4. Motorcycles. As best I can figure, a lot of the people that ride motorcycles in Brazil are the same kind of folks that enjoy a nice relaxing game of Russian Roulette. Motorcyclists here drive between cars, cut in and out of traffic and take chances that leave other Brazilians and the occasional foreigner shaking their heads. The picture to the left shows some motorcycles cutting between traffic. The number of motorcyclists killed yearly in accidents in Brazil is so high that the government is promoting an awareness campaign in an effort to get them to drive with more care.
5. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. When I asked my Brazilian friend what that meant, he said, matter of factly, “You will get run over. The cars will not stop for you.” Of course, I thought he was just kidding. That is until I was crossing the street. I looked both ways. The only car was about a block away. Plenty of time to get across. I was halfway to the other side, when I heard the car accelerate. He actually sped up when he saw me in the road! Maybe it was just a coincidence. I am not taking any chances, though.
6. Brazil also has what I like to call, “Commercials for when you are sitting in traffic.” Sometimes, if you stop at a traffic light, you will see a couple of girls run out into the street holding a banner advertising a local restaurant, bar, auto repair shop, etc. They have the light timed and will stand there until just a few seconds before the light changes, then they will run back to the sidewalk.
People also try and sell things to you while you are sitting in traffic. My favorite is Vin Diesel. He sells towels almost everyday at a certain intersection near our apartment. Vin’s normal sales attire is a white tank top and jeans. Granted, it might not really be Vin Diesel. It might be his long lost, Brazilian twin brother. When the light turns red and the traffic stops, Vin walks down the line of cars trying to sell them a towel. I have never seen him make a sale but he is persistent. I have also never had a need to towel off while I was sitting in traffic.
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches all over the country. Would you consider joining our team? Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!