What is sleeve juice?

Isabel Ferreira | Updated on June 06, 2014 Published on June 06, 2014

BLink_Fifa world cup 2014.eps

For those travelling to Brazil this season, here are a few helpful tips to ensure that you have a rollickin’ time

Work on your mimic skills

As hard as Brazil’s prepared for the World Cup, it’s hard to get by speaking English, and accents only complicate matters. You’ll meet those with good-hearted intentions, but that won’t help you understand what ‘sleeve juice’ or ‘cheese mine’ are (mango juice and a traditional cheese from the Minas Gerais State, by the way). Be creative, and brush up on your gesturing abilities.

Think big for travel time — then double it

If you ask a Sao Paulo native (a ‘Paulistano’) how long it takes to get to the city’s international airport, the answer is unlikely to be anything less than 1.5 hours. You will be stuck in traffic in cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador, all of which are hosting matches. Think rush hour in Mumbai. Don’t be optimistic when making your travel schedule.

Feast on rice, beans and the signature caipirinha

For day-to-day meals, go for pay-by-weight restaurants (called por kilo) and fix yourself a dish of rice and beans. The food is usually not spicy, so if you want that Indian kick, ask for dedo de moça peppers. Brazilians are hearty carnivores — even the beans are prepared with bacon — so watch out if you’re vegetarian. If you’re not, make sure you go to a churrascaria for all-you-can-eat-beef, and allow for some hours of sleep when you’re done. On game days, put on a yellow t-shirt to match Brazil’s colours and join the locals at a bar — that’s where most people will be, so the excitement will rival that of a stadium. Order a caipirinha, Brazil’s signature drink of cachaca (a local distillate made from sugarcane juice), crushed lemons and ice. Don’t root for Argentina. You will get kicked out. (Rightfully so, I might add.)

Don’t trust your credit card

It’s easy to find an ATM in Brazil; whether it will accept your card is a different deal altogether. Many tourists have found it hard to get money in the country, so don’t arrive empty handed or smugly totting your Platinum card. Many places are cash-only and prices will be higher because of all the tourists in town. When you’re there, stick to the obvious: don’t flash cash, phones or jewellery, and, like Brazil’s own police has warned, ‘Don’t react if you do end up being mugged’.

Don’t stare

It’s winter in Brazil now, so don’t pack just a t-shirt, especially if you plan to visit cities like Porto Alegre, which can get colder. You’ll still probably see more skin than on a summer’s day in India. But smaller, tighter clothing is not a free pass to stare. Don’t gawk, and consider buying a pair of sunglasses before you go to a beach filled with tiny bikinis and tighter swimming trunks.

The writer is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro, now based in New York

Published on June 06, 2014
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