If you couldn’t already tell from our five weeks of travel through Brazil, we love this place. But it is not just the pristine beaches, the exotic jungles, incredibly friendly people, and the potent caiparinhas that made us head-over-heels for the Brasileros. True love is in the quirks. Brasil’s got its own set of rules (or lack thereof) and a uniquely awesome definition of normal.

Not be confused with any other South American or Portuguese-speaking country, you know you are in Brazil when…

– Anything can be turned into a point of purchase: the hood of your car (above), shopping cart, duct-taped cooler, bicycle basket, etc.

– You order a piña colda and the pineapple and the coconut are both cut open fresh with a machete hanging from his belt.

Coconuts in Priai de Pipa

– You know how fancy a town is by the price of their fresh coconuts.

– You order a hamburger because the one piece of lettuce is the closest thing you have seen to a salad in weeks.

– A man will chase you down for eight city blocks to apologize for giving you the wrong directions. (This happened to us in Rio.)

– The standard in bartending is to use a piece of wood and a screw as a bottle opener  (Don’t worry kids, we’re bringing this one back to the states).

Excotic fruits in Brazil

– You can’t recognize 50% of the fruits in the produce section because they have never been seen outside of the Amazon.

– You order tapioca and the cook pours white powder on a hot skillet then serves you a chewy pancake-shaped meal with butter and cheese (or coconut, or chicken, or beef, and anything but the pudding snack you thought you were going to get).

– Every single bus has its own DJ (or competing DJs), which we came to realize was just people playing music through their cell phones. It was basically the 1980s boombox resurgence in a Motorola form.

Brazil graffiti

– The graffiti is so good you want to submit it to MOMA.

– The buses whip around corners at speeds that will make you swing from ceiling straps like monkey bars.

– Grilled cheese is served everywhere, but with no bread, no butter, just a square stick of cheese grilled over a bucket of coals guys carry around.

– A fruit crate and plastic bag transformed into a mobile bar (actually it was more like a shot station). Guys roll past, do two shots for a buck and hop on the bus.

– Beer vendors are selling drinks directly outside of most clubs/bars and the bar or the police don’t even blink.

– Caipirinhas are literally cheaper than water.

Brazilian beach towels

– The recommended distance between beach towels is 3-5 inches.

– The recommended (more like required) width of your thong is 1 inch or less (Anne felt like a nun in her two-piece bikini).

– When you do an 8km ascent up a mountain and realize all the locals are wearing Havaianas.

Brazil Soccer on Sand in Mangue Seco

– A game of futbol can be played with anything from a coconut to a crushed plastic bottle and the field can be cement, dirt, or a sand dune. And the players are always amazing!

– You ride the local bus and people bring their own seats, carry home a full wooden bedroom set, a sack of chicken feed, a Costco-style grocery run and eat half of it en route.

– Everyday is one big party!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you visited Brazil? Did we miss anything? Add it in the comments!!!!!


  1. JimSteere says:

    Brazil seems like an awesome place to visit … all I’ve ever read about is Rio … such a vast country … your reports have really given me a glimpse of what that country is all about.  Thanks!

    1. Rio was great, very outdoorsy city, lots of amazing landscape and hills throughout. and the people were so kind. knowing spanish is helpful i think, but not mandatory. the beaches were great to boot. glad to have you along for the whole brazil ride Jim!

    1. oh man, RIO was nuts, people everywhere, one huge party. this was a particularly small beach, but still the city was a-buzz with Carnival madness!

  2. Denise B. says:

    As a Brasilian I must say you are COMPLETELY RIGHT!!!!! hahaha
    Most of it you see everyday in our routine.

    Just checking the website as it appears on hypeness.com and loving it.

    Congrats for you both! 🙂

    Beijos e abraços from Brasil!

  3. marcia albuquerque says:

    rsrsrss – I liked the description of the bottle opener rsrssr – graphite is also incredible, as well as fruit and coconut machete… :))

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