though to keep South Americans out, especially considering the distance and they’d have to bridge across the Darian Gap just to get into Central America. And contrary to anything Mr.Trump has said, Mexicans have been going back to Mexico (booming economy) rather than the other way around.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  61. It seems Frank(bbqboy) prefers Colombia than Brazil…and believe that Colombian girls are the hottest in world? Wow, what a wise comment. I lived and worked in 11 countries so far. There are good and bad things in every place you go. I could easily name 10 positive or bad things anywhere (USA/UK/Germany/Colombia/Brazil/Australia/etc). Here in Australia Lebanese are considered bad ones – and there are plenty of discrimination too. But I don’t care and I avoid the stupid ones. I came to meet nice Colombians and some very nasty ones too. Not physically nasty but perhaps poor in character. Brazil? It really depends on who you are, where you go, what you are after and what type of people you like to hang with. If you want problems sure you can find anywhere. If you really want to know Brazilian people, and go far beyond Rio and Sao Paulo.

  62. well…you felt bad in brasil…let me tell you about my experience. i am african… and i went to brasil 3 times… i can say that this country is on my top 5 racist countries. exelent food, bad manners, bad atitude, not safe at all… and too racist for me. never again.
    ps: because thay don´t know their own history..they are mixed race but they think they are not not black.

    1. Thank you for the feedback Joanette. Yes, I’ve heard much of the same and it’s unfortunate that it’s actually the same in most of Latin America.

    2. I have lived in Brazil…. And I’m Canadian… I have had an amazing experience and Brazilians are my favourite ethnicity in the world… They treated me with the utmost respect… And we’re extremely polite… And far more friendly than most Canadians… I have experienced far more racism in my own country then in Brazil… not one individual out of many used me for money.. all I hear is a bitter American commenting.. and using race as a scapegoat…if you would like people to be polite to you you have to be polite to begin with… No one is going to treat you well with your horrible attitude and it’s quite evident…almost every Foreigner I know that has been to Brazil has only good things about it and would love to go back… The men and women are beautiful and very easy to get to know… Do not find them overly Stack up and they are very carefree and extremely fun to be with… It was one of the most easy countries to date and make friends in.. thank you Brazil and thank you for your wonderful people.

  63. Our neighbour and friend is a lady of Brazilian origin (Carioca, meaning from Rio ). As I’m a travel buff, we have had discussions about her native country. At first I was surprised of her negative views : expensive, corrupt, mismanaged, dangerous in parts, (and polluted as w have seen during the Rio Olympics). She painted me such a negative picture of Brazil (and Rio particularly) , not in an excited way, but quietly, matter-of-factly, that I gave up any idea of visiting that country.

  64. Well, I live in Brazil and I Have to agree that people down here can be “difficult” . I live down south in Florianópolis which is considered a 1st world city when compared to many other places in the country. Still I find it very annoying the way people usually behave. People are always trying to take advantage, don’t respect lines, talk on cell phones at the movies and are usually too loud everywhere they go. Corruption is everywhere. On the other hand I Think we are natural born partiers and if you are young, want to have fun and don’t care about manners, noise and politeness you will sure have a good time. Btw, Im a traveler too, i have been all over the US, Europe, South America and all over Brazil too, never had any problems or difficult situations and before you ask me why I dont just up and move out of Brazil the answer is I will. As soon as I can.

  65. Your experience seems odd to me, but I would probably blame it on two things: Speaking Portugues and only staying there for two weeks. That’s really not enough time to grasp any place in my opinion and without knowing the native language NO ONE will communicate with you, even if you try stumbling in Spanish. They probably were talking to your girl because they thought she was Brazilian. I lived in Brazil for about half a year and I was never met with such friendliness and just a general since of welcome anywhere else in the world. I traveled all over the country for a month (SP, RIo, Bella horiz, curitiba, brasilia, salvador, and a bunch of small towns) and stayed in a variety of places; favelas, pousuadas, random sofas, and people welcomed me like I was one of their own. At times, some things did come off as rude, for example, no one asks for the ketchup while eating they just reach over your plate and get it. But it’s not malicious or anything. A guess a big difference in our travels would be the hotel. I never stayed in one there, too expensive, plus the workers probably just saw you and your girl as a dollar sign. There is a huge class war there and that probably had something to do with the negativity you received. I would definitely not blame race either. I’m American, white, and tall but most Brazilians in the north just thought I was from the south (high german population) and people in the south didn’t pay much attention to me. For the majority of my stay, i stayed in Bahia in a small town, where people accepted me into their community. I never had any weird looks and no one ever tried to rob me or anything. Also, Rio is a big city, i mean big, it’s like twice the size of NY and think about the attitude you’d get in New York. That just comes with the big city territory. Plus, Rio is gangster dude. I’m born and raised in inner city Chicago and it’s not even close to how dangerous Rio was. I can only imagine what they tried to pull on you there.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Dan. Sounds like you had a pretty crazy type of trip. Ours dates back a few years – we’re full-time travellers now but at the time we took 2-3 week vacations like most people, so it was that kind of holiday.
      It’s funny how places can be similar but also very different. We spent 3 months in South Africa recently, another developing country with a high crime rate where we also stuck out. But the people were WONDERFUL. It’s a place we would go back to. Brazil…ehhh, no. Not for us. But I’m sure you’re right, a combination of how you travelled and knowing the language must have helped.

  66. I come from a German-estonian family and unfortunately was born in Sao Paulo Brazil and for many reasons am unable to leave. Nothing would make me happier than leave this country and emigrate somewhere where people are actually capable of genuine human contact. I do not think you are wrong in your assessment. Brazilian people are rude and unfriendly. They appear warm to foreigners simply because they are more talkative and because they are indoctrinated at school to form groups for everything; write a paper – form a group, go to a party – go in a group; go to lunch – go in a group. The rule in Brazil is, be part of a large group or you are toast. Next time, if you wish to come to Brazil to admire the scenery (which is rather nice in some parts) come as a large group of tourists. There is no place for an individual here. The necessity of blending in contributes to a trait which many foreigners just do not get in short periods of time: Brazilians are professional liars. They lie all the time. It´s so natural to them they do not even blink. THey look you right in the eye and lie their pants off. The pressure to get along and blend into a group is so strong that any individuality is repressed. Noone around here can be their true self. The warmness of Brazilians is totally fake. They friendship is worthless. If they think it will bring them some advantage they will stab you in the back for peanuts and won´t even care. Also if you do dare to come back, you have to choose to be outwardly poor or outwardly rich. It doesn´t matter how much money you really have. But there are only to ways you get people to leave you alone… either you come across as poor (then people generally ignore you but don´t bother being more rude than usual) or you come across as rich (then people will bend over backwards for you especially if you ignore them and treat them rudely. RIch people here are rude because they can. It shows status.) Bottomline, dont try to be friendly in BRazil. It´s pointless. If you do not have something material to offer brazilians, they don´t care if you bleed out on the street. (HOw can I say all this if I was born here and live here for 40 years?) FIrst. I do not consider myself a brazilian. I just happened to have the bad luck to be born here because my parents came to live in Brazil ages ago (it was a different world then). My friends are mostly people like me, children of foreigners who came here when Brazil was still a good place to live or actual foreigners – god bless their hearts. Brazilian “friends” are just the people who happen to be around at some given time. I do not kid myself anymore. I know they don´t care about anyone, much less me. If you change jobs, you change friends. If you change schools you change friends. They don´t care. If you call an “old friend”, for instance, some person you worked with ten years at your old job, they think you are just calling because you want something and will be automatically on edge. Guess why they call you? If they find you just wanted to give them a call and talk, after they hang up the phone, they will tell their current friends (a.k.a. people they are circumstancially hanging around with at the time) that you must be lonely or going through some rough patch and “needed to talk”. So they make the sacrifice to give you their attention and then tell everybody around them to get “altruism points”. Brazilians love to tell their good deeds to everybody. It´s another way to show status. So, how do you cope? Learn to keep you mouth shut and never talk to Brazilians about your private life. Ever. Forget you have feelings. Write a journal if you must but do not dare tell anyone something made you sad or touched you emotionally, as it will make you appear weak and people will make your life extra miserable if they know you are sensitive and won´t fight back if trampled over. Keep a stoic demeanor. Do not ask for help, ever. Asking for help is, again, just exposing vulnerability. If you are a foreigner and need information, call your consulate or embassy, or your travel agency. Never ask or expect help from anyone. If you can´t pay your way, do it yourself, hide or flee. You can´t win. Brazilian society is a very hostile one. Brazilians value money over everything (although getting very angry at anyone who points this out.) and they especially value people who do not work for money, but rather get money due to position or status. Working is seen as the result of the misfortune of being poor and they see no value in it other than earning money. So do n ot bother telling anyone that you know how to so something unless you are offering it for sale. They see it at “a poor man´s brag”. If you want to impress someone, do not bother with education, talent or skill, brag about money. Appearance is the only thing Brazilians care about anyway.

    1. Wow!! Thank you Susanna.

      I’m very surprised by the very negative tone on Brazil coming from people who have been born there. It is a sad reflection on the state of the country.

      Thank you for the time taken to write your thoughts, I’m sure many readers will find it interesting.

      1. Brazilians I know say similar things. I know a young Brazilian chap living in London I couldn’t believe how negative he was about the country. He has been in the UK for about 8 years and will do anything to stay.

        1. Every Brazilian I’ve met overseas seems to be negative on their homeland. And that’s a bit unusual, most people leave home to better their lives and make money and are usually nostalgic of ‘home’. Brazilians (that I’ve met anyway) don’t seem to feel the same way…which maybe says a lot.

          1. Absolutely – my wife’s cousin (Brazilian from Rio) lived in London for 10 years. Due to Visas she moved back to Rio and is most certainly NOT very happy being back in Brazil. My In-Laws spent 4 months here in the UK last year and even they struggled to get used to Sao Paulo again.

            They are considering selling up and moving back to the North East (Maranhao) – they are farming people not used to big cities…I don’t blame them because I don’t like cities either.

            Personally there is NO WAY I would live in Sao Paulo….I think London is a dump but Sao Paulo is the worst parts of London a thousand times over and pumped on Steroids!

    2. Wowwww, all the time I hear a lot of Brazilian saying a lot of bad think about themselves , but youuuu, I think you went way too far, I’m a Brazilian just like you, my parents came from Austria, but I would never say those thing you said, I’m a Psychologist, e para mim eu posso ver que você precisa de tratamento urgente.

      1. You’re clearly not a fully competent psychologist Lara if you’re getting yourself worked up about someone else’s issues and advising them they need ‘urgent treatment’ for speaking honestly about their feelings. It’s utterly depressing to think that you represent a profession that is supposed to help other’s deal with their issues when you so obviously have made no attempt to recognise your own.

  67. Thanks for your post! I’ve been living in Brazil for almost three years now, having first visited for two months in 2009. I work here and live with my Brazilian partner near Sao Paulo.

    I have mixed feelings about living here, and while I am generally happy, I’ve had many experiences that contain elements of your anecdotes which make me long to be back home. For example, I completely relate to your anecdote about the woman intentionally bumping into you at the airport. Whenever I’m in any kind of transport situation that involves loading or unloading, people act like said airport/airplane/bus is on fire and they need to make a mad rush. In addition to people (oddly, mainly women) crashing into my cart at the airport without apology, I’ve also had people push me out of the way so they could be among the first to get out of an airplane . I’ve seen a fellow passenger from Brazil swing his carry-on luggage into the face of my seat companion, a European (again, without apology); the European man was completely shocked, and I tried to calm him down by politely explaining to him that that’s “just how things are done here sometimes”… I’ve asked my partner about this phenomena, and according to his insight, it’s “normal for whoever can make their way on/off first to have the right of way.” Not that clarifying, but I try to consider alternative explanations like this first before dismissing people automatically as rude. Even so, this kind of behavior still makes me cringe.

