ERICA STHEL – BRAZIL
I left Brazil when I was 21 and went to visit my sister in London. I was amazed with the place and decided to stay and study English.
I loved the UK, the freedom and the cosmopolitan mentality. I have a degree in hospitality from the London Hotel School and I worked in reception at the Marriot Hotel in London. I had a ball.
I came to the Gold Coast 2.5 years ago because my boyfriend is from here.
Having travelled the world this place has the best quality of life, but I find there are not many jobs. In London and Europe you can get a job like that, but the visa problems here make it much harder.
When I came here I thought “I am 31, I am not going for interviews and going to start again.” Maybe I was wrong. I speak Portuguese and some Spanish, I thought they would snap me up, but they didn’t.
People say I have an accent, and sometimes they talk to me really slowly. Word by word. The first year was extremely hard, I didn’t know anyone, only Adam’s friends. It was hard to be part of the group. People seemed to lack curiosity as they already had their group of friends.
Without any experience I got a job in a pharmacy, and they were very helpful. When I first started my pronunciation was not very good and it was very nice to be offered the job. The girls I worked with helped me too. It is a subject that I like now, maybe I can go to college and get a job as a rep. I am still working as a pharmacy assistant.
But people here seem overly concerned with what you do, whereas overseas they don’t seem to care so much.
The Gold Coast is similar to Brazil but with a better lifestyle. Brazil is a lovely country but life depends on who you know and the wages are lower there. Everything is so slow, they are so patient, like there is no tomorrow. You can’t wear nice clothes or go out safely after 8pm, or stop at traffic lights. You don’t feel relaxed.
Sometimes I feel like a fish out of the tank. We have a nice unit, a view, the beach, but that doesn’t get me a living. I don’t see a lot of opportunities if you want to more than work in a restaurant.
ERICA STHEL – BRAZIL