Brasilia: First Impressions!

We made it!

On midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday last week, our plane touched down in a very wet and rainy Brasilia.

The last few days have been aimed entirely at trying to settle in, acquaint ourselves with our new city, and get our life up and running. I have to say, that I am pretty proud of C and I, within 4 days of being in an entirely new country, city and language, we have accomplished the following:

  • Settled into our new apartment
  • Set up internet and cable
  • Bought a mobile phone plan for me (I am now fully fledged iphone user watch out Twitter & Instagram!)
  • Driven to the other side of the city (with minor arguments)
  • Discovered where the supermarkets and hypermarkets are.
  • Explored our surrounding neighbourhoods
  • Made new friends who we went out for a very enjoyable dinner with on Saturday night.
  • Discovered a fantastic local ‘churascaria’ a 10 minute walk from us.

It really feels as though I have been here for months rather than days! But it also means we have been completely exhausted. It’s as though my brain has gone into overdrive, trying to create new internal maps and trying to process every new sight, sound and smell! It’s the type of exhaustion I experienced after my exams at University, where I had spent up to  4 hours so focused so alert  that after you have written that final word, your mind just turns to mush!

As many of you know, I was not overly thrilled when I heard our next post was going to be Brasilia, and try as a might, the excitement did not grow overtime. How could a city that has been built from scratch in the 1950s even come close to rival the excitement that Mexico City has to offer?

So what are my first impressions? Well – I have to say, surprisingly positive!

  1. Fresh air! The minute I walked out of the airport terminal, I was struck by how fresh and clean the air smelled.
  2. Blue skies and cool breeze. Apart from the night we arrived, every day we have been here we have woken up to glorious sunshine and blue skies.
  3.  Peace and quite. My goodness, I did not realise the amount of noise pollution there is in Mexico City until now! Where is the consistent car honking? the police sirens,? the shouting people? the car alarms? The obnoxiously loud music blaring from stores? All of which is heard in an average Mexican minute. Brasilia just has the normal constant hum drum of city living. I can actually hear birds sing from my apartment!
  4. Well organised. Brasilia obviously is a planned city, and as such it is incredibly well organised and thought out. Which makes exploring and finding your way around pretty simple.
  5. Flowing traffic and competent drivers: I have not yet seen one traffic jam and people seem to actually know how to drive.
  6. Laid back & casual: There is a very relaxed vibe here. People walking around in board shorts, flip-flops and t-shirts. This is unheard of in Mexico City, where everyone is dressed formally at all times.
  7. Melting Pot of people: Unlike in Mexico where you generally get two (stereo) types of people, short and brown or tall and white, here there is everything in between. Makes for really interesting people watching.
  8. Buffets: This seems to be the rage in Brazil. Almost every restaurant I have walked past, seems to offer a buffet.  I guess I have to change my feelings towards them, as currently I tend to feel that they are over indulgent, bacteria ridden, virus infected cess pits! (no strong feelings at all…)
  9. Efficient:  In less than a week we have managed to set up more services than we could have done in Mexico in a month. When we went to set up my mobile phone on Saturday the guy who served us, was so on the ball and so helpful. The kind of customer service that you get in the U.S and the kind of customer service you definitely do not get in Mexico!
  10.  Language: I think my Spanish is really going to help me pick up Portuguese that much quicker. Unlike when I moved to Mexico with absolutely no Spanish and had no idea what was going on. I feel now, at least I can kind of understand what is happening, and my rudimentary level of Portuguese will allow me to get by quite well!

So these are my initial reactions to Brasilia – who knows, they man change over time? But I always think it is fun to capture my first impressions, and see how much/little they change over time. However, all in all – I feel very happy at the moment, and I finally feel that sense of excitement about  this city and our lives here, which had been lacking for the last 6 months. I really can’t wait to continue exploring and getting stuck into what life has to offer here!

I hope that you will all follow me on the ride :)

7 thoughts on “Brasilia: First Impressions!

  1. I am very happy that you are being so positive when you were so nervous before leaving Mexico. Much love, Mamma xx

  2. Wow! That’s fabulous! We didn’t even manage to do all that in a month moving from North Hollywood to Glendale on our last move! HAHA! Good for you, and I’m so glad you are pleasantly surprised! It’s actually better than the opposite: having high expectations and being completely gutted that it’s not what you thought it was going to be. I’m living vicariously through you, so I cannot wait to hear more!

  3. Hola amiga! So happy for you, sounds like a dream…you had me at “fresh air”. Hope you continue to enjoy your new home! Miss you in Spanish class.

    1. Hey Kari – thanks so much for stopping by! Yeah, it is amazing how much you miss something as basic as fresh air! Kari if you ever get a chance to be posted to Brasilia – you should take it in a heart beat. Everyone I have spoken to with kids absolutely love it here. Super safe and easy to get around…big change from old D.F! Hope your well. Besos

      1. Congratulatione have followed you and cannot say how happy you sound. Wonderful. Well you had no expextations so now we hope you will find more positive things. Your cats must be happy too!
        Cannot wait for more Brasilia info! Aloha, Bollan Dave

  4. Oi Alex! Tudo bem? So happy to hear that you, C and (most importantly ;)) the cats have settled down well in your new home. Looking forward to hearing more! Take care. Love/E

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