DH has been offered a transfer to Brazil - we have a week to decide - anyone know anything about living there?

(15 Posts)
somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 10:21:59

I don't know all the details yet, we're going to talk about it tonight. But as far as I know we're talking between 2 and 5 years in Rio or Sao Paulo.

We have 2 DDs, 2.9 and 7 months. Neither of us speak any Portuguese but a language course might be thrown in.

I'm up for an adventure but 5 years would be a complete life-changer, complicate issues of DDs getting into local schools and also DH works v long hours so I would be on my a lot of the time with no support network.

Would really appreciate any info/thoughts you have on:
a) life in Brazil!
b) moving away from friends/loved-ones when you have a young family
c) anything else I should be considering

Thanks, all

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SkylineDrifter Wed 29-Sep-10 10:24:44

I don't know anything about living in Brazil, though my daughter is going there on a work project in a couple of weeks, but I know if it was me, I'd grab the opportunity with both hands. Just make sure you always have the air fare put aside to come home for a little while if you really need to see family.

CMOTdibbler Wed 29-Sep-10 10:29:38

I don't think I would go tbh. I have colleagues in Rio and Sao Paulo, and have been there quite a lot. Crime levels are high - one colleague was abducted at gunpoint, and anothers daughters school bus was hijacked

Moving anywhere with small children is tough, but with cultural and language differences, v hard

Gretl Wed 29-Sep-10 10:29:54

a) You will have to get used to a level of security that you won't have considered, living here.
There isn't the same amount of personal freedom in those cities.
Middle-class Brazilians have a wonderful lifestyle: it's normal to have a housekeeper who prepares your food, other staff too, it's normal to be extremely well-groomed.
You'd educate privately.
It's a very very sociable culture, amazingly sociable, far far more than here. The weather helps grin

somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 10:30:51

Thanks skyline I know what you mean, part of me is really excited by the idea - opportunity to get to know a new continent, learn a new language, broaden horizons etc but it's also bloody scary.

At the moment I'm mostly a SAHM though I do some freelance work and would probably build that up while there but DH comes home 10.30/11 most nights and would continue to do that in Brazil. I'd know no-one, wouldn't know the language initially, also DM is 71 and loves seeing her GDs regularly - she'd be gutted. But then again there's never a good time to do these things...

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somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 10:35:23

x-posted with CMOT & Gretl - thanks v much for your feedback.

CMOT - that is really scary re your colleagues. Have heard about the security concerns and that is a big worry - I live in central london and am very used to just walking out of the door with the buggy and doing whatever I like.

Gretl Have you lived there yourself?

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Gretl Wed 29-Sep-10 10:38:56

No, I know people who have, though, know quite a few Brazilians, and a friend is married to a Brazilian from near Sao Paolo.

She lives here but visits a lot. The massive, massive disparity between rich and poor concerns her, as does the fear of kidnap/crime in general. Kidnap is a fairly big thing. OTOH she is a complete extrovert and loves the get-togethers and the dancing. She always comes back looking amazing.

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somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 10:41:28

Thanks Gretl but crikey I've got to say kidnap being a fairly big thing terrifies me. So what, the middle classes drive everywhere? live in gated communities?

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Gretl Wed 29-Sep-10 10:45:14

I think so. iirc there's a lot of apartment living too, with good security on the doors.
My impression is that it's a great life, though - so obviously people do adjust!

Quodlibet Wed 29-Sep-10 11:05:14

Seconding some of Gretl's comments on both the good and bad sides of SP - the wealth disparity in Brazil is quite distressing and has lots of unfortunate consequences. You do have to adjust to a totally different level of security which I found a struggle in the 3 months I was there. But you also need to keep a sense of proportion with it which I think is difficult as high crime rates = high levels of paranoia.

SP is a really exciting city culturally though - it's like the NY of South America. I have Brazilian friends who I stayed with and I loved it there. You can get to loads of other great places/beaches from there in a couple of hours too.

There are so many pluses to Brazil - the people are lovely, the culture is extraordinary, there's a wonderful sense of humour, the weather, the language is fascinating and not too hard to learn. I'd seriously consider going if I was offered work there. In my experience you'd make friends very quickly, a difference between the British and the Brazilians in my experience is that Brazilians are warm and friendly from the get-go, they give you 100% credit and it's up to you to maintain it, rather than the British standoffishness.

I wrote a blog while I was there - I'll pm you the link if it's of any interest.

somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 11:06:52

Cheers - really appreciate the feedback. It's all come up so quickly I just have no idea where to begin/how to meet people/find accomodation/find out about nurseries etc...
Also, I'm just not sure the expat life is for me and I don't mean that at all in a judgey kind of way - I have friends who love it. But I'm just not an extrovert and the party scene doesn't appeal that much (though frankly I'm speaking from a position of almost complete ignorance since I've never actually experienced it myself and who knows maybe I'd grow to love it). Anyway, one step at a time I suppose. Thanks again

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somethinganything Wed 29-Sep-10 11:08:36

Xposted with Quodlibet - thanks v much for your post, really interesting insight. I'd love to read your blog, please could you send me the link?

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Quodlibet Wed 29-Sep-10 11:15:08

Have sent you a message!

Geocentric Thu 30-Sep-10 12:18:41

I live in Sao Paulo - moved here when I was 8yrs old. Will message you...

Geocentric Thu 30-Sep-10 12:26:51

And btw, crime is not that bad - you just get used to the rules/living in a bit of a bubble...

(If SPaulo, I have loads of tips re neighbourhoods, info on British sports clubs, schools etc - lots of English language preschools if you want, my friends run a lovely little preschool for 2-5 yr olds)

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