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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.
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.
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…
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.