Monday, March 5, 2012

The closer I get to moving the more American I become

I am going go ahead and be brutally honest. There is a huge part of me that does not want to move to Brazil. My stories are not all sunshine, and bubble gum. My husband knows this. I am honest. I tell him how I really feel. I try to be brave and say I want to get out of my comfort zone explore the world meet new people etc, etc. BUT ........ then their is a part (big part) of me that wants nothing to do with it. Call me spoiled maybe I am. But I don't want to pay R2000 for a good Iphone, or be taxed to the hilt to have things shipped from America that will make my transition easier. I want choices and let me stress CHOICES. The US is on sterioids consumer wise it may be overwhelming at times but that is the way I like it I'm an American! You can find anything and everything. Anything I have ever thought of. I love how everything is convenient and on the Internet.  How I can find it just by typing some key words. I like the way things are run here how people are afraid of the cops, how people follow traffic laws, how in my state pedestrians have the right of way, how people actually stop their cars to let you cross the street, how you can open a bank account in one day, how you can get a credit card easy. I like how everyone is afraid of getting sued in the US so it keeps them in LINE, I like how people in the US are direct and answer questions matter of factly and usually honest (in my experiences), I like the efficiency here, the nicely paved roads, libraries, museums, and all the technology. I like cheap goods, I like cheap electronics, I like the cheaper gas we somehow provide, I like SUV's, I like buying on the internet and having it delivered with no tax or 6.25%, I like blockbuster 3d movies in stereoscopic sound that sounds like a jet engine taking off at 3 floor movie plexes, I like candy that stains your mouth different colours like purple licorice, gummy bears, and any kind of gummy really, I like the great public schools we have that actually receive the funding they are suppose to get, I like how you are required by law to have car insurance so I can get paid if you hit me, I like that the majority of cops are not corrupt over here because they may actually lose their jobs, that if I call them they will actually come to my house and do an investigation. I like qualities like honour, dignity and pride. I like phrases such as "Doing the right thing". I don't see why I have to sacrifice when it seems I was lucky enough to be born in the states.

Don't get me wrong my set of circumstances is unique most of my American friends did not marry foreigners they married Americans. If we stayed here which we have discussed the "the pros and cons" (and their are some major cons, some I won't get into right now). I have a new baby and would probably have to go back to work. So first find a job, then put my baby in day care (don't want to). UGGGG sometimes I feel like my life would be so much easier if I wasn't married to a foreigner and the blatant differences that surface after you have been together a while. Yes this thought has crossed my mind. I do have some old generalizations about Brazil and South America that just can't seem to die. Your saying why didn't I think of this before I married him? see I fell madly in love, I jumped feet first. I met someone who treats me better than any Amercian I have ever met. He is nothing like the stereotypical South American man he is enlightened, respectful, good hearted, so good at treating me like an equal. And there was that other thing, the thing that really made me fall, besides his heart that is sitting in my hand. He was ALWAYS there for me like no one else not even my parents, he is truly my best friend.

So you see my dilemma. I am like everyone else I want my cake and eat it to and anyone who says they don't is a liar. Even though he will have a his own business down there, and we have our own house -a cute house to. All newly renovated, and I won't have to work. There are the other things about Brazil that I have to contend with. That well I just don't like. For example the health care system down there, I am totally obsessive about health care who is giving it and how good it is, and most importantly how STERILE it is. I do my own research and I question my doctors and I expect an answer after all I am helping pay their bills they are there to provide me with a service. I also believe they are there to provide me with the latest, greatest, cutting edge, medical care (I think you get my meaning). My mother always said its easier to move from Brazil to the US, but the US to Brazil????? That is another thing entirely. And I used to get offended when she said that but now I see their is truth to what she says. Love is love yes, and your not suppose to mix practicalities with love, but as love goes on, you can't help it. The initial high of laying in bed and fucking all day wears off and then you start to think about what is good for you and your family.  Things that were not as important before no are BRAZENLY important. And if its based on love its suppose to conquer all right?

Then their is also the fact he misses his family its been 12 years since he has seen them, and he says I'm costing him money by draggin out our stay in the US money that he would have made in Brazil if he were there. Another thing I feel guilty for. I don't want to cause regret the "what if" it had worked out down there. I mean its not as if we going to be slumming it his brothers are already buying land and building condos and selling them. Sounds good right? Ya if it was any other country but Brazil for example Australia, France, Sweden or Germany. Countries that are in the 1st world category already. I know, I know they say Brazil is emerging but I don't want to hang out while it emerges. And its going to take a long time at least 20 years before you actually see it in the streets. Rome wasn't built in a day and their is only so much fresh coconut juice can do to keep me intrigued, I need more. Sorry I know what it sounds like but I am being honest. I always tell my husband you have to be rich to live good in Brazil (so you better end up rich :)), its a rich person's country, if you are lower class forget it I mean we are talking about the land of Toyota's that cost R100 to R150,000?????????? I know they are trying to protect their economy by making imports hard to sell but COME ON! Coming from the US putting up with the rules in Brazil frankly is like taking a bullet.

