Oh well, if you have been to Brazil, specially, Sao Paulo or perhaps any big city in that country, you know what I’m talking about.
When people tell me they were in a horrible traffic in San Diego I laugh. That’s because the traffic in San Diego doesn’t exist compared to the traffic in Sao Paulo. Come on San Diegans, please!
Seriously, in Sao Paulo, sometimes you stuck in traffic for hours. If a route would take you 30 minutes from a point to another, with the traffic that could take you 2 or 2 ½ hour to do the same route. Now, that’s traffic.
Before, this used to happen only during the pick hours, but now there is no such a thing. Seems to me that all the cars in the entire city of Sao Paulo are on the road at that exact moment you are.
Besides that, there are the so called “motoboys” ! Ah, you would love them! There are millions of motorcycle riders working for delivery companies. They are like busy bees, delivering documents all day long. They go from one company to another, or to banks, you name it. They are everywhere and I’m not kidding when I tell you that you cannot transfer from one lane to another because they are all over the place and if you are not paying attention and don’t see them in your mirrors when you try to change lanes, you will get hit by one or two of them. Your car will no longer have mirror because they will kick it. So watch out! It is crazy. The same guys that delivers documents during the day, delivers pizza at night, but at night it is not so bad with the motoboys.
Every day hundreds of them lose their lives in the traffic of Sao Paulo. They make money by hour, so the fast they go, more money they get and of course more risk they take.
Anyway, so you are stuck in traffic and you have no air conditioning in your car and you can’t open the windows because you can be robbed. Just kidding, most cars have air conditioning but some don’t. The very basic ones, categorized as 1.0 type.
Now seriously, you have to pay attention to everything specially, if you are in downtown Sao Paulo, or every main big city in Brazil. Please, keep the windows in your car closed, with or without air conditioning. You can leave it cracked open, but at the traffic light, just close it. Don’t take chances. There are many kids, young adults and adults near the traffic light. They sell snacks, soft drinks, beer, water, etc., or they have these spray bottles with water and soap (I think) and they will try to clean your windshield and expect you to give them money. Just gesture nicely that you don’t want them to clean your window. Don’t engage in argument with them. Some of them or maybe most of them are probably honest people that don’t have a job and are just trying to make some money but some of them, you know, are there just to try to do their job, which is still from you. They can have a gun, a knife or a piece of glass so they will use to intimidate you, and boy, that work.
I don’t want to scare you and have you all concerned about going to Brazil, because it’s really not that bad as long as you pay attention to your surroundings, just like you would certainly do in any place you go to, even here in the United States, that you don’t feel totally safe, a place you have never been to before. Just use common sense and don’t show off you jewelry. Watch your mirrors and drive safe. If it is possible, if you are not in the middle of a total jammed parking lot type of traffic, stop the car with a good distance from the car ahead of you. A way to know how distance would be good is to look at the car ahead of you. You should be able to see its rear tires.
I just wanted to talk about traffic and ended up talking about thieves. I guess all is connected. But I don't want to discourage you to visit that beautiful country. You will fall in love with it, despite it's problems. People there are really warm and fun and the food... it is to dye for! This is something I miss a lot living here.
That’s it for today. It’s been a long week.
Have a great weekend!