After living in Brazil for almost 2,5 years it was time to come back to Germany for a bit. It has been a rollercoaster ride of various feelings – both good and bad – but I wouldn’t want to miss any of these. The cultural differences couldn’t have been bigger and I soon came to realize that traveling in a country cannot be compared to living in one. 

The culture you grow up with is the culture that has shaped you in a way. And though I’ve been traveling my whole life, I suddenly realized how “German” I was, hahaha. But more on that later. 

WORK

Chronicles in Wonderland

The reason I moved to Brazil was work related. I had just received my Master’s degree in teaching. My organization skills had not been the best and my boss in Germany was the devil straight from hell – not a good combination. I therefore wasn’t too keen to work in Germany, haha.

I wanted to travel and with a degree like that I could make use of it somewhere else, I had thought. After purposely missing out on any deadline in Germany I pushed my luck and sent 3 emails to 3 German schools around the world, I had carefully selected by gut instincts before 😉 

The Philippines and Nicaragua never replied but Brazil happily offered me a teaching position in São Paulo. I had 3 weeks to change my life and it was decided in 3 days.

Work had been great and I had a lot of freedom. I actually started to like the idea of being a teacher and I am pretty sure now I am damn good at it, haha!

Many thanks to all of my colleagues and amazing bosses here, who have made my life a lot happier with their presence!

TRANSPORT

Transport in Brazil is easy! And cheap! There’s an App called Uber, where you store your credit card and basically order cars that drive you to your destination. It’s forbidden in Germany, but came in pretty handy in Brazil. My work was 45 minutes away from my home and I paid around 7-8€ to school one way. This way I could sleep in the car in the morning and practice Portuguese with some drivers in the afternoon.

After 1,5 years I switched to Taxi99 in the afternoon, because taxis can use the bus lane and with a lot of traffic this saved me a lot of time in the car, but it was also more costly.

Back in Germany now I do not want to afford taxis anymore- they are just waaaaay to expensive.

Chronicles in Wonderland

LANGUAGE

Aaah the Portuguese! It has been a tongue breaker I can tell you! At my work I was speaking English in class and German with my colleagues, so 80% of my life I didn’t really have an issue not being able to speak Portuguese. But the problem was that no one in Brazil speaks English- or at least just a few! It’s very hard to get around without any word in Portuguese and I’ve been laaaaazy. So it took a while, but in the end I could talk fluently (in a more or less bad grammar), but I could talk about life and people understood what I was uttering, haha. And I think it’s interesting to note, that after some time you automatically learn stuff without having to study every day. Not the fastest way, but it kind of works.

Chronicles in Wonderland

TRAFFIC

Traffic in Brazil is INSANE. There are no traffic lights for pedestrians and your way is led by the absence of honking.

If you disturb the order in Germany and walk over a dead street when a red light is flashing, your way is led by angry people who complain or shout “CHILDREN! THERE ARE CHILDREN!” Damn chill out – bastard- your kid is not stupid- just tell them I am and we’re all happy.

STRESS RESISTANCE

This leads me to my next point: stress resistance. 

Not existent in Germany. Expert level in Brazil. “Somehow it works out- not as you had planned it to work out- but it will.” Brazilians trend to say and in Brazil they are right, while Germans explode into thousand pieces.

Stress Resistance

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Maybe because Brazilians are so happily relaxed most of the time, they don’t really know how to deal with angry customers. I once wrote a whole article about it here.

Also a lot of jobs do not properly train their employees, so a lot of them (unfortunately) have no clue what they are doing. Same with the educational system. If you cannot afford a private school in Brazil, you’re pretty much f***** unless you are really really good. The country doesn’t invest as much as it should in education and this is a big problem.

But if I was to be a corrupt asshole, I would want my people to follow soap operas and football and not to revolt in an intelligent way. Dumb them down through television and go fishing. Critical thinking – better legally forbit it- why not start with the teachers?

SOCIALITY

As much as I hate current politics in Brazil, it’s the people I fell in love with!

If you come to Brazil – you are open-heartedly welcome! Brazilians are the most social folks I have met. You can meet friends’ families within weeks and generally find friends easily.

The downside is- not all of them will stick around for long. As fast as it starts, it sometimes ends even faster.

In Germany it takes longer to get close to someone, but once you’re there- you’ve got a friend for life and after some years you might even meet the family 😉

PUNCTUALITY

Nope. Not a Brazilian virtue.

You start the party at 8, the first Brazilian will come after 11, hahaha. This wouldn’t happen in Germany. Though not everyone is overly punctual, a rare exception is actually late.

Its me. I’ll be honest, I was even late in Brazil and this country hasn’t improved my punctuality, but it has made me understand the anger some Germans had with me back home. Sorry guys.

But if we arrive – we arrive happily and with lots of Caipirinha in Brazil.

CAIPIRINHA

Uuuuh I miss these already. When the German hand you a badly made one with limes, there is so much more to choose from in Brazil,

Pineapple, Strawberry, Passion Fruit, Kiwi.

Cacaça (Pretty sure I’ve spelled that wrong) or Vodka?

 

so many options, so cheap and SO GOOD.

AVOCADOS

WHAT THE FUCK. GERMANY.

BEER

WHAT THE FUCK. BRAZIL.

WEATHER

Through my travels I found out that Germans like to complain about the weather. On Facebook the posts were either about “its way too hot” or “it’s way too cold”. Hahaha and so am I in Brazil. One moment I am sweating to death and the other moment back in Germany I am freezing to death.

I just guess you can’t make us chill out, haha.

HOMESICKNESS vs. WANDERLUST

Torn between “I’m homesick” cuddling with my giant plush toy cat (yes I do have one) and “damn I’m freezing”, I am sitting here in cold Germany (and yes it is actually too cold) and I don’t know where to go.

I’ve seen so much of the world and it’s alright. The “pull” to move has lessened.

I guess I am ready to settle for a while- if I only knew where.

Homesickness wanderlust

CHRONICLES IN WONDERLAND

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