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For this reason, many apartments, particularly in the Northeast, advertise themselves as nascente rising and poente setting ; these terms refer to the periods when the sun will cast its light and heat within your space. Poente means you may be treated to a magnificent sunset if the horizon is unobstructed , but in the hours leading up to this spectacle, rooms facing the sun will heat up like ovens. On the other hand, some direct sunlight is useful to combat humidity and moisture and to ensure freshly washed clothes get dry driers are rare in Brazil. In tropical regions of Brazil, particularly along the coastline, it can get very humid, especially during the rainy season.

A common term in coastal areas, maresia refers to the oxidization caused by sea mar water that leads to gradual corrosion of all metallic objects.

Life in Brazil

Over time, it can wreak havoc on computers, sound systems, and other types of electrical equipment and appliances. Those days, however, are gone. However, a combination of political and economic stability, rising incomes and purchasing power, an emerging middle class eager to buy, and the unprecedented availability of credit have all resulted in a booming construction segment and skyrocketing real estate markets throughout Brazil.

Between February and , the average asking price for apartments in Brazil increased by The upshot is that both purchasing prices and rents for new and used apartments are both much more expensive than they were five years ago. That said, buying prices have actually soared higher than rents; between and , average real estate prices in Brazil jumped by Some even predict the creation of a housing bubble that, at some point in the future, could burst.

As such, these days most specialists concur that it makes more economic sense to rent than to buy. Those who come to Brazil with a knowledge of Portuguese from Portugal will have a much easier time in terms of communication but will also run into trouble. The differences between Portuguese from Brazil vs. Portuguese from Portugal are perhaps more acute than those between American and British English, particularly when it comes to the spoken version.

Vowel and consonant sounds in Portuguese from Portugal are often distorted beyond easy recognition even many Brazilians have difficulty understanding the Portuguese spoken by their linguistic forefathers. During its five centuries in the New World, Brazilian Portuguese has incorporated hundreds of words from other idioms. With the proliferation of sugar cane plantations followed by the gold and diamond rushes of the 18th century, millions of Africans were brought to Brazil as slaves. They too left an important linguistic legacy. In more recent times, words from other European languages entered the vernacular, specifically French and English.

Meanwhile, the global influence of English in spheres such as business commodities, layout, marketing, freelance and technology app, Internet, email, modem , not to mention pop culture skinhead, junkie, vibe , has seen a growing number of English expressions infiltrate contemporary Brazilian Portuguese. Considering the size of the country, Brazilian Portuguese is surprisingly uniform. It helps that no matter where you are, the dominant media initially radio and today television beamed across the land features standardized accents and vocabulary of the Southeast.

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Nevertheless, regionalisms abound in terms of idiomatic expressions, slang, and accents. Different visas are available depending on your situation and the work you plan to do. Permanent visas valid five years are available for company administrators and for those who plan to invest in a Brazilian business as well as scientists, professors, and researchers. Temporary visas are available for skilled workers who can prove that no Brazilian citizen can perform their duties. Valid for two years, they can be renewed for another two years.

Such visas are often issued to people hired by Brazil-based affiliates of foreign companies, but they are also available to similarly qualified individuals who want to work as independent contractors on specific projects usually for Brazilian companies.

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To find out about requirements relative to your specific activity, consult the online procedure guide published by the Ministry of Labor. Once the Ministry of Labor has approved your application—deliberation could take a month, provided you have all your documents in order—it is sent to the Ministry of External Affairs, which will authorize the consulate to begin processing the visa itself. The bureaucracy involved in obtaining a work visa is notorious. When applying, you basically have to prove why no Brazilian can do the job that you are being hired to do.

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In many cases, the company that is hiring or transferring you will have immigration lawyers or specialists on hand that will deal with the visa process for you as well as for your family. A work visa allows spouses and dependents to legally reside in Brazil, but does not allow them to work. In order for a spouse to work in Brazil, he or she would need to get his or her own work visa or become a permanent resident of Brazil. As in New York and San Francisco, space is at a premium in concentrated urban areas.

Smaller living spaces are the result of continuous urbanization and centralization of the populace in industrial zones along the Pacific seaboard. One out of five Japanese residents reportedly lives in the greater Kanto plain, where Tokyo—the political, economic, financial, and educational center of Japan—is situated. The average Tokyo family with a salaried wage earner can never hope to own a detached house, even with a yard the size of a tatami mat three by six feet , so many opt for a manshon condominium in one of the highrises sprouting like shiitake mushrooms above the traffic-choked highways.

Others move to the suburbs an hour or two away from the city, or even to a neighboring prefecture, where housing is more affordable—but the family rice earner must get used to a two- to three-hour commute on packed trains. The good news is, once you get away from the metropolis to the small towns in outlying regions, housing prices drop by 30 percent or more.


It is also possible to build or buy a traditional house in the country. Traditional houses were built of wood, with sliding amado , or rain shutters, on all sides that could be opened to air the house in hot, humid climates. Inside, rooms were partitioned off with ingenious fusuma wood-framed paper doors that, when slid back, could open up three or even four rooms into a combined great room when relatives gathered. In place of curtains, windows were fitted with pairs of sliding shoji wood lattice frames covered with white Japanese paper for privacy.

