Se você ainda tivesse que pesquisar o que isso significa, then you are not ready to visit Brazil!!
As beautiful as everything is in Brazil, having a basic conversation with locals is the MOST difficult and frustrating part of the entire trip if you don’t speak or understand basic Portuguese!
Here’s how I knew that I had to learn a few words and phrases, fast! When you board your flight, we were on Latam and you try to ask for Gin & Tonic – struggle… asking for a Cab from the airport to the hotel – struggle… sorting out a few issues at Hotel checkin – struggle… communicating with an Uber – struggle. So I had to learn the language fast and thanks to Google Translate by the 3rd day I knew a few phrases and could even translate for my cadres that I was traveling with.
The language barrier can be a bit of a serious bummer, but I suppose since English is not a priority language in Brazil, I should have done my research and learnt basic Portuguese before going on holiday. Lesson learnt.
Anyway, here’s what I got up to.
Honestly I wasn’t keen on a whole lot of things besides visiting Christo Redentor and the Favelas. Whilst everyone else that I was traveling with was super keen on Selaron Stairs, Parque Lage and Copacabanna, I was praying everyday that the heavens can open up so that I can get to see Christo. The day finally came when the skies opened up and the sun was shining and Christo was up there looking down on us.
We took an Uber to the station then got a shuttle to the top of Mount Corcovado and then waited an hour before we could take another shuttle to see Christo. Beautiful architecture indeed. Although it was overcrowded at the top, I had finally ticked 1 bucket list moment. Next up, I had one more place to visit Rocinha. One of the guys that I was traveling with had joined this Afro Rio Carnival group on Whatsapp, which was pretty handy because there were Brazilians nationals on it who gave us proper info for exploring and getting around Rio. When I asked the group about going to see the Favelas, they recommended a tour guide called Obi ( +5521987590283 ) He runs a company called Favela Tour Brothers. He grew up at the Favelas and he now owns a B&B with his mom in Rocinha. He met us at Rocinha Metro Station and then took us up to the top of the Favela by motorbikes ( they charge R$5 ) then you walk down from there… I can’t even explain that tour, if you ever go to Rio, do that Favela Tour. Very interesting and eye opening.
Brazil is an amazing country and Rio is just too special and super fun. From the very first day we landed in Rio, the plan was to check out some attractions then find a fun place we can hang out at for dinner and drinks as the mood was always the mood of the Bevs. Local beer was what I wanted to try this time around and I drank a whole lot of it. Antartica, Brahma, Original etc.. all very nice.
I struggled a bit when it came to choosing meals because most menus everywhere you go are in Portuguese so I always opted for the safe options. Trust when I say people don’t speak English, you will think that Gogo Shabalala from Nquthu who speaks her broken English is 10X better than most Brazilians, even areas that you would think should have English speaking people, bars, hotel receptions, restuarants, ubers, eles não falam Inglês.
Buy a SIM card the moment you land and top it up with data and you’ll never struggle!
Carry Cash – bank cards can get compromised and this will just give you a headache.
If you are a group of 5 rather hire a car and get a local driver who understands the language. You get to explore more of the place
Learn basic Portuguese