Moving to another country is not an easy feat, especially if you come as a family. There's a lot to get used to. Rio de Janeiro is not any different. While this city has gotten far more foreigner family since I first came, the flow still takes some getting used to.
That is why I understand people complaining. If you are not overtaken by the beauty of it here, it's easy to see the ugly parts. And let's not kid ourselves, a lot of cities are like that.
But I have a hard time with people who choose to focus on the negative. Rio de Janeiro has no chance in hell if you choose to focus on the flaws before the unique personality. There are just too many. In the wrong light this city looks like a beat-ass, 80 year hooked whose addicted to Meth.
In the right lighting you would rush her home to Mother. Perspective is funny that way.
I know this from experience. It was very difficult for me when I first came. I had been told so much about the danger that I was scared. I didn't want to go anywhere alone. I basically stuck to the streets I knew in my neighborhood.
In my defense, there was a complete lack of infrastructure at the time. When I got here you could smoke in shopping malls, there was no information desk at the bus station (at least not one that I ever saw), and there were hardly any hostels (none in the 3 neighborhoods near me.)
And I bitched. I bitched to anyone who would listen. I complained about not knowing Portuguese and how no one in Mr. Rant's apartment could or would speak to me in English. Oh yes, I lived with the whole family, which could have been even nicer if I would have been more open.
Hell, my little 3 week intensive English course friends had me as a character in their end of the class skit. I was whining. Not one of the finest points in my life.
So I changed. It was a smack to the face to see how others were seeing me. It was pathetic. I was pathetic. I was living in Rio de Janeiro for goodness sake! I paid no rent, ate amazing food daily that I did not have to prepare, and was getting to know locals. All my friends were Brazilian and I only went to places where Cariocas hung out.
And you know what happened? I started adventuring out. I went places, met up with people anywhere, and I had a life. I started teaching English all over Zona Sul and making my own friends. It was great. I had things to do and they were things that I loved.
This continues on today. While the kiddos slow me down a bit, I'm still out and about.
Sure, I have some complaints about here, especially know with children. Some very little things are more of a hassle here than they would be at home. Honestly though, I hardly see them anymore. I find life so much richer here than I do in the states.
While I still have my 'I hate Rio' days, I also have 'I hate the World' days. Who doesn't? People are annoying and sometimes life is a bitch.
Shit happens. Get over it. You're here so enjoy yourself!