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12 Signs You've Become a True Local in Brazil

Brazil Student Work
by Paula Veselovschi Mar 19, 2015

1. Your staple diet includes rice and beans, tapioca, and pão de queijo.

A meal is not complete without rice and those delicious carioca beans. In every new town you arrive in, you look for the street food stall that sells the best tapioca with cheese and guava marmalade.

2. You’ve mastered the basic steps of forró.

Brazil’s most popular dance is no longer a mystery for you. Forró is definitely easier than samba, equally fun, and allows you to blend in more easily on those nights out.

3. You may not speak Portuguese, but you know how to say “cachoeira” (waterfall).

Every place you go to has at least five cachoeiras in its surroundings, and almost every second day you get to bathe in one.

4. You know that caipirinha is basically a cocktail sold to gringos who just landed on Copacabana beach.

You still love caipirinha, but after the first two weeks you’ve stopped drinking it because 1. it’s too expensive, and more importantly 2. you’ve learned that Brazilians prefer beer.

5. Any temperature below 22 degrees Celsius is cold to you now.

In your home country you’d still be wearing a T-shirt. Now that you’re in Brazil though, you put on your fleece.

6. You’ve become an açaí addict.

You display all symptoms of addiction to this delicious frozen fruit paste. You have it for dinner every night. You know to go to Tacacá do Norte bar to get the best açaí in Rio. You’re seriously considering importing it to your home country after you get back.

7. You don’t worry about safety that much anymore.

Yes, you’re aware that Brazil is not the safest country on the planet. But it’s not the most dangerous one either so there’s no point in being paranoid, otherwise you won’t enjoy a minute of your stay. You just leave your valuables at home and watch your surroundings.

8. You can get on a Brazilian city bus with your backpack on.

One of the most annoying things about Brazil are those shoulder-high turnstiles that they have in city buses, which make taking urban public transport with a big backpack on a challenging task, to say the least. After lots of practice and embarrassing episodes, you’ve mastered the art, and can get past that baffle gate without attracting the stares of everybody else on the bus.

9. Mango, guava, and passionfruit are now “the boring flavours.”

You now delight yourself with cupuaçú, umbú, cajá, and mangaba juice. As for apples and pears, you’ve forgotten they even exist.

10. You feel totally comfortable in your Brazilian bikini.

Brazilian swimsuits are not exactly famous for covering your body. At first, this made you feel seriously embarrassed, but you’ve gradually grown accustomed to the sensation. As tiny as it may be, that bikini does cover the essentials, and on a crowded beach it won’t make you stand out.

11. You know where to hike.

At first you were amazed by all those beaches, but Brazil is a lot more than Florianopolis, Ilha Grande, Itacare, or Jericoacoara. When you want to swap your flip-flops for hiking boots, you head to Chapada Diamantina, Chapada dos Veadeiros, or the inland state of Minas Gerais .

12. You know exactly how the fines for overstaying your tourist visa are computed.

And you have them included in your travel budget.

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