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    « News Roundup | Main | Shoe Shopping in Rio »

    May 14, 2008

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    Diff_Cult

    Impressions about foreigners in Brazil:
    *Lots of you refer to us as non-westerners citizens of the world... this just kill us, as we understand ourselves as belonging to the western culture, though with our specificities
    *americans, canadians and europeans (even rare aussies and NZs) are smugs here. Asian, east europeans and other latin americans are not.
    *You want to inflict your industrial "efficiency" and quality and "fast" values on us... we have other priorities in social relations, even business.
    *Most of you behave like: I am paying... you have to earn your life
    *Most of you just don't get us, but you even care
    *Some of you think we are a "sex culture", we are not!
    *we have inferiority complex, you foreigners reinforce it (oh, its so hot, oh its so dirty, oh its so weird... oh look at that wires! oh people are starving in the streets of Rio! Oh there are stray bullets everywhere)

    DRL

    I am not completely clear on everything you were trying to say... but the tone manages to come through loud and clear.

    I appreciated your comment "you want to inflict your industrial efficiency and quality and fast values on us... we have other priorities..." and feel this is a valid point. From what I understand from that, my personal comment is I think that North Americans have become too "blackberry-centric" - getting things done and busying ourselves and operating at the speed of sound has become the priority over enjoying the moment and the process. Unfortunately, families are in a sad state as a result of this. Friendships, too. People brag about how busy their jobs are, it becomes a competition (who would want to win that one?) and lack interests of their own. They are tightly wound and too stressed out.

    Separately: just my own observation from your comments, clearly North Americans should not generalize that Brazilians are laid back or easy going!

    It is unfortunate that you could not think of one positive observation about the foreigners you have encountered living here in Brazil, and that all of your experiences with us seem to be surrounded with negativity and anger.

    LM

    Ok, old news but I'll add my input anyway.

    In regard to the first comment, I agree with some points. As much as foreigners (and trust me, even many brazilians) can find it distressing at times , being fast and getting things done in the speed of light is not exactly a priority there. Unless you have a deadline and won't get paid if you miss it. Workaholics are few and far between in brazilian culture, and I do believe it's not that bad.

    After living in England for a few years, though, I must say that I miss dearly the quality of the service I used to get in Rio. English workers are mostly lazy, innept and don't take well any form of criticism. You'll be kicked to the back of a queue and forgotten there if you complain about the wait.

    Overall, I think the gringos are nice. Generally much more polite than locals. So, if you were ever worried about reputation, believe, the local "madames" can be way more bitchy and demanding. Servants are used to that. And some of these shopkeepers/clerks are dishonest themselves, trying to charge extra from foreigners, so there's another reason not to care too much for what they think.

    Oh, and also, Tok&Stok is not cheap by carioca standards. When I read your post about the places you chose to furnish your apartment I couldn't help to think that your budget must have been generous. Only rich people and upper middles shop in these places. Ok, Tok&Stok is not that eye wateringly expensive if compared to some of the others, but I find odd to pay designer prices for what is, all in all, ikea inspired stuff.

    DRL

    LM, Hey there is no time limit on commenting on posts!
    On your points:
    1) I agree it is better if there are less workaholics. And I think people who have life besides work are more productive anyway!
    2) Service in Rio is good if you have competent people. If you don't, it doesn't matter how many dozen of them there are, it still won't help! But in restaurants, etc. it is fantastic here!
    3) The Gringo tax bothers me!
    4) Interesting to hear that T&S is not cheap by Carioca standards - and would be interested in hearing of any recommendations you might make of furniture stores/shopping areas with better deals!!!!

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