Today I started my trip and left the winter behind. The first day on the move could not have been more adventurous.
Things you want to hear before boarding
Already being quite sleep deprived of all the goodbye parties, getting up at 02:30 was easier than imagined. My dad and me were flying from Vienna to Salvador via Frankfurt. After checking in our over weight luggage, our flight to our first stop went down very unspectacular. (Note to self: always check the regulations for over weight luggage twice and for all airlines not only the one you booked the whole trip with and don't believe the customer support!) Our connecting flight from Frankfurt to Salvador was two hours late because they had to fix something on the engine. That was exactly what I wanted to hear before boarding a plane for an 8 hour flight across the atlantic ocean.
Learn the local language!
For some reason I did not quite believe that you cannot communicate with english in Brasil. I always was under the impression that most people know at least basic words. That is not the case! You should really learn the basics of the local language if you are planning on going to a country like this. I literally spent 45 minutes trying to explain to a very patient ticket sales person, where I wanted to go and that I needed to take the bus on the same day. I only realized after some time that when he was telling me that something cannot work together he meant that my dad and me would not sit next to each other on the bus. You can really save yourself some trouble if you learn the basics or at least write the most important sentences down to show them to the person you are communicating with. Thanks to google translate everything went fine in the end and we arrived at around 07:00 in Capao, the place where my uncle lives and owns one of his coffee shops. We did not spend a lot of time waiting for the next connection so the trip was kind of the perfect fit for us. After the first few hours in contact with this many brasilian people, I have to say that I am impressed with their openness and lack of social filtering. They just talk as they think... something we europeans seem to have lost because of the way we have been brought up.