    Second, though you mentioned you’re Canadian, I’ve also observed that the treatment of foreigners, especially anyone perceived as American to be “mixed.” Most of the Brazilians that I’ve met are genuinely interested in my being an American because they want to know more about another country, or my insider perspective as a citizen from there. However, I’ve had my share of negative experiences. I’ve had acquaintances basically call me an “imperialist” to my face (without any provocation on my part since my social self tries to be generally polite and inquisitive). These incidents often come across not only as rude but also hypocritical when said accuser is also thumbing the latest iphone model and travels to Miami, New York, etc. on holiday. Other times people lose interest in me because I don’t come across as a stereotype or “American enough.” (I’m half Asian, may pass as Brazilian, and speak Portuguese more or less fluently.) Oftentimes store attendants ignore me since I don’t try to display my socioeconomic status through my dress or outward appearance like many Brazilians, but excessively attend to me when they recognize my American accent. Ok, now I’m just venting and making a list, but that’s my anecdotal experience. And what often tends to stick out when we recount them are the negative ones, right?

    Anyways, I’m glad for my experience here, and have met many Brazilian gems. But I echo many of the concerns that you observed during your short trip in Rio which, in my opinion, though a marvelous place, concentrates many of these negative qualities. As a foreigner, I find it hard to distinguish between purely cultural differences and context versus what is truly negative or “bad.”

    I’d also look into the Brazilian “vira-lata” complex, if you’re interested 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Emilia for your feedback, very interesting to hear from someone (especially a foreigner) who lives there.

      The whole mad rush/travel rudeness is surprising. Someone else mentioned it above. I’m sorry, but in any other place pushing someone out of the way or swinging a bag in someone’s face is rude. No excuse for it. In other places that would be the cause of a fistfight. Again, I guess I somehow thought they were ‘Latino’. I’ve been to Mexico 5 times, the Dominican Republic 4, Cuba about 6 times, and have had trips through Central America and once to Argentina. People are incredibly polite, love them. I guess by extension I thought Brazilians wouldn’t break that mold. So when I saw that behaviour or general unfriendliness I was taken aback.

      Your 2nd point. Yes, of course – the socialist, left-leaning politics that took over Latin American and is now collapsing all around. As you say, never mind that everyone in these economies endeavors to obtain the same wealth we do. Hypocrites is right.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your insights 🙂

  68. I ran across your website, and glad that I did.

    I have never been to Brazil and not planning to at all, after my encounter with a few Brazilians. It’s amazing, after reading this it aligns with my perception of them so far. I feel they are arrogant and hostile – at some point, I questioned myself – and wondered if I must have been doing something wrong, and couldn’t really think of any.

    I am working with a Brazilian woman right now – and in her mind, they are the most beautiful women in the world, and didn’t like the idea of having someone from another culture drawing more attention when it comes to physical appearance. I also don’t understand why she doesn’t seem to have anything good to say about her people and culture or her country – everyone is entitled to her own opinion, it’s just strange that we say how beautiful her country and her culture must be based on what we read on the books, media etc., and she says the exact opposite. I once told her I dated a Brazilian guy before, and gushed how she hoped he was not horrible to me! (At the back of my mind, why would he?) I have a several other encounters with them in business, and overall, I don’t find them to be warm, and sincere – especially the women. With that having said, I lost interest in visiting their country – I travel not only for the scenery, but also for the experience of culture and people – so Brazil is not something I am so keen about.

    1. Thanks Fran. I honestly didn’t know Brazilians before going but I remember having being struck by how cold they were at the consulate in Montreal when I applied for the Visa. But I thought maybe that was the exception and that once in Brazil I would meet the true Brazilians. Well, as you know, they weren’t any different from that first encounter.
      People tell me they had the opposite experience. If so I’m happy for them. But I’ve travelled enough, to many places, that I can compare. And I can definitely say that they’re pretty much at the top of the list of ‘most unfriendly’ people I’ve met on all our travels. Of course they’ll be some individuals that break that rule, but I’m talking generally after spending some time (in this case almost 3 weeks) in the country.

    2. Ah I can believe it have met some Brazilians you would never wish to meet believe me….one woman springs to mind, married to a former Director of a well known company….this woman was the WORST type human being I have ever encountered in my life. My wife got to know her and the day I met her all the alarm bells sounded off loudly.

      She was a complete psycho playing South American snobbery on a level you wouldn’t believe. She didn’t like me because she knew I saw straight through her….born under a roof covered in banana leaves and via gold digging she worked her way through rich men (who all died…hmmmm)

      The nastiest most devious and treacherous woman with a chequered past – even her son (reminded me of Sylvester Stalone) hated her. She was the villainess straight from a dark Mexican Novella….the type to have people murdered….no joke.

  69. Hi Frank,

    I spent a week visiting Rio last Summer and had almost the exact opposite experience. It was just my sister & I staying in Copacabana, and the people were extremely friendly, welcoming and warm to us. Now, this was not a very heavy tourist time – no major events and during their winter. However, from speaking to locals and many friends of mine from Brazil (I live in South Florida), I unfortunately have to partially attribute your experiences in Rio due to being a white man..I’m a Black American female. The locals and my friends from the Rio area have said that many lower-middle class Brazilians (especially Afro-Brazilians) tend to be nicer to and do not target blacks for crimes. They don’t associate blacks with wealth, and even if they become aware that the blacks are from America, they see them as equals and tend not to take advantage of them. Many of the locals I spoke to where surprised to find out I was American and were so fascinated with my life here, and with President Obama LOL.

    Unlike you, this was the first country I’ve visited where I did not have a bad experience with prejudice or some sort of ill-will for being American. I have yet to go to Europe, but have visited China (the most extreme culture shock for me), Mexico and Jamaica.

    Perhaps you should visit the South of Brazil next time, which was heavily populated with those of German ancestry. These Brazilians tend to be “whiter” (think Gisele Bündchen), and I’ve heard it’s much more friendly for white tourists.

    1. Thanks for your comment Deja! A sad state of affairs when we get judged on our colour when travelling, isn’t it? My wife (Latina) felt the same in China (she’ll never go back) and from the whites in South Africa (while the blacks were incredibly friendly towards both of us. I think she was my in 🙂 ).

      Despite protests of the opposite from commentators above what you say is what I felt. Not surprised.

      If it makes you feel better Lissette has not had any issues in Europe and we’ve been just about everywhere.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

    2. Brazil is overrated. I hardly met any women that look like the women in RadioMania Bundalele. Totally demais magrelas! They shave their buseta bald. Que nojento isso né. I like women to have at least a landing strip. I apologize to criticizing US women for being so fanatical about shaving their p.ussy bald (it looksl ike pedofile dish of food..gross! I grew up in the Ron Jeremy-Vanessa del Rio days where pubic hair was glorified).

      I had Afro-Brasilian women block me on POF, on WhatsApp (and they are the lowest class of women too proud to roll with an estrangeiro lindo like me).. They acted funny by ignoring me or blocking me everytime I say “A gente deve combina entao divirta-se!!” Being a pardo (mulato Mixed Race), I thought I was going to be swimming in buseta. I thought pardos were respected more than pretinhos, but I was ever wrong. Desculpa! I would always get laughs due to my size and my baggy clothes. I never had such a bad experience in Latin America, and I apologize to all HIspanics (non-Brazilians Hispanics in S. America) for prejudging them for being bigots, but Brazilians are classist-as-fuck with their flat boobies. At least on Tinder Hispanic women would holler back and were more direct. I only got trannies and narrow hipped ugly women that wanted to “transar comigo” Que nojento. Too many Brazilians are fake. Look at how handsome I am (See my website pic above ^^^^^^^^). I think the women suck (no fellatio pun intended). I had sex with women in Brasil, but they were feia demais. Nothing gatinha about them whatsoever. I had one woman say that cachorros love her unconditionally not men so she was mercadorias danificadas com certeza kkkkkkkk. The only time I’ve gotten a gatinha was if she were a garota de programa. All the gatinhas tinha me bloqueado pro Zap (WhatsApp), POF, OKCupid, Badoo, ao vivo (in person), qualquera/tanto faz no Brasil.

      Disclaimer: women never approached me NEVER unless they garotas de programa (women of the night) or travestis( trannies )
      Highlights: only the food. It’s said when milho (amazing cornbread-cake) is better than the experiences I had in Brasil.
      Misc. bad: VIVO e TIM BRASIL chipe. Ripped me off everytime I had “recarregado o meu chipe”. Instead of 200 MB for R$6,99 for reload they charged me double and always rejected my PayPal and cartao de credito methods of payment although I checked so many times with my bank to make sure I can make purchases online in Brasil. I had to go to Loja Americana just to recarregar o meu chipe. Que bugunza! (What a hot mess!)

      HORRIBLE INTERNET CONEXCOES. I heartd only Sao Paulo has good Internet in Brasil. I never been there because I was avoiding spending so much money….but I spent more money no interior of the country.

      It’s merda Brasil. IF this is the jeitinho brasileiro I want no more part of it. To fora….vo embora!! Isso me deixa alegre. Kkkkkk.
      YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT ME MAKING NOISE ABOUT THIS..IT ISN’T OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER.

      1. HA! One of the most colorful comments I’ve had on the blog and it will I’m sure be offensive to many. But as I always say, we are all entitled to our opinions (and the way we express them – as long as it doesn’t cross too far over the line of decency…)
        Thank you Manny for taking the time to comment and express your thoughts. And thank you for teaching me expressions I’ve never heard before 😉

        1. Thank you, Frank. I appreciate you for not being a libtard. I guess the beginning of Donald Trump Adminstration in the USA will “Trump” political correctness worldwide (mundial). Obama is the first feminist president that allowed LGBT to exacerbate itself to be a lot more than it should. Although I made good aforementioned points, I have digressed from the main point I’d like to say.

          I speak three lingugens: U.S. English, Spanish (although it’s a hybrid of different regions and countries in Latin America), and almost-native level of Brasilian Porto. Dissclaimer: once you learn one Romance language, the others are easy to follow suit.

          I am tired of the good-looking girls sending me a weak text through Zap (WhatsApp) that are still interested in me saying, “Ola ola…tudo bem?” (Hello is everything going well?”) . Some go “acordou bem?” (Did you get up just fine today? Amanecer/Despertarse to wake up in spanish and english respectively….but never want to “combinar” in person. (to meet in person).

          I am not sex tourist. Don’t you know that most of these brasileiras that are attractive think I’m a “mulherengo” (a player pretty boy)??? Just by my looks. How messed up is that?? In the previous post, I said that women never approached me by default. So how do they know my motive by looks alone?

          One of my friends say that I look like I am “always looking for buseta (p.ussy). Your fermones are that strong”. I’m like, “WTF?”
          Thank you again, Frank!!!!! You rock!

          PS: even if I am looking for buseta all of the time, they act like getting sex is the worst thing that can happen to them. I guess if mantenucao (child support) were more organized in Brasil, then more women would sleep with me and not worry so much about their pride, but more or less have prejudice. Get it? Pride & Prejudice. lol hahhaa

      2. I seriously think that social media screwed up Brasil. When Orkut have been shutdown by Google a few years ago, everybody and their mimae had gone over to Facebook now where it became a “sausagefest” (insanely, unbalanced ratio of men to women on these “solteiro” Face grupos looking to accost attractive women). Instagram made Brasileirinhas have a “blown head’ (a big ego beyond its britches) nowadays….just using their selfies de stick taking photos all of the time.

        I’ve seen it in all the Shoppings. Just women in grupos happy to take selfies all day in the food court. Most of the time, the hot women were handcuffed to their namorados or esposos. Even gordinhas (little fat women) had attitude towards me when I was nothing short of a cavaleiro/caballero. When o’beast women have pride and prejudice, then I know the world is not the place to be in…especially not to be here in Brasil any longer.

        Another thing that bothered me about Brasil: they loathe espanhol. They rather learn US English. All surrounded by Castellano, Catalano among other Spanish dialect-speaking countries, and they hate speaking Spanish as a 2nd language. Okay I get it, the Portuguese fought for freedom in the 12th-13th Century from Spain and won fair and square….so they don’t want to have the “Stockholm SINdrome” in feeling subordinate to being a by-proxy Spanish colony again by speaking Spanish as a 2nd language (except near the borders with a Spanish country like Bolivia….some people in Corumba speak both linguagens). I get it; Entendi muito. Again: they seem to be presunsoza the gente there….mojigata if I got that word right (“stuck up” in English). I think they look their noses at Hispanics. Classist-as-fuck as I have mentioned in my very, first post.

