Traveling safely in Brazil

Wallace asks:

Eu gostei muito de esse blog acerca de etiqueta no Brasil! Você pode escrever um blog sobre de como viajar com segurança no Brasil? Por exemplo, como os turistas devem vestir-se, onde não devem ir, e como usar o ônibus e o metrô de uma maneira segura. Eu planejo visitar Rio de Janeiro por três semanas em Novembro e Dezembro, e tenho um pouco de medo.

Boa Pergunta.

But first, since this blog is mainly about learning the language, let's correct his sentence. It's almost 100% - just a few things:
de + esse >> desse

Use the word sobre when to say about. "Acerca" is for saying "about' in a distance context (.. it's about a mile from here).
Put the se before the verb when used reflexively > como as turistas devem SE vestir

Way to go Wallace, you're on your way!

Now, for some real-life guidance on traveling safely in Brazil.

Dress for success: como se vestir.

This fashion guide that will keep you out of trouble. Attacks on tourists are way down here -- and they were always over-hyped, but the truth is there are a lot of tourists here, and most make themselves easy targets for a thief. The bad guys really don't want any trouble and will steer clear of anyone that seems to have a clue.

Let's get a clue. Vamos ficar ligado!

Local style: moda brasileira

Most all of the places you might visit as a tourist are going to be near the beach where the fashion sense is influenced by one word: CASUAL. The mistake foreigners make in their interpretation of casual is that it's just not casual enough. The secret to beach casual is sticking to the basics and going for pure comfort. If you're out on the town at a decent club, do not worry about dressing up -- just keep the watch and chain at home.

> Wander around constantly looking at your screen.
> Wear your backpack on your chest.
> Wear socks with sandals.
> Use a fanny-pack.
> Wear a watch.

> Use a T-shirt when wearing shorts
> MEN: Use either a sunga (speedo) or board shorts (extra long swim trunks)
> WOMEN: Buy a bikini on the beach or just use a kanga or shorts + shirt if you're shy. BTW ladies - do not be afraid to let it all hang out on the beach! This thing about all Brazilian girls having perfect bodies and look good in bikinis is a MYTH! (sim). The truth is they are less inhibited and know how to just wear it well. Fact is, most women (and men) here are just as over-weight and defect-laden as everyone else on the planet.

Bermudas2 rio  camisa-polo_thumb[5] Spader-Clothing-Rio-De-Janeiro

combina-r-roupas-masculinas--295x300 GirlsClothes-300x224 out  Untitled-1   Roupas-masculinas-natal-2012-4  Untitled-2 Untitled-3  andre-souza-31-engenheiro-de-projetos-veste-bone-comprado-no-e-bay-bermuda-toulon-tenis-adidas-e-blusa-de-brecho-1390589514039_956x637

Streetwise: anda bem.

Random street crime is way down in Brazil. And, the worst thing you can do is to send out extreme fear vibes. But Brazil is a land of haves and have-nots, and those without are a threat to your safety in certain areas. The single best thing you can do to stay away from this is to hang with the Brazilians. They are great for making new friends and will be more than happy to get to know you, even without a proper introduction. They are not ranked the friendliest on the planet for no reason. Go ahead and chat up anyone you like on the street! You will be safer, and you might learn something too.

On the bus: andando com o povo.

Everyone - meaning: all classes of people here ride the bus, o busão. The problem is that thieves frequently target the busloads of passengers. If this happens you are best off not resisting. But it's also safer to sit near the change-taker because the ladrão always gets excited at his take at the change drawer and often overlooks those seated close-by.

At the beach: banho de sol.

I've had most of my problems at the beach. The first time some guys approached me and my friends to show us something they were selling. While we were distracted (I think there were some girls involved in this trick as well, ahem) our things (mochila etc) were vulnerável. Of course, once they were gone and we were enchanted by the interaction we realized that our gear had been snatched. Lesson: on the beach, 1) don't take your passport or much of value 2) place your things in a safe place, not just on the sand. The locals like to hang their bags from the spokes of the beach umbrella. The second experience was having my camera taken just as I was photographing some kids. Ask yourself: what's more important - constantly posting your every moment in paradise on facebook, or living the moment? Leave your gear at the hotel, live the moment, buy what you need on the beach. EVERYTHING can be bought right there. You, a sunga and some money.