How do you flush this thing anyway?

April 13th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 1 comment

Hi all, You would think that by 2015 designers and engineers around the world would have met and agreed upon the best design for something as basic as the toilet. But of course toilets still exist in a wide variety of styles. You’ll find several here in Brazil. Often toilets in Brazil are quite basic, even […]

>> Read More

Gramado Named Best Destination in Brazil

April 6th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, Recently I told you about where I now live, in the Serra Gaúcha in the South of Brazil. This is a lovely area, though almost certainly not what you think of when someone says “Brazil.” This is a land of highlands populated largely by fair-skinned folks of German descent. It’s also pretty chilly […]

>> Read More

Beaches of Rio de Janeiro

March 30th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hello all, When you visit Rio, one activity which will certainly be on your list is a visit to one (or more) of the city’s wonderful beaches. The beach most frequented by tourists is Copacabana Beach. Copa was evidently selected a few years ago by the city government to be the focal point of tourism for […]

>> Read More

Driving in Brazil

March 23rd, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, Brazil is a large, diverse, and beautiful country. There are many beautiful places to visit – but many are best visited by car. Public transport tends to be pretty good in most cities, and inter-city buses can carry you in comfort inexpensively from one city or town to another. But for real freedom […]

>> Read More

Five tips for living in Brazil

March 16th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, Any time you go to another country (even if it’s just crossing the US/Canada border), you’ll encounter some cultural differences. If you plan to stay in another country for an extended period, your happiness will depend in large part on how you adjust to these differences. Your adopted country is not going to […]

>> Read More

The best beach in the world?

March 9th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 2 comments

Hi all, For the second year in a row, the beach at Baia do Sancho (Sancho’s Bay) in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago tops TripAdvisor’s list of the best beaches in the world. I’m typically skeptical of such lists. Comparing beaches (or whatever) often is a matter of comparing apples and oranges, and also ratings are generally […]

>> Read More

A Brief History of Rio

March 2nd, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, Yesterday marked the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Rio de Janeiro – by the Portuguese. Few people are aware that the first settlement in the area was actually French! Rio was born at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The first settlement, founded in 1555, actually was French and was named “France Antarctique”. […]

>> Read More

Things that are difficult to find in Brazil

February 27th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 5 comments

Hi all, I love Brazil, otherwise I wouldn’t still be living here, and I wouldn’t have jumped through all of the hoops that I’ve had to remain here. (I should have my CIE in about 2 months – after about 4 years of waiting. Sigh…) Still, there are times when it’s challenging living here – […]

>> Read More

Portuguese for Spanish speakers

February 25th, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, Many gringos incorrectly assume that the language of Brazil is Spanish. It’s not. It’s Portuguese. Yes, they are closely related. No, they aren’t always mutually intelligible. I’ve seen exchanges many times between a Brazilian and a Hispanic. Here’s what typically happens: The Hispanic asks a question in Spanish. The Brazilian understands most of […]

>> Read More

My first time eating “entreveiro”

February 23rd, 2015 / JohnInBrazil / 0 comments

Hi all, One of the things to love about Brazilian culture is its spontaneity. You never know when you might be invited to do something – but be assured it’s probably going to involve food! On Saturday I was visiting Porto Alegre and staying with new friends Marcos and Marina. Marina’s father invited them to […]

>> Read More