Thursday, June 9, 2011

Give Brazilians US Visas


It's not a secret that Brazilians become shopaholics the moment they set foot in the US. They get there and put our status as consumers to shame!

There is a very logical reason as to why. Stuff in Brazil is expensive. The stuff in Brazil that is from the US is doubly expensive. We're talking a lot of Reasis here people.

So when Brazilians go to the US they do not let that shopping opportunity slip though their finger tips. On the contrary, they take full advantage and come home with truck plane loads. Time Magazine even published an article talking exactly about that.

The article in a whole discusses how much actual cash Brazilians drop abroad and how much money the US is losing by being a bit overly scrutinous (the understatement of the year.)

I already broke it down the the US in a blog post entitled: Brazilians: A part of Obama's Stimulus package? Honestly, It just makes sense. Brazilians love to travel and love to buy electronics, not to mention Gap clothes, purses, Puma, shoes, and skin care items. Let's not even go into luggage and baby gear.

The thing is, Brazilians are doing well down here. Hell, if they aren't, they can't afford the airfare to go up there anyway. I know I can't! And if someone does manage to scrape together the money, give them a freaking shot at living there illegally. Hey, they can have Mr. Rant's spot.

My point is, I don't think everyone in the world is crying themselves to sleep because they don't live in the US. I do think that some 15 year old Brazilians who can't go to Disney World for vacation are. It must be hard for a family in Minas Gerais to pay for the tickets, hotel, and food for the whole family to go to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro just to get their Visas. This with the chance of them getting denied plus the cost of the trip abroad makes going to the US more of a pipe dream as opposed to an actual plan.

Hell, the US won't even let people change planes there unless they have a Visa! That is just madness! Have you ever tried to escape customs? I'm afraid of them and I am American. I really doubt people who have a continuing flight to Canada are going to bust out a window in the International terminal and make a run for it.

I think it's time for the US to give other countries the respect they deserve. Start out slow and let Brazil and Chile into the club. If they mingle well with the other "Visa-free Cool Countries," let in Argentina. Go from there. Let's expand our commercial dating circle.

United States of America, if you do this, you will find that Brazilian Tourists rock. They are outgoing, they are excited, and they will take over Best Buy!


51 comments:

  1. I read an article recently (maybe from you? I don't remember)that said that the US visa approval rate for Brazilians is at 94%. Once it gets to 97%, they'll stop needing visas. I think they'll get there within a few years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That wasn't from me, I don't think so anyway. That or I'm becoming even more forgetful (totally possible). That's good to hear! Personally, I think they should just let it go already. 94% is really freaking good!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I disagree partly with this. I know for a fact that Brazilians come to the U.S. and spend a sh*t load of money. I mean, I live in Orlando. They're EVERYWHERE. Every other person at the parks, the mall, shopping centers, is Brazilian. They spend money, they stimulate the economy, they help keep business flowing....and they also have a reputation (just ask anyone in the service industry) for being bad tippers and for being rude (but hey, they ARE bringing in money, right?)
    But I'd also say that the majority (I have no proof of this) that settle here are illegal. Then all they do is bitch and moan about not having a visa, a green card, wah wah wah. I don't surround myself with Brazilians in the U.S. anymore (with a few exceptions) because I'm so tired of hearing about immigration and visas and bla bla bla.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My name is Sérgio I'm Brazilian.

    I couldn’t agree more with you. Americans don't realized how difficult is to get a USA Visa in Brazil.

    To put it in perspective take few notes

    Step 1 - Pay R$40 just to get access to scheduled your appointment at embassy or consulate.
    Step 2 - Pay flight tickets (last time I paid R$300 - US$180 round trip)
    Step 3 - Get a hotel room R$200 - US$115 per night
    Step 4 - Visa Tax - Everybody must pay US$140 (yeap doesn’t matter if you get a visa or not, you just can get into the embassy or consulate after pay it)
    Step 5 - A lot of documents - They want to know your whole life (Imposto de Renda (Income Tax), how much money do you make, if you have a house, car, job, college, if you’re working – how long and etc)
    Step 6 - If you get a visa you must pay R$50 (post office)

    Ps. You need pay for your tax: Home to Airport – Airport to Hotel – Hotel to Embassy – Embassy to Hotel – Hotel to Airport and then Airport to Home (about R$150 or more)

    And after all if you get a visa you need buy your flight to USA.

