Friendliest people on Earth
June 29, 2019
Have you ever felt extremely welcomed in a country to the point you didn’t even feel like being a foreigner to that country? That’s what I felt in Brazil.
As a Filipino, we always get the tag as “very hospitable people” and I won’t deny that. I have put Philippines in the #1 friendliest people in the world ever since, until I discovered Brazil in my recent travel!
Here are my first hand experiences with Brazilians why I claimed they are the friendliest human on Earth:
Traveling to Brazil coming from Asia, is like going around the world map, from one end to another and can take up to 29 hours flight or maybe more. Flying from Manila, I took Emirates Airline, an 8 hour flight from Manila to Dubai, a layover of 3 hours and 45 minutes, and last leg of Dubai to Sao Paulo for 14 hours = 28 hours and 30 minutes total flight.
• So after the flight you just really wanna finish everything quickly and be out in the airport for a rest. But once I arrived in the airport, I was welcomed warmly by the immigration officer which surprised me. Normally, IO will only ask for your purpose of traveling or sometimes not even a word. But my experience in Brazil was different,
this is how our conversation went (non verbatim)
IO: Hello, is this your first time here?
Me: Hi, yes it is.
IO: Are you excited?
Me: Oh yes, but right now, super tired I had almost 29 hrs flight.
IO: Oh that’s a lot. For sure you will love Brazil. How long are you staying?
Me: 1 month.
IO: only in Sao Paulo??
Me: Oh no, I’m going around.
IO: Ah that’s good! You have to try the foods.
Me: Ah yes! I’ve heard about the pao de queijo and the black beans
IO: Yes the black beans is my favorite! Do you know acai?
IO: You need to try that. Here. Enjoy!!
he even wrote it down in a small piece of paper so I wouldn’t forget, after that conversation I think I already loved Brazil.
• While waiting for Uber outside the airport of Sao Paulo, I was having a hard time connecting to the wifi and also finding my Uber driver. I approached Helena, the lady standing next to me and asked if she can speak english. I was very lucky because she was even fluent, and asked if I can connect to her wifi just for me to contact my driver. She didn’t only let me connect, she also talked to the driver as he can’t speak english. We ended up sharing in one Uber, and gave me tips to remember in Brazil. I was even told that it is legal in Brazil to cross the pedestrian even during red light! The reason is because government knows how unsafe the surroundings are, so in case someone is trying to chase them— beat that red light!
• I was on my first night looking for food, I went to Ibotarima bar and struggled ordering food. I can just point it out in the menu right? Well, it’s not easy because even the menu doesn’t have translation in english, and there are some foods that I don’t eat. Seeing me struggling with the waiter, one guy approached me and helped me order! He was literally taking all my order from foods to drinks! That night I realized that it’s gonna be hard for the next couple of days.
• On my second day, I got up early to find a brazilian plug (3 points, I have the universal adapter by the way but didn’t know that 2 points will work too ☹️) Anyway, I went to the Dia supermarket where I was told, trying to act to everyone in the shop what I was looking for, suddenly thought I was playing charades with them, I got no luck. So outside the supermarket there’s this lady on her car, I was trying my luck maybe she can speak english! I asked her if she speaks english, she said a little bit— okay that’s good enough. I asked her where else to find the adapter, she asked me to sit in her car and took me there. I am a stranger and I could be a killer you know! She was very sweet.
• Flown out to Rio de Janeiro and put Lapa on the list. Lapa is one of the dangerous place in Rio, but a very interesting place. I went to Lapa later in the afternoon to see Escadaria Selaron, after that I walked to the Arch just to get a picture.
Since the place is famous, I decided to stay there while I wait for my Uber. It started to get dark and I stood literally next to the police because there are (countless) homeless under the arch. Some locals in groups were also walking and staring at me, I moved closer to the police and decided to ask them for help finding my Uber driver. I called the driver and passed the phone to the police, the police personally escorted me where my Uber driver is!!
• Fast forward to Salvador, I was running out of cash and randomly asked a police (yeah I trust policemen so much haha) where can I find a money changer. Guess what? The police escorted me to the place and stayed outside until I finish. All praises to the police.
• On my last day in Salvador, all my new found friends were gone. I decided to just walk around and stay on the street. I decided to get a picture with the fruit vendor costume, where I met Katia (she’s the owner of the photo stand).
She asked me where am I from, I told her from Philippines and she freaked out. She started telling me about her filipina friend in Salvador (and that freaked me out more, because I haven’t seen any Filipinos in Salvador) I ended up hanging out with her the whole night, she took me to the public market, she took me to her house to see her family.
I invited her for a dinner, we had my favorite Moqueca, and she stayed with me in the bar where the filipina lady (Suzy) works. She stayed until late at night even if she was already tired from working all day, she took me home because she wanted me to be safe. The next morning she knew I was leaving, she tried to say goodbye in the morning but I already left. Isn’t she the sweetest? Please support her business when you’re in Salvador. You are amazing Katia.
• On my way back to Sao Paulo, had a connection from Panama I was seated next to a guy from Bahia who’s in his late 20’s. I was interested when he mentioned he’s from Bahia (Because I am in love with Salvador and that is located in Bahia!) we started talking and talking about everything, and if I say everything that includes our future plans, marriage, and etc. We talked the whole flight (7 hours) and didn’t even finish the movie that I was watching. We were laughing so hard it’s as if we knew each other for a long time. This is the type of person that I would always like to be seated next to me to survive long haul flights 😉
• And I thought it would finish there, went to check in my bag in Emirates counter of Sao Paulo airport. The nice lady on the counter was super helpful and even attended to my request to put me in the aisle seat while we talked about how beautiful Brazil and how good the quality of Havaianas is.
Of course I wouldn’t forget Castro Family, Bernardo and Ana, my previous guests in Maldives who didn’t just happily met me up but also let me experience the true brazilian style of life.
I cross my heart, I never had this much experience of warm people in all the places I’ve been. There had been few, that I can count in my fingers, Brazilians are different. Everyone will greet you good morning, good afternoon, good evening whatever the time is. Vendors will talk to you because they’re interested with you, and not because they wanted to sell something. I even had experience in the elevator in my hotel, had a short random chat with a brazilian guest. I believe it added to enjoy my experience in Brazil, making me feel super welcome in their country. Most of them don’t speak english, but they will try their best to still talk to you and make you understand what they’re trying to say, they will do their very best to help you out. If you are having a doubt visiting Brazil, erase that doubt now and replace it with excitement. I am betting my whole life, you will surely be in good hands, because BRAZILIANS ARE THE FRIENDLIEST AND THE WARMEST PEOPLE ON EARTH.
See more photos of Brazil – here
Sneak peek of Brazil
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