5 Surprising Things in Brazil

brazil map

Originally I wanted to write an article with all the interesting stuff that surprised me on my travels, but it turned out to be close to 1000 characters. Who reads 1000 characters? No one. And I didn’t want you guys to just check the images. So this will be the first part of a series of articles about surprising stuff in Brazil from an European perspective. An Eastern European one.


1. Eating bean soup as a stew.

They have a stew of beans with the same ingredients we make the soup with. It’s called Feijoada. Feijao means beans. They have many variations of beans and rice, but this is THE dish that you have to try. It is served with farofa and veggies, which is a flour mixture. You put flour over your feijoada!

2. Crazy traffic. Smiles and sunshine.

Traffic is pretty wild at home. People are hurrying so much that to the outsider it seems they are willing to die. When watching Die Hard, people around here fall asleep at the car chase and wake up for the shooting.

The thing is people here in traffic get angry too. Rush hour it’s a constant symphony of horns of desperation of never getting home.

In Brazil traffic is not any more tranquil than at home, everyone is making unexpected moves and turns. But no one is getting angry if they have been cut off in traffic, it’s the norm. No need to get upset, you will cut someone off anyways at the next intersection. It’s life.

3. The coffee is really OK in most of the places.

A lot more so than in Paris. They are also crazy about a cafezinho. Brazilians put a lot of sugar into it, like they do with everything, but you don’t necessarily have to do it. Good espressos everywhere at good prices.

4. You cannot throw the paper in the toilette.

Nao Jogue Papeol No Vaso Sanitario

It took some time accepting this. Now, I consider that it is just different. But at first sight, it was wildly strange. Like… it will stink. Surprisingly, it doesn’t.

5. Accents. Accents Everywhere!

Learning the language is not easy. Picking up the perfect pronunciation is impossible. If you plan to do that in Sao Paulo or Rio, in a community of Brazilians from different regions… forget about it. They say porta completely differently. Some of them go like: porrrRrrta. At some of them you can barely hear the R.


This was it. Stay tuned for 5 more things that I have found interesting during my travels.

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