2014/01/14

ブラジルに旅行や長期滞在、あるいは永住を考えてる人に 考慮するべき20点


あるブログに載っていたアメリカ人の意見で「ブラジルに住むことが大嫌いな理由20点」を読んだ時、納得や分かる気もするけど勘違いもあると思った。例外も多いということもあるし。それに日本の面積の23倍、人口も2億人近くの「ブラジル」や「ブラジル人」を概括するのはどうかと思う。地方によっても違いは歴然だ。ブラジル国内で州などをまたいで転居した人の意見を聴けば確認できる。ちなみに元のアメリカ人は99%サンパウロでの経験についてだと思う。
そして「好き」「嫌い」はともかく「良い」「悪いと」は言えないのも事実だ。

特に日本人にとってはカルチャーギャップは大きいと思う。
今年はワールドカップもあり、2年後には夏季オリンピックと日本からの旅行者も多いかと思うので、ちょっと自分なりに整理して、これから投稿することにした。
ブラジルで良く使われる表現やことわざも入れ、説明もあわせる。
先ずはもとのブログのコピペです:

1. Brazilians have no consideration for people outside their immediate circle, and are often just plain rude. For example, a neighbor who plays loud music all night; and even if you ask him politely to turn the volume down, he tells you to f**k off. And basic politeness? A simple "excuse me" when someone almost knocks you over on the street? Forget it.
2. Brazilians are aggressive and opportunistic, and usually at someone else's expense. It's like a "survival instinct" in high gear, all the time. The best example is driving. If they see a way to pass you, they will, even if it means almost killing you, and even if they're not in a hurry. So why do they do it? It's just because they can, because they see the opportunity. They feel like they always need to take whatever they can, whenever they can, regardless of who is harmed as a result.
3. Brazilians have no respect for their environment. They dump big loads of trash anywhere and everywhere, and the littering is unbelievable. The streets are really dirty. The natural resources, abundant as they are, are being squandered at an amazing rate with little or no recourse.
4. Brazilians tolerate an amazing amount of corruption in both business and government. While all governments have corrupt officials, it's more obvious and rampant in Brazil than most countries, and yet the population keeps re-electing the same people.
5. Brazilian women are overly obsessed with their bodies and very critical of (and competitive with) each other.
6. Brazilians, especially men, are highly prone to extramarital affairs. Unless the man never leaves the house, odds are he has a mistress.
7. Brazilians are very expressive of their negative opinions of others, with complete disregard about possibly hurting someone's feelings.
8. Brazilians, especially people who perform services, are usually unreliable, lazy and almost always late.
9. Brazilians have a very prominent classe system. The rich have a sense of entitlement that is beyond a caricature. They think the rules do not apply to them, that they are above the system, and are very arrogant and inconsiderate, especially with each other. The poor, meanwhile, are paid so little that they never have an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and therefore often turn to crime or simply become lazy and indignant regarding their jobs because they see no hope for the future and no point in trying to do a good job.
10. Brazilians constantly interrupt and talk over each other. Trying to have a conversation is like a competition to be heard, a shouting match.
11. Brazilian police are essentially non-existent when it comes to enforcing laws to protect the population, such as enforcing traffic laws, finding and arresting thieves, etc. Laws exist, but no one enforces them, the judicial system is a joke and there is usually no recourse for the citizen who is robbed, cheated or otherwise harmed. People live in fear and build walls around their houses or pay high fees to live in gated communities.
12. Brazilians make everything inconvenient and difficult. Nothing is streamlined or designed with the customer's convenience in mind, and Brazilians have a high tolerance for astounding levels of unnecessary and redundant bureaucracy. 
13. Brazilians tolerate such high taxes and import duties that make everything, especially home products, electronics and cars, unbelievably expensive. And for business owners, following the rules and paying all your taxes makes it almost impossible to be profitable. As a result, corruption and bribes in business and government are commonplace. The bureaucracy, laws and high taxes exist to provide the opportunity for the corrupt to facilitate "working around" the system. Meanwhile the consumer is forced to bear an extraordinarily high cost of living, thereby exacerbating poverty.
14. It's hot as hell 9 months out of the year, and central heating/cooling doesn't exist here because the houses are not constructed to be airtight or insulated or include air ducts. So you either suffer for 9 months or confine yourself to a small room with a wall a/c unit. And in the 3 months where it actually gets "cold," you freeze at night.
15. The food may be fresher, less processed and generally healthier than American or European food, but it is bland, repetitive and very inconvenient. Processed, frozen or ready-made foods in the supermarket are few, expensive and generally terrible. Most foods are made from scratch and if you can't afford a maid to do it for you, you'll spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Restaurants abound but there are few convenient options, as Brazilians favor sit-down meals and there are almost no drive-thrus except crappy fast food.
16. Brazilians are super social and rarely spend any time alone, especially meals and weekends. This is not necessarily a bad quality but personally I hate it because I enjoy my space and privacy, but the cultural expectation is that you will attend (or worse, invite) friends and family to every single meal and you are criticized for not behaving "normally" if you choose to be alone.
17. Brazilians stay very close, emotionally and geographically, to their families of origin their whole lives. Like #16, this is not necessarily a bad quality but personally I hate it because it makes me uncomfortable and affects my marriage. Brazilian adults never "cut the cord" emotionally and their family of origin (especially their mothers) continue to be involved in their daily lives, problems, decisions, activities, etc. As you can imagine, this is extra difficult for a spouse from another culture where we generally live in nuclear families and have a different dynamic with our families of origin. 
18. Electricity and internet service are completely unreliable. 
19. Water safety is questionable. Brazilians drink it without dying, sure, but based on the total lack of enforcement of other laws and abundance of corruption, I don't trust the government that says it's totally safe and won't hurt you in the long term. 
20. And finally, Brazilians only have 1 kind of beer (a watery pilsner) and it really sucks, and of course, imported beers are expensive.

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