        In conclusion: a lot of dysfunction which occurs in the USA is occurring in Brasil. I feel that feminism exists in Brasil, but not in a 1st-world style. I think by next generation Brasil will be toast/finished. LGBT is growing in Brasil so machismo, patriarchy, & extended family has to be dead now. Pelo amor de Deus….A gente é foda agora!!!! (We’re screwed now! No hetero pun intended!!). Sorry for three comments, but my brain was working on filling in more information!!!!

        1. Thanks for the comments Manny. Thing that almost every country in the world has in common – they hate their neighbors. Surpassed only by how much they hate minorities in their own country. And really, we never learn do we as history always repeats itself.
          I was a single guy for a long time and I can sympathize with the superficial crap and marrying for prestige and money. Again nothing new. I’m sure you’ll meet the right person – or you can do like the Japanese guys (where we are right now) and forget about it. Indulge in the fantasy instead of the reality.

          All the best!

  70. I have worked with several American universities that send students abroad to learn languages. The place Americans have been treated the worst world wide was precisely Brazil. This is not the case in the feedback reports of some of the other South American countries, nor Asia, nor Europe, nor Africa. From my experience in international work, I have helped Brazilians, and they have come back to bite me. This is of course generalized, as I have felt that they are nice when they need something from you but are usually jealous and lazy mockers. This is my experience in diplomatic circles, business, church, and education. I speak their language, I am Caucasian, but most of the Brazilians that seem Caucasian, are not. They are a sort of whitish grey color than you cannot always detect because of their suntan. There is definitely a racist problem with most of them. Unfortunately they have treated me in a way that I too have become conditioned to generally prejudge. If I do not show that I have more wealth than them they treat me badly, and otherwise I also feel threatened in general. It is one of the most corrupt countries on earth, and they will kill you for a pack of cigarettes.
    Beautiful country nevertheless, though they are also destroying the natural resources the are blessed with. Sadly, I have totally given up on that country, and no longer care to have anything to do with such people.

    1. Ouch! Nasty! But I really appreciate that you took the time to comment about your experiences. Thanks Paul!

  71. Wow. No doubt that after all this racists comments people there weren’t very friendly to you. I am Brazilian and I am Caucasian (so is 50% of our population) so you can be sure that your skin color wasn’t the problem. But you definitely went there with a very narrow mind and a lot of pre formed judgement.
    You come and say that it was rude that the bartender was looking at your partners chest but you were also looking at our woman and judging them by their appearance. Not only doing that but offending every single female of our country with your misogynistic comment.

    1. Wow, nice spin on it Barbara! I actually chose to come to your country, looked forward to it and travelled a long way to get there. But if it makes you feel better I won’t be trying to change your mind…

  72. Wow, I’m Brazilian myself and I have to admit, Frank, Brazil really sucks 🙁

    My people is culturally uneducated, unpolite, selfish, eager to take any advantage even if this be detrimental to others, like queue jumping other stupid stuff…

    Our “education” system is below horrible, and I believe this contributes a lot with the shameful behavior of the average Brazilian.. Most people have a harsh life, working a lot for low incomes, and those who earn more tend to have delusions of grandeur, believing they are above anyone else just because they can afford an expensive house and car (well, everything here is expensive due to abusive taxes, so common here), many richer people break the law like the latter are non-existent (and in fact, our judiciary system seems to exist only to condemn the poor; the rich gets away with almost any crime with small or no punishment), mainly in the roads and streets, driving under the influence of alcohol or exceeding the speed limit, disregarding red light and so on..

    And don’t forget our “lovely” corrupted government, sucking half of our income with the myriad of taxes over anything, goods or services…. With basically no return at all, no decent health system, no decent education, almost no organized pothole-free roads and highways, no security… Most of our taxes are swallowed by the corruption hungry blackhole and it seems things will not change anytime soon, due to a) corruption is very prevalent in every governamental sphere and b) Brazilian people are torpid moronic citizens who let the politicians rob them as much as they want without the former protesting, starting strikes and whatnot, they just make fun of the situation and leave it at it.. Most only care about parties, gossiping, drinking and accumulating huge debits to buy unnecessary stuff, expensive clothes and shoes, bikes and automobiles, just to show off to others…

    Well, there are so many factors that contribute to “our” disgusting typical behavior, you are lucky for not living in this sad nation.. I love my country, natural beauty, local food, and so on, but our people are plagued with all of these problems described above, so my advice for foreigners is: AVOID visiting Brazil, mainly Rio de Janeiro and Sâo Paulo, our nation has a long road ahead before we catch up to more civilized nations and deserve receiving tourists again… Violence and criminality have reached the same level as war-torn nations, Brazilians love to exploit themselves and foreigners as well, selling them extremely overpriced goods and services, no to mention the unpolite and scornful way you personally noted when visiting Brazil..

    I have to apologize on the behalf of my stupid compatriots for all they have done to amazing foreigners like you, that’s all I can say 🙁

    1. Thank you so much Wallace for the comment.

      Wow, you don’t pull any punches with your countrymen! You’re even tougher on them than I am 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to seeing the Olympics in Rio this summer and seeing what Brazil does with it. I hear that progress on the ground is behind schedule, that they’re cutting corners because of a budget crisis, that locals are unhappy about having the Olympics. Then thee’s the political situation right now with the corruption scandal. It’s not shaping up well…I’m wondering how the country will manage with all the foreign visitors you’ll be receiving?

      And I haven’t even mentioned the violence and criminality that you refer to. I think it’s the scariest part of travelling to Brazil.

      Thank you so much for the comment Wallace, I wish there were more Brazilians like you 🙂

      1. No problem, sir, and sorry for my bad English, as I told before, our education system is laughable, so the bit of English I know has been learned by myself, reading texts and subtitles in EN…

        I think no one likes to say harsh words against his/her own nation, but honesty is crucial and I feel bad for all the Brazilians that come here and attack you for your honest text, that’s just another shameful characters of most Brazilians, they refue to acknowledge they are wrong and/or hate when their opinions and views are faced with opposition. That’s another reason why my country doesn’t progress, Brazilians overlook the problems and failures of their own, it’s like they live in a delusional bubble or whatnot. There’s no way we can solve things when you sweep the problems under the carpet…

        “I hear that progress on the ground is behind schedule”

        As usual… Every public work here takes longer to finish than initially scheduled, and it’s obvious that it is done in purpose, because the longer they take to finish, the more is spent, which makes it easier for politicians to grab tax-payed money..

        “that they’re cutting corners because of a budget crisis”

        Yes, our current president (and the previous one, both from the same party (PT: partido dos trabalhadores, or “worker’s party” in English)) has ruined our nation, thanks to bad administration and abundant corruption, not to mention the stupid decision to host the World Cup (with FIFA profiting with up to 10 billion dollars of tax exemption….) and Olympic games (I don’t even wanna think about how much public money has been robbed by politicians and businessmen during that period)… Brazil is in political turmoil, with the vast majority demanding her impeachment, which I find good, at least it appears that my stupid people is awaking up a bit..

        “that locals are unhappy about having the Olympics”

        Yes, totally, for the abovementioned reasons 😉

        “I’m wondering how the country will manage with all the foreign visitors you’ll be receiving?”

        Well, surprising, when it comes to host international events, Brazil appear to work a bit better… I don’t trust media, but it’s claimed that 83% of the tourists who came in during the World Cup held a positive impression about the event… I wouldn’t be surprised, as our leaders only care about giving foreigners a good impression about our country, so the cities and states are better prepared and organized to receive foreigner people, including reinforcing security and public transport.. I think this is the best period for tourists to arrive here.

        “I wish there were more Brazilians like you ”

        Thank you, I’m sure there are thousands of Brazilians like me, but they are easily outnumbered by the despicable, uncivilized ones… I’m sure there should have way more good Brazilians, but that’s the thing, in a “jungle” dominated by stupid, rude people, one has to adapt to it and become similar to the majority or else you’ll get stomped and be left behind by the waves of troglodytes. Only a few persons choose not to follow the crowd, sadly.

        1. Wallace, your English is better than most English speakers, so you have nothing to apologize for! You write impeccably!

          I appreciate again all your points and clarifications, always good to hear from someone ‘on the ground’. Wish we had met you before our Brazil trip 🙂

  73. Hey dude!!! Only kidding. Brazil seems to be such a controversial subject, and I have to say I’m firmly on your side of the fence with this, as you know. I’ll say one thing for Brazil, it evokes strong opinions, whichever way you take it! We’ve just returned from a couple of weeks travelling around Rio, Ilha Grande and Paraty, and were frustrated at every turn by rudeness, unhelpfulness and some of the more dire communication I’ve ever come across on my travels. We spent the entire time uncertain about our reservations, worrying whether or not we’d actually have a bed to sleep in the next night, and more often than not we had to quadruple check all our tour bookings, just to ensure it was all sorted (usually it wasn’t). I think perhaps Brazil suffers from over-hype in the media and the glossy magazines. Whilst it’s pretty on the surface, it’s rather ugly underneath. Like you, we won’t be returning any time soon.

  74. Great way to keep RACISM alive dude!!!
    Brazilian are rude regardless of your skin color. Not sure if you know but Brazil is a mixed country with people from around the world so the argument that they would treat you badly because of your skin color or nationality is a very poor one.
    Second of all, you should be talking about girls that way, Treating them like they are a piece of meat and nothing else. Comparing which country has the best meat in the market.
    I am from Poland and been living in Brazil for 2 years and I know a ton of Brazilians with skin much fair then mine.
    I never heard or was treated differently because of my skin color or my blue eyes.
    Maybe you should re think your geography knowledge and your mind set about race because you clearly need some improvement.

    1. Nationality and skin color two different things. Yes, there are many white Brazilians, but locals always spot a tourist. And the usual assumption in Brazil is white + tourist = American. That was my point.
      I shouldn’t be talking “about girls that way”? Honestly? Do you ever watch TV or pick up a magazine? Note that I also mentioned the men so how am I being sexist if I’m mentioning both sexes?

      I appreciate you confirming that ‘Brazilians are rude”. Oh wait, but isn’t that stereotyping and racist per your politically correct argument?

      Another pet peeve is a woman who calls someone else, either guy or girl, “dude”. Urggg…

  75. I just got back from 3 weeks in Brazil (Rio-Minas Gerais-Salvador) and agree with you. Most people working in customer service (bus drivers, waiters, …) were just doing their very best to ignore me or answered in a very short way, not smiling at all, as if they were annoyed… This was in Rio and Salvador. Minas Gerais was a totally different experience, people were really nice there!
    The “general public” (people who didn’t have to deal with customers all the time) seemed friendlier as a whole.

    I think the problem is the image we get through the media. We get bombarded by gorgeous Brazilians smiling, dancing, partying all the time and it can be a disappointment to discover that it’s not always reality…

    1. Wow, I didn’t know the foreigner media would ever dare depicting the Brazil as a nation worth visiting, but hey, we are talking about the media, mainly travel companies advertising… In order to gain money, they would make even hell look like paradise if there were flights to it LOL

      1. Oh yes, Brazil has quite the image abroad! And to be fair it’s an incredibly beautiful country – it’s all the other issues that ruined it for us. But if it was just for the scenic beauty and geography I would recommend Brazil to anyone.

