March 17, 2004

End of j+j's South American adventure

Thus ends the South American leg of our World Tour. All-in-all Brasil was an amazing experience. We'd highly recommend it. Below is a map for your reference. We'd also be glad to share more detailed recs :-)

by the way, we thought we'd finish with a couple of lists - one describing things we enjoyed, one on stuff that struck the americanos somewhere on the amusing to annoying scale...

stuff we found endearing:
o that Brasil is truly a melting pot (as opposed to a bunch of separate side dishes the US generally is)
o surprisingly, the food (we ate our way through that country and it's a BIG country)
o beaches, beaches and more beaches
o how outgoing Brasilians are...friendly, curious and nearly all endowed w/ a gift of the gab
o quirky pronunciations (like adding a "gee" sound to words ending in "D" like "oh my godgee")
o Guarana, a drink made from an amazement fruit which had restorative properties which were absolutely needed after (and during) Carnaval
o the very positive body image Brasilian women (of all shapes & sizes) had
o the brasilian bikini
o Brasilians' love of song, and propensity to break into song
o fresh, FRESH juice
o the lack of annoying american tourists
o samba!
o Sao Paulo's culinary cornucopia
o Brasilian's fun-loving nature

stuff we found quirky > annoying
o the mysterious gringo tax that was levied on us when we were w/out natives
o that Brasilians typically hate carrying anything with them on planes. we saw no fewer than 3 umbrellas checked on our 5 flights in-country :-)
o hotel rating systems (subtract at least a star for the american conversion)
o the broken record of carnaval (same 10 axe songs played ad nasuem in Salvador)
o their version of mustard (blech)
o bad covers of bad american pop songs
o "the rules don't apply" mentality...most Brasilians have little regard for traffic "guidelines" (i.e. stop lights). in fact, the only way to slow drivers down is to install speed bumps
o Brasilians thought it unfair when cameras were installed on highways to identfiy speeders so now all cameras have signs alerting motorists of their presence well in advance
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