Before writing some closing thoughts, below are several more random observations I jotted down during my trip. Note that these are only specific to my own experience in Floripa so take them with a quarter of a grain of salt.
- Brasil is fanatical about wrapping meat and cheese in dough. Empanadas and pastels abound! I recommend you eat your weight in all of them. It’s hot pocket central.
- Brigadeiros are life. A brigadeiro a day will not keep the doctor away but it sure as shit keeps this chick happy.
- Pao de queijo is also life. I had three for breakfast every morning for 6 weeks.
- Restaurant buffets are common. You can purchase food by the kilogram or all you can eat. They had me at buffet. Why hasn’t America picked up on this concept? (I’m not talking Golden Corral people.)
- The Halls brand of cough drops we have in the US are actually marketed and sold as candy in Brasil. They sit right in with all of the hard candy in every store. Unfortunately, I lived on them for 3 weeks.
- Foreigners (non-Americans, since I’m American) use the word “f*ck” a lot. And loudly. And in public places. <hides under table>
- Brasil hasn’t quite figured out the salad craze. Or how to make them. When you order a salad, you will likely receive a few pieces of uncut lettuce the size of a placemat, tomatoes, and carrots. The only salad dressing is either oil and vinegar or just oil. Healthy, but not enticing.
- Consuming large quantities of caipirinhas or caipiroskas is not well received by your liver. I’m certain it’s the limes that do all the damage.
- Seafood is plentiful in Floripa as it is an island so they have shrimp as many ways as Forrest Gump can name. But they typically overcook steamed shrimp and as a result, just eat them with the shells on. I do not advise trying this.
- There is a pharmacy on every street corner. Winning!
- Buildings in Floripa have a lot of glass and mirrors. Take caution when consuming large quantities of alcohol while in said buildings.
- Brasilian women are as beautiful as you’ve heard. Plastic surgery is commonplace and a large percentage of women have fake boobs. I’m not gay but I’m also not complaining. I wanted to take pictures but that would be weird and I didn’t want to end up in a Brasilian prison. Although I’m certain that would be both fascinating and adventurous.
- Floripa is a very gay friendly island so visit with an open mind and an open heart.
- The entrees in many restaurant are designed to feed two people. This means either: 1. Don’t be single in Brasil. 2. Or, if you are, order an entree anyway and thank the food gods you are single and have that whole dinner to yourself! Bonus: French fries and white rice are served with almost all entrees. Carbs with a side of carbs. Again, winning!
- You’ll find some restaurants have alternative menus in English. But most Brasilians don’t speak English. Brush up on your Portuguese. Hint: Portuguese is NOT Spanish.
- Street art (some would call it graffiti) is a thing and it’s gooooood.
- Bars and clubs are extremely efficient. You pay either on your way in or on your way out. Bartenders don’t deal with money so getting a drink is quick and easy. Sometimes too easy.
- Since returning from Brasil, I am even more grateful than ever for: bacon, water pressure, drinkable tap water, green vegetables, fast food, flushing toilet paper down the toilet, washers and dryers.
Below are some random photos I took of the above: