Ensuring good experiences is all about managing expectations. If you are soon on your way to São Paulo for World Cup activities, or for any other events, it is important that you don’t make assumptions about what might be here when you arrive. Yes, São Paulo is South America’s largest city. But don’t let that fool you. There are things you could be taking for granted in your head that may not play out when you arrive.
Please do not assume that…
1. …your cell phone service will work all the time.
I have Claro and use an iPhone. I have a 50/50 chance of a call going through.
2. …you can rely on the internet – everywhere and anywhere.
While internet service seems to be more reliable than cell service, it has been failing more of late. Also, not every public restaurant or bar has wifi, so plan for a back-up, like an actual paper map, if it fails to get you where you need to go.
3. …the city is on the beach.
Look at a map.
4. … you will be able to use the subway system to get around.
The metro workers are scheduled to go on strike tomorrow. The gap between what they want and what was offered is pretty big. While I’m quite certain the powers that be will do everything they can to avoid game-day metro shut-downs, you just never know…
5. … Brazil has tropical weather everywhere, all year round.
Check the weather forecast. Right now, it is cold here and winter has just begun. Pack a sweater or two.
6. …locals will be warm, welcoming and grateful that you are spending money in their country.
Allegations of corruption over the Cup have led to a series of protests in this country. As we speak, Brazilian are protesting their own players. It is assumed by many that your foreign dollars will be going to further line the pockets of the politicians. Not that everyone might be aggressive to tourists. You could find yourself in many very friendly environments. But just be prepared and don’t be surprised if no one rolls out a red carpet.
Now that you know what you are up against, remove some of your more nationalistic outfits and your bathing suit from your suitcase, print out some maps, and get ready to have a great time!