5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner (guest post by Annie Picard)

In the beginning of March, I had the pleasure of meeting Annie Picard, the girl behind the travel blog Annie Anywhere, as I already told you here. In that occasion I invited her to write a guest post for My Little Rio Journal, to share with us a little bit of her impressions of Rio de Janeiro. She kindly accepted and now I am very glad to announce the 5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner, by Annie Picard!! It is always good to know the point of view of a foreigner about habits that for us are so natural!! Enjoy it!!!


5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner

Written by Annie Picard, from Annie Anywhere

To be honest, it wasn’t on my plan to visit Brazil in a near future, but I like to follow where life leads me.

Last summer, I met a Brazilian friend travelling in Montreal, and this gave me the opportunity to visit Rio de Janeiro last March. I like it when life surprise me with beach destination! I could have met someone from Antarctica, you know…

I like to discover cultural differences while traveling. In only 10 days in Rio de Janeiro, a few things shocked me as a foreigner.

1. Don’t touch your food!

In North America, it is really common to eat food with your hands: chicken, fries, fruits, etc. We don’t call some appetizers “finger foods” for nothing. So, when we went out for dinner and I just grabbed a piece of chicken directly with my hand, my friend looked at me like I was a disgusting little kid! I swear my hands were clean but in Rio, you just don’t touch your food. There are napkins on the table for that.

2. The thumbs up

I know the thumbs up sign, but Canadians don’t really use it naturally. In Rio, people use it to say “yes” or “okay” or to confirm anything. For me. it was like giving constant real life Facebook likes!

3. Raise your hand to catch the bus

“I’m at the bus stop, so the bus will stop, right?” Nope. You need to raise your hand to get in the bus. It’s like calling a taxi, but I prefer to see it as “bus flirting”. Manifest your interest to the bus if you want it to pick you up.

4. Constant noise

I haven’t realized how Montreal was calm before going to Rio de Janeiro. How is it even possible to concentrate in this constant noise!? Music, honks, people, motors, street vendors. It just never stops. In a way, it is part of the town’s spirit an I liked it.

5.The bikinis

I already knew about this one since it is common knowledge that Brazilian bikinis are microscopic. Once at the beach, I felt like a prude grandma with my bikini! People of any shapes wore these bikinis. Thumbs up for positive body image!!

All photos on this post by Annie Picard

Annie is the blogger behind Annie Anywhere. Based in Montreal, she explores the world trying to learn new skills and connect with people. Ukulele player, life lover and self-proclaimed professional learner, Annie likes to discover cultural differences and works on her faculty of adaptation. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.



  1. Very interesting to know how Annie felt about some Brazilians habits! It is so truth what she said about the bikinis. It made me laugh out loud. Now, I feel the same way. I can’t wear the microscopic bikinis anymore, but I used to. It was really funny!

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