I've been talking about how Rio de Janeiro has become bloated with foreigners for years. Brazilians have a selective memory and think that they were already here when I came in 2003. I'm sorry but I was the foreigner of Laranjeiras. I distinctly remember Brazilians of the neighborhood saying that I was. I remember there being one principal hostel in Copacabana and foreigners mainly at News Years and Carnaval. Come July I was the one and only natural blonde cruising Catete.
Now Veja Rio has come out with an article practically confirming what I have always said. Foreigners are the newest import and the big jump came in... wait for it... between 2007 and 2010! From 2007 to 2010 the amount of business visas doubled from 10,088 to 22,371. Of course that doesn't count tourism and such but it gives you an idea.
Rio de Janeiro is the new black. Everyone is trying it on. It makes you feel skinnier and taller. It goes with everything. Hell, you can even pull it off for a daytime wedding if you have enough attitude and the right length.
The article makes a good point though. São Paulo has had an international interest for a while. Rio de Janeiro, on the other hand, has been the hot slutty step-sister that travelers choose to spend a few fun nights with. The key? Then go home.
That is changing now.
So of course Veja Rio interviewed a few "random" foreigners who have moved to Rio de Janeiro (random out of the pool of foreigners that know someone at Veja). They are all in their 20s. Ha! Like that's the population flooding into this city to live. Let's just go with them for a second.
The big complaints are the confusing downtown Zona Sul traffic, bad urban planning, excessive bureaucracy, violence, social inequality, and general services.
The pros: breathtaking scenery, the Carioca Woman, the Small Town Feel in a Big City, The general Carioca Happiness, and The Cultural Diversity.
I can pretty much agree with both sides. They are both correct, as I am an official as to what is correct in this city. Do the pros outweigh the cons? It really depends on the person.
Personally I feel that the pros are amazing. They really are. I would like to add to it that this is a very child friendly culture and that PDAs with couples are not only accepted but encouraged. Love that!
As for the cons, they are also true. I feel though, as a foreigner married to a Carioca, that our choice to start our life here could possibly better the cons, within reason. I am married to a very intelligent Carioca man. He has the opportunity to bring business, technology, and jobs to his city. Bad urban planning? You can't really undo the tower of cards without causing a mess, right?
But I will take a quote from our very own Mr. Rant. Maybe the Olympics won't just bankrupt our city. Maybe they will do for it what it did for Barcelona. At the same time you have to ask the age old egg chicken question. Did the Olympics make Barcelona or did Barcelona let the Olympics make it a chicken?