No getting around it...
At the Museu Imperial, they made everybody wear special sandals called pantufas throughout the palace. They were fine for those with small or average-sized feet, but with folks like me, none of the sandals would fit. I was a sight to behold trying to amble through the house in those silly looking shoes. I couldn't pick up my feet without the cussed things falling off. So, I had to slide along to slick floors and, believe it or not, I didn't fall even once.
Unique Suggestions: Put the things on and if your feet are big like mine, make the best of it and try not to make a fool of yourself.
Fun Alternatives: I can't think of one unless you can levitate.
If you take traveler's cheques, lotsa luck
Changing traveler's cheques to Brazilian reais sounds like a simple task, but you would think I was the only one in the history of Petrópolis to ask for that kind of transaction. Petrópolis is no small town- round about 300.000 folks in it (bigger than Richmond), so you would THINK it could be done. I finally found a bank that WOULD do it, but I had to come back the following day. I guess I should have been mad, but at least these folks were willing to help. I never had 1/10 that much trouble in any of the other countries I had been to so far! I guess I should have expected it given all the bureaucratic hoo-hah I had to go through in order to get my tourist visa (the Consular Services office was only open from 11-1).
The following day, I went back to the third bank we went to the previous day- the ones willing to help- to get my traveler's cheques changed. You would think it would take an Act of Congress to get this fairly simple transaction done. It took a lot of doing, but it did get done. With patience, perseverence and the right kind of help, it CAN be done. I don't regret taking travelers cheques. As a rule, it is a nice and safe strategy for travelers to keep their money secure because, in case of theft, they can be replaced. So, folks who read this should not be deterred from bringing travelers cheques. However, where I made my mistake was that I probably should have visited the American Express office that first morning in Rio.
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