I have decided to finish writing about my wonderful trip by talking about the things I like the most about life in Brazil. I actually had a hard time narrowing it down to 5 things but here they are:
- The pace of life: This is probably the biggest difference between Brazil and Canada. The pace of life over there is way slower. People take their time to do things. You rarely see people rushing to get stuff done. The pace is way faster in Toronto. Even the way people walk is different. Here, people walk as if they were on a mission. In Brazil people walk around as if they were on vacation. This is something I had not noticed until one day when I was leaving a bar with a few friends and once I realized I was a block ahead of them. They asked me why I was rushing and I then noticed that I had incorporated the fast pace into my life. I am sure that my friends from Sao Paulo would disagree (the pace over there is very similar to Toronto or New York) but Belo Horizonte is still different in that respect.
- People are more "disconnected": When you send people emails it normally takes them a couple of days to reply, at least. You rarely run into answering machines and you often don't see people walking down the street looking at a 2-inch phone screen. Whenever I go to Brazil I feel rested as I am not constantly tweeting, reading emails, using my iPhone and so forth. Even though technology is also part of their lives it does not take over people's lives as it does over here.
- Informality: It is amazing how informal people are. You don't need to book dinner parties 2 weeks in advance (the reality is that no Brazilian would plan that far ahead) and you can simply call friends from a bar inviting them over and chances of them showing up are pretty good. People like to keep it very casual and the lack of planning can sometimes show you different possibilities (it can also annoy you big time).
- Food: Not the food itself (we can find it all here these days) but what food stands for. Food brings people together, the meals take forever and there is always plenty of food. It is not uncommon for us to be at the table for several hours talking, eating and drinking. This is also a habit we try to preserve even living abroad.
- Bars: Possibly my favourite thing about Brazil. Butecos are truly amazing places. I love the food and the casual atmosphere. These are great places to spend time with friends.
Taking the time to do a deep dive into my own culture was a lot of fun. It forced me to pay attention to things I have always taken for granted and it reconnected me to the culture in an amazing way.
I have also created Flickr set with some of the best picture I took while I was away.