Daily Archives: October 28, 2011

Quick notes / thoughts on Countries – Brazil

Standard

Notes from Brazil:

  • TAM Airlines is amazing. Go for it. I mean seriously… free blankets and pillows and headphones and candy, and even actual meals!
  • Every country has guido frat boys. I got stuck on an airplane with them. Fist-pumping and yelling upon takeoff, landing, turbulence, and… well, every 5min it seemed. I now understand why guns can’t be brought on airplanes: I would have GLADLY decompressed the cabin to get those guys to stop yelling and let me sleep.
  • Pro-tip Brazil: when you have a language selector on your site? Set it to more than just Portuguese please. I can’t give you money in exchange for WiFi access if I can’t read the damn website / registration screen.
  • Fuck Brazil. Fuck Sao Paulo Airport, and most importantly? FUCK LAN AIRLINES! TAM = ok, LAN = the devil. See “My life in an Airport” for details on this one. 
  • Do not fly through Sao Paulo airport – if the bullet above this didn’t show this enough… its bad.  While the airport itself isn’t completely horrific, the people there are not helpful (with the exception of a few Federal Police officers) and actively malicious (I met three guys on layover, trying to get their connecting flight, who were being deported by the airline.  Deported for pretty much no reason besides it seemed funny at the time).
  • Reason #2 for not flying through Sao Paulo?  They put a skyscraper near the end of the runway.  From what I hear its not THAT strange for airplanes to clip or barely miss the building.

Quick notes / thoughts on countries – Venezuela

Standard

Notes from Venezuela:

 

  • Venezuelans are born lucky. They must be to survive driving the way they do.
  • Gol Varig is an awesome airline: they gave me a Sandwich! For free! Without me asking!
  • Not many people seem to actually like Chavez
  • The whole socialism thing is really strange when you think about it from a capitalist standpoint… just so many things are different. Upside? Free parties, sandwiches and beers. Downside? Enforced minimum lease terms of three years, and massive sanctions for “the rich”, as defined as… whatever they feel like?
  • Strange side of Socialism: since the government owns everything, they can do whatever they want with it. Example: Some of the hotels in La Guira were closed and turned into refugee apartments after a natural disaster in the interior. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that, since my capitalist side is saying that it cost them a ton in tourism (directly and indirectly), but my “help the world” side is saying that our country should be able to help our citizens that way.
  • Salsa dancing is FUN! Especially when you’re being taught by a Venezuelan girl 😀
  • People are nice: everyone I met was pretty friendly, from the taxi drivers to the random guy on the street who stopped me not to steal my stuff, but to ask for directions. One older couple even helped me and Ana write down some important Spanish phrases.
  • Hipsters have invaded every country. Heaven help us.
  • Fanny packs have invaded Venezuela, and have attached themselves to everyone. Seriously. Pretty much every random person I passed on the street had a fanny pack, worn in the front.
  • The beaches are totally rad, we need more of this.
  • Tts strange what super-cheap gas does. Seriously, Gas in Venezuela is ~$0.25 a gallon, and thus public transportation is just $0.125 per trip on the Metro, and $1 for a 1 hour bus ride outside of the city.