  76. Wow Frank… I am so upset for your, at least, unpleasant experience. I reckon that tourists in general should be treated with respect… this above all. Someone who is somehow contributing to local economy… No favor! Besides, we all expect to feel the positive aspects of globalization nowadays, which include polite and why not, friendly interaction. As a brazilian I do apologize for that. And I sincerely hope you reconsider coming back one day… maybe other places with outstanding tourist attractions and respectful people would change your mind. By the way, I have been to Toronto… Nice place! Cosmopolitan at the most, people from all over the world. However, Canadians really surprised me… Agreeable people and highly polite. And I am also a traveller… ^_^

    1. Thank you so much Poliana for the kind words. I often think about our experience in Brazil, sometimes wondering if I it was me and my mind frame there. But I think I went there with the same open attitude as I go anywhere…maybe just unfortunate circumstances. But I’m happy that through this blog I’ve also heard from some nice and supportive Brazilians like you who have kind words 🙂

      Toronto: It’s Canada’s biggest city and I wouldn’t have expected that you would have met so many nice people. I hope you go back one day: visit the West Coast, Prairies, or Atlantic provinces. Some VERY friendly people in those parts!

      1. Thank you so much for the tip… I will for sure. Canada really seems to be a wonderful country! As I simply loved Toronto I bet you are right!!! 🙂

  77. I do not understand why people were rude, I am a Brazilian girl and I can say that the people in my country are friendly, the World Cup, foreigners and Brazilians lived peacefully, Brazil is a huge country and here is one of the most beautiful places the world, we have the Pantanal, most of the Amazon Forest, Cerrado, sheets Maranhenses, the atmosphere of the beaches, our cuisine, Atlantic Forest, and frankly, the beautiful Brazilian girls are in the South, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, Rio is difficult find beautiful women, not like this image of beautiful women because many people relate this with prostitution.

  78. Yes, I agree with you, Rio and the south can be is this way. And I know if you have a bad experience, you don’t want to go back. Like me, for example, the worst ever experience I’ve had was in Thailand and I wouldn’t be happy to go back there even if someone gave me free flights. But the north of Brazil is like a different country (the people in the south dislike people in the north and look down on them because it’s poorer). In the North, I always met friendly people very curious about my story where I was from etc… It had a different vibe.

    1. Yes, I can believe that – Brazil such a huge country and I know there is a different ethnic mix in the north. Who knows in the future, maybe we’d like to see the Amazon! But Rio? Not again.

      1. You made a terrible mistake by going to Rio. I’m a Brazilian, born and raised in a small town in the countryside in the state of Sao Paulo.
        Rio de Janeiro in having a terrible moment, since 2008 and until today is almost a war zone. The army is concerned about that matter, there’s tanks going through parts of the city and – even being a Brazilian – I never been to Rio de Janeiro in my life, actually people in Rio are quite rude with everyone.
        Natal is a beautiful place with wonderful and kind people. I’ve been there twice already with my family and never felt better about anywhere else I went. People were generous, local food was cheap and the officers would often have fun with us while talking and showing us the right way after we got lost (we had the incident going on quite often). I got badly hurt in a pool in the first time I went and the taxi driver didn’t even charged me for the run to the hospital.
        Natal. Nice people, nice food and nice place.
        I hope you change your mind about us.

        1. Thank you Aide. Actually my trip dates back to 2006 – but it was basically a war zone then too.
          Appreciate the kind words, maybe one day we’ll be back in a different location in Brazil.

  79. I just came across this post and it actually surprised me a lot. I share the apartment with Brazilians and they are the most open minded, smiling people I’ve ever met. Where did you go in Brazil? The south – Rio and Sao Paulo were’t my favorite destinations – but the north – Chapada Diamantina National Park, the dunes at Lencois Maranhenses, Sao Luiz, colorful Olinda and the Amazon were absolutely amazing! Very few tourists and spectacular nature.

  80. I spent one month in Brazil (Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo and Rio) I used to be obsessed with it, in my mind it was a world full of exotic beauty, amazingly looking people, carnival, beaches, sexy sexy sexy. To be honest I was very disappointed once the “I can’t believe I am in Brazil” stage wore off.

    1. VERY EXPENSIVE: It’s actually more expensive than my country (I am Czech), yet Brazilian salaries are half of what people make in my country (whenever I hear Czechs complain about low salaries and high prices I always tell them about Brazil to make them shut up)

    2. Rampant chaos, disorder, in your face poverty-wealth disparity… it is almost inmoral in my opinion and it’s even more inmoral that the average Brazilian could care less.

    3. Too much crime…. At the hostel they told us to not wear our watches (a 25 dollar watch from H&M… talk about cheap watches), yet they assured me I would be a prime target for crime in Brazil if I was to have that watch with me (honestly it’s a plastic watch from a clothing store). Also our camera would have to be monitored at all times… keep it deep inside your bag (very disappointing)

    4. Phony / fake friendliness….. Maybe in my European nature I am used to clear people who smile at your because they mean it, when Europeans say NO, it means NO! When Europeans say yes it means YES! When Europeans call you their friend, it is because they truly like you and cherish you as a person, but all this neurotic loud Brazilian behavior that is mistakingly called happy, it’s all pretty much fake and pretentious! It’s very easy to see thru them once you get to know the Brazilian mindset! (I am nice to you because I can get something from you or because you’re a blonde foreigner) if not, I’ll ignore you or even worse… look down on you!!!

    5. Rampant racism, classism, homophobia, corruption and no one cares…. Yes Brazil is portrayed as a place full of diversity, color, open mindedness and if you’re a white westerner visiting you’ll see that face as you do your Rocinha tour with other gringos, and as you sip caipirinhas on a fancy Rio Beach…. But get out of that spectrum and you’ll find a very classist, conservative, chauvinistic, homophobic, corrupted society full of prejudice and deeply ingrained social divisions.

    6. Not a nation of intellectuals…. It’s interesting sitting down with Chileans to talk about the impact of globalization over a few glasses of Chilean wine at a small coffee shop in Santiago, then you go to Brazil thinking… (The conversations I am gonna have there!) And you find that most Brazilians are painfully ignorant of the world. Perhaps because unlike Chile Brazil is quite large and expensive that most Brazilians can’t leave their cities and visit other places, but it is a fact that the average Brazilian is rather ignorant on pretty much most subjects outside the spectrums of soap operas, football and pop culture! In order to find intellectual Brazilians you have to go up the social pyramid and find upper classes who can afford to be educated and travel…. but as a tourist who has time for that?

    7. Not ecologically aware…. I saw people throwing their trash on the beach, bottles of coke floating on the Guanabara bay, people throwing papers on the streets and so on. Very disappointing!

    I must say that I loved Chile, it’s very clean, with majestic landscapes, out of this world sea food… and Chileans are a friendly and open people with a genuine interest towards tourists!!!

    And I also agree about the immortalized Brazilian beauty…. I was not exactly taken back by it. In fact I can name quite a few countries where I’ve seen better looking people than in Brazil. (Though beauty is subjective)

    1. Love that you took the time to write all this!! I see you have strong feelings about Brazil as well.

      Thank you very much Hildus for your feedback. Good to know about Chile, we would like to go someday.

    2. Nailed it, this is important problem in my country (Brazil). In general people can’t afford good education and travel and the government doesn’t care about it just because this is profitable! Ignorant people is easily controlled. But our current presidente is a joke too! We never had good people as a president and you can bribe everyone, since officers, lawmakers, senators and president. However I think we can solve the most problems but it will take long.

  81. I went to Brazil and it was meeh

    Not as diverse as brazilians claim it is…. a country with 220 million people and 400,000 foreigners…. less than 0.2% of the population are immigrants, how is that diverse?

    Not as open minded, VERY CONSERVATIVE…. Brazil is not the beaches of Rio, go outta that tourist trap and see the REAL brazil!!

    a Largerly ignorant uninteresting loud people very eager to party and to laugh and to talk about superficial stuff but little depth! I missed Argentina sorely as Argentines were rather intellectual, elegant and cosmopolitan…. so going to brazil to talk about football ,carnaval and women’s asses it’s for me at least a downgrade.

  82. Oh, for the record, when I mentioned that the hitting in the airport wasn’t necessarily an agression, I meant it could be an accident, not that hitting people with stuff at the airports is a common sight here x)

    Have a nice… I don’t know, what time is it there? Good night (guessing)

    1. No, it wasn’t an accident 🙂 She hit me and when I turned around she was staring at me with hate in her eyes. Definitely not an accident.

  83. Hello Frank.

    Man, I’m sorry to read that, I was googling something about international hate and decided to take the test. It was a post saying people will apply negative adjectives to other nationalities (e.g. if you type Brazilian google will automatically fill the rest with something like “are rude” or stuff like that.)

    I’m sure you have your reasons to be disappointed in people in Brazil, trust me, I’m disappointed in my people too, but it’s important to keep an eye open for good people everywhere. I agree with you, hitting on a woman in front of her man is disrespectful, but like mentioned before in this post, Brazilian men tend to do that, and yes, it’s very disrespectful, but people here got used to it, so they consider it normal now. I’ll call it common, never normal.

    About the people who could only laugh when you asked information, did they know english? Because if not, maybe they laughed at their own inability to speak the language and there is a chance you misunderstood it… or maybe they are just the jerks you think they are, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. About the bumping at the airport, I don’t know if I can consider that an insult or an attempt to annoy you, not saying you’re wrong about it, it’s just unlikely, not impossible.

    I had a hard experience visiting the U.S so yeah, I share a small portion of the hate for American people. I visited Orlando when I was younger and things started to get ugly as soon as I disembarked in Miami to take another plane towards my goal. People stared at our tourist group like we were terrorists. When I got to Disney, some people threw insults at us assuming no one knew english, one of them gave us the middle finger just because he knew we were Brazilian, some teenagers even threw rocks at me, so yeah, not a good visit as you might see.

    That never stopped me from being friendly to Americans we receive here, and I was honestly friendly to the nice Americans I met there in Orlando. Like you said, we should consider the individual, not the whole. We Brazilians do have the fame of being warm and welcoming, but depending on the place you choose to stay, that may vary slightly. Some of the American people who got here told me I was in the wrong place when I visited the U.S, they said people aren’t this rude there, and I believe them.

    I won’t say I’ll never visit the U.S again, maybe I will, but not in a tourist group, not anymore. I understand you, a bad visit leaves a mark, but please, consider another visit. The angry people who commented on your post are probably being fueled by the feeling of defending their country, but ask them about our politicians and the patriot will rage against his own people.

    I’m sorry if you choose to deny our country as a possible destination for your vacations, but I’ll understand if you do. Hope you meet friendly Brazilian to make up for the stupid ones.

    Best regards!

    Alex.

    P.S: I’ve never been to Canada and it’s been a dream of mine to visit it someday. Would you recommend anywhere specifically?

    1. You’re experience in the US sounds horrible! Wow! There are some very stupid Americans who would not know the difference between a Pakistani and a Brazilian, I remember when Sikhs were targeted after 9/11..unbelievable. Anyway, sorry about your experience. That would never happen in Canada. Where to go? West Coast. See Vancouver, Vancouver Island, go through the Rockies to Calgary. So many beautiful places in that whole area. Have a look at my Canada Guide.

      I understand your points about my Brazil experience. But it’s what I experienced, I’ve stopped trying to list all the possible reasons behind it. I just look at it at face value: I found people rude and not friendly. Period. I’ve been many places and have never had similar experiences anywhere else. Was I unlucky? Maybe. Will I go back? Unlikely. I will say this though: I’ve met some very friendly Brazilians outside Brazil. We just had dinner with one last week, a journalist from Sao Paulo, and she was very nice.

      Thanks for the comment Alex.

    2. Alex if you are Brazilian I would find it odd if you were treated poorly in Miami or Orlando. Miami is a Latin city, and many of the employees at the airport barely speak English. Everyone in Miami speaks Portunhol at least and would be more helpful to a Brazilians. Orlando has a large Brazilian community and an even larger Puerto Rican. Maybe is was the PRs bothering you. Bottom line is there are few Americans in Miami-Dade County to hassle you.

    3. This was my experience of America too, straight up barbarism (from white, black and Puerto Rican). I ‘look Brazilian’.

      People in Rio don’t seem that nice to each other either, so it’s probably not you personally. An American would go there and find it wildly friendly compared to most of the US (I bet this is how Brazil got this false ‘friendly’ reputation), but for a Canadian maybe a harsh culture shock.

