Whenever people tell me they’re taking a trip South America, I always give them the same advice - spend the entire time in Brazil.
I spent a blisteringly cold day in New York upon my return from Europe - completely justifying to myself my choice to spend the winter elsewhere. After taking care of various errands, I was on an Aero Mexico flight to Sao Paulo.
Never fly Aero Mexico. Upon arrival at the airport I was informed that they had lost my luggage, which they didn’t manage to find for a week. Plus it immediately started to rain nonstop about 2 hours after my arrival, putting the kibosh on my plans to visit abandoned mansions with a local architecture/exploration group there.
Plans ruined, wet clothes, and not even a pair of dry socks to change into. I couldn’t have been happier. I was in Brazil. I don’t know what it is about the country, but it never fails to put me in good mood. Despite its social problems (which are bad, but maybe not quite as bad as is commonly thought in the U.S.), people are generally just very friendly, relaxed, affectionate, and in a good mood. It’s infectious - the general positive vibe is just in the air. Even in a town like Sao Paulo, which is known among Brazilians for being somewhat harried and business-like, this atmosphere can still work magic on your average New Yorker.
The next day I went shopping for some clothes to tide me over. Now, I do have one small complaint about the country. Brazilians do not believe in Boxer Shorts. Or Boxer Briefs. Or, apparently, any type of underwear that wouldn’t be worn by your average 14-year old girl in the United States. But it’s a small complaint - not nearly as bad as my complaint against Aero Mexico: arriving in a foreign country for three months with what you’ve got on your back. A pair of shorts, a set of flips-flops, a decent shirt, three pairs of socks, and a three-pack of the tightest underwear I’ve ever worn later, I was good to go. Not even having to wear bikini briefs could bother me. I was in Brazil.