Some foreigners have opted to share their frustrations about living in Brazil online. There are many examples, and while some make valid points, I thought I’d write about the things I like most. This was first published in Portuguese on the Huffington Post Brasil – www.brasilpost.com.br
1) Brazilian adventurism. Brazil is a place to explore boundless wild and beautiful landscapes unlike anywhere in the world. Furthermore, Brazilians have a thirst for exploring and doing new things. Here’s my example; I am terrified of heights, but one time in Rio I caught the bug to do something new, and was convinced to go hang gliding. It was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done, (There’s a video of the event on my YouTube channel. And here’s going to be my next Brazilian passion: SUP surfing.
2) Brazilian’s welcoming nature. When I first arrived in Brazil, I knew two people. A few weeks later, I had dozens of Brazilian friends – many of them who will be friends for life. I was invited into people’s homes, people’s parties and celebrations, and into people’s hearts. I have travelled the world but have never felt as welcome anywhere else as I am in Brazil.
3) The weather. Brazilians won’t understand this. You know that we British complain all the time about weather, right? That’s because our weather always sucks, but it gives us occasional glimmers of hope. Maybe just for a few hours of a day in summer, we’ll have a nice weather. Then it’s freezing again. But for me, I love Brazil’s weather. I can’t explain just how much I love it. And it’s never too hot for me.
4) Beach culture. The weather brings me on to another point. I love Brazilian beaches, but more than this I love Brazilian beach culture. I cannot thing of a better Sunday anywhere in the world than spent on a Brazilian beach with friends
5) The food. In the UK, as a child I was always considered a ‘fussy’ eater. I never ate much apart from junk food, and I hated staple food like rice and pasta. Then I came to Brazil and everything changed. I learned that rice is good when flavoured with garlic. Black beans, oh how I love them. Some of my favourites include feijoada, pasteis de camarao, and moqueca capixaba.
6) The drinks. Although I do love caipirinhas and even Brazilian drinks, I need to thank Brazil for Guarana – which I first thought was some kind of amazing apple juice when I first tried it. Oh, and fresh coconut water. My heaven.
7) Churrasco. Since we’re talking about food I need to give special mention about Brazilian churrasco. Since trying it for the first time, I am convinced that Brazil’s meat is the best in the world, and Brazilians are the best at cooking meat in the world. Thank you.
8) Live music on the streets. You might be tired of the samba stereotypes, but please, your live music, be it pagoda or whatever, is amazing. It is soulful, happy music and I love it.
9) The football culture. I grew up with football in Scotland, but I never knew about footballing passion until I sat at a boteco watching a Brazilian league game. The intensity, the rivalry, the passion of the fans is unlike any other place in the world.
10) Brasileiros. To be honest, this list could go to 100. Maybe I’ll do that one day, but this post is really about you, Brazilians. I have never met people who are happier, friendlier, and good to be with. This is what makes Brazil. From one gringo to you all, this is what I love most about Brazil you. I know there are a lot of tensions, and the foreign media will continue its biased and uninformed reporting about Brazil. There are also a lot of internal things Brazilians want to fix. But this year, during Brazil’s World Cup, I know for sure you will show the world why Brazil is such an addictive place.