RE: first post - where I stand
Tommy - whenever you make it over to the states, I recommend two places - Austin TX and Santa Cruz CA. Los Angeles and New York are fun too, but everybody knows that. anyways thanks for the advice. I really need to work on my day game, I think it'd be awesome meeting the cute girls I see while I'm out around town during the day, instead of just relying on the bar/club/party scene. I live in southern California right now and there are beautiful women everywhere... I've just got a bad case of approach anxiety that I need to resolve.
And trust me, I'm heading back to Brazil as soon as I can manage it - and for a longer stay next time! my plan is to buy a one-way ticket to Rio when I graduate from college (spring of next year if all goes according to plan) and see what happens.
hoops - sure, I can tell you all about Floripa.
I lived there for five months and got to know the place very well. In fact, I briefly dated a girl who went to school at UDESC... she said it was a good school. She was studying design, but I think she might have changed her major or something. what are you studying?
As for what you need to know... well, Portuguese, for starters. I didn't know any when I got there, but I had five months to learn it and the first 2 1/2 were pretty difficult. A lot of people will speak some English but you really need to know the local language to have fun there. Get a tutor if you don't already speak the language well. I can recommend a really good one if you want. (I can also recommend a good hostel if you're looking for a place to stay)
Other things that come to mind-
Cost - Florianópolis is pretty expensive compared to other Brazilian cities, but I still found it to be less expensive than United States prices (granted, I live in California). Not nearly as bad as Rio. Booze and food can be found for very cheap, but expect to pay a lot for clothes and electronics. Clubs can be abysmally expensive.
Nightlife - I really enjoyed the nightlife but it took me a while to figure out what the good places were. There are a lot of overhyped, tapped-out clubs that are a total waste of money (but some of them are worth checking out on a good night... definitely hit up P12 if you have a chance). Meet some locals and get them to take you to the less well-known places. Also, be sure to spend some time at UFSC, the island's federal university - they constantly throw parties there that get absolutely insane and out of control, and are always full of cute brazilian college girls.
Weather - I hear it's absolutely perfect during the summer. I was there from March-July, so I caught the tail end of summer and the beginning of winter. It rained a lot, but for the first couple of months it was usually excellent beach weather. Towards the end of my stay it got depressingly cold and rainy, prompting me to leave and travel up the coast until I eventually ended up in Pipa.
Vibe - the vibe is generally very laid back and beachy, and people are very friendly. Floripa has a small, dense downtown hub, which is surrounded by miles of beautiful hills, jungles and beaches, dotted by small suburbs and fishing communities. There's a big metropolitan scene in the downtown area (centro) and on the wealthy north end of the island. but the rest of the island is very tranquilo.
Beaches - possibly the single greatest highlight of Brazil. The beaches on the island of Florianópolis are numerous, diverse, and unbelievably beautiful. Also a great place to meet pretty girls in tiny bikinis. Get a tan as fast as possible so you don't stick out like a sore thumb (unless you're going for the southern winter, in which case, bring a jacket and a raincoat instead).
Transportation - Floripa is a big island, so getting around is definitely something to consider. Your best bet is to rent a car or make friends with somebody that has one. The other option is the public transit system, which I learned to navigate like a pro...but it was no easy task (especially before I could speak decent Portuguese).
And of course,
Girls - Floripa is host to some of the most spectacular women I've ever laid eyes upon in my life. At the beach, on the street, in the malls, clubs, bars, everywhere, you will be awash in beleza the likes of which you've never seen (unless you've spent time in Brazil previously). However, the city has gathered quite a reputation over the past decade for this reason. The young women that live there are aware of this reputation, and as a result, you'll find Floripa girls to be much more difficult than girls from almost any other region of the country (except Curitiba, I've been told). They are generally more stuck up, flaky, spoiled, and wary of gringos than your typical Brazilian woman. This is the reality in most of the big cities in southern Brazil (it's much wealthier and more westernized than the north), but it's particularly apparent in Floripa. Don't let this discourage you. Knowing some Portuguese and trying to distinguish yourself from the gringo tourist crowd (mainly by meeting local friends and showing a genuine effort to embrace the culture and lifestyle) will definitely help a great deal. Also, I didn't have much luck trying to meet girls in clubs and bars (there's a lot of money on the island so the club scene is pretty tapped out), but had much better results meeting girls on the street, at school, or at parties. Your experience may differ. Oh, and one other thing - southern Brazilian girls are generally a lot whiter and more European-looking than girls from the north (I prefer the tan-skinned morena look myself). But you'll definitely find all types of women there because lots of Brazilians move to Floripa from other parts of the country.
The key to Florianópolis is getting off the beaten tourist path and oversaturated club scene and really getting to know the local culture and natural beauty of the island. Being in college, you'll also have a great opportunity to meet cool, young locals, and most Brazilian college students speak at least some English, so take advantage of that.
Oh yeah, and the weed sucks. Not sure if that's relevant to you.
Overall, Floripa was fucking incredible and I loved the hell out of it. I have way more that I could say about it but I figure this post is long enough already. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
(This post was last modified: 02-26-2011 06:50 PM by Stien.)