    So just to get a visa a Brazilian waste about R$1.000 – US$581

    US$581 it is so much money that I could pay my round trip ticket to USA

    PS. I've been living abroad almost 2/3 of my life and I really don't want to be illegal there or anywhere else - if I want to live in somewhere I'll apply for visa.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read this article too. When my Brazilian relatives used to visit us in NYC and do practically nothing but shop, I thought they collectively perhaps had a little bit of a problem. Now I totally get it.

    Here is my question. The people with the shopping cash may not be the 6% being denied for visas... so I'm not sure if removing the visa requirement is going to help boost the U.S. economy. Plus, visas are good for five years, so once they get one, it's easy to get in and out. And, if have a little extra cash to pay a service charge in Brazil, you get your visa faster. Of course I'm all for the non-visa requirement for Brazilian as that means my husband can drop his green card and stop having to file U.S. taxes...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Danielle, Rachel,

    I remember making the comment on someone's post about the immigration requirements.
    You are correct, the US has a law that when a country reaches 97% of VISA approvals they drop the requirement for a VISA.
    Brazil is a 94% right now and going up fast, the US has already made preparations for droping the VISA requirement and it should be dropped soon. Brazil has a reciprocity law and the minute the US drops the requirement for Brazilians, Americans will no longer need to get a VISA to go to Brazil.


    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  7. Meredith,

    Brazilians don't leave the restaurant without giving a tip because they are rude, but because of a cultural issue, in Brazil the tips are simply added to the bill, you as a customer at a restaurant would never have to leave extra money on the table besides your bill, because the tips are always included in the Bill, and the waiters receive a salary from the restaurant independent of the tips, the tips are just an extra.
    I have taken European clients out to dinner in New York city who were upset and refused to pay tips. This has been a topic of many discussion over the years, Europeans also don't like to leave tips because their waters are very well paid, they receive good salaries and don't depend on tips to live.
    In the US, waiters make NO SALARY, they depend on tips to survive, this is the big misunderstanding.
    I can totally see where a bunch of spoiled brats going to Disney would behave in a rude manner and build a terrible reputation.
    Now, Brazilian who immigrate illegally to the US are COMPLETELY different from the bunch who have money and go to Disney for fun and shopping.


    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rachel,

    I think you are on to something, you should be a part of President Obama's team to brain storm ideas to stimulate the economy!
    Imagine! Like the "Tax free" weekends!! A couple months before Christmas, allow Brazilians to come into the US without any VISA requirements.
    They would help give a good boost to the American economy. ;)

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree about the cultural confusion. Brazilians are not used to leaving an "extra" tip. 10% is automatically included. We Americans feel 10% is crap, and really it is. If the waiter is good here, I leave extra cash on the table.

    As for the tax free weekend, I hear they have that in New York. I think that is an incentive for Americans alone!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I know about the cultural difference because I've lived in Brazil, but I've also spoken to people in the service industry who've said again and again that in general they don't like Brazilian customers and it's not only because of the tipping. If you lived in Orlando you'd understand what I mean. I also understand that the tourists are not the same as those that settle illegally, but either way, I prefer to keep my distance. HOWEVER, in Brazil is a different story, I love Brazilians there :).

    The tax free weekend extends to Florida and other states (tends to be before school starts again).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Meredith,

    I hear you, I have never lived in Orlando but it drives me crazy when I fly home with all the Brazilian tourists in the plane.
    I would sell a kidney if I had to, just so I could fly Business and not have to put up with all the spoiled brats returning home from Orlando.
    I always thanks the sweet baby Jesus for Executive Platinum upgrades, at least I can keep my kidneys! :)

