Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Things Brazil has taught me
- Lunch hours at work last an hour and people leave the office to lunch with their friends.
- Cars, all cars, cars made by Ford and GM included, run on gas, alcohol or natural gas. SUVs can run on alcohol.
- When the DVD player or coffee maker breaks, chances are they can be repaired. No need to grow the land fills and buy anew.
- Simple but true: 2 liter soda bottles can be made with about half the plastic and still function just fine.
- Workers can take a month vacation (paid) and the company does not grind to a halt.
- Knowing your neighbors improves your sense of belonging in your neighborhood, and improves your security in unforeseen times.
- Chances are you can live on less. Less stress, less cash, less runaround, less stuff, less worry…
- When a village raises a child that child is well adjusted, responsible and safe.
- Gas prices that actually reflect the true cost of the fuel really do cause people to consider carefully before getting in the car, i.e. lower consumption.
- Government subsidized pharmaceuticals for chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, AIDS) lower health care costs in the long run.
Moving to Brazil has been a learning experience, for sure. But it has not been all about what we left behind (good peanut butter, hot water on tap, actual customer service, etc.). Much of the difference has been enlightening.
Fellow expats – what have you learned?