Brazil is expensive. It was quite a shock to come from a country where the dollar is worth three pesos to a country where it’s only worth two. It takes some getting used to. Your money doesn’t go as far in Brazil as it does in Buenos Aires. Laundry is one small thing that changes between Brazil and Argentina. Washing your clothes is really expensive in Brazil, and it’s hard to find a place to wash them. Food is more expensive too. If you’re looking to save money, I suggest making supermarket runs. I spent much less than most people in Florianopolis because I made use of the stove in each room and bought my meals at the grocery store.
It is slightly warmer in Brazil than in BA. It’s still rather chilly on cloudy or rainy days, but most days I could get away with pants and a short-sleeve. Occasionally, there will be an exceptionally nice day that you can use to lay out by a pool or go to the beach if you’re in Floripa.
To be completely honest, I didn’t like Brazil nearly as much as Argentina. Maybe I’m biased since my family is Argentine, but I felt much more at home and comfortable in Buenos Aires than I did anywhere in Brazil. In every area that Argentina excels, Brazil falters. Take for example wine. Argentine wine is some of the finest in the world. Brazilian wine tastes like cough syrup. Or take meat for example. Everyone knows how amazing meat is in Argentina, but the meat I had everywhere in Brazil was sub-par even to meat in the States. Even Brazil’s mate (green tea) doesn’t compare to Argentina’s. Though the people in Brazil did seem happier for the most part, they also seemed to be hiding something. I got the feeling that their smiles on the outside masked their true feelings. Argentines strike me as much more authentic, honest, and real. The entire Brazilian culture is centered around a word that can in some cases be substituted for corruption: jetinho. Brazilians love the word. You can get whatever you want, even if it’s on the wrong side of the “law” (if there is such a thing in Brazil), just by whispering the word in a Brazilian’s ear. Though I do not claim that Argentina is without corruption because I realize there is quite a bit here also, at least one does not see it on a daily basis. The sight of corruption can be avoided in Argentina if one so chooses, but in Brazil, there’s no getting away from it. You can accuse me of judging Brazil too harshly, but I don’t care. I’m glad I was able to experience the country however, because I am now able to appreciate Argentina that much more. Brazil doesn’t begin to compare to the land of the gaucho, mate, and tango. God bless Argentina.