From Bangkok to Brazil: The hunt for jobs & new countries continues

Bangkok at Sunset. My former stomping ground.

Bangkok at Sunset. My former stomping ground.

Well that magical time has come once more where I make my grand migration and find another country to base out of. Last year at this time, I was deep in the heart of Southeast Asia, living in an urban jungle of filth – Bangkok Thailand – that for all its crazy tuk-tuks constantly threatening my life, strange sexpats, gogo bar red light districts and unbearable traffic, was actually a very interesting and fun place to call home for a spell. Thailand had proved itself to be the perfect launch point to explore other treats of Southeast Asia as well – notably Laos, where I learned the art of being a Laotian fisherman and Cambodia – where I also learned first hand the horrors that women go through to look pretty (video evidence of me getting my hair plucked by a mean Cambodian woman).

Now if you have been following any of my Facebook, Google+ (anyone, Bueller?), or Instagram updates, you have figured out my next destination: Brazil.  I visited Brazil like 10 years ago and have been waiting patiently, with my visa clutched in hand for the right time to go back. And with riots in the streets, robberies at all time highs, and the World Cup looming in the just a few weeks – now seems just like the perfect time. I have basically traded one country in revolt and civil unrest for another country  in revolt and civil unrest.

Well-played Turner.

Riots have been breaking out over the World Cup and Olympics that Brazil is hosting for over a year

Riots have been breaking out over the World Cup and Olympics that Brazil is hosting for over a year

VS

The duality of emotions around the World Cup in Brazil

The duality of emotions around the World Cup in Brazil

When people hear of Brazil they probably know about Rio de Janeiro and its famous beaches and robust tourist-robbing scene, Sao Paulo for being the mega-business metropolis of Latin America, or Salvador Bahia – for its unique Afro-Brazilian culture. Well, my city de choice and current home – Belo Horizonte – is known as “the city of neighborhood bars” and for its abundance of beautiful women. Luck of the draw. Such is the will of the gods.

Thank you Dionysus.

Belo Horizonte Brazil Skyline

Belo Horizonte Brazil Skyline

I have only been here for a week so I am still getting my bearings but here are some brief observations about my new home:

  • Belo Horizonte has fairly earned its heavy weight title of “city of neighborhood bars”, they are everywhere. Heaven.
  • Speaking Spanish, especially my piss poor version of it, does not equal Portuguese. There are some words that are the same, but the pronunciation is very different.
  • Finding and renting an apartment is a bitch. Granted it is near World Cup 2014 and I am staying less than a year, but still, a challenge.
  • There is a high probability that you will find a street fair by merely opening the door to your apartment.
  • Brazilians are very friendly and share their drinks like there is no tomorrow.
  • Meat on a stick is both convenient and delicious here.
  • Making out is like shaking hands down here apparently. Everywhere I turn there are people munching on each other’s face. Seriously, I have been working out every morning trying to get rid of this ‘barriga de cerveja’, and there are always the same two 20 somethings, making out on a nearby bench for the duration of my work out.  And this is at 7am…
Awkward photo but complete satisfaction

Awkward photo but complete satisfaction

So for the next few months I will be knee deep in books trying to learn Portuguese so I am not so reliant on pointing and making animal sounds to make cool experiences happen. For those traveling on a shot clock, I recommend checking out With locals if you wish to have some interesting local experience without the hours upon hours I will need to spend trying to make people like me.

And of course, I will be on the hunt for some interesting jobs in Brazil. If you have any ideas, drop me a line.

So until we converse via the interwebs again, Adeus belo – that is adios bonito for you Spanish speakers out there – and for English speakers, learn another language you narcissistic git.

Turner out.

Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

16 Comments
  • Sharon Walker
    Posted at 10:17h, 30 May

    I think it’d be awesome if you actually could work some of the games (in whatever capacity). The need for English speaking people will be at an all time high and most people in Brazil don’t speak English (including those in the airports which is another story).

    • Turner
      Posted at 09:24h, 02 June

      Hey Sharon,

      Yes I looked into this but I am afraid it is too late. But I am still hustling to see what else I can find.

      • Sharon Walker
        Posted at 10:18h, 02 June

        Well, good luck! I hope you’re able to find something even if only a LITTLE bit related to the games 🙂

  • Ernest Brown
    Posted at 19:32h, 31 May

    I have to agree with Sharon, the need for an English speaking individual in Brazil is at high. You will have no problem getting a job there for sure.

  • Happyunderwater
    Posted at 17:47h, 01 June

    You should supply the rich tourists with exceptional cocaine from the roughest flavela! Go on dude, once in a lifetime experience. Plus English would be handy too Sharon!

    • Turner
      Posted at 09:25h, 02 June

      That could be an interesting job. Although I would like to avoid jail time while in Brazil if possible.

  • Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon
    Posted at 17:43h, 02 June

    Good luck getting a job!

