Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Qualidade de Vida

I’m sorry – can I say these words?  I am so glad I am not living in the United States of America.
Seriously - let’s look at the facts.
I earn a living by working about 15 hours a week.
I drink fresh fruit juice almost every day (name your fruit – I drink it – for cheap).
The Brazilian government is not chomping at the bit to invade another country.
Family is everything here. More than vacation or ice cream.
Health care for all citizens is mandated in the constitution.
Gay couples have the right to partner and get the subsequent benefits.
The beaches are perfect, and the people at the beaches blow you away.
OK – so taxes are high, but don’t sweat the small things.
Our housing bubble has not burst yet.
You can eat chicken hearts at almost every restaurant.
Men in Speedos look better than men in surfer shorts.
There are two huge specialty chocolate company chains competing for your loyalty.
Mango ice cream.
I have not worn laced up shoes (except sneakers) in three years.
Which Sunday is today?
Qualidade de vida, baby!


The Reader said...

Mostly agree with your list, but will just point out that one could never support a family here on 15 hours of work a week.

Still many advantages to life here, but raising a family is much more costly (not to mention difficult if you have higher than the 1.9 kids per family).

Still a good life, not denying that. Just sayin'...

Jim said...

We are fortunate that we own our apartment, so there is no rent -- and we do not have a car (and so no car insurance). Our expenses are low. Plus Luiz works as well.

If we opted out of the private health insurance system -- we would be living large!

Stay focused on the positive. ;-)

Danielle said...

yay optimism! Maybe not everyone would have the same list as you do, Jim, but I'm sure if everyone sat down and thought about it, they could make their own. :)

Perhaps I will make one for myself. We'll start a trend.

Corinne said...

Many, many good things about living here. I would add a kid-friendly atmosphere, great weather and great employee benefits (I have the coveted public sector job). Without a paid for house and second income like you have Jim, no way could anyone get by on only 15 hours of work a week. However, even working full time, you can't beat the vacation time (at least as compared to the US).

Rachel said...

I have to say the 15 hr workweek is an exception to the rule... but a good one ;)

Agree otherwise :D

Jim said...

OK,OK - 15 hours is an over statement. Luiz does work - and we do slowly burn though our nest egg. But I only work 15 hours a week. =8^)

Qualidade de Vida.

Give me Brazil any day!

GingerV said...

I like your list. it is a great list of what makes life good. We have an exceptional lifestyle - two homes paid for, 3 older cars one with a high - luxury - tax registration level - paid for. no kids that need shoes / food / education (but 8 grand-kids and o1 G-Grand child that have birthdays and Christmas) - I work about 15 hours a month for pocket money. Camillo still works (at 85) for fun and as supplement to retirement to maintain our lifestyle. Each year it gets harder - we've yet to cut back but that need is looming on the horizon - Budget to cash-flow just barely in the green this year.

The Reader said...

Oh, definitely focus on the positive. There is certainly much good here and Corrine is right -- kid friendly beyond belief.

If not for saudades for family, I could easily stay in Brazil forever.

Anita said...

I work now 10 hours a day, everyday, 500euros less than my last job, the summer didn't exist in NL this year and next summer I can only use 10 of my 25 vacation days. Oh, and I have lots of headache everyday for being obliged to pull my hair up into a tigh bun during work hours. A job that I searched for 15 months and is below my capacity. And there's just one break: 20min. for lunch. Awk !

Jim said...

So sorry to hear Anita! - That sucks!

Kristi said...

I would love to know what people do who work only 10-15 hours a week! Hook me up! :)

Jim said...

Kristi - we worked 50+ hours a weeks for 30 years - and saved our money. Now we take walks, enjoy movies, cook, take naps, enjoy each other, blog, visit with friends...

Earned interest.

Jennifer Souza said...

I love your list, Jim! It sounds like you've worked a lot throughout your life and your 15 hours a week are hard-earned. :-)

Kristi said...

Thanks for clarifying Jim! :) I just thought there was perhaps a secret way to only work 15 hours a week without having to save a lot! :) I'm hoping to work remotely while I'm in Brazil either through my current workplace or in other ways so I'm looking for ideas.