      The woman at the airport, I bet she perceived some slight in some way, like you cut her off or something and Brazilian pride/combativeness kicked in. In Brazil it was legal to kill someone “in a legitimate defense of one’s honor”… until 1991.

  84. Sorry if Brazilians did not live up to your Carmen Miranda stereotype of the happy-go-lucky Latin. I find it interesting that you write two pieces about your negative experiences in Brazil. Fair enough. Boy, I should have done the same with my bad experiences traveling. For example, the rude Canadian consulate official in Seattle that flatly told me he was only issuing a two-day visa to my (visiting) sisters, after being incredibly rude, because they were “cute,” the coldness of the Germans when I visited their country, the unfriendly and cold British and French people that I met, the rude Italians who kept cutting lines, etc. I guess meeting rude people is part of traveling. Canadians have never live up to my expectation of the happy-go-lucky Canadian, because I have none.

    1. Thanks Luiz, appreciate you comment and appreciate most of all that you’ve noted that I’m Canadian – most people sometimes get so upset if I write something even remotely negative that they don’t bother reading and start cutting me down as an American.
      All you say is true, there are rude people everywhere just as there as nice people. We can only relate our own experiences, whether positive or negative. I wouldn’t call Canadians happy-go-lucky, but I will say that Canadians are open minded, helpful, and friendly. So I’m sorry you met an unfriendly Canadian, it is not usually in our character. But I will say that consular officials everywhere kind of suck :).
      Thanks for your comment.

  85. Sorry about this bad experience man,
    Unfortunately my country doesn’t actually fit in most of the stereotypes that they give us, and sometimes it may cause bad impressions. Also, most of the Brazilians doesn’t like people from Rio, a lot of them are impolite, disrespectful and profiteers, specially against foreign tourists. I would say that it happens maybe because of jealous of the financial condition of the tourists or maybe because Rio is full of foreigners, so they don’t feel the need of treating international tourists very well like they do in other places of the country (the same as happens in Paris, compared to other places of France). But I ensure that your bad experience doesn’t represent me and the other 200 million people that live here. We are very diverse, so you can find every ‘type’ of people, therefore generalizations are normally stupid. For example, I’m the kind of person that stop everything I’m doing to help a tourist and make he get the best experience, but of course not everybody is like this. About your theses, of ‘racism’ against you for being Caucasian, really doesn’t make sense. Almost half of our population is also white, and according to some researches Brazil is considered one of the least racist countries in the world. At long last, if you tried a less famous part of Brazil, I ensure that your impression about our people would be very different, they would treat you the best possible to make you return.

    1. Thank you for your comment Pedro.
      I understand what you say about locals in Rio maybe feeling jealous of the financial condition of tourists. It happens everywhere. And I appreciate that you are nice with other tourists. One of the things we’ve learned through all our travelling is how much it means when locals are friendly – and it makes us more helpful at home now with tourists because we understand what an impact it makes.
      When I say Caucasian, it’s not about racism – it’s about sticking out as a tourist, probably as an American tourist. I’ve had a few other people mention that and I’ve addressed it above.
      Thanks again Pedro.

    2. @Pedro: Acho que podemos dizer que o Rio é “o Estocolmo do Brasil”! ;-))))
      @Frank: I have interests in Brazil and other countries in South America and have to deal with the bureaucracies of many of them. And I am from a Baltic culture where people don’t expect to be smiled at (unless they make mistakes in a foriegn language). I’ve lived in the US and Canada, though.

      What I meant by the comment above is that Rio is like Stockholm (at least the way it used to be before the crime and terror threats), beautiful but soulless and many (not all) are rude and in a hurry. I agree, Brasileiros are not like Argentinos or Chilenos, in fact Brasileiros are a very split and diverse group of people who may or may not get along, depending upon nationality, class or where they are from in Brazil. I write this as someone who hates cities and urban culture in general and I think THAT is the source of your experiences. Let’s face it- MOST cities are impersonal places where people from all over their country have been dumped and are in a hurry, competing, stressed and afraid of getting mugged. Some are more polite than others, granted. However, in a culture where people just don’t have time and where the entire point of the “conurbana” is to generate money and milk the inhabitants for everything they have, people are bound to be aggressive, stressed and even ready to hit a stranger. I’ve seen this in Stockholm, Helsinki and even Oslo!

      Montreal is a case in point for Canada. Immigration have been rude to me, acting as though I wanted nothing better than to move to Canada (quite happy in my own little, conservative, safe country, thank you!) while I was coming over to go to a meeting I didn’t even want to attend. If I really wanted to visit a city like Rio (and I don’t), I would hook up with a Brazilian colleague or friend of a friend and let them take me around the first and second time I visited. That’s what I usually do when visiting such cities, just to be sure …

      You might want to ask Rio locals “what is the best way to respond or even get back when someone is very rude in Rio?”

  86. I agree with you
    I’m not the “typical” Brazilian girl..I was born in a family of Polish immigrants (2nd generation in Brazil) and still feel like a foreigner in the country I was born. That’s not because of my fair skin, blonde hair and green eyes.That’s because people here (of course NOT everybody) just think about parties and futile things. I believe Brazilian women (again NOT everybody) are among the most futile in the world (here you need to be skinny to be ” accepted”, you need to be “physically beautiful” to be right). And about the men..never trust Brazilian guy…cheating is so common in this land.
    Besides all,we pay the highest taxes in the world and still need to pay for everything as all the services are poor….

    1. Thank you Cynthia for you comment, very interesting to hear your perspective.
      Are taxes really that high? Higher than the Scandinavian countries? In Canada we also pay very high taxes, much more than they pay in the US…

  87. As a Brazilian, I am quite annoyed at how many times I read the “maybe because I am causasian” line. It has definetly nothing to do with that. Trust me. Especially because, unfortunately, Brazilians are quite suckers for the white folks (as a white woman in Rio, I can tell you that).
    As for us being unfriendly, I cannot disagree with you. I have heard that cariocas can be rude to tourists. But I think you really got unlucky! I myself and most people I know would never laugh you off or hit you with our trolleys on purpose (and we would say sorry if we did hit you by mistake).
    But honestly, I’ve had a few bad experiences with tourists here in Rio that made me think a lot on how to approach them. I was once standing waiting for a bus and this group of americans teenagers started walking passed me and one of them called me a bitch out of the blue, thinking I would not understand.
    Also once there was this guy (I dunno where he was from) who tried to grab me because “Brazilian girls like that”.
    But I agree that the bus drivers, taxi drivers and most drivers are rude. Most people are racist (and pretend they are not).
    That being said, don’t write Brazil off of your list. I bet you will have fun in other cities. And if you ever feel like giving Rio a second chance ask the people that commented here (me included) for some tips and I would even take you and your wife out to show that not all cariocas are the same.

    1. Hi Cynthia,
      Thank you for your comment. I mentioned this to another commenter as well (the one just above this on the list of comments): when I said Caucasian I just mean that I would stand out as a white foreigner and as probably an American (we’re Canadian). So really I’m talking about anti-American sentiment in Brazil. Maybe I’ll edit that 2nd paragraph to make it clearer. I can see the confusion – last week I was in Mexico where they have a much higher opinion of Canadians and Germans than they do of Americans. Maybe I have to go back to putting a Canadian sticker on my bag like Canadians used to do in the old days 🙂
      There’s rude and stupid people everywhere and we can only generalize based on our experiences. Taxi drivers especially can be rude and are always the first people to scam you, anywhere. And tourists are probably stupider and ruder generally than anyone else because they are on vacation and they sometimes think they can get away with anything. I’m sorry about your experiences, they sound like morons.
      Maybe we were just unlucky as mentioned. Experiences with people are like when they do statistical analysis on polls – they’re flawed because the sample size is too small. So although I can tell you about my bad experiences in Brazil another traveller may have only met really nice people and have a totally different opinion. And maybe if I ever come back it would be a totally different experience…maybe.
      Thank you very much for your offer, it is very generous of you. If ever we do go to Rio again I will be sure to at least contact you for some tips.
      Frank (bbqboy)

  88. Annoys me a little bit the number of times you mention that you might have been treated bad because you are “caucasian”, just doesn´t make any sense, since over 40% of Brazilian population is white, many with green/blue eyes like me( In Rio not that much, for sure, but they still exist), so I highly doubt it was because skin color, also, that might because you are a “interracial” couple, Im pretty sure Brazil is one of the countries were interracial couples are almost the norm, not the exception like in the english speaking world.
    I also don´t like Rio, sure is beautiful, but not my couple of tea, you should try São Paulo, much more cosmopolitan, has much better infrastructure such as metro, is safer, much more to do, Curitiba is another cool place to be.
    I know how it is to get a bad impression, but I do hope you return someday to other places in Brazil and share your experiences, after all I am very optmistic about my country´s future.
    Greatings

    1. Thank you Guilherme. Maybe what I mean to say is ‘Caucasian foreigner’ because as much as we try to fit in a local will always be able to identify a tourist from a Brazilian. I used race more in the context that we were seen as foreigners, most probably American. That was my point. But very much agree with what you say about the racial mix and interracial couples.
      Thank you for your perspective, appreciate that you took the time to comment.

  89. Hi, Frank!
    First of all, I’m very sorry for your bad experience in my country.
    I just wanted to say, that probably people only talked to your wife because they thought she was a brazilian too.
    My boyfriend is a brazilian, and is common people talking to him in english thinking he is a gringo because he is a tall and (very!!) white man.
    I really don’t think people here don’t like americans…
    Anyway, I hope in a few years you two give us another chance.
    : )
    Bye,
    Isabella

    1. Thank you Isabella for your nice message! The good thing about this post is that it has brought comments from people like you 🙂

  90. Well i think that is like this in every country, stereotypes that media put on us aren’t so true. I have never been in Canada, so the most i know is that you guys love maple syrup and hockey 🙂
    I’m from Brazil and i guess i can look very unfriendly, normally we just anwser things like routine so we don’t give too much attention even if you’re not brazillian, don’t expect to get smiles at everything!
    When foreigners come talk with us (unless they’re from portugal) we feel very weird and… maybe dumb?, mostly because we can understand you but can’t anwser. (that’s why so many ”sorry for bad english” in the comments hehe)
    Oh yeah, and if you wanted to talk to someone walking you would probably be disapointed, we have our “rush time” where we want to go faster than every other person (in airports that’s so common, for some reason in our mind needs to get the bagage first!)
    Besides that, I think we can be very friendly, i mean, if you walk around in a bar you can talk with pretty much anyone! And normally we get really excited with the ‘gringos’ we’re gonna ask you so many things you’be surprised. I think brazillians are the most patriotic/unpatriotic people in the world, but unfriendly? Well i don’t think so.
    I have never been in a hotel in Rio, as i had a house back there so i can’t say about the attitude of the people who work in there (But if you go to the hotels in the nothern part of the brazil or the interior of Minas they’re very friendly and maybe even chat with you if you’re jjust layin in the pool haha.), buuuuuut the waiters in Rio are the worst in the country! They for some reason think that the one that needs to be nice is you, or they’re gonna spit in your food. São Paulo on the other hand has awesome waiters and great food.
    And about drivers, we have two types of taxists, the ones who love to talk and won’t stop and the ones who don’t say a word. (I don’t know who you would like better haha)
    I can’t say anything about the south of Brazil ’cause i never really been in there, but for what i know they’re very receptive too, as the most european influences are in there.
    And even with all those problems i still love my country, specially now that i’m living in Perú (i miss the food so much)
    I hope one day i can go to Canada, i really need to form an opinion about your country hahaha, and i hope that you give Brazil a second try!

    And of course, sorry for bad english

    1. Thank you Felps for your kind message. Your English very good 🙂
      I have received many different opinions on this post and it is always good to hear what people think. Like Canada, Brazil is a big country and I am sure if I talk about Rio state it is very different than anywhere up north. It is like if I talk about Montreal (in the province of Quebec) and judge all of Canada based on my experiences in this one province…
      Maybe one day we will go back to another part of the country and form a totally different opinion.
      Thank you for your input.

