Brazil 101 – Bathroom Etiquette + Data Coverage

The TL;DR version: Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet.

You’re a guest at a new friend’s house in Brazil. You’re having a good time. Everyone is having a good time. Nature calls. You ask, and they show you where the bathroom is. You flush. And then it happens. No. Oh, no. The toilet has clogged, the water is rising, the lock on the door is sticking. No, oh, noooooooo!!!!

Wake up. Pinch yourself. It’s just a nightmare. A nightmare from which IIII wiiiilll saaaave youuu!

Because of the smaller plumbing pipes and general construction of most Brazilian homes and businesses (unless they’re new, but it’s just better to be safe than sorry), you will need to throw your toilet paper in the bins provided in every washroom. Most will have lids, most will be conveniently located and easy to find.

There. Crisis averted. All’s well. We can breathe now.

Ya welcome.

SIM cards

There are a few things I miss having in Canada that you can get in Brazil: affordable top-tier dental care and affordable complete coverage cell-phone plans.

If your phone is unlocked, you can get inexpensive plans to cover you during your stay.

This article has much more extensive and detailed info and list of options. It’s really worth the click, especially the WhatsApp paragraph.

Adding to that info though: don’t just buy the SIM card at the store and leave. Take your phone, get the number registered/activated. Call the store number or any other number to test it out before leaving, and you will prevent the frustration of having to come back or being stuck on hold.

If you cannot find (or don’t have time to find) a TIM or Claro store or booth at your airport, you should be able to find several all around whatever city you visit. If you’re going to Arvore da Vida in September, you can either go into Sumaré or any town along the way from São Paulo to Arvore da Vida.

Now you know how to answer nature’s call properly, as well as figure out how to make your own calls from your mobile, 😛

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