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  12. I so agree with Meredith ! I don't usually associate with Brazilians who live here either. The majority are just obnoxious.I don't know which Brazilian group is worse: the illegals who don't even bother to learn how to speak English and come here to have an american baby(I know of a family who has three already)and we taxpayers pay for their kids education,health(or lack of)or the snob rich Brazilians.Both groups are very rude and are very well known through major tourist cities(Orlando being one).
    And they don't leave a tip because they don't want to ! I've heard many times " he's a waiter because he wants to and he's just doing his job.I'm not paying extra for that !"
    Frankly,when I hear(and boy,are they loud) a group of Brazilian going by I pretend I was born american.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Don't many of the complaints written here derive from an absent notion of personal space? The Italians, Argentines and the rest of Spanish America tend to be even worse than the Brazilians in that regard.
    I recall an article written by Roberto da Matta stating that if the Spanish Armada had defeated the English then what today is considered rude in the west ( the behavior described in the comments) would actually be the norm. The thing is that the Spanish Armada disappeared from the face of the Earth (thank God)and so should much of the behavior described in this thread.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Claudia,
    You said it. LOUD and obnoxious (although I've heard loud, annoying Americans in foreign countries - this seems to be worse).
    And yes to the illegals wanting children and like I said, whining because they don't have "papers". Well, what did you expect? You overstayed your visa. Did you think that was allowed? I mean, my neighbor cried one day saying how she's been illegal for 11 years (her choice) and how it's dangerous because she has children (and so she shouldn't be driving, living here, etc etc). I mean, she could go to jail for not having a license. If you really care for the well being of your kids - go back to Brazil.
    She also said her family has money in Brazil; it's not like she's going to suffer.
    Of course then she said that she was born in the wrong country, and loves America, and will kiss the ground the day she becomes a citizen. Oh Lord.
    She said she's waiting for a miracle. Well, whatever, there isn't going to be one. I guess maybe when her daughter turns 18 in 7-8 years maybe she can apply for her to be a resident.

    And although we try not to spend too much time with the Brazilians here, my husband does have a few friends who are good people (and also legal). But God forbid he tell an illegal that he's married to an American. That's when the 100 questions and the nosy people go crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just a quick comment on the service industry. Yes, it's true, a waiter/waitress in the U.S. doesn't make a salary and relies heavily on tips. However, waiters and waitresses now expect 25%-30% in tip or you are a bad tipper. And, many expect it without providing decent service. Taxi cabs are the same. I happen to notice here that taxi drivers and restaurant servers are particularly polite (although some may not have much service knowledge) and are so without even expecting an extra tip. A strange phenomenon for me, since my experience is that service workers are only nice if you are going to pay a tip. So, I think that expectations have gotten a little out of hand in the U.S. I remember getting my first professional job out of college and finding out that bartenders were making twice as much as me! This difference between the two countries in terms of service, I believe, have escalated the perceptions of foreigners. The difference between the 10% tip a foreigner might pay for good service and the 15% tip that was customary is much smaller that the 10% and the 25% (outrageous) tip now expected!

    ReplyDelete
  16. A couple more things I wanted to point out: Something like 80% of Brazil's population lives in one of the consulate cities, so not that many people are paying a lot to travel to them.

    Another thing is that there ARE a lot of Brazilians (more than the 6% who get denied) who lead decent, middle-class lives in Brazil, but who think that America is easier, and want to go live and work there. Most are willing to work and would love to be able to do it legally, but it would still be a strain on the American economy if so many new, non-specialized workers came into the economy.

    It's not the poor Brazilians living in tiny villages in the Amazon that are trying to come to the US to live. It's the middle class big city folk who have given up on Brazil and think they will have a better life in the US. So I think if the visa law was taken away, there WOULD be an increase in the number of Brazilians entering the US on a tourist visa and staying illegally.

    I think the visa process can be made cheaper and more efficient for Brazilians while still trying to weed out those who would obviously try to stay in the US. For example, let people show documents by mail to prove they own a house or a car and that or a stable bank account, the kinds of things that show they have strong ties to Brazil. And once someone gets approved the first time, let them renew by mail. Suspicious or on-the-fence cases can be called for an interview.