      1. I’m from Brazil and live in USA. I agree that people there get nervous when someone speaks a language that they don’t understand and also Brazilian don’t understand Spanish as you think. Sometimes they laugh because they are nervous?They love gringos ! Maybe the lady at the airport was so focus on something or so distracted that she didn’t even notice that she hit you twice? People there are always rushing and worrying because life is no as easy for them. Workers have to multitask for minimum wage. I noticed that they always look stressed and tired. Not your fault though!I travel to Brazil with my American boyfriend every year and he loves it. Specially the people. Always nice to him. We went to Rio and had a great time. My last trip was to Bogota and I didn’t see any beautiful women neither and few of them flirt with my boyfriend right in my face. Specially the young ones. But because this experience with 2 or 3 people I’m not going to say all the Colombians or Colombia is bad. My boyfriend went to Ireland and he said people were so rude in the traffic if you don’t drive fast. I had bad experience here in America at few restaurants ( hosts making comments and laughing because of my accent) bank teller looking at me and telling me that they don’t speak Spanish before I even open my mouth and even at the drive license because I’m not white and my English is no great .And people looking at us funny because he is white and I’m Latina. We both feel it sometimes. Even though I will never say I don’t like Americans because 10% are not nice to me. In this world there are pretty and ugly , nice and rude educated and uneducated people everywhere. The places I go to I try to be open minded to all kind of people and their culture and no stereotype them. I try to see the good and the positive because I believe if we get stuck on the few negative experiences everything after that will be I hell. Also there was an event about a American athlete in Rio in the Olympics that made up some stuff about being kidnapped and they got caught in their owns lies trying to make Brazil look bad. See ? bad and good everywhere!

  91. Well I feel you on this. The cariocas (rio people) are really rude! imagine me as a born black, low class, brazilian returning to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. I can tell you I was really disappointed how people treat each other. The Brazilians treated me like shit and the funny thing is they think I’m poor until they realize I live in Europe and speak English. The best people I meet in Brazil was Americans, hahah. I can tell you about a Swedish guy that works as a journalist and is married to a black Brazilian. They went to a fancy restaurant in Rio and the staff showed their discomfort by letting them wait 1 hour to order their food. To tell the truth, many (rich cariocas) people in Rio thinks that if a white man is with a black women or parda (brown), the women is a hooker or at least lower class and that is something they dont want to have at their restaurant. Class is really importent in Rio.

    1. Thank you very for your comment Thiago. I’m sorry about what you and other black Brazilians go through. It is the same everywhere: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rica, Colombia, Cuba…the blacks are always looked down upon. I didn’t realize racism so pronounced in Rio.

  92. Right.

    So 1stly, I’m very sorry to say that, the fault is all on you guys.
    Unfortunately, by the poor sense of holistic culture ppl from developed countries get while in school, you had to make up your mind about what’s Brazil like when travelling.

    I saw a comment saying ‘ We think Brazil and conjure up friendly people, beautiful women, lush scenery, toucans and tropical forests’, then it explains all. You came here expecting people smiling at you and just being kind cos ‘we are happy regardless our problems’. Yeah, I know that you think like that, as much as we think the same when visiting Africa. We picture happy black ppl dancing in the wilderness, smiling and touching our skin or hair.
    It’s quite hard to admit, but we’ll always have high expectations when it comes to poorer countries (not all of them), cos we think it’s people’s duty to be kind. When visiting France (f.eg), the scenario changes by the common sense that French, specially in Paris, are not friendly at all.

    I found it funny when you said you made it in Spanish haha or the other one who took a 2 month course in Portuguese. Again, I don’t blame you, but because things are usually easier for you (as a English speaker and Canadian), seems like when you make a little effort you must win the Nobel Prize. You should see what foreigns go trough when visiting North America/Western Europe.

    In my personal opinion, as a traveller, I don’t think it’s a crime when you act like that – again because I understand the way you’re educated – but at the same time, it should be considered by yourselves that the world is not only about North America and Western Europe. Don’t think of me as a ‘Proud Latina’, cos I’m not! But after living abroad, I’ve learned how to see the world with the others perspective.

    I dislike the Brazilian manners, just like you, or even more. I’ve been to many countries and lived in Ireland so it’s quite annoying such things over here. For that, you could defo make a point. I can imagine how bizarre is for a Londoner – who says ‘sorry’ to the air – having to walk in such packed spot as Rio and ppl just doesn’t care if they’re on your way. I get depressed by the way mostly men treat women. AGAIN, for those reasons you could be right by being disappointed.

    All in all, feels like you’ve taken offences very personally. Seems like you’ve got you pride hurt rather then true disrespect. Yeah you mentioned the woman hitting you at the airport, which is awful, but what else? Ppl didnt smile back? I can’t really see true facts in your text, only ‘personal expectations’ that were not delivered.

    I really wish you better trips tho.

    1. Thanks for the comment Laura.
      Firstly, if you are judging the post by “We think Brazil and conjure up friendly people, beautiful women, lush scenery, toucans and tropical forests” then you don’t understand Tongue-in-cheek ie. it is the way that Brazil is portrayed in the media and to the world. It is the way Brazil advertises itself (see the ads for the FIFA World Cup and the upcoming olympics). I mention that on the first line of my Rio post. Of course I don’t expect such a generalized vision of Brazilians just as I don’t expect a generalized vision of a Canadian (drinking beer and bacon while watching a hockey game). So maybe you didn’t understand where I was coming from.

      But Brazil does portray itself as a ‘friendly’ destination. That it wasn’t. At least not for us. And I’ve lived in Africa, traveled through much of Latin America and Asia. It has nothing to do with being a poor country even though you make it seem like that’s what you want it to be about.

      As far as mentioning that I said I got by in Spanish I don’t see your point. One of the commenters above asked me if I spoke English to the locals. I knew where that was headed – “ah, stupid white man goes to Brazil and expects everyone to speak to him in English and gets upset when they don’t understand or don’t speak back”. I don’t speak Portuguese but I made an effort in Spanish and was understood, that was my point. I too get upset when I hear foreigners going somewhere and thinking that everyone has to cater to them. So again, I think you want me to fit a certain stereotype of what you think of North Americans.

      You make a lot of accusations about ‘holistic culture from developed countries’ and point fingers about how foreigners are treated going to North America/Western Europe. I’ve gotten a few of these comments from Brazilians replying to these posts, using it to justify their own unfriendliness. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do about other people in Western Europe/North America. But, like Brazilians, they’re not always friendly to each other either and we ourselves have had unfriendly experiences. Again, I’ve been to many places where people are not unfriendly despite injustices of the past. Brazil is still, for me, the unfriendliest place that I’ve been. And as I say a the top of the post, that’s just based on my experience. Maybe I was a magnet for unfriendly people on that trip. But that was my experience and I very much doubt I would ever want to come back…

      The bottom line is very simple: as travellers, from wherever we are, we want to travel places where we feel safe and where locals are not unfriendly. I’m sorry for any traveller who goes somewhere and feels like he is treated like crap. I would be embarrassed as a Canadian if someone complained about being badly treated in Canada.

      I too wish you better trips and friendlier experiences with locals 😉

  93. Hey Frank, how are you? 🙂

    I just came across your blog and, as a proud Brazilian (hahaha), I couldn’t leave this page without making a short comment. I just want to say: don’t feel that bitter about us 🙂 I think you were really unlucky in your trip, and I feel sorry for this. I’m a traveller too and, to be honest, I felt humiliated for quite a few times during my trips. In countries such as France, Germany, Britain, Portugal, etc, I’ve been asked thinks like “You’re Brazilian?????? How could you manage to have money to be here????” and “Oh you’re a Brazilian girl? Are you here for making money then?”. Well, that hurts me a lot indeed. And actually that’s not uncommon, lots of friends of mine told me something similar happened to them. I think South Americans in general do not have a very warm welcoming in Europe and North America, I guess it is because these places are plenty of South American immigrants that are mostly marginalised (well that’s just a guess). And maybe that’s why a few Brazilians feel they shouldn’t be the friendliest people to a “gringo”. Being humiliated it’s a lot worse than not receiving a smile back, right? 🙂
    And really, that thing of not receiving a smile back is absolutely understandable if that person receives around 200 dollars per month to live and raise its family, using a public transport which is outrageously bad and public health is a joke – thats the life of a regular Brazilian. (Not to mention corruption…) VERY different of the life of a regular Canadian. It’s hard to be smiling all the time if you have a tough life.

    Summing it all up, I think Brazil is pretty much like everywhere else in the world: there are friendly and unfriendly people. But I do think we have more friendly than unfriendly ones haha 🙂 Hope you can have a better experience in a next time!

    1. Thank you for your comment Tamires. I’m sorry to hear of how you were treated, I’ve heard other Brazilians say they felt the same way in Europe. I can tell you that they would like you in Canada – anybody Brazilian is considered ‘exotic’. In general, Canadians like Latin people.
      I understand your points and as a traveler (as you know), we can only judge countries by our experiences there. If an European is being unfriendly to you, you are not going to be analyzing “we’ll maybe he is having a bad day”, “maybe she didn’t sleep well so she is being unfriendly” etc. If people are unfriendly it will usually shape your opinion on the country. I agree with what you say though – everywhere there are friendly and unfriendly people. And maybe if we went back to Brazil tomorrow we would meet a few people who were friendly. And sometimes it is just a few people that you meet along the way that can turn a bad experience into a great one.
      I appreciate your input and your nice words. And I also wish you more pleasant experiences on your future travels 🙂 .

  94. This is really interesting because we have just come back from the World Cup and was generally disappointed with the attitude of the Brazillians and did not feel that welcome. I know in England we are manners obsessives but on so many occasions when we were buying something we would say Obrigado and smile with absolutely nothing in return. I purposely learnt some Portuguese for two months before going as I knew the language would be difficult but too often even that did not help. To be fair the people in Fortaleza were great but Rio and Salvador very mixed. Especially after sitting next to someone of the plane going over who made a point of saying they will be great because they are so friendly and they love football.

    I do not know whether it was because they were very proud, not confident speaking with foreigners or as a result of the protests and bad feeling about the World Cup but there was a distinct atmosphere. Ironically on my 8th WC we have never mixed with so many nice and interesting people from around the world and I just wonder whether they were more open than normal was because they did not receive the expected local Bon Hommie.

    Without going too far on this I was rather surprised at how obesity has taken hold in such an active country and the days of bathing beauties seems very much in the past. I think Brasil can be summed up in our view of Salvador in so much beauty, rich in culture but then a lot of decay and a bit disappointing.

    1. Very interesting comment. I’m sorry your team didn’t do better, but obviously you had a good time meeting people from around the world. I imagine it must be a great atmosphere for that alone!
      You’ve echoed my feelings on Brazilians. Is it fair to say that maybe no other country promises such high expectations as Brazil? We think Brazil and conjure up friendly people, beautiful women, lush scenery, toucans and tropical forests. And while it does deliver on some of these things we quickly realize that some of our ideas before getting there are in reality illusions. I’ve met some many incredibly friendly people in Latin America that I somehow thought it would be the same in Brazil. I was so wrong. I’m sure there are many factors that explain how they feel; one Brazilian commented to my Rio post saying that Americans (I’m not American by the way) are maybe suffering the side affects of how ‘they’ve behaved in the past’. Maybe Brazilians have negative feelings towards Westerners because of the colonial past? Or maybe I’m just over-thinking it. Maybe they’re just not the friendliest culture you’ll ever meet. As I said above, we went on a cruise where almost everyone was Brazilian and they weren’t that friendly amongst themselves either.
      Thank you for the comment Richard, nice to hear from someone who went to the World Cup.

      1. I was shocked to learn that the French high jumping champion (who obtained the silver medal in Rio) was booed by the public during competition. He said he had never witnessed such a degree of nastiness in his whole career.

        1. I read the same on BBC coming from Russian athletes. From what I hear the Brazilians are well known to boo and heckle athletes. Classy.

