Wait, What Can You Hate About Brazil!?
Everything isn’t all rosy in Brazil. I would never lie and say I love every single thing about Brazil. Like every place on earth, Brazil has its pros and it’s cons. There are a few things I hate about Brazil.
Do I think these reasons will stop you from visiting or moving to Brazil?
No. I hope not. That’s not my intention.
I want to give my full opinion on Brazil.
For every 6 things I hate about Brazil, I could come up with 60 things I love. I kind of already did that in this post about the 13 Signs Of Brazil Addiction.
But this post is about the bad.
Let’s get to it.
1. The Bathrooms
Brazilian bathrooms are hot garbage.
Seriously, you can’t put toilet tissue in the toilets. You have to put it in the trashcan. So, you have a trashcan full of muddy toilet paper until it’s thrown out.
And the shower heads are flimsy and point straight down. I don’t like the design too much. You have to stand right underneath it.
Not every bathroom is like this; there are modern apartments and homes with Western-style showers and toilets. But if you are at someone’s house or staying in a regular apartment, you will have to deal with these type of bathrooms.
I understand the sewer system may not be able to handle it; many Brazilians fear their toilets will clog up.
But still, it’s a pet peeve for me.
It might not bother you, but for me, I hate it.
2. The Racism
I plan to write more about race and racism in Brazil, but for now I will leave this excerpt from a recent news story about American professor Dr. Carl Hart being stopped in front of a São Paulo hotel during a conference on drugs:
The International Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences Seminar, the speaker Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, was stopped by hotel security five-star Tivoli Mofarrej, which hosts the event. The Institute’s organization had to mobilize to authorize their entry into the hotel.
Carl Hart is black and came to São Paulo lecture on the drug war and how it is used to marginalize and exclude the population. Before becoming a respected scientist with three postdocs, and one of the biggest names on the study drug was crack user. He decided to become an expert on the effects of crack to understand how the drug had destroyed their community. And he became a neuroscientist with his dreads and the three gold teeth.
By starting his speech, he caused more than a thousand people who were in the audience, “Look to the side, see how many blacks are here you should be ashamed.”. There was no black in the audience.
For Sergio Solomon Shecaira, President of the Seminar Organization, the fact shows racism: “It is good to show how we live in a racist country.”
Racism is something I hate about Brazil and any other place on earth.
3. The Traffic
Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure if traffic in Brazil is any worse than in America. DC traffic can be terrible, downright insanity inducing.
Heavy traffic is one of those things that never becomes tolerable.
You can literally feel your life slipping away while sitting in traffic. You’re slowly dying.
Brazil is a country with heavy traffic. Rio to São Paulo is only a six-hour drive, yet it feels like the last 60 miles into the city is about 2 hours.
I catch the bus from Avenida Paulista to my cousin’s home in Morumbi; it’s hard not to hop off early and jog there.
I really have thoughts of being able to get there quicker on foot.
But that’s what traffic does.
I hate traffic, whether it’s in Washington D.C. or Brazil.
4. The Pollution
We complain about how “dirty” New York City or Los Angeles is in the United States. The smog, the rats, the graffiti.
Well, wait until you get to Rio or São Paulo.
I’ve been to areas of Brazil that would make your skin itch. One time, I was walking down a street in a favela in Rio and I had to levitate over the ground to avoid walking through trash.
Hey, Cris Angel did it.
Seriously, if you are in the tourist spots, the city usually keeps those areas professionally cleaned considering that’s where the money is being spent.
And the city better clean up the trash, specifically the water. If you haven’t been keeping up with the upcoming 2016 Olympics, athletes training in Rio de Janeiro’s rivers are falling ill from the pollution.
5. The Import Taxes
I hope you stocked up on clothes and electronics before you head to Brazil because you will not want to pay the prices for them when you get there.
I found myself wanting to buy a New Era hat while staying in São Paulo for a few months. My friend told me to check out this shopping mall downtown.
So, I went and found a couple of stores with all the urban American apparel I could want.
I’m a Seahawks fan(yes, before 2012 or whatever year the bandwagoners hopped on) and needed a new hat, I saw a cool one and turned it over to see the price:
I almost threw up in my mouth when I saw the price.
At the time the exchange rate was like 1.7 to 1. So, I would have really over-paid.
And it’s like the employees are afraid to let you go because they know as an American, we buy clothing in full at the store. Most Brazilians don’t have the money to pay for a R$ 180 hat so they break it up in installments and pay it over time.
Well, I’m not Brazilian, but I sure don’t have the disposable income to pay R$ 180 for a sports hat.
I got out of there and wore my old, gray Seahawks hat until I returned to the states.
Taxes, one thing I hate about Brazil.
6. The Negativity
It’s common in most countries for the people to talk bad about their home.
I’m American, so I hear it all the time.
“We are the most racist country in the world!”
“Our country is so violent!”
“The American Dream isn’t real, it’s all an illusion”
And this is a so-called 1st World country.
If people aren’t happy about a place where most citizens have a standard of living quite comfortable compared to most people in other places, there’s no surprise Brazilians view their country as a tough place to live.
Ask a Brazilian what do they hate about Brazil, you will get a mouthful.
I wholeheartedly agree with many criticisms such as corruption, lack of real opportunities to advance careers, police brutality, poor education, etc.
But, out of most Brazilians I’ve met, I don’t think they would enjoy another country like they would theirs.
You can possible go to a better college and make more money in America, but would you be okay with having thousands of dollars in debt? Would you want to work 50-60 hours a week just to pay it off?
The nightlife and parties aren’t the same in America. Yes, we have fun, but people don’t have fun like Brazilians.
It depends on the person, but I wish more Brazilians stopped thinking about how bad their country is, step back and realize the good things they already have.
Brazil is a great country and in the future, I can see it being even greater.
For that to happen, Brazilians have to stop being so negative and work towards a more positive future.