Stacked and Jacked: Portrait of a Brazilian

January 4, 2010 - 2:20 pm 3 Comments

Brazilians are a unique bunch, with a unique look, sense of style, attitude, and language that sets them apart from the rest of South American.

Brazilians come in all shapes and sizes and colors: tall and short, skinny and fat, light and dark. Some look Mexican, some look Indian, some look African, some look German. But everyone seems to accept everyone else with very little racism or segregation.

From the moment we landed, Gog and I noticed that all Brazilian women had big breasts, without the usual consequence of soft bodies. It really is quite amazing. Whether we were walking on the street or laying on the beach or eating in a churrascaria or sitting in an airport, we would always be surrounded by big boobs. Tati had mentioned that plastic surgery is quite prevalent in Brazil, so that might account for some of it.

And they flirt. I can’t count the number of times a girl made and SUSTAINED eye contact with me in a restaurant or walking down the street. And it doesn’t matter if the girl has a boyfriend, she’ll still sustain the eye contact and give you a little smile for as long as they can. Back at home, sustained eye contact with random girls rarely occurs because guys consider it an invitation for further interaction, something that girls simply don’t need. Here, there are flirts everywhere.

Why is it that way? How have Brazilian women not suffered the same fate as American women, ruined by self-consciousness and low self-esteem and eating disorders? Is it because they are have not been objectified as sexual objects since birth in Brazil? Is it because the guys are not aggressive enough? Are Brazilian girls open and friendly and making an effort to invite that kind of interaction because they have to in order to meet guys?

Not everyone is a stunner, but in general, I’d have to say that Brazil has the most beautiful and exciting women of any country I’ve been to.

Guys physiques are similarly impressive. Walking Ipanema Beach, Gog and I felt like we needed to spend the next six months in the gym. These guys are jacked, especially on Ipanema’s gay beach #8. Either they somehow avoid eating meat and have cut all fat from their diet, or they are fitness fanatics, or they are all on steroids, or there is something genetic going on here. It’s ridiculous.

And even the young ones… Girls and guys alike seem to bloom at a young age. Young girls with inappropriately large boobs and young boys with chiseled bodies are everywhere.

As far as fashion goes, the men wear colors and cuts that are out of style or gay at home. Teal and pink sleeveless t-shirts and capris are everywhere. Girls can get away with anything, just like they do at home.

Portuguese has a lot in common with Spanish but is in fact a different language with different grammar, spelling, and accents. When spoken by the locals, it seems to have the same airy, romantic swings that Italian has. People from the south roll their R’s and use lots of S’s, so it sounds even more Italian, while the people in Rio use more guttural sounds that almost make it sound like Hebrew. Like in Israel, a lot of young girls seem to have raspy voices.

Everyone we’ve encountered seems tolerant of our English, even almost happy to engage in conversation with us. We picked up a few Portuguese words and expressions that made interactions with the locals easy and fun:

tah-BON : General expression that means “How are you?” or “Things are good.”

OY-to-the-BON (that’s just how it sounds) : “Hi, how are you?”

oh-bree-GAH-doh : “Thank you.”

bree-GAH-doh : “Thank you.” (How it really sounds when a local says it.)

mwee-toh bree-GAH-doh : “Thank you very much.”

jis-COOP-uh : sorry

hee-ya-TAR-day : retarded

mwee-toh goos-TAW-zah : very delicious

Gog and I enjoyed the language, becoming especially fond of the handy -eria or -aria suffix. Like in Spanish, a X-aria or X-eria denotes a place where there is a lot of X or where X happens. A churrascaria is where there is lots of BBQ meat, a borracharia is where drunkenness happens. There are sandwicherias, perfumerias, hostelerias, cervecerias, mueblerias, confiterias. Menus occasionally have some humorous translations and spellings, but not nearly as much as we saw in southeast Asia. I still don’t quite understand why the locals call their local currency “reais” while English speakers call it “reals.”

Brazilians love the “thumbs up” gesture. Used by young and old, male and female, the gesture is used as if to ask “Are you OK?” or to answer “I am OK!” or for acknowledgment or as a sign of general approval.

I like Brazilians.

    3 Responses to “Stacked and Jacked: Portrait of a Brazilian”

  1. Aylla Says:

    Hi Jeff! I was searching for Israel travel tips and advices when I came across your blog. Really nice! I particularly like the pictures.
    Well, I’m too shy to post anything anywhere but I couldnt help this comment: your “portrait of a Brazilian” and Brazil was quite accurate. I’m glad that you came to my country and actually got a glance of it. 😉 As for the Israel travel tips, thanks. Blog mission (“hope to motivate others to get out there”) accomplished! If there is any tips not published here that I should be aware, let me know. =)

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the compliments. 🙂

    So you are verifying my observations as a Brazilian? How cool!

  3. Aylla Says:

    Yes; just validating your observations as a Brazilian girl (the type that is somehow self conscious of what is good and bad about it).

    “Reais” is the plural for “Real”, the currency. “Reals” doesnt exist.

    ps: I’m hopeless about making friends in Israel. 🙁

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