      2. No, brazillians are not that friendly at all. It was better before, but over the last 7 years, they have become more closed and reserved and racist. Fascism has increased in Brazil alot.Brazillian culture by nature is closed, classist, xenophobic and ego centric, always has an always been; Even Mexican culture is nicer. Colombians are friendlier. Brazil is not what people think and have been fed by the media. People are closed and crazy many vagabonds, drugs, crime, women are closed and difffcult and Brazillians are not the most friendly people in Latin America, yeah some of them, but it is not what you think

        1. I really don’t know Brazilians that well – but I’ve spent a lot of time in both Mexico and Colombia and the people are very friendly (in my opinion). That’s why it was a shock to see people so unfriendly in Brazil.
          Thanks for taking the time to comment and leave your thoughts.

        2. I feel so bad to read this, because unfortunately is true. I don’t know what is happening with my country, I can’t understand and I feel so sad about it.
          I’m really sorry for this, but know that we have such good, kind and friendly people in Brazil.
          I think the corruption and inequality from the government is just fucking with our minds, you know? This shit is freaking us out.
          But I have hope that Brazil will be a better place again. It is still a wonderful place and I love more than anything, but is not anymore like before.

        3. Racism is a defense mechanism and so it is sometimes necessary and a good thing. Without racism, all the races will merge together and everyone in the future across the planet will look exactly the same. That would be terrible. Racism will ensure that in the future we will still have wonderful diversity, such as pale, blonde, blue-eyed, narrow-nosed and slender lipped Swedes in Scandinavia and dark, coiled-haired, full-lipped, broad nosed Africans in sub-Saharan Africa, and of course all the other races across the world preserved in their distinct form. That is how I want it. I want there to be diversity, with people from the different parts of the world looking distinct. I don’t want all to merge together. So if racism will allow us to save diversity, then racism is not such a bad thing.

  95. Interesting post, I’ve been living in Brazil for the past 11 months and agree that the people can be unfriendly. Especially in the city where I live, they have this “German culture” (I put that in quotes because the only thing that’s German is how the people look) which is basically an excuse to be rude and think they’re better than you. I have a question, did you try to speak Portuguese with the people there or did you only speak English? If you tried to speak English with everyone, that could have been a huge part of it. I’ve learned that Brazilians really don’t like speaking English and feel like they shouldn’t be forced to is they don’t want to. I understand unfriendly people can be a downer, but “never coming back” are pretty strong words! Maybe in a few years or so you should give it another chance 🙂

    1. Hi Hannah. No, never spoke English – got by with my Spanish which people seemed to understand (spoke slowly). So I don’t think comprehension was the problem. But that’s an interesting perspective. Are you in the Sao Paulo?
      Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future about it 🙂 .

  96. You’re Welcome =D

    If you enjoy nature next time come to Brasília and drive to Chapada dos Veadeiros – Povoado de São Jorge. It’s a unique trip in the world where you can appreciate the Cerrado Forest (only in Brazil it exists) and enjoy nice people. I’m always driving to there and I never regret, its a unique place to meet people from all around the world and enjoy the most amazing waterfalls (there are more them 20 I believe).

    And I can almost guarantee everyone in Povoado São Jorge it’s friendly. Try to stay in the Camp where you can met a lot nice people and enjoy night music concerts. Here is some photos:

    Povoado de São Jorge
    Photo 1
    Photo 2

    Camping Taiua (Camping, only $15/day)
    Photo 1
    Photo 2

    Chapada dos Veadeiros (Some waterfalls, almost all of them cost $5)
    Photo 1
    Photo 2
    Photo 3
    Photo 4
    Photo 5

    Trip Advisor review

    1. Thank you Henrique, some good resources for anyone thinking of going to this area! Much appreciate your input.
      PS Great photos of the waterfalls!! Beautiful.

  97. Caalm down my friend! =D

    “Never come back” – Never is really a strong word. You got one bad experience over here and I understand and agree with you.

    In Brazil there is only one way to make things right: “tocar o foda-se”, it means “let the shit roll” or “don’t give a single shit”. That’s the way Brazil works, people don’t give a single shit about nothing.

    We love ALL “gringos” and everyone is welcome in our country, mexicans, afghans, americans, asians and whatever. Brazil is NOT know for xenophobia, actually we are well know for reciprocity in diplomatic ways. The same burocracy other countries impose to us we impose to them, so we don’t feel bad about americans because the same “online form” we need to send you have to.

    There is maybe other reasons for all this happen. Maybe the places you visit, maybe the people you talk, maybe the way you talked…I mean, it’s not because the foreigners call us friendly we give a hug in everyone.

    Try another visit =D…I’m sure it won’t happen again.

    Sorry about my bad english

    Henrique
    Brasília, Brazil

    1. Hi Henrique – thank you for the nice comment, I don’t often get friendly comments on my Brazil posts 😉 . It was like a bad dream…did I mention that I got attacked by a toucan? Maybe one day the trip will have receded far into the back of our memory and we’ll change our minds. Maybe.
      You’re English is excellent, better than my Portuguese.

  98. I kind of agree with you. I paid US $130 for a visa and I’m hoping that’s how much it’ll be when I go back next year because I have to renew it. :/ (I was there in 2009) While I didn’t think they were so unfriendly, I felt they could have been friendlier. I didn’t have direct experiences like you did though. I agree about the women and actually had a talk with a guy in my area about this when I came back. He didn’t believe me about the women there! The guys were lookers, that’s for sure. 😉 I haven’t really explored Colombia but I will say I thought the Argentine women were prettier. I have made Brazilian friends on my travels in other countries and they are friendly so I think it’s not everyone there. I feel the most friendliest people I’ve met are in Guatemala and Peru. I actually felt safe during the day but at night, no. It was better to walk around with a big group. During Carnival, it was fun and had a great time. I actually am going back to Brazil this summer for the World Cup! I’m excited to see if there are any changes from the 5 years difference of last being there. By the way, I loved Northern Brazil (around Manaus area) a little more. Food was really good and felt a nicer vibe in the air. Oh and the scenery is AMAZING!

    1. Thanks for the comment Reima! You know what, maybe the stars just didn’t align for us in Brazil. Maybe if we went back tomorrow we would have a completely different experience. But ours wasn’t good and Lissette laughs about it to this day – as she says, it’s like I was walking around with shit in my pants the way people looked at me. They just really, really didn’t like me and I didn’t do anything. I really can’t explain our Brazilian experience and why people were as they were.

      Great to hear you like the people in Guatemala, that’s on our short list and we hope to be there in the next year or so.

      Good to hear that Northern Brazil was friendly.

      Thanks for all your feedback!

  99. I had such a different experience – I absolutely loved Brazil, albeit after an even shorter visit than yours, and in only a small part of it (in the south). The people were super friendly, I really liked the cities I visited, the ocean views (and of course the falls) were amazing, and I had the best sushi in the world. But I’m a single girl so according to Lissette, that explains it 😉

      1. Hi Anna!
        Thanks for your comments. Hmmm, when did you go? I can’t explain it – but we both felt it, it wasn’t my imagination. Maybe they just hated my face? Or maybe, like you say, because you’re a solo girl? They were plenty friendly with Lissette when I would get up to go to the bathroom or go to the bar….And I swear, started 5 min after getting off the plane when that woman started hitting me with her luggage cart. Nope, I didn’t like them one bit.
        Oh well, we all have different experiences eh? And we Canadians like the Swedes. Except when playing hockey – then we hate you 🙂 .
        Frank

      2. You’re lucky. I have gotten to the point where I despise the (Dis)United States so much that I consider myself a German who had the misfortune to have been born in this war-mongering hell hole. I’d give anything NOT to be an American. Count your blessings that you are not!!!

        1. I’m usually getting comments from angry Brazilians on this post, so I’m relieved (but a little confused) by your comment 🙂
          Feel free to expand on your thoughts, I’m curious why you would say that. I understand some of your misgivings, my wife was born American (but now has American/Canadian duel citizenship). She’s not always proud of certain aspects of being American. But on the other hand she would say that Americans are quite lucky to be born where they are compared to all the shit-holes on earth…

          1. Hello Frank,
            I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience in Brazil. It is interesting how short a period of time in a country can make one so angry and disappointed. I am from Brazil and a reside in the USA for 16 years now. My friends will say “you can make friends with a toilet paper” haha (it is true). The more the merrier!
            I say Brazil is such a big country that unfortunately you have met people who I probably wouldn’t be friends with either. It is almost like going to Boston or California (just as an example). You will have a completely different experiences. My husband is American and he has been in 20 different countries as he travel all over the world for business. We have never been to Brazil together however he goes to Sao Paulo every year for business and even though he pointed out Vietnam and Taiwanese people as unmatched welcome warm people he also say the same thing about Brazilians (not because he is married to one – he does not hide his feelings or lie about it). He is himself very friendly and easy going and when he makes a negative comment I believe him. He didn’t encounter a warm feeling in Israel, however they go through so much that is almost justified. He claims Spain is the worst place at least for Americans (they were very rude in general – love their tapas though). And let me just clarify (Brazilians don’t hate Americans at all) and being a Brazilian I don’t agree with Visa rules either. They make it hard for us too trust me. I need to renew my Brazilian passport and I am not looking forward to. I am sure if you go to Rio/Belo Horizonte or South Brazil you will love it. Two weeks is too short and too little to make such a general statement. I hope you have a chance to meet some more of “us” Brazilians who can change your mind in the future about our culture. My lovely dear neighbor passed suddenly last year and he was an amazing person and I always tell people (he would laugh even when my jokes were not that funny)…He was Canadian. At the end of the day there are lovely people everywhere and also less than lovely people all around the world. I would say I come from a place where most of us are very welcoming and friendly and some of us are not. But in a population over 204,618,000 it is expected to find everything in between. Paz e Amor (Love & Peace)

          2. Thank you for the nice comment Curly. We can only form impressions from our experiences, which is why travel is so personal. You might go somewhere twice and have a different feeling about the place both times based on the people you meet and your experiences. But it is how we form our opinions, like your husband has about Vietnam, Taiwan, Spain (I’m surprised by that one), and Israel. I’ve heard some bloggers say they really had bad experiences in Vietnam – so nice to hear an opinion to the contrary.
            So I understand what you say about general statements. On the other hand, the world is a big place and after our experiences I really have no desire to go back to Brazil. At least for a long time…
            But I’ve received many nice comments like yours in response to this post. Maybe I’ll have to reconsider one day 🙂

          3. Just one more comment. Brazilian man will normally hit on a beautiful woman even if she is has a ring on her finger. Kind of a cultural thing. Don’t feel insulted though. It is a sign that your woman is beautiful. That’s all. They can all look as long as they don’t touch you are ok:)

          4. In most places in the world you don’t hit on a woman if she is with her man. That’s disrespect. And it’s especially disrespectful when its coming from staff in a $250/night hotel. Sorry, here I disagree. I think it’s just rude.

    1. On business there twice for two weeks each. Spent time in Rio, Sao Paulo and Pourto Allegro (PA is in the south of Brazil). Rio is beautiful to look at and Sao Paulo is a sprawling mass of humanity. Also spent the weekend on the coast about a three hour drive out of Sao Paulo in a town called Ubatuba (pardon the spelling). I would like to comment about the Ubatuba weekend first. I was traveling with Brazilians who were steel traders. We were walking down a brick paved street known in the USA as a 10 foot wide path. Very quaint and very old. I had noticed an older guy riding a bicycle a block or so back. Moments later I was hit from behind by this guy and his bike and knocked to the ground. My Brazilian travelers helped me up and admonished the biker in Portugees and away he rode as though nothing had happened. I should say that we three folks were the only people on the street. I can’t blame all of Brazil for this episode but I will never forget it and it obviously does not make me feel warm or fuzzy either. Must tell you that this act was totally intentional and I have no way of knowing why it happened other than to say the guy was either nuts or he didn’t like my race or nationality (white and USA citizen).

