18 comments on “How to make friends and influence people

  1. As a half canadian that gets the subway everyday in SP. SCREW SP COMMUTERS. Jesus christ things would go so much more smoothly if people just had an ounce of patience and courtesy.

  2. Hi, Andy. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and this is my first comment. Well, I must confess that people here in São Paulo act like wild animals in the public transport, specially at the metrô platforms. In my view, there’s a complete lack of information and communication from the PA announcer and people do whatever they want. What’s more, dumb people exist anywhere else in the world, not only in São Paulo, so I ask myself why we can’t tame these people? Regards

    Twitter @vinicius140

    • I’m not sure about taming (sounds a bit dictatorial to me) but better communication would definitely help. Education is also important.

  3. As you should have already noticed, people here like to blame the poor. But at LINHA QUATRO (the yellow line) is even worse, despite crossing the richest neighborhoods. I really don’t have an answer, but I suppose that it has to deal with the concept that for the paulistanos every public space and every public transport belongs to nobody. That’s why our streets are so dirt and monuments are destroyed and and disrespect reigns at metro stations


    • I think your point about Paulistanos not feeling that public space belongs to them is a very insightful one, and also something I’m looking to write about in the future with regards to exactly the things you talk about – pavements, monuments, graffiti, etc.

      • Andy, it’d be a great subject – public x private – to discuss in your future posts. It’s a huge problem that comes from the colonial period. Don’t miss the opportunity !

      • Yes, this is something I’m researching at the moment. Will be posting something later this week about SP’s ban on advertising and will write something later about exactly that issue (publc v private).

      • Well, people … In 1999 in London I experienced odd and unexpected situations in the Tube like:
        . escalators didn’t work in Clapton South station and for that reason trains wouldn’t stopped there; so I had to take a bus in Stockwell to reach home; 3 hours (from 7 to 10 pm) in bus stop trying to get in the bus; finally I succeed and felt myself as a pumpkin being smashed among other pumpkins… Unbeliveble …
        . a dog peeing in the train
        . in the train a girl was reading a book next to the door and blocking it with her legs by streching them – ok the train is empty …
        Not to mention the trash along the tracks due to terrorism problem – in that time, IRA. Ok, in Paris you find the same nowadays.
        You see ? These behaviours were completely unexpected to me and demystified Londoners & Brits – they’re “normal” people…

  4. The times that I’ve visited São Paulo I’ve always approached the metro with a deal of apprehension. I took the metro during rush hour, and like you, people seem annoyed that I was trying to get off. Its as if they have no sense of the concept that someone needs to make space for them to be able to get on.

    Thankfully the metro in Belo Horizonte isn’t as bad as São Paulo.

  5. Hello! I am reading your blog since I left my peaceful and quiet Switzerland for SP with my wife, a few months ago. I have enjoyed since then your moaning and wit about your integration here and was afraid that the “Hull” post was the last one (actually, it would have been an excellent end), but the latest posts are as brilliant as always and hit points that all of us coming from abroad can only say “so true!” at every paragraph and have some good laughs. I am thinking about gathering a few anecdotes about my moving to Sao Paulo and making my own blog with illustrations and cartoons…It is incredible that any attempts of the authorities to discipline paulistanos (i.e. big stickers, in front of each door, reminding them to let the people get out before they can step in, or even barriers) have proven useless.

    • Hi, it’s nice to know there’re a few people who pop back from time to time to check out the blog – I guess I must be doing something right despite my moaning!

      I think with the Hull post I was acknowledging that maybe I needed to be a bit more positive about things, but I think you can see that everything is back to working order now…

      Anyway, let me know if you put a blog together and I’ll check it out. Cheers!

  6. Hey ! Found you on reddit… I’m from São Paulo. Really nice text talking about here. You were very reasonable and this all true. The most annoying things here are this kind of stuff in public transportation and traffic jam. Keep writing !

    • Hey, thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it. I think that as I’ve written more and more posts I’ve become a little more fairer. At first I think I was just moaning about stuff!

  7. Hi. I find your comparison between bus and subway etiquette interesting, however I believe that it can be justified. Now I can’t speak for São Paulo nor London because I have never been to either city (except for general facts I know) but I can compare with my hometown of New York City. Here, we do have some form of etiquette on the subway (i.e. letting passengers off first, standing to the right of the escalators) and of course the lack of etiquette and consideration (i.e. litter, rats, uncleanliness).

    But why São Paulo’s subway is cleaner yet a madhouse, while here in New York there is some form of etiquette but unclean, etc…?

    Perhaps in such cities as New York and London, we have the freedom to have etiquette because the subway systems in these cities are so massive. New York City, though I can complain all day everyday about what is wrong with this city (being a native), at least is blessed to have a massive subway system operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Here, we have multiple subway lines that can serve the same neighborhood, with express and local trains. So that may be the reason for the etiquette, because at many stations in Manhattan for example, are served by multiple lines. And it would not make sense impede another person’s path in the escalator because your line of choice can be different from mine. Plus, we have the room on the physical platform and train to allow for this etiquette and social efficiency to occur.

    Now, with São Paulo, their system is only 1/5th the size of New York City’s yet SP city has nearly double the inhabitants (I would imagine) than that of here. So during the rush hour etiquette is thrown out the window, because everyone is in the same boat (or train for that matter). Only one line may serve a particular region, most people may ride from end-to-end as it would not make sense to travel very short distances in São Paulo, there are not really a express/local service, and there are set hours of operation. My assumption is that if São Paulo had just as many subway lines as NYC or London, then there would less of an etiquette problem. This assumption is further proved by how you described the buses. People form lines to board a bus, another for an emptier bus, priority to the elderly and pregnant, because São Paulo has at least triple the amount of bus lines than that of NYC so because there are so many buses that would render a map useless, etiquette can be afforded. Also, I’m guessing most of the people’s complaints about the São Paulo Metrô is during the height of rush hour and travelling towards Estação Sé. Maybe there is etiquette during off peak and weekends when passenger traffic is less.

    Sorry for the long message. Food for thought…

    • It’s a nice hypothesis but I’m not sure how much I agree.

      The pushing and shoving to get on a Metro happens pretty much at any time of the day – weekday or weekend. It’s almost a default reaction not even to think that this might be rude /annoying – like blocking both sides of the escalator.

      With buses there’s only one entrance so people pretty much have to form a queue of sorts whereas with the Metro you can pick and choose your door and then go hell for leather. At least that’s my experience anyway.

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