    I don't know. It's sucky that the good have to suffer because of the few bad apples, who aren't even necessarily bad people.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I really don't think that many Brazilians would stay. Obviously there would be an increase in illegals because there would be an option. Hell, I had an illegal Canadian friend living in the US (until he got deported that is).

    The thing is, they are turning a decent amount of people away with no reason. They also ask for a lot of paperwork. I have had students bring in cash to show them that they could afford a trip. Madness but they felt it was necessary.

    And you are forgetting all the Brazilians who live in Curitiba (big city), Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, João Pessoa, Natal, etc etc.

    There are 9 Brazilian Embassy/consulates in the US:
    Boston

    Atlanta

    Washington DC

    Chicago

    New York

    San Francisco

    Houston

    Miami

    Hartford

    Los Angeles

    And you can do the visa process via mail...

    We could at least throw a Consulate in down south!

    ReplyDelete
  18. There used to be a Consulate in Porto Alegre. Perhaps it should be reinstated.
    Speaking of waiters and tips I think that the Brazilian reciprocity policy is detrimental to the vast majority of the Brazilian population. By making Americans purchase a Visa to enter Brazil the people who most lose, if that American decides to go somewhere else so to escape that hassle, are those in the Brazilian service sector. These are the people who need money the most ( waiters, hotel staff, taxi drivers, coconut peddlers on the beach, etc).
    In this situation it is far more humane and patriotic to just turn the other cheek at the American requirement since in doing so you are helping those who have less in your own society. Plus, does your self esteem really depend on a decision made by some government overseas over if this or that group gets a visa waiver. Mine doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Danielle,

    I wish you were right, that Brazilians were still coming to the US in droves, that would mean our US dollar was still strong as well as the economy.
    The sad reality in the US today is that the US dollar is worth very little, there are very few jobs and the Brazilians who immigrated here in the late 90's and early 2000 are leaving for Europe, they are going to Portugal, Ireland and Italy, because the Euro is really strong.
    Brazilians rarely ever come to the US for good, the majority of them want to make a quick buck, buy a nice car, maybe some cattle, finish paying for their small farm in the interior of Minas and go back as soos as possible, that is whey they are going to Europe, because if they make Euros, they simply get to go back home faster.
    It is a different thing with immigrants from Colombia for example, they come to the US to stay for good and never look back, the same with immigrants from India and most African countries.
    Argentina was in the VISA waiver program, but Argentina got into a down spiral economic situation and many Argentinians immigrated to the US and stayed, the US picked up on that and cut them out of the VISA waiver program again.
    So, I think there isn't a real concern that Brazilians will come to the US and overstay their VISAs, there are more opportunities in Brazil at the moment.

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my gosh, who are these rude brazilians that everyone seems to see everywhere? I live in South Florida and this place is crawling with brazilians and I hardly think they they alone are they SOLE immigrant population that has members who can be rude. If you think that, please come to Miami and let me introduce you to a few thousand Cubans. People are people, some rude, some nice but it has very little to do with "all brazilians" being rude.

    As for the visa requirement, I think they should be liberalized as well. His cousins come here for long weekends and outspend us at Target for the year! But, the fabric cuts both ways. I had to go in person to apply for my Brazilian visa and they were not nice to me. They questioned everything on the application and the interviewer was pretty pushy. Finally my husband intervened (then my boyfriend) and explained that I was going to be staying with his family. Only after that, he grudgingly accepted my paperwork. I've traveled all over Europe and into South America and had never been harassed like that before.

    Plus, as Americans we aren't the only ones. My Brazilian husband recently had to apply for an Australian passport and that was NO JOKE. It took a month and over 50 pages of paperwork, plus $150. They even say it's a good idea to have a 'medical exam' first. Come on!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rachel,

    I agree with you, the US should at least open a Consulate in Porto Alegre and perhaps one in Belo Horizonte.

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gritty Poet,

    Thank you, my thougths exactly.
    I wouldn't paint the Brazilians being particularly worse than any other people.


    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  23. Claudia,

    Easy there! You might consider some anger management or perhaps some chamomile tea would help, I personally enjoy "Erva Doce" ;)

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Claudia,

    Just for the record, illegal immigrants pay taxes just like you do and you are not better than they are just because you got lucky and got a green card.