      I should have made this comment first as it is the most incredible thing but folks please hang in there with me. Arrived in Rio on a Sunday morning, checked into a hotel (the Mach Sud) directly across from Copacabana beach. Us two USA guys wanted to go swimming but our Brazilian escort made us listen to him closely about foreigners on the Rio beaches. Don’t wear jewlery, watch, camera or cash. Take yourself and a towel and shoes if you dare. He told us to be prepared because he was confident we would witness a robbery before we finished swimming. He went on to say that when this happens half of the beach goers (mostly Brazilians) would get up and chase after the robber and that if they caught him they would drag him back to the the person stolen from. Being from North America we took this advise with a half grain of sand but then it happened. The thief ran north toward Ipanema beach followed by what seemed like every person on the beach. A serious estimate is at the least-100 beach goers. My partner and I looked at each other and said “lets follow the crowd and see what happens, and so we did for five or six blocks where upon the leaders had already caught the kid and were taking turns carrying him back by his ears. Two adult men would carry him as far as they could before running out of gas and then two more stepped in like a tag team wrestling match. I’m serious in choosing these words to that you will really get what I am saying is not only accurate but actually happened. Get this, the thief’s feet never touched the ground except when two more guys stepped in the the other tired guys. This male thief was about 15 or 16 years old and about 5’9″tall, not some grade schooler. He was bleeding badly from his ears. So we followed the crowd back to the beach and the crowd took him to the person stolen from. Now, the Brazilian we traveled with warned us this might well happen (because it did happen every day) which a couple of US well of white guys found hard to believe until it actually happened. What happened next we were also warned about by our Brazilian host. He had said that the crowd will take the guy back to the aggrieved party and and wait for a thumbs up or thumbs down. If the aggrieved gave a thumbs up, the crowd would be very unhappy but would walk away and let it go at that. However if the aggrieved gave a thumbs down the crowd would beat him badly and sometimes beat him to death. We did not go with the crowd but rather to our towel on the beach and just watched for a few seconds. When we saw the huge crowd close in on the thief and seeing the frenzy that ensued we looked at each other and immediately left the beach, crossed the avenue and headed to our rooms. This saga actually happened, it was 1987.

      Lastly, the gang’s who travel by foot in numbers of 20 to 40 are the most frighting. Sunday morning we took a walk on a main street and a gang of 30 young males rounded the corner an immediately started toward us yelling gringo. We ducked into a clothing store and hoped they would pass by and fortunately they did.

      My bottom line on Brazil is that Rio’s geography is spectacular, the restaurants were tremendous (but we ate in only the best places) but that I felt like my head was on a swivel and for good reason. I exited an airport through a door that would not open from my side to get back in. I realized I badly needed the bathroom and tried to reenter the door which was not possible. I turned to three male employees standing there smoking a cigarette and asked “donde el banyo”. In unison the three gave me the finger and laughed heartily.
      I found Sao Paulo to be sprawling and crowded and polluted the likes of which I have never seen however I have never been to Mexico City which guys I know say is worse. That’s hard to believe though.

      Lastly I got an up front and personal look at the corruption that is a matter of every day life. We were on the freeway in Sao Paulo riding in my hosts personal car. I saw money paper-clipped to his visor. I asked why and he said it’s for the cop to stops him next, not for any transgression but just for the graft. He pointed out that if he had no cash to give he would be ticketed for sure in spite of the fact that he had done nothing wrong. He explained that the way it works is that a large contingent of cops gather along the road and wait for the next GROUP of cars. Then they swing into action, one cop per car and pull you over. Our host is a pro at this game and simply swung his visor down and over to the window. The cop took the money, never said a word…not a word, and went away.

      Conclusion: No I would never go back. As beautiful as Rio is it is also equally dangerous and that’s not what I call a family vacation. I’d take my chance on a cartel filled spot in Mexico before going back there. And the lady who said I just can’t understand why people write bad reviews, noting she only spent a short time there and only in the south of the country, try going a bit further north to Sao Paulo and then on to Rio. You might understand it then.

      1. Oh wow, those are quite the stories! They seem a bit dated but why don’t they surprise me? One of the things we were told by our taxi driver is that you have to be careful driving to the airport in Rio because people intentionally shoot from the slums along the highway at cars going by. Whether this was BS or not I don’t know…but why would a local taxi driver lie about that?

        True or not, you basically summed up our feelings: we always felt that we were looking over our shoulder in Brazil. Call it a gut feeling. But we were never comfortable…and I’ve been to Mexico (which I love and which has changed a lot), Colombia, and South Africa (we’ve been in Cape Town for the last 3 months). In short, we’ve never felt as unsafe anywhere as we felt in Rio.

        Thanks for the comment, very much appreciate 🙂

        1. Frank,
          My comments are dated going back to 1987 and again in 1988. Things are worse now though with open gun fights in the street and folks who can’t wait for the world to arrive for the world cup and the Olympics. I won’t be one of them and it seems you won’t either.
          Sometimes I wonder which is worse, the big cities in brazil or Newark, Baltimore, Chicago and South Central LA. Et,all.
          Enjoy Cape Town Frank and stay safe.

          1. Thank you Dan. Yes, I don’t want to go back to Brazil (although Lissette sometimes suggests that we should maybe give it another chance). I just didn’t like it.
            Happy Travels 🙂

        2. I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience here. But I’m also going to be honest, you traveled to the one place in Brazil that never want to visit, and I’m brazilian. We can treat well our tourists. If you ever feel like doing some ecotourism, might I suggest Bonito? If you’re worried about the language barrier, there is a hostel owned by a brazilian/english couple (just search for Papaya Hostel Bonito on Google). I went to Bonito twice and I had a lot of fun.

          1. Thank you for the tip Laura.
            I think people figure that if they go all the way to Brazil then they have to go see Rio – one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, right?

      2. Dan, your comments are absolutely correct about Rio, thank you for not saying “it is so safe, bla bla bla” like many travel writers who are paid to say that. I lived in Rio for 23 years, and after several muggings, thefts from domestic employees etc, I moved to Spain. My son still lives there, and he says that everyone he knows, including himself, has been mugged at LEAST once, and he lives in the most upmarket part of Rio. IT IS DANGEROUS. So glad I was able to get out. Horrible place for a vacation. Beaches with floating brown foam are not the place for a beach vacation, or otherwise.

      3. Well, you asked them where the bathroom was in Spanish. Brazilians speak Portuguese. From my experience, Brazilians have A LOT of grace for foreigners attempting to speak Portuguese, but that quickly turns into offence and exasperation with tourists trying to speak Spanish at them.

        Portuguese is “com licenca, onde o banheiro?” not “donde el banyo?” 🙂

    2. Causaian is enough, you dont need to be American. Recently back from Recife which I will never revisit. Vile place, vaccuous, shallow people who would send you in the wrong direction and laugh with their friends after. Yes I met some very kind people, like 1 in 100 and if we could have communicated it would have been better. My advice if you dont speak Portugese dont go to Recife. What a shithole, pave paradise and put up a parking lot next to an open sewer….

      1. Recife is trash even for Brazilian standards. You couldn’t pay me to visit there. What an endless list of hard-left Governors, drug dealers and thieves did to that place would make Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack look like a better option for a tranquil vacation. In fact, there are very few reasons why someone without a professional obligation pertaining to this city should visit it. Though Pernambuco likes to sell itself as a laughing land, a sunny place for sunny people, we all know this is nonsense. It’s actually dark-spirited. A tiring and somber place to live in.

        Besides that, Brazilians in general are a rather depressed people (officially, we’re only 0.3 % below the U.S. in terms of percentage of depressed individuals, which is to say, we’re more depressed than them since most our cases are under-diagnosed). We champion in anxiety disorder diagonosis too, by a very large margin. So most people here are deep down nihilistic and cynical beyond imaginable, in need of drugs or hard liquor in order to cure sadness. It’s no surprise that drug dealing is the most stable sector of the “economy”.

        I’m not exagering. The data is there for you to confirm. These are facts that, alone, suffice to exemplify how vile and liar the media (both in Europe and Brazil) are for painting a colorful Brazil full of laughing children and easygoing, friendly people everywhere. It’s all a joke, a gigantic lie created to appease people’s anger against the establishment, to sell travel tickets for people like you.

        Brazil definently doesn’t look like a humane, normal place like Colombia or Argentina. I’d ask you to stay away and please tell all the people you find never to come.

        1. Exactly, Vitor.
          I urge foreigners stop coming here for a bit, because they are doing nothing besides feeding the evil corrupt government machine by coming here and spending their hard-earned money.
          The only way to cause real changes is through boycotting, and we all know the body part that hurts the most is the pocked, isn’t it?
          This place is becoming China part 2, everything is difficult and expensive.

    3. That’s it!!

      I’m brazilian, and I face the same problem of the author every day… people here are becoming very rude and selfish, and I don’t know why. If you want to know Brazil in a good and very different way, I suggest you: try ARACAJU city, very safe place for tourists, a lot of tipycal and cheap food to eat, beautiful place (very nice night life) and else… Or, if you intend to know São Paulo for example, be careful and make your accomodation in cities like Campinas or Indaiatuba… or Sorocaba..

      I’m telling you this, because everyone knows that Rio de Janeiro is facing a real chaos now… unfortunely this awful city is our “visit card” but Rio is ruled by criminals for a long time… not even brazilians like spend times there…

      1. wow I’ve never seen so much wrong in a single text, you certainly have not visited Brazil in the right way.

        “I really felt like they were hostile, something I never expected when I planned to go there. I’ve never felt people as hostile to me as I did in Brazil. I thought a lot about it, wondering what it could have been. Is it because I’m Caucasian and confuse me as an American? ”

        Do you really think Brazil is a hole where there are only blacks and Indians? This is nothing more than a mistaken and hasty idea that you ‘gringos’ have of Brazil! We are a mixture of several different cultures, the North has a large number of Indians, the Northeast has many descendants of Africans and the South is where the descendants of Europeans are concentrated.

        “Maybe I thought the people would be” Latino, “like in Colombia.”

        Do you know why South America is called ” Latin America ”? Probably not, so I’ll explain;

        ” Latin American ” has nothing to do with race, ethnicity or culture but rather because SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE are languages ​​derived from Latin, as well as Italian and French. Did you know that France, Portugal, Italy, Romania and Spain are Latin American countries ?.

        I could spend hours and hours typing over Brazil, but I do not think it’s necessary.

        two tips;

        – do not come to Brazil thinking that we will treat you like a king just for being ‘gringo’, because we will not.

        – Try to visit other places besides RJ, SP & Northeast.

        1. Really?? France, Portugal, Italy, Romania and Spain are Latin American countries? I was going to spend time answering this comment but really I can’t be bothered…

        2. I thin you’ve summed up his experience in a nutshell. Your response is typical of literally every Brazilian I have ever met in my life. You are so ignorant of your own self-loathing that you don’t realize how projecting you are being.

      2. Hi, I am coming here a little a late, but I want to share my thoughts of someone who lives in Rio. First of all, I am really sorry for your awful experience in Brazil. As you might know, Brazil has gone through a lot of problems in the ladt decade. As a nation, people are very annoyed, distrustful and sad with the whole situation. In the particular case of Rio, the city is a total chaos, lots of people are unemployed, I myself saw a woman being fired almost in front of me and she attended me in tears. It was a very disturbing situation. The city is very violent, very. We do not trust in anyone. If someone touchs me at the street, even if to ask information,I will be very scared. I have to add the fact that many people do not how to speak another language, and people usually get very anxious. I always try my best to help anyone, Brazilian or not, but Brazil and Rio has gone for too much bad things nowadays and for so long. As a nation, Brazil is maddening. And that friendlt culture might be dying. It is sad, but it is what I feel right now.

        1. Thank you so much for your insights Thiago. Lissette comes from New York City and many of the things you mention she can relate with (except that Rio sounds even more dangerous).

          1. Do your self a favour and visit Cape Town for a complete different experience, the mixed race people looks similar to Brazilians however much more friendlier and English is no problem, food is great, scenery is mind blowing and lastly the mixed race girls is the most beautiful..lol

          2. You are exactly right! We spent 3 months in Cape Town a few years ago and it’s my favorite place in the world. Great people, food, the most beautiful geography…and the wine is fantastic. I’m a big fan of South Africa.

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