I know life is not about material possessions, its about quality. But you can have quality if the basic necessities are out of reach or jacked up.  One I hope positive thing is that we live near Paraguay which has famous shopping centers.  Where you can get everything cheap and then hope you are not randomly chosen when you drive over the border. That is how R tried to placate me when I was B about the cost of life in Brazil. I mean I want what is best for my daughter, its about her. You want good schools, good playgrounds, good hospitals, her to be able to cross the street without getting run over, and good- no GREAT opportunities.

So this is going to be an on going subject that I talk about for me at least till I move (probably longer).  It may start to irritate you if you read this so sorry but its theraputic. Because its enevitable. I don't want to make him stay even though he would for me, he might end up resenting it, then again so might I. But in the end I could end up with better life in Brazil quality wise and financial wise.


  1. I really liked what I read here, you seem to be a sincere woman, kind and determined. Good luck to you here in Brazil, I hope everything works out. At first the foreigners tend to be shocked by some things in our culture, but then they end up falling love the country for simplicity, humility and happiness of the people here. Again, good luck to you and your family.


  2. I can understand every word that you said. For an American like you, that never had any contact with the Brazilian culture, our country looks like Bolivia or something. When you come here, you will notice that actually it is an awesome country. You will realize too that there's not many differences between our culture and the American one. Today, we are all "americanized". Here you can find a "lan house" (something like an Internet café) in every neighborhood, for example. You can watch great TV shows, national movies, visit good museums and listen to good music (MPB, maracatu and the well known samba). And we also have great libraries. I want to know your experiences here (maybe you can make a post about it), and what changed in your view about Brazil. Cheers!

  3. I have been living in Brazil for 10 months. (Moved here from the US) I completely understand everything you are feeling. I won't lie. I had days here where I just hated it and I cried...a lot! But, eventually I was able to stop comparing what I used to have and appreciated what I have here. (After some time of course) I'm guessing you will be living close to your husband's family and friends? If so, (from my experience) it will be a wonderful. Brazilian families are awesome! So much love. Unfortunately, my husbands family doesn't live close to us, but just knowing that I had a connection to the country helped so much. Especially, my first Christmas here.

    The "things" you will be able to figure out no problem! Depending on where you live you may find lots of things "americanized" like the other blogger said. I've found peanut butter and gold fish here! hahaha

    Best of luck to you! Cheers!

  4. This is exactly how I felt when I moved from California to an economically decayed part of Massachusetts (lol.) I would like to point out that many of the things you like about America are things that fewer people have access to than ever before. And do you really think the fear of being sued makes our lives better here in the US? I personally don't. And buying cheap goods? Well, that's one of the reasons why our economy is in such a slump because everything here is now made in China! And phrases like "doing the right thing"? That doesn't exist anymore because our society has become so closed and self absorbed that nobody wants to do the right thing anymore; they want to do what's right for themselves (after all we are a society all about individualism.) And "honor, dignity, and pride"? Have you watched Fox News lately? ;-) And when it comes to "the great public schools we have that actually receive the funding they are suppose to get", well I'm happy for those who are able to live in those nice multi-million dollar neighborhoods, but for the rest of us, I can vouch and say that the public school system sucks! It's one of the main reasons why I homeschool my daughter (until we are able to find more affordable private schools.) Another thing, I'm sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with you when you said "cops are not corrupt over here." If you are a visible minority, that's a different story altogether - just like it is in Brasil or the rest of the world. Lastly, health care? Really? My husband and I are both college educated people and I come from a family of doctors and, yes, you are right to an extent - the quality of doctors, nurses, etc. in this country is pretty good overall, however dealing with the health care system is a nightmare I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy (nobody will ever give a healthy, young person like myself any health insurance because *gasp* I've had c-sections and hand dermatitis - two "pre-existing" conditions. Ridiculous.) Anyways... I'm sorry I hope I'm not being too critical. I enjoy reading your blog in addition to all the other ex-pat blogs, and look forward to reading about your adventures in Brasil. I'm sure it will be a difficult transition, but I'm sure you will settle in nicely once you get used to it! :-)

    1. HI I understand what you are saying but the standard of living the US is way better than Brazil. Brazil is developing. Their is a lack of money, lack of funding, lack of development and lack of research. They are still considered 3rd world. My life in America has been easy compared to what happens in Brazil. My husbands life was nothing like my awesome childhood. Although their are things they could do better in the US its still better than Brazil. According the human development index as of 2011 the US ranks 4 Brazil ranks 84. I would take the US over Brazil any day of the week.

      Thanks for reading!