Friday, May 13, 2011

Must Have Technology for Expats!

Expats need their technology and I am here to tell you why.  These thoughts came about as I was sitting in a little coffee shop/bookstore/dvd rental place in Laranjeiras. While I was waiting for my friend to show up, I pulled out my kindle to read.

It seems a bit wrong to be reading on my kindle while in a bookstore. It's kind of like pulling out a microwave at a campsite, just doesn't fit.  But I needed it. I'm sorry, but reading at this point in my life is a recreational activity. It's not for mental exercise therefore I am not reading in Portuguese.

Thus the Kindle. American literature, and wannabe literature, all at the press of a button.

It got me thinking, if money wasn't an issue what else would I buy? What kind of travel technology do I need?

For starters, I'd have to get an ipad. No, it's not for what you think. I would get an ipad to read my American magazines. I can see all the tech maniacs rolling their eyes. Screw you dude! You don't have to buy wired for R$40 or more, if you can find it! I would love to be able to browse my magazines in a semi-normal page flipping manner. I get tingles in my nether regions just thinking of US Weekly on an ipad. I'm cultured like that.

Next I'd like to get an Iphone, and this from someone who isn't a huge apple fan. There are MANY reasons for an Iphone. Obviously the direct connection to the social media crack called Facebook and Twitter is a plus.  I also like the touch screen because it makes me feel like a God pushing things around. Not to mention I'd be in photo upload heaven with that bad boy. But the real reason would be for portable skype access. I could be in the most horrible Rio de Janeiro public bathroom and skype my Mom just to show her the conditions. That's technology for you and I want it.

Then there's just the practicle stuff like a LED-LCD flatscreen tv with USB port. Obiously I'd use the USB to connect my camera. I'd never use it to watch my American series and movies found online. That'd be illegal.

Then there's the Slingbox. I still can't even begin to understand it's perfection in bringing an expat their tv shows legally and from their country. I don't pretend to get it but I want it!

Lastly, I'd get a taser. From what I heard they are illegal here but what isn't?! I'm a woman cruising Rio and I need my protection, especially after the whole street kid incident. A taser would save my delicate body from having to do any actual work and would make my assailant piss and crap their pants. Sold!

And now it's your turn! If money wasn't an issue, what technology would you buy? Which gadgets, electronics, and/or technology would make living abroad that much easier?


  1. I finally bit the very expensive bullet and got myself in iPhone 4 in Brazil, and I haven't regretted it for a moment! Yes, it's an expensive target (esp if you're living in Rio). But, it has saved me countless hours with all of the following: addresses, stores, banking, maps, vocab practice, translation, family, friends, decent camera, etc. Frankly, I should have spent the money a year ago. It's just that convenient.

    Plus, with the "4" model, I can share my internet connection with my laptop and/or others. What? Internet at home crashed (that never happens)? Just connect thru my iPhone's WiFi. Ahhhh, it's wonderful. Policia Federal loses their internet just when they need to look something up about your case, no problem! Just pull out the laptop & iPhone. Great.

    Hadn't thought about the Slingbox, though! Opening the webpage now!


    ps Have the Kindle, and I agree. Wonderful resource!

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  3. I'm with you. I got my kindle, but I haven't brought myself to carrying it around yet. Is it alright to read it on the bus? To walk with it in your purse without worrying someone will snatch it? I don't know. I just recently got home and I have yet to mark my territory.
    I have the iphone, but the old one. The 4 with the front camera would be AWESOME, but no I'll never pay the money they ask for it in Brazil.
    I don't care much for tv but I had a flat screen with USB ports in the US, which I used to watch Netflix. I shouldn't have sold it. I should have brought it to Brazil with me, but I didn't and I have myself for it. Having Netflix in Brazil would be great too, but I don't think that'll happen even if I had the money to pay for it.
    I'd most definitely get a super secret weapon to keep thieves (and other criminals) away too... CIA spy stuff. However, due to lack of funds, a pepper spray will do.
    And of course, I'd never EVER perform any illegal activities. No way I'll download movies online unless I pay lots of dollars for them on itunes.
    I'd also get a nice vehicle, a flying vehicle, to avoid SP's traffic and get me to places quickly. Uh, and I still have to get a data plan for my phone. Life isn't the same without that GPS/Google maps thing on my phone. I get lost all.the.freaking.time, I need a working GPS on my phone.

  4. I would get a solar flashlight, actually 20 containers worth of solar flashlights, then export them to Portugal. After making a killing I would travel to Rio to have a beer and some codfish puffs with ya'll over there.

    Cada um paga a sua conta porém, (I ain't sharing my wealth).

  5. I don't read my kindle on the bus or the metro. But it is small and light enough that I don't think twice about carrying it in my purse. I doubt anyone could find it in there with all the crap I have.

    I won't buy a iphone down here either. Even if I had the money, I would have a moral hangover afterward. Now if I had even more money it may not be a problem. ;)

    And note to self, export solar flashlights to Portugal and share the wealth with Gritty so he can fly to Brazil.

  6. I really want a TV that's new enough to where I can hook up my laptop to it and watch things I download. I know that technology exists in Brazil, but we don't have it. Sigh. Maybe next year.

    I read my kindle on the beach. My student is a surfing teacher (Alexandre's surfing teacher, actually) and she told me that the beach by our house is totally safe enough. But do you think it's really that dangerous? I don't think many of the street thugs or crack addicts will know what they're looking at when they see it.

    But keep reading that English! Portuguese is infiltrating your mind! Did you notice that you wrote "I don't pretend to buy it"? Haha! I do stuff like that ALL THE TIME. A big problem I have is saying "mark" for "marcar." WHYYYYY

  7. I totally have Kindle envy... :-(

    Thanks to advice I got here on a previous post I ordered the necessary cable to watch stuff I download onto my computer on our big TV. (It's still in the mail... It's been a month... hope it's not lost! (It was US$4 plus postage -- and R$35+ here.)

  8. I'd have to get the new giant TV I saw at Sam's Club that has a virtual remote control...
    You just wave your hand in front of the TV from across the room and a virtual remote control shows up on the scren, you command your TV from the sofa on this virtual remote control, sort of like Wii, the same technology.
    Oh, and the new Dodge Charger R/T, orange with black stripes like the Duke of Hazards one ;)

  9. A friend of mine living in Campinas told me that you can't download books on the Kindle while in Brazil. She doesn't have a Kindle; her co-workers at the American school told her.
    Is this true? Is there a way around it?
    I have one and would like to know if I need to download books before I leave. Thanks!

  10. Eu li em algum lugar que existem brasileiros que vão morar nos Estados Unidos que abrem lojas e mercados lá com produtos apenas brasileiros que não existem lá, e acho, que seria legal algum expat americano abrir algo do tipo aqui, tipo tem sempre alguém reclamando da falta que se faz algum produto dos U.S que não se acha pra vender no Brasil, quem sabe se uns expat americano abrisse lojas aqui com esses produtos não ganhasse milhões?

  11. You have to get the international kindle with 3G. Then it's no problem!

  12. Plugadão - I have played with that idea many many times! I used to shop in those Brazilian stores in the US to get stuff for my husband. I don't know if it'd be successful here. I would love to do it though! Oh the things I would bring...