Axel – o Alemão

  1. Brief introduction: name, age, occupation, family, country of origin…

My Name is Axel, I’m 28 years old and I’m from Germany.

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  1.  Where are you currently living/staying in Brazil and why are you there (tourism, study, business, work…)? How long are you planning to stay?

I am living in the city of Munich in Germany and travelled to Brazil for 3 months in 2013. I just had finished my studies of tourism-management and as I have never travelled so far before I wanted to do a journey to another continent and get to know a completely different culture. In the beginning, I had only planned to stay 5 weeks, which already seemed a long time to me, but in the end I stayed 3 months in Brazil until my visa expired and I had to go back. But it wasn’t easy to say good-bye. Since then, I haven’t been back to Brazil, but I am planning to go back really soon and get to know more of Brazil and improve my Portuguese.

  1.  What were your expectations about Brazil before travelling?

When we think about Brazil here in Germany we firstly think about nice beaches, a tropical landscape, samba, caipirinha and soccer, but in the same time Brazil has the reputation to be a very dangerous place. But I didn’t worry so much about this fact and I have already travelled to other countries that were considered dangerous, so I was rather expecting a nice country with a rich culture, friendly people, a lot of exotic things to eat, a lot of music and beautiful landscapes.

  1.  Which of those expectations proved to be true and which proved to be false?

First of all, I have to say that through all my 3 month in Brazil I never had any problems regarding safety. People were very friendly to me: Once I visited a friend’s family that I have never met before and the family asked me to sit on their dinner table and I had to try all the Brazilian meals and juices. I was so overwhelmed by this kindness.

Brazil was really like I expected it. I have never seen beaches and landscapes like in Brazil before. I also spent carnival in Brazil and it was awesome to see all the people singing and dancing together on the streets. That was how I imagined Brazil.

  1.  What do you like and dislike the most about Brazil?

I love the relaxed lifestyle of people. When you are from a country like Germany where everything is very planned and organized it is also nice sometimes to go to a country where everything is more relaxed. People take their time to do things, are talking to the busdriver etc.

I liked that Brazilians are very out-going; they love to dance and to sing and to have fun. I think that was the main reason why I loved brazil so much.

But in Brazil you also have to have a lot of patience. There doesn’t exist a timetable for busses, you never know when your number will arrive and also in the supermarket it can take one hour until you can pay your things.

And one thing I had to get used to was noise. You always hear music when you open a window and people are talking louder than Germans, which for me at first was a bit strange for me.

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  1.  What was the coolest place you visited in Brazil? Why?

Every place I visited had its beauty but the most stunning place for me was Praia da Pipa. When I arrived there after long trip from Recife I really thought: “Wow, this is paradise” Everybody was so relaxed, the town was so cute and my hostel was surrounded by palm trees with an amazing view. The next day we went to a beach where we could swim in the water together with dolphins; an unforgettable experience.

  1.  Can you describe one experience in which you had to deal with cultural shock and how you managed to overcome it?

There were a lot. Once at night, I was waiting for a bus at a bus station. There weren’t a lot of people there, but I thought the bus would arrive soon, so I could save the money for a taxi. While waiting there, a girl and two boys came in my direction and when the girl saw my watch she asked me to give it to her. I denied and luckily after three times of saying ‘No’ she went away. After this situation I knew, that I have to take more care, before worse things would happen. I think, because here in Germany it is no problem to wait for a bus or a metro at night, I didn’t realize that I have to take care doing this in Brazil. But now I know this for my next trip.

  1.  What advice would you give to a foreigner planning to travel or move to Brazil?

I would say: Just do it J It’s normal to be a bit nervous before your trip and you hear a lot of things, positive and negative about brazil but once you are there you will have an awesome time for sure and make friends very quickly. I think it’s also important to try to learn the language. It helped me a lot and to me the language of a country is always the key to its culture and the people.


Axel has a very successful and fan Facebook page. You can learn more about him here:

Post Author: Juliana Pavao

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