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    « Parabens, RIO! | Main | Recent Inquiries & Responses: 4 »

    October 04, 2009


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    I've been reading your blog for a while now in preparation for my move to Rio. Well, we're here now and I've started my own blog as well if you'd like to add it to your blog roll or if you'd like to include me in any of your ex-pat correspondence. I'd love to participate.

    Beijos e abraços!
    [email protected]



    I've been reading you for a few months, my husband and I are moving to RIo in February. Yout blog is already full of informations but I'm sure this new project will be very helpful.

    Many thanks!



    1) Have you with your own eyes seen a crime scene?

    2) What are the prices like there?

    3) I'm from NYC, I know that Brasil is diverse with a bunch of different nationalities but do you have any photos of what none Brazilian food looks like there ie: burgers, chinese, etc... ? I mean I love to cook but since I'm a city girl I just get a take-out/delivery.

    4) Are there any activities there? I've played tennis since I was 7 and no country is going to make me give it up.

    5) What is the style like down there? My boyfriend says that thongs are optional but I'd be a stranger if I wore my regular bikini. His sister sent me a thong bikini from down there but when I wore it up here in NYC. . . I got threatened by some psycho that "IM'A BE FEEDIN MY FIST TO YO MOUWATH!" in other words she wanted to feed me her fist.

    6) Is it crowded down there? Up here everyone is always pissed and blows up in your face as if they've been having a bad day & held it in until for some reason they saw you, you became their target but during Rush Hour that same person who made your ears deaf from shouting is pretty much hugging you & breathing on you because the train is over crowded. Yup rush hour is intimacy time on the streets & public transit. Is it similar down there?

    7) What is transportation like there? Limo? Cab? Bus? Trains?

    8) What are car prices like there? Like how do the prices range?

    9) Are people friendly down there? I've experienced too much friendly-ness from Brasilian men & women here. Whenever we go to an event the men kiss me in such a way on the cheek I feel as if they are coming on to me the same goes with the women, they have this little tease affect when ever they kiss other men.

    10) What are prices for houses down there? I'm looking for something down by the beach but not too close cause I raised to believe that houses too close to the beach are begging for a disaster.

    & I'll figure out some more, right now I'm baking but I will def get back to you.

    btw I don't have a blog I don't know how to make one & I think I'll hire some one to help me out to make it since I don't really have time to figure out how to organize it. but e-mail me at [email protected] since I have questions to ask that I wouldn't want the entire world to know.


    Oh wait, I have a very specific question: did anyone got a driving license in Rio? Is it easy? Expensive?
    I'm French, and I don't have a driving license, it is really hard and expensive in Paris, and I was thinking of taking the exam in Rio.

    In the appartment section, I have the impression that apartments are much more expensive if you go through a real estate agent. Is that true? In, the first classifieds are SUPER expensive, whereas the last ones (not agents) are much cheaper. Howmuch do we have to ask my husband company for a three bedroom in Ipanema/ Leblon/ Urca?

    Many thanks!



    Maylis: I have never obtained a Brasilian license, though I do have a valid one from the USA, and had it translated into Portuguese by an official translator, just to carry with our car documents when I drive, it is more-or-less legal. That said, in almost 6 years, I have never been pulled over by the police, however things are changing a bit here in Rio, they are doing a "blitz" thing here (a surprise set-up) where they check to make sure you are sober and you and your car are legal. I would imagine this could be an issue, maybe. I would say, try to get your license in France. Here, just getting an appointment is a pain, I think it would be very time consuming and likely not cheap, plus do you know Portuguese? But I really don't know about this...I have just tried to avoid it!

    As far as apartments to need to be more specific as to the true size you are looking for. You can get a 3 bedroom with 75 meters sq...or you can get a 3 bedroom with 300 or more just depends. There is a huge variety here, and a lot are not so lovely. I would say, probably...expect at least R$3000-$4000 per month for something average, and much more for something special (R$5,000-R$10,000) (location and age of apartment). Look in the classified section of OGlobo, on Wendesday and Saturday/Sunday are the best listings for rentals (aluguel). In your situation, an agent might be more convenient because doing all of the legwork involves a lot of time and patience.

    Leblon/Ipanema are very convenient to live don't really need a car. Urca however, while it is very special and lovely, it is a bit cut-off from a lot of things. There are a few stores and bars, but I think to live there, you would probably want a car.

    Good luck!


    Thanks a lot Stephanie for all the info! I do know Portuguese, I was born and raised in Brasilia. The apple never falls far from the tree, my parents are also expats.
    As for the license, I guess I will try one more time in France, pressure off, if I can get an appointment before our departure in FEBRUARY. (As you can see, French people can top Brazilians for such matters...).


    Great that you speak Portuguese, everything will be so much easier for you. I think getting an appointment at Detran is the hardest part...and then the waiting of course. But if you can get one first in France, I think that would be even better for you. One less thing you will have to do here, at least for a while. Cheers.


    about the is much cheaper and easier to have your foreign license transferred to a Brazilian one. It is a small fee and you don´t need to take a driving test. If you do it all in Brazil, you need to have a minimum number of hours (theory and practice) with a driving school, then take the written and practical exam. This will cost around R$500-700, whereas transferring a foreign license was about R$80 is I remember. Go to the DETRAN website, they have a lot of good information. I lived for 3 years in Rio without a car. It only is difficult for grocery shopping. Of course, now with a kid, having a car when we visit Rio is convenient.


    Hi, I have arrived here in Rio 2 weeks ago, we're househunting at the moment and currently living in Barra, but I can't seem to find any expat groups at all, can you help me out here?

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