Living in Belem, Brazil

April 28, 2009
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I am a TCK living in Belem, Para, Brazil. For those of you who don't know, a TCK is also know as a third culture kid. A third culture kid is a kid who lives in two distinctly different cultures and create their own unique culture. TCK's normally don't fit into either culture.

One of the main differences living in Belem, Brazil and the United states is the food. Here in Brazil, for lunch, you would have beans and rice with a small piece of meat about everyday. In the States you eat all different types of food for lunch. Peanut butter1 is also a big difference. In the States you can buy it at almost any grocery store. Here there is only two stores where you can buy peanut butter. The peanut butter does not have any sugar or salt in it, but it is still good. In the United States, almost every fast food restaurant has a drive through window. Since most people use the bus here, there are no drive through windows. Even the American restaurants don't have drive through windows. Here in Belem there are only 3 American restaurants here. McDonald, Pizza Hut and Subway.

Around2 here the crime rate is way different. Staying in Belem, on average three people get murdered every day. I can not go to most of the places in the city alone because my dad is afraid I might get mugged. The bus system here is also great. In the U.S the bus system is not that great. Here in Belem you can get to anywhere in the city with the buses. So we take the bus a lot here.

Standing close is another thing that bothers many people. Here in Belem you stand close to people, when your on the bus, when you talking to people and when you eat. When people come down to visit another thing they notice is noise. At night in the States all your normal here in the night is sirens, cars and other small random noises. Here in brazil at night you here the frogs whooping, bugs chirruping , the bars playing techno music, sirens and the occasional gunshot.

Electronics are also very different that the states. For the price of one ipod here you could buy 4 in the states. You can not buy a computer here that works well for under 400$. People use pirated software here a lot. Almost 60% of brazil's software is pirated.

Here in Belem and in Para is the only location where you can grow Brazil nuts. Most people think “Brazil nuts grow in Brazil.” But really they can only grow in the state of Para. Harvesting4 Brazil nuts here are easy6. Because 5 of their large size they are deadly. They are grown in pods that contain about 50 Brazil nuts.

All in all I think that being a TCK has given me valuable experiences that help me grow in my life. I don't think that I would trade it for all the rice in China. Or all the Brazil nuts in Brazil.





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