I went to see a primary care doctor to get my tetanus vaccination today – it’s the last vaccine I’ll need before our Brazil trip. Without even realizing it, the doctor I chose is actually originally from Rio and is Portuguese, and she gave me all these tips about things to buy (those thin cloths for lying on the beach, leather shoes), things to eat (fresh fruit from corner stores, but particularly those fruita do conde or sugar apples), and… well, what not to bring. She advised me against wearing the Tahitian pearl and diamond necklace I was wearing at her office, or anything else that could be perceived as “real” or worth money, as she said that local slum guys would just pull it off my neck. She told me to leave any fancy cameras at home. She also told me not to wear any clothes that look “designer.” “If you don’t speak Portuguese, you will be a target,” she warned.
I’m sure she was just trying to be helpful since she is originally from there and would know things I wouldn’t, but this doesn’t particularly increase my excitement about visiting Brazil. If anything, it would make me more paranoid and think twice… and maybe leave Bart at home, too.