Being in Brazil I have learned few things. You must remember that I came from Europe in the winter to Rio de Janeiro just after Carnaval. The drivers here seem just as surprised as the passengers when you arrive in one piece to your destination. The guys really do wear speedos all of the time. In the supermarket, having lunch, riding bikes, surfing, you actually get used to seeing it. In fact, I have adopted the idea into my own life. The girls really wear tiny g-strings. But that means all the girls. Big, small, light, dark, young, old, all in tiny bikinis. The surf is really good in Hawaii. I saw surf in Italy, Ireland, and Brazil so far, and nothing has come close to Hawaii. Water quality, temperature, and waves are all superior back home. Nobody uses Myspace anymore. It is all Facebook. Hostels can be really cool or really depressing places. A lot of it depends on the people. Customer service is important if you want someone to recommend your business. I stayed in the one of the best hostels in the world and a lot of mediocre places. Cigarettes are disgusting all over the world. More and more places are banning them in public areas. I love it. People are becoming more environmentally aware. This makes me happy. You don’t need most of the stuff that you have. I have lost, bought, or given away quite a few articles of clothing so far. I can happily live in the same t-shirt and jeans everyday. Attitude is more important than looks.
It pays to be nice to everyone. Bus drivers, receptionists, waiters, garbage men, wage slaves know a lot about the cities where they live and can help you out if you smile and are genuinely nice to them. Cheap restaurants and nice places to stay are usually found out about via word of mouth, not the guidebooks.
It is amazing what people can accomplish when they absolutely have to. When you are hungry and in a little village in the rainforest, you figure out which house is actually a store or restaurant. Of course, the poor kids steal your stuff off the beach, but they also pick up every aluminum can like it was a gold coin. I don’t know how much they get for them, but kids that look like they are 5 years old are carrying trash bags bigger than they are full of crushed cans.
The words on Brazil’s flag are Ordem e Progresso, Order and Progress. Neither of which seem to exist in Brazil. In two days, we are off to Santiago, Chile. It surprises me that we have been in South America for a month already. Our hostel has been pretty good, but a bit too much partying for my liking. Not surprisingly, most the people in our hostel are here to go out drinking as much as possible as late as possible, every night. That being said, they also put on a cool Capoeira show.