It’s impossible to compare two different countries in a week, even more because of the size of Brazil, but for travellers who don’t have much time to spend in Latin America it will be useful.
- Well, the airports.
I remember my first arrival to the El Dorado International Airport and it was a shock! The airport itself is good, comfortable and easy to orient, but the staff doesn’t know even a word in English, no one. Trying to become a bilingual country to 2020, Colombia should teach English not only to students, but also to important workers of international places.
At the International Airport of Sao Paulo they greeted me in four (!!!!) languages, saying even Russian “spasibo”! That was totally unexpected and really nice.
Everyone knows people in Russia are grumpy and gloomy. It may seem so… Ok, that’s true 😀 But the happiest and the most smiling nation is Colombia! For sure. I don’t have to talk about the coast, it’s obvious that people there are as shiny as the Sun. And they are the ones who are “complaining” that inhabitants of Bogota are colder and keep distance. Nooo, they are wrong. Of course, there’s a difference, but it is almost nothing comparing to anyone else.
Before coming to Brazil, I heard similar stories about people from Sao Paulo and Rio. What I noticed, it’s that even in Rio, on the coast of the country, people’s faces look exactly like in Moscow: tired, sullen and cold. To imagine a typical Sao Paulo’s face just add “business-like busy”.
Being in a supermarket or a food court doesn’t suppose any contact to Russians, but Colombia makes us a great surprise, welcoming at every cash-desk with a warm smile and “how are you?”. Even if they know no words in English, they will try to explain to you every single detail you wanna know. Cannot ask for better. Actually… I can. Because this mentality makes them work slower. Mu-u-uch slower.
If you think it’s too much, just change it for Rio, where the service is faster, but colder. No smiles, not much help, if they know that you’re a foreigner. That’s a pity.
I’m very happy here in Rio I don’t feel the smell of weed all around as in Bogota. You still can feel it like twice a week passing through a small park or a dark corner, but not just going out of a metro station, laying on a grass or near a bar as in Bogota.
There are cants in Rio! And quite fat 😀 That says they are eating well. It’s not good there are stray animals, but if they are, I’m happy to meet cats.
In Bogota it is almost never possible to see a cat on the street ever. So I missed them a lot 😦
I have to say that I’m talking only about the appearance and first impressions, in general (too general, maybe) and from my own experience of being only in two cities of Brazil yet. I love people of Colombia as much as people of Brazil. When you know them personally, you can be sure you already have good friends. And both of these countries have to be visited for sure!