This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Adriano Gomes. Adriano has been working as a camp counselor in Hawaii and had a wide ranging experience of foreigners working at the camp. Read on as Adriano tells us about his impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.
1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?
I’m from Campinas (SP) and I’m currently working in Hawaii as a camp counselor.
2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?
I guess that would be the language and also, the culture shock. Those were my obstacles when I first arrived here.
3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?
Well… here, most Americans don’t know too much about Brazil. They think we speak Spanish and we just party all time. That’s not true. We do love to party and have fun but also, we have to work a lot to have something.
I guess not knowing the country, culture, language and food are the commom mistakes foreigners make in brazil and also, expect everything to be easy as in their home country. Brazil is a really good country but it takes times to realize that.
4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?
Well… as I’m living in Hawaii, I know people from many countries. I work at a camp that has international staff. I know and knew people from Australia, England, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Holland, America etc.
I guess Americans are fun but sometimes they don’t accept jokes or don’t understand them. I like the French people, they are funny and love to party, just like Brazilians. The people from Asia are more reserved and don’t like jokes. They’re so serious. But none of them has the Jeitinho Brasileiro (Brazilian way)… hehe.
5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?
I like the Britsh and Australian accent… they rock!!
6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?
Well… the only place I have been abroad is Hawaii and I love it cause Hawaii has paradisiac beaches and a nice and warm people.
7. Favourite foreign food?
Humm… I love KFC fast food but my favorite food so far is Brazilian.
8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?
Movie: The Lord of the Rings
Book: The Alchemist
Band: Green day
9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?
Well… I guess Brazilians like to party more and be together all the time. Here, the girls don’t like to stay together and you don’t have too much kissing in a relationship.
10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or culture shock that you have experienced with a foreigner?
Today a lady told me that she though that we had no cities in Brazil. She though we just had farms and forests. Too much ignorance.
The foreignes just know Brazil as the land of Samba, Soccer and hot women. That’s all. One day a guy told me that he went to Brazil and he thinks Brazilians are the happiest people in the world.
I’m a happy Guy!!!!
11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?
I would suggest for English native speakers to teach English at schools, so, you’ll have more time to get to know the country, who is huge and even I don’t know Brazil as well as I should. Also, get away from big cities like Rio, SP and visit the countryside, you’ll see what makes Brazil what it is.
To read previous interviews in the Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series click below:
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to email@example.com