Thursday, October 21, 2010
Rio de Janeiro Middle Class is Killing Me!
Middle class life in Rio de Janeiro is killing me, financially. And they are doing it slowly.
My cross to bear is that I´m American. I have a particular definition of middle class and it just doesn't always fit. Like two-ply toilet paper and non-powdered milk. I thought that at 30 years, I'd be sitting relatively pretty, wiping my toosh with comfort and drinking my chocolate milk. It's proving to be a little more difficult than just that.
For starters, I've made a couple of mistakes. We bought a home on loan from Caixa and we procreated. Basically I was screwed twice, actually three times, in this equation. Once figuratively and twice literally. At least I got pleasure out of two of them. I'll let you figure out which.
The interest rates at Caixa seem slightly shocking on paper and heart attack inducing in real life. It's like, YEAH it's payday! Oh wait, taxes. Ok, still good. Oh crap Caixa... It's the baby Momma without the past action and no obnoxious stepchild.
But you know, you can survive. And we did purchase before the big upswing in real estate prices. So when we finally own our home, after both my husband's and my death after our loooong life, our kids will be sitting pretty. Thank goodness. That last sentence may or may not be sarcastic.
And how do our beloved joys add into the equation? Well, diapers for one are highway robbery. I almost considered that crazy Gisele Bundchen idea of potty training your 3 day old. From a living in Brazil standpoint, it's worth being in the bathroom every hour and all the extra laundry. I mean, a pack of diapers costs as much as a decent meal out. We're talking R$23 to R$30 a pack.
No I don't buy the super cheap ones. It's not because I'm prissy but because they are crap! I might as well strap some of my precious two-ply around my kid's butt. Not pretty.I think my wood floors would up and leave me if I put them through that again.
Then there's school. You start at 2 yrs here. Totally normal, unless it's public school. My husband won't let me do public school on principal. No, not the one you think. It's because those spots need to be saved for people who really need them. People who really can't afford private school. I love him for that. My purse does not.
You would think my child was attending Harvard finger painting school. I sure as hell hope they come out brilliant and socially fabulous. Of course when they do, I will take full credit. I mean, 4 hrs a day can not do miracles. That one belongs to Momma.
I've decided it's come down to groceries. My poor boys are having their cookies and whole wheat bread taken away. We're going rice and beans all day every day baby... Ok, I can't do that one either. I can't look at the same food twice a day every day. Just call me a princess. Actually I prefer Princess Rachel Sassiest Pants of the whole world. That is, if you insist on calling me a princess.
So I guess I'm not that bad off and I really am not planning on changing my lifestyle. Maybe I just wanted to share. But, then again, isn't that what a blog is for?