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  • Caroline Achieng Otieno
    Posted at 15:43h, 04 June

    Oh wow..it must be exciting being in Brazil at this time..I’ve always wanted to do that..be somewhere where a huge traffic of people is guaranteed..Did you have to book your stay long before hand? I can imagine at this moment that getting accomodation with the flood of football fans, journalists, and tourists headed there must be difficult? expensive? Nevertheless, it is cool to hear how you experience it.

  • Victoria
    Posted at 04:59h, 06 June

    Well good luck and whatever you do “have a ball”. Pun intended LOL!

  • robinbuzios
    Posted at 10:26h, 07 June

    Before long you’ll find out that what they say about BH is true… 10:1 ratio of women to men. I know it’s biologically impossible but it sure as hell seems like it when you’re there. Just be careful… you will receive blatant marriage proposals, and the Mineirinhas can get their hooks into you pretty fast. Before long the whole family will be in your tiny one bedroom apartment!!! 🙂 (I married and divorced a gorgeous mineira)
    Check out Bahia before you leave Brazil, not just Salvador but the interior. A true cultural experience you won’t forget.

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  • Bettina
    Posted at 22:51h, 14 June

    Hello there.

    First of all, don’t say Adeus Belo, that’s kinda gayish here.

    Second, I’m fluent in English and I got my Cambridge English Certificate when I was only 15, without having an international experience. You don’t see many people speaking english here, but a 15 year old getting a cambridge is ODD. I’ll graduate in Civil Aviation by the end of the year (I can now do practical piloting lesson$ and become a pilot or focus on getting a job at the airport, etc etc etc). So with such a promissing future, what the hell am I doing in a blog, which the first post that got my attention is that one about what to do after college? (btw, amazing blog)

    Well bro, I can relate to you. I spent this whole first semester trying to work at Guarulhos International Airport in SP, because well, logic says that they’ll need people who speak english there. But they refused me. The excuse? You’re an expensive type of professional, you’ll find a better paying job in 2 months and leave us after all we invest in you. I decided to look for jobs at the airport because well, I was listening to the same type of bullshit at the airlines here. So there you have it, english skills here is expesive for the employee. I can picture you in the same problem. English schools are always looking for native speakers (even if most of you natives don’t know what a Phrasal Verb is), mostly for marketing than teaching (I didn’t learn much from the native speaker at the school I learned English, a very typical Massachussetts citizen). But well, this guy wasn’t a regular teacher, he’d visit every class once a month because you simply can’t pay a native american something that would be better so he’d quit his actual job here (restaurant owner).

    Well, so who’s actually working at the airport? My college classmates who entered aviation because they felt inspired by the Top Gun movie and can barely say “Your ticket please”. These less-prepared, i-know-it-all-aviation-omg-maverick students with no English knowledge at all, gesticulating in such manners a french mime would feel jealous. But well, cheap dishes are the ones which sell the most…

    I wish you all the luck here in crazy Brazil.
    never forget your sunscreen and your automatic knife (don’t worry, you won’t ever be jailed here for killing someone. If you’re a mayor, you can even make a prostitution network which main offerings are 8-12 years old girls and absolutely NOTHING will happen to you. My automatic knife was given by my boyfriend, who got worried after the type of gang-rape inside buses became a fashionable thing to do here, following that tragic indian incident in 2012. Quite small, quick, easy to hide and very effective automatic knife. Dressing up like a lout will decrease your chances of being robbed because, well, police will says that, first of all, it was your fault for being robbed, you shouldn’t walk in these areas in such late hour carrying an expesive cellphone and well dressed. But well, if the police is not doing their job of, I suppose, go after bandits, then, what are they doing?

  • Gusti Junqueira - Um vagaMundo
    Posted at 20:25h, 24 June

    Hey Turner!

    I can’t believe you’re in Belo Horizonte! My home town!!! I found out about your blog when I was in Thailand last year and I’m pretty sure I left some comments. I’ve been traveling full time since 2010, but my “side” job kind of helps (but not really – I’m a small aircraft pilot). Today I went to the English meeting where your room mate was and when I heard the guy from the around the world in 80 days blog was here I was whaaaat??!! So cool, man! Would love to meet you if you have time, but I’m only visiting my parents this time. I’m probably heading to Miami next (by helicopter!) week, so my time is short here. I would love to take you somewhere in town (or out of town if you want) that you have not been. Let me know if you can! (I also started a travel blog – a serious one), and in spite of numbers being low it got the attention of famous people here already, like Gloria Maria, do you know her? I would love to highlight you there if you let me! Hoping to see you!

  • Rashad Pharaon
    Posted at 23:46h, 25 June

    Hey Turner, I dated a Brazilian from Belo Horizonte once. I used Rosetta Stone to learn Brazilian Portuguese and it actually worked out real well lol except she sometimes got carried away and talked way too fast. Hope your adventures go well in Brazil!