The event is less than a week away, perhaps you are already in the country or you are about to arrive any day now. Here are a few things you should know.

  1. You will have a great time, in spite of the fact that nothing will work.
  2. Brazilians are a bit like sharks and dolphins: some will rip you off, others will go out of their way to help you. The challenge is to tell the ones from the others, since they look alike from a distance.
  3. Practically nobody speaks English. Of the few who do, half are unintelligible. Good luck trying to understand the pronunciation of public announcements during flights!
  4. You think that the tropical heat will be a problem? Think again. Four of the host cities (Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre) have temperate climates and are subject to the Game Of Thrones catchphrase “winter is coming!” A week ago it was 4ºC in Porto Alegre, and it’s getting colder. Not a problem, for you? Bear in mind that there is no central heating practically anywhere… except for a few of the hotel rooms. That means that when it’s 10ºC outside it may also be 10ºC inside.
  5. Don’t be furious, be curious. Brazil has a fascinating and diverse culture. There are a lot of things going on and anything can turn into a party. Even some of the protests against the government happen against a background of song and dance. Enjoy the party!
  6. Try the local food anywhere you go, you will probably like it. Even junk food like pizzas and hamburgers tends to be better than their American and North European versions, with an important exception: pizza in Rio is usually mediocre, order the finger food instead, usually the best you’ve ever had.
  7. Hang out with local friends as much as possible (the dolphins, remember?); they will keep you safe.
  8. Do not rent a car in São Paulo, use ordinary (white) taxis instead. Traffic is terrible, but taxis can get around it (most of the time).