Floors were covered with tatami thick, rectangular woven rush mats , and cooking areas had earthen floors. Tatami are still used in washitsu Japanese-style rooms, imparting a fresh scent of grasses. If you decide to live in a small town in the rural areas of Honshu the main island , Kyushu southern island , or Shikoku western island , you may be lucky enough to rent or even buy such a traditional house. It may even have a kayabuki yane , or thatched roof, though very few such houses remain, other than as historical museums such as Takayama, in central Japan.

Many Japanese have abandoned traditional houses as too difficult and costly to maintain, and instead have fled to the cities. In modern Japanese housing, stucco or reinforced concrete walls have replaced sliding doors, and lace curtains flutter in place of opaque shoji. These days, onsen traditional hot springs inns may be one of few places you can sleep surrounded by traditional Japanese architecture. In a place where land is at a premium and has been fully developed for more than years, the only direction to build is up.

How do you tell a manshon from an apartment? A manshon is a newer, multi-unit, high-rise building made of reinforced concrete, with units for rent or purchase—like a condominium complex. The fancier ones come with nice landscaping, a lobby, a security guard, and an elevator. Because of its sturdy construction, a manshon unit keeps out noise from other units more effectively. Public housing complexes subsidized by cities or local governments are often rows of rectangular five- or six-story apartment buildings, the older ones walk-up only. So many people apply for such units that they are awarded through a lottery, and the wait may be five years or more.

From visas, to job-hunting, to cultural assimilation, get a head start on your life-changing move with Moon Travel Guides. A lot of foreigners initially come to Brazil as tourists and are often seduced by its paradisiacal aspects; tropical climate, spectacular nature, warm and friendly people, rich culture, laid-back vibe, not to mention all that fresh fruit. Sometimes, the spell is so intense that they drop everything and immediately make the move without getting a sense of what lies beneath those alluring first impressions.

The shock of encountering some of the tougher, but less initially apparent, realities of life in Brazil can be brutal for those who lack preparation and walk into Brazil wearing rose-colored sunglasses. If your country requires Brazilians to have travel visas, you will have to get one from the nearest Brazilian consulate before entering Brazil. Currently, citizens of Canada, the United States, and Australia require visas.

If you are going to the Amazon, make sure you bring an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet as proof of vaccination. This period coincides with summer vacation and often very hot summer temperatures with a scalding sun that will make moving around during the day quite uncomfortable.

For more information, please visit our website , email us , or call Jordan Robbins at An alternative to finding a formal, full-time job in Brazil is to go the self-employed route, either by working as a freelancer with clients in Brazil—or North America—or both or by starting your own business. To start your own business in Brazil, or to invest in a new or preexisting company, involves applying for—and being granted—an Investment Visa, which you can read more about in the Making the Move chapter of Moon Living Abroad in Brazil.

The national equivalent, BrasilGlobalNet provides a breakdown of trade and investment opportunities available in all the Brazilian states. Despite an attractive economy and expanding consumer markets both physical and virtual , as well as untapped potential and lack of competition in many areas, starting a business in Brazil is not for the faint of heart. According to the IBGE Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics , 4 out of 10 new companies close their doors after their first two years in business.

Major obstacles include high tax rates and swollen bureaucracy. Construction permits alone involve an average of 17 procedures and days before they are finally authorized. Navigating the thick tangle of rules and regulations is impossible without a lawyer, not to mention an accounting specialist.

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Complicating matters further is the fact that such baroque bureaucracy lends itself easily to corruption. Using bribes as a means to speed up the issuing of a document is quite common. Another consideration is finding the right business partner. A lot of expat businesspeople also have problems when it comes to dealing with employees. Brazilians have a tradition of changing jobs frequently, especially these days with the shortage of professionals and specialized workers. This stems from a tradition in which a successful career is more about money than loyalty to a company or brand.

Meanwhile, lateness and absenteeism are common. Such attitudes are understandable when one considers the way many employers have traditionally treated—and continue to treat—workers in Brazil. Many are exploited, woefully underpaid, and obliged to work under very difficult conditions i. Because of the many abuses against workers, labor laws in Brazil are heavily skewed toward protecting employees.

Moreover, employees can and do often sue employers for wrongful termination. In fact, Brazil has one of the highest number of labor claims in the world. The Germans are also known to be good English-speakers, and even the French understand you better than they might have you know. The Italians, on the other hand, are often taken to task by their European peers for their lack of language skills, especially when, at European Union meetings, the steady chain of fluent English breaks down when the Italian delegate steps up to the podium.

Businesspeople are swimming in them. Anyone who works in this kind of environment, or in tourism, or else has traveled a lot loads of young Italians have spent extended periods of time in London, and many in the United States has a good command of English. But others know just enough to get by.

Lots of North Americans who come to Italy on a one-way ticket do, and get on with their Italian lives right away. Others tend to embed themselves in a circle of fellow foreigners instead. Everyone plumps their own theory on the quickest and most efficient way to learn a foreign language.

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For one thing, Italian is a relatively easy language to conquer, especially for those who speak a little French, Spanish, or any other Romance language. The grammar and lexicon are the same, and phonetically, Italian is about the easiest language there is.

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Every word is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. English can be a nightmare in that regard.