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  27. Apricoco,

    Thank you!
    I have to agree with you too, we lived in Hollywood, Florida in 2004 and saw many rude people, from all different countries and different states.
    I wouldn't generalize and call out any specific people as being more rude than the other.


    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  28. I totally agree with Born Again Brazilian on the tip subject. Nothing else to add.

    Fortunately I never knew the hassles of getting an American visa because I used my European Union passport to get in the country - like many bi-national Brazilians do. It means I benefited from the American VISA waver program.

    I do think SOME Brazilians tend to be a little loud, but much less loud than SOME Italians, SOME Hispanics nationals, and SOME Portuguese and SOME Spaniards, for example.

    I must say that I don't feel comfortable with this generalization saying that all Brazilians are obnoxious and rude because we definitely don't relate to any of this alleged "bad Brazilian behavior abroad". Ray and I are pretty much on the quiet side. We don't talk loudly, we are discreet and I guarantee you that we are generous when we receive good service at the table - have always been and will always be.

    I must say that from what I have seen living and traveling abroad, I have observed a lot of Americans being not so well behaved either, specially when in groups and drinking (talk about a London pub or a Paris restaurant, for example).

    To me, there are two types of Brazilians living here. There are the educated legal ones and the non-educated and/or illegals. We have only two Brazilian friends here. They both are females in their 40's, independent women, educated and, of course, very well mannered. That's the people we are interested in and it would be no different with any other native or foreigner.

    Gil

    ReplyDelete
  29. I completely disagree. We do not want these pests in country. They are loud and don't make any effort in respect the minimum standard of civility. Look how dirty the place gets when they come through. If was not for the ocean, their cities would smell as toilet!

    ReplyDelete
  30. "We do not want these pests in country"

    C'mon Anom. Is it fair to speak this way about the Spanish?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Of course there are some nice(normal) Brazilians in the US.I'm married with one of them for almost 25 years.But by personal experience,they are not the norm.I never met an illegal alien who paid his taxes...
    Let,me just clarify something,Gil:I did not "get lucky getting my green card".I did it the hard way,filling tons of paper,having several health exams, having a couple of (nerve wreaking) interviews and waiting for it IN BRAZIL for FIVE YEARS. I came in the US with my green card already.And I'm happy to say I got my US citizenship As soon as I could.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "We"?! Are you sure you can speak for all Americans?

    Hey, anonymous troll, if you have a problem with Brazilians, go complain with the American Immigration and see what they can do (for you), certainly you'd be surprisingly happy with the result.

    I'm sorry you feel that way, 'cause it shows how prejudice, xenophobic, poor-spirited, bitter, childish, ignorant and down right coward you are!

    Talking about (bad) manners... Your head and heart must be even filthier than the places Brazilians leave behind them (according to you).

    Speaking of filthy, I smell a stinky foreigner talking in name of ALL Americans, and I would not be surprised if this troll is a Brazilian him/herself. Sadly I've met some just like this here in the U.S., in Canada and in the UK. Primarily they are just plain jealous of the country they are living in and have this delusional belief that they are "different" and "better" from the rest of their countryman. They act as if their stay (in the country) had a special legitimacy over the rest - if not you're just another Hispanic "hermanito" super jealous of the Brazilian "coming out" to the new world order.

    Anyhow, whoever-the-suck you are, get a good VIBE, get a life and don't worry, be happy!

    Gil

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anon, where are you from? Obviously not a native American. Why don't you want the Spanish in your country?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Claudia,

    It wasn't Gil who said you got "lucky" with your Green card, it was me, Ray!
    Yes, you did get lucky with your Green Card, you are not an American and not married to an American, so somehow, you still fell tru the cracks and got a green card, that is why I said you got lucky.
    I have met many Brazilians who are in the US illegally and pay their taxes every year with the hopes that if one day they get "lucky" like YOU did, they will be in good terms with the IRS.
    Not to mention, every illegal immigrant that lives in the US pay SALES taxes and a lot of other taxes all the time.
    It is a shame that you act ALL SUPERIOR and ARROGANT when you talk about other BRAZILIANS, if you met some bad people in your life you should never generalize.
    I have met bad people from all countries and I would never say this or that is worse than the other.
    You must be bitter for some personal reason and you are lashing out on poor Brazilian immigrants, that is not nice and not fair.
    You sound like a bitter Republican by the way, or the type that listen to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, you "think" like those type of angry bitter people, God have mercy on your soul.



