Things You Shouldn’t Do (In Brazil)

On Doing Them Anyway

Soccer field in Brazil, by Esther S.

Before you go off to a tropical country, people give you all kinds of advice. Advice from doctors on how not to get sick, advice from your parents, advice from other travelers… there’s a load of things you should or shouldn’t do. Of course, half of them you find yourself doing anyway–without exactly intending to break every rule in the book.

For example, the water at the Training Centre in Brazil that I’m staying at. We all thought it was filtered when we got here. Then someone told us the filter didn’t work. Then someone else told us it did work, but it was only a carbon filter and didn’t filter out bacteria. Either way, by that point some of us had drank gallons of the stuff (soccer is a popular sport here, and you work up a thirst afterwards). Fortunately, by the time we figured out maybe we were drinking something we’d been told not to drink, none of us had gotten sick. And days after that, still none of us were sick.

There was a whole list of other stuff – don’t walk barefoot in the sand because of the weird e. coli that might live there (advice from my doctor – but seriously, walking or running in sand with shoes on spoils half the fun. The sandals are off before you even remember you weren’t supposed to do that). Don’t get bitten by mosquitoes (yeah, you try telling them to stop biting me. I’d appreciate it. Dengue fever doesn’t sound like fun…) Don’t risk eating anything that might have come into contact with gluten at any time (because I have celiac disease). I think I’ve been doing okay with this. But it’s really hard to communicate this because of the language. Waiters stare at me in Canada because they’ve never heard of celiac disease. They stare at me even more here because 1) I’m a gringo 2) My Portuguese is horrible, and 3) They’ve never heard of celiac disease.

The important thing to remember is not to get freaked out by the possibilities of something happening in a tropical country, but just to enjoy it while you’re there. After all, you could get mauled by a bear in Canada (not likely, but still…) Or hit by a car. Or die of cancer. At the same time, you can’t be too stupid. Don´t wander the streets of Recife at night, alone. Don’t drink the water from random taps. And so on.

Obviously, I’ve found Brazil interesting so far. I apologize I haven´t had a chance to post more about it. We’ve been so busy! But I’ve enjoyed it so much that in fact, I have decided to stay here longer. Three weeks longer. Hopefully all continues to go well 🙂


Note: I also apologize to all those blogs I’ve faithfully been following until these past couple weeks. It´s a bit tough to keep up from here! But I look forward to catching up and commenting when I get a chance.


Filed under Brazil

11 responses to “Things You Shouldn’t Do (In Brazil)

  1. Alexia

    I would think soccer is popular there, their team is one of the best in the world… They didn’t make it to the finale at the last world cup but still… Oh my god, am I seriously talking about soccer ? Obviously I hear way too much about it, it’s starting to get to me…


  2. Haha! Interesting! I did’nt know about these facts!


  3. Alexia

    Here it’s called football (I can’t even grasp the concept of american football – seriously I don’t understand a thing) and YES, it is very popular. Always was but il became even more huge in 1998 when France won the world cup – against Brazil actually. At the time it wasn’t bad, I remember everyone was out in the streets, there was this sort of team spirit across the country (even I watched the game, even if I got bored halfway through it), but now… The players in the national team really suck, not only are they bad on the field (they don’t have an inch of team spirit apparently) but they’re divas who go on strike during a world cup (the last one), who insult their coach, who are highly overpaid, and who just became a huge joke for the France to laugh about. They are very criticized, a lot of people believe that the league has been too soft on them and should have fired all of them at the time of the world cup but it’s still the sport that gathers the most fans, and even if you don’t watch the games, like me, you can’t help but know the names of the players and the teams, and the last stupid thing that happened in the national team…

    Once again I wrote an essay, I really am helpless. You can only be grateful that I am limited by the language barrier or I would never shut up lol!


    • I have a vague idea of how American football works, and could take a stab at explaining it, but its not very interesting.
      Yes, when your country is in the finals of any sport, everyone watches even if they didnt really care about the sport before. I dont know too much about soccer because we dont hear a lot about it in Canada. But we hear more about it during the World Cup than other times.
      Essays are perfectly fine for me 🙂


  4. Take care,I hope that you will travel safely and enjoy Brazil a lot.
    I’m looking forward to reading your report.:)


  5. Alexia

    Lol no that’s ok, I think I will survive without ever knowing what this sport is about 🙂
    Well, good, cause I don’t believe I can help it !


  6. Harma Mae…this was the best post you could have written yet! I needed to hear that. My husband is taking me to England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland as our 40th wedding anniversary celebration and I have been given a bucket load of advice…just like yours. You would think we were going to an isolated island somewhere where they eat bugs for lunch instead of very civilized countries. We should enjoy our trips and I am glad for one that you are enjoying yours!

    I love soccer by the way….all of our four children played on soccer teams here. Very good sport and they are very good at it in Brazil. Please keep us updated and thanks for making me feel much better about my own trip!


    • Thank you so much for the compliment! England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland – sounds like quite a trip! Countries which are relatively similar to North America too, so I´m sure you´ll be fine and have a great time 🙂


  7. Pingback: Possibility of Blog Post Scheduling Interruptions! Oh, the Horror! | Stories and Stuff

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