Friday, July 15, 2011
Stripped in Rio de Janeiro
People want to settle in Rio de Janeiro. They come here with a plan to live a good life and work a fun job. That is entirely possible in this city. I actually have friends with a flexible enough work schedule that they get two half days a week and work until 11pm other days when they like to go out at midnight.
What people don't talk about is the living part. It is not easy to make a home here. While us foreigners mock cultures where people live with their parents until they are 30, we have no idea how it is. That truth came to me the very first tiny apartment Mr. Rant and I looked at. We were looking to buy.
The tiny part wasn't shocking. I was prepared for that. I wasn't prepared for a place that was totally stripped. When I stay stripped I mean not even a place to screw in a light bulb.
You see, stuff is expensive here. People take cabinets, light fixtures, and even outlet covers. Don't even hope to find a place with a oven!
Of course things are changing now. Life is getting a bit easier. People actually now rent with some appliances. By the way, some appliances (aka. a Fridge and oven) classify as a furnished apartment to some rental agencies.
So when you come as a foreigner and feel totally ripped off with your place in Ipanema realize that you were only somewhat ripped off. It is not even worth bothering to try to "save" some of that money unless you are here long enough to use that fridge you bought and make some friends who are willing to buy it when you leave.
All that being said, I've been here for over 5 years now and have amassed enough crap to over-fill my place. Rio de Janeiro seems to come down to grit, staying power, and determination. If you have any of those you are golden!