    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh, I have just ONE GENERALIZATION to make.
    Most Americans I have ever met are kind and welcoming to all IMMIGRANTS.
    There are very feel bitter, angry Americans who like to bash immigrants, but they are few and far in between.

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  37. I agree with my husband, Ray. "MOST AMERICANS WE HAVE EVER MET ARE KIND AND WELCOMING TO ALL IMMIGRANTS". In this aspect, personally, I don't have absolutely anything to complain about. Even during my lab test for immigration purposes the nice nurse welcomed me to the U.S. Ray was "adopted" by a lovely Oklahoman family and I am always treated as part of the family (I even have my "American little nephews" from whom I get lots of love).

    We feel we are just part of a big family here, the "world family under God".

    I must remind you, Claudia, that we are all in the same freaking boat. The Earth is just one small planet for all of us to live in, the borders are an illusion created by man, not God, and no matter what they do to block people out, the hard truth is that a real advanced society NEED THESE (illegal) IMMIGRANTS to do its dirty job. Talk about hypocrisy!

    So you are a new American citizen, huh? Well, so we have a LITTLE something in common. I just hope that you are as lucky as we have been getting to learn with the natives about COMPASSION and TOLERANCE - only then you will be able to proudly say you are a true American citizen. Good luck!

    Finally, as the Golden Rule says: "Do not do unto others what you don't want others do unto you". Do not discriminate others if you don't want to be discriminated yourself. It's VERY painful, you know?

    Fique com Deus.

    Take care.

    Gil

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree completely with Danielle. I have never met a poor Brazilian living in the US, illegally or not. The ones I've met all came from upper-middle or middle class families, some of them even have their families come and visit them in the US once a year or so, what poor family can afford that?

    And MANY of them stay, for a more comfortable life, to have continuous access to all of the "luxuries" of the US, to save money to buy a house, or for whatever reason. Ray, Gil, Claudia and many other bloggers/readers should understand because obviously they've chosen to live their lives there as well.

    Also note that I've met many who are saving to set up their lives in Brazil have been there 10 years or more, or leave and "need" more money so they come back to the US to work, kind of a never-ending situation.

    No easy solution but I agree with Danielle the most, maybe relax the requirements but not do away with them quite yet.

    Gil and Ray, I'm a follower of both Rachel's, yours and many other blogs, just a kindly suggestion, sometimes you come off as aggressive and defensive of Brazil, in some cases warranted but in others it's a bit much... what should be an open discussion becomes a virtual "shouting match." We're all entitled to our own opinions, let's all be respectful while we're expressing it, no?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dear Annon,

    I am sorry if you feel I come out as aggressive, I always try to be respectful.
    You can accuse me of being opinionated and passionate and I will have to agree with you and I often voice my opinions, and I do respect the opinions of others.
    I am as defensive about Brazil as I am about the US, people who know me and read our blog frequently know that we criticize and defend both Brazil and the US depending on the subject and depending on my opinion and knowledge regarding such subject.
    Gil just started writing a few comments in the past week by the way, I am the one that usually writes most comments.
    If you follow our blog you can read one of our first posts named "Why we are here" and you will see that we are not in the US for a more comfortable life, for luxuries or to save money to buy a house, however, I have to agree with you that many other immigrants used to come here for that very reason, not anymore, the dollar is worth very little now and they are mostly heading out to Europe in search of a quick savings with the Euro being worth so much more and many others are going back to Brazil because the Brazilian economy is doing very well and offers many opportunities right now.
    I totally agree with you that we all should continue to be respectful while expressing our opinions and I will make sure I am respectful too and will try to avoid creating a "shouting match" type of situation.

