For more lists of 10 and insights into Sao Paulo, see American Exbrat in São Paulo.
In July we will have been here for three years. While within the first, there were items I wish we had put in the shipment, the past two-and-a-half have really made me realize how a few extra appliances and supplies would have made a big difference. And yes, I’ve taken trips back to the States. But some things just won’t fit in a suitcase, are too heavy or take too much space. Space I wasn’t willing to compromise for chocolate chips, organic coconut oil and birthday party supplies.
Here are ten thing I wish we’d packed in the move.
I’ve definitely collected some unhealthy eating habits during my São Paulo journey. Recently, in a campaign to offset those, we’ve begun to juice. Juicing is reasonably easy in this city because you load up on fresh fruit and vegetables at your neighborhood feira or the organic market at Parque da Água Branca on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. What is not easy to acquire is a high-powered juicer at a reasonable price. We recently bought an overpriced juicer that seems to work fine, but some of the plastic pieces are so thin I’m afraid it may not last in the long haul. We did bring a citrus juicer from the U.S., but I wish I’d thought ahead and gotten a powerful all-round one like a Breville or the Norwalk.
2. Air Purifier
Pollution doesn’t just effect you when you go outside. There are days when I can feel it in my lungs as I wake up. It is also easy to encounter mold in Brazil, so an air purifier would have been a great idea.
3. A coffee maker with a timer
Not only did somebody break the glass pot of our coffee maker with the first few months, one that was impossible to replace, but the maker itself did have a clock we could set to have fresh coffee ready when we wake up. Now that I am getting up at the crack of dawn to get my daughter to school, this feature is appreciated. We bought a coffee maker here for more money than it is worth with a carafe feature that never really keeps the coffee warm for very long.
4. More warm blankets
São Paulo gets cold, especially at night. Most apartments aren’t built with a heating unit, so you have few options than to bury yourself under multiple blankets. Even our down comforter doesn’t always do the job.
5. Electric space heaters
Not only are these useful at night, though I never felt comfortable running one all night long for fear of electrical fire, this appliance is useful for warming up a bathroom in preparation for a shower on a cold day.
6. Washing machine
We did bring an awesome refrigerator from the States, but decided to skip the washing machine and clothes dryer because we anticipated someone who only spoke Portuguese would be the one running it. However, we paid a lot of money for a washing machine that often tears up clothes, towels, etc. Had I thought it through, I could have easily just taped Portuguese words over the ones in English on the item if I really didn’t want to run it myself. We didn’t buy a clothes dryer at all, which was a good decision because in both places we have lived there would have been a struggle to find a spot for it. So it is hang drying for us.
7. An extra hair dryer
My hair dryer recently broke. I went without for a couple weeks, but finally broke down and bought one for a painful amount of money. Sure, I could throw one of those in a suitcase on my next trip, but that would mean months of bad hair.
8. More pots and pans
We were quite sad after a women who cooked for us scraped the crap out of our beloved wok – an item that is awkward to stuff into a suitcase (but not impossible!) We also replaced some pans that didn’t survive her culinary methods, but you just don’t get the same quality for a decent price. I wish we would have extended our high quality pot and pan line in anticipation of extensive cooking.
9. Food storage containers
Bugs infiltrate dry goods on a regular basis in São Paulo. And forget out casually clipping a bag of sugar or other sweet stuff. While we did bring some Oxo food storage container in the big trip, we could definitely use more and different sizes and shapes.
10. Sports equipment
Tennis racquets, bicycles, roller skates, extra yoga mats… I wish we would have thought through all that we might want to do in São Paulo parks and clubs. These items are outrageously expensive to buy in Brazil, especially if you want well-made equipment.