Almost every circumstance of life has a stereotype or those classic questions or generalized thoughts (or we might say boring? Inconvenient?). You just have to remember when you were 16 and people would ask: and your boyfriends (or girlfriends?). The,, you get a relationship and people ask you when you are going to get married. Then, questions about babies. And I don’t even want to think about what is to be a first-time pregnant and hear so many people giving advice and tips. Well, who live abroad will agree with me that there are also classic thoughts and questions about our lives too. During these two years living in New York I have listening some comments and questions.
Wow, you live in New York! So fancy! What a dream!
I think that a big part of the people have fantasies about about living abroad (or living in New York). For some people, it is like living with glamor and zero problems. Is not true. Fancy? It depends on your concept of what is fancy. If for you fancy is to live in a mansion with the car of the year in the garage, living in New York will not be anything fancy unless you are really rich. Most people live in small apartments and use the subway – and I particularly think it is really good not having a car. Everyone has bills to pay, has routine to follow and work to maintain – everything without maids, okay? The train sometimes is late, there is no public health system, nor schools for free. For me, the advantages of living abroad are far from status or money. Remember: be on vacation and be a tourist in a city is different from living their routine as resident.
Wow! You are so lucky!
Hummm, luck? I don’t like this concept. I am from the team that believes that nothing in life is accident, but I’m also from the team that thinks you can not rely only on luck. I have already spoken on other occasions – and videos too – that me and Thiago (my husband) didn’t wake up one day and decided leaving Brazil. It was a joint decision, that has matured along with us – and took a few years to be true. We never wanted to leave Brazil because we were tired or to be rich. We just really wanted to have this experience of living abroad. He was no lucky getting a job in New York – he had to prove his competence for the job.
Wow, and you can always leave USA and get back?
Many people have made this kind of question for me and many people have also asked me on my face if I am illegal in the United States. One thing that somebody told me once is: asking someone’s immigration status is the same as asking earnings. Whatever, I have no problem saying that no, I’m not illegal: Thiago got a job – so there is work visa. I do not condemn those who seek other ways to live in the United States, but, particularly, is not what I would do.
Are you gonna live in the USA forever?
The truth is: we don’t even know if we will wake up alive tomorrow – so, what about a strong question like this. “Forever” is a long time and, as much as today I say I don’t want to leave New York anytime soon, you never know what life will reserve for you. Today we do not want to go back to Brazil – tomorrow I do not know. It is very relative.
You should go crazy with so many things to buy, right?
I understand that thought because, before I moved to New York, I was a tourist in town – and in others cities as well. And sometimes you are just like Becky Bloom. But the truth is that living abroad has caused some changes in my head. First, because I had to let go of a lot (a full apartment!), and summarize my life in two bags of 32 kg. Second, you can not live in New York accumulating many things, because space is something that you don’t have in your apartment. You make choices, learn to ponder. Another thing is that the stores and the products will not disappear tomorrow. When, and if I need something, I’ll go and buy it. I like new clothes, cosmetics, love that I can find anything I want anywhere in the city – or on Amazon. But I do not need to play desperate, simple.
How much is an iPhone? Can you bring me one?
This is classic: you live in the USA and everyone thinks you know the price of everything. In fact, you do not need to live in an American city to know how much is an iPhone – Google’s there for it, folks. I will not even complain too much this part, because I have a blog and my propose is to help people with some things – but the truth is that there are some items that are so obvious, right (like iPhone, just check on Apple website)? About “orders”: is another good point. Remember, before speaking that “it never hurts to bring something”: it will cost time and patience, and sometimes people are not in the mood – and they have no obligation to do it for you. What scares me is that friends and family are always delicated and worried befora asking for me to buy things for them, but that person that you don’t talk since 1997 think is ok to ask you to bring a guitar (yes, it has happened).
Do you prefer to live in USA or Brazil?
Even that Brazil has problems and even that I love to live in New York, there is no perfect place. I love New York for its intensity, its cultural variety, the opportunities and all I am never tired of always talking about here. But, my family is in Brazil, I lived a big part of my life there. And New York is not perfect. We live well, thank you, I can not complain, but that does not mean it’s perfect. We are immigrants, we have the language barrier, we have no family nearby. I prefer a lot of things in New York, but I also love a lot of things in Brazil. And who says I have to choose, right?
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.