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  40. I still can't believe that in America waiters do not receive a salary and instead have to rely solely on tips. I personally do not think situation would be acceptable anywhere else (not even in Brasil). It's hard work to be a waiter, and the restaurant takes all the profit without sharing it with the staff. It's not like eating out in the US is super cheap. Why won't the restaurant owners simply PAY for the people who are working for them?

    To me working in these conditions almost amounts to begging. If I ever visit the US, I'd probably settle for eating at McDonalds, because paying 30% of my bill (or having an angry waiter spitting on my food) towards the salary of someone who is making profit for somebody ELSE is just ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
  41. As for brazilians being loud, in my experience yes, they can be. It's a cultural trait (latin heritage, etc). But so are the italians, greeks, spaniards, americans (some with that delightful nasal accent, hehe). So...? I don't particularly enjoy loud people but I won't begrudge anyone for something so silly, nor try to lump a WHOLE COUNTRY together under the same stereotype. I'm brazilian born and bred, and you couldn't find a quieter person than me. Hell, I'm even quieter than my husband, who's english! ;) Anyway, I'd take a nice, friendly loud mouth over a quiet arrogant any day.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Dear Lolla,

    I totally agree with you "em numero, genero e grau!!!" ;)

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  43. I don't mind tipping 20%, but only if the service was good. Tipping 30% have they gone mad?!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have never encountered a server who expected 30%. Most tips are between 15%-25%. 25% is reserved for only the most outstanding service. And, having worked in the restaurant industry, let me reassure you...VERY VERY FEW people have their food spit on. I have personally never seen it done. Never. I've heard urban legends and stories about other gross things but I've never seen anything like it. And I worked in restaurants of all sizes for about 4 years.

    And actually, food at restaurants in the US is typically a fair bit cheaper than food at comparable restaurants in Europe. So, you are paying the salary one way or another. It's just coming out one end or another.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love how the conversation has turned to tipping!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Interesting, the post takes a life of its own :)
    By the way, back to the original subject, I just saw on the news that the White House has a plan to stimulate the economy that includes making VISA's much easier to get, in an effort to attract more tourists into the US and ease the economic crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  47. http://noticias.terra.com.br/brasil/noticias/0,,OI5186166-EI306,00-Brasileiro+morre+apos+cruzar+fronteira+do+Mexico+para+os+EUA.html

    ReplyDelete
  48. apricoco,

    the "spit on my food" thing was a joke (forgot to add the appropriate emoticon!) but i know people working in restaurants and, according to them, they see it being done regularly - and over things as normal as sending back to the kitchen an overdone steak when the client asked for medium. I shudder. But maybe it's a brazilian thing. Should I name and shame those restaurants? :D

    I, too, used to think meals out were cheaper in the US, but after perusing several menus on the internet (don't ask) I changed my mind. When I translate those prices to euros or pounds it amounts to roughly the same, and often more, than I would pay in London, where the restaurants owners pay their workers a good salary. Of course we're not factoring in McDonalds here.

    ReplyDelete
  49. ficalongedosEUAbrasileirosOctober 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I hope they make it more difficult for Brazilians to come into the US. I could care less if they are making Florida Bestbuys and Targets rich. I lived in Brazil for 4 years and upper-class Brazilians make me sick. Their country is filled with injustice, misery, corruption and all they can think about is taking their brats to Disney and going shopping. They even taking their maids to Disney because Brazlians women are so lazy they can´t even look after their own kids.
    they only decent Brazlians are those from Rio Grande do Sul.
    All they are doing is evading the high taxes in their own country, none of them learn anything about American culture, art or literature. They are some of the dumbest most ignorant and laziest people I have ever met.
    When I lived in Brazil I loved listening to them whine about how they have to wait in line to get their visa and how the guys who worked at the embassy were rude to them... the first time in their lives the richy-riches ever had someone stand up to them. Let them do their shopping and pay their taxes on the imported goods like all the poor Brazilians who can´t go to the USA have to do.
    They just use our country as a way to evade all the problems in Brazil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you should kill yourself! Prejudice and say brazilian women don't work? ahahahha funny

      Delete

/>