Expats living in Brazil article

A friend sent me this blog post from BecomeBrazilian the other day, and it made me laugh because it is pretty accurate; especially for those with children here.

Expats Living In Brazil: Some More Equal Than Others

Yeah, but can they speak Portuguese? There’s a much larger international expatriate circle here in Rio than I ever expected, and it ever-increases along with the region’s oil and gas industry, and upcoming events like The World Cup and Olympic Games.

Beyond the obvious (and many) different nationalities, foreign families in Rio fall into one of two sub-tribes depending on whether they have been sent here by their employer or chosen to live here off their own backs.  The former (corporate expats) spend a few years in the city, and their entire existence is bankrolled by the company.  The latter (local expats) are usually in a relationship with a native, live on the local economy, and may stick around for the rest of their lives.  (That’s me.)

Both tribes co-exist peacefully, but not completely without envy.  The locals covet the fancy free perks of the corporate expats, who in turn wish they had the family network and Portuguese speaking abilities of friends married to Brazilians.  The truth is that between the corporate and local expat, the experience of life in Rio can be different in many ways, from where they live to how they educate their children to name just two.

The corporate expat will most likely send their child to an International school, let’s say The British School, at huge expense to their company.  In return for this investment their children will unlearn their English grammar, acquire an American accent (oh horror) and make friends with the spawn of Rio’s A-listers (double horror).  In contrast, locals will claim they would NEVER send their child to such a school, even if they could afford the R$17,000 per child enrollment fee.  Dismayed that bonafide Brits that can actually speak, like, proper, don’t get a discount, they will make do with a local Brazilian school where their children will reportedly not pay sufficient attention in English class, duh.

The newly-arrived corporate expat will spend months and months in a service hotel while they search in vain for a flat.  They won’t be able to find ANYTHING that meets their requirements on their enormous allowance.  When they do finally find the place, it will fall through a million times, and they will write facebook-status-update-essays bitching about Brazil’s bureaucratic quirks.  They will eventually install themselves in Leblon, probably with a sea view, in a to-die-for pad.  In contrast, the local will live at the wrong end of town, in Flamengo or Laranjeiras (or, God Forbid, Niteroi) in diminutive flats with views of…other flats.

The list could go on, but I think you get the point.  In the end though, there are probably more things that bind the international community than divide it.  For instance, it is unanimously agreed that Brazil is overpriced, the service in Rio slow and the bras badly fitting, and nothing brings foreigners together more than a conversation about how many passports their children have, how many languages they can speak, and how many wonderfully interesting countries they have resided prior to Brazil.



Trying to meet some other Expats :)

living in BrazilIn my quest to find some English speaking folks I discovered a fun blog written by a fellow expat DailyRioLife and figured why not email the writer.  To my pleasant surprise she emailed me back and arranged to meet! I’ll be honest I have never done the ‘internet dating’ thing so when she suggested lunch at Via Sete I was thrilled (have walked by this place a bunch of times and each time I walked by said “that place looks good”.   The restaurant was great— highly recommend it (salads were fantastic!) and she was awesome, very helpful! I am looking forward to hanging out with her again and meeting some of her other ‘expat’ friends:)