Belo Horizonte questions

anyways, i have a few questions about belo horizonte:

1. I'm thinking about applying to school in Belo Horizonte.  I do not drive.  Do you think it's wise to move to Belo Horizonte without a car? 

2.
http://braziliangringo.com/11-reasons-l … horizonte/

according to the above article, people in belo horizonte have a weird accent called "Mineres."  i don't want to move to a city and then develop a weird accent, where i sound like a brazilian hillbilly or something, just like someone from brazil wouldn't want to move to kentucky (in america) and develop a  hillbilly accent.  the author of the article said that he didn't even know if people in Minas Gerais were speaking portuguese when he went there.  is it true that people in minas gerais have a weird accent? 

3. can brazilians from other states understand people in minas gerais?

4. do people from other brazilian states think that people in minas gerais have a weird accent?

5. is it all minas gerais people who have an unusual accent, or is it just people in belo horizonte?

6. the author claims that it's impossible for someone who doesn't speak portuguese well to get an apartment in belo horizonte.  do you think that less people in belo horizonte speak english compared to other big cities like sao paulo?

thanks

one more question:

7. is ELS a legitimate language school?

this is the website:

http://www.elsbh.com/cursos/portuges-page/

the guy who runs the braziliangringo website said that he recommended this language school in belo horizonte, but i emailed them, and their email address (contato[at]elsbh.com) doesn't even work.  is ELS a legitimate language school? 

thanks

few more questions:

8. is it true that it's almost impossible to get an apartment if you don't speak portuguese well?

9. in new york city, people often find someone who is already living in an apartment and then become their roommate.  we often do this through websites, so we often live with people we don't know.  do people do this in brazil often, or does a man usually just get an apartment by himself?

10.  is finding a person who already has an apartment in brazil and becoming their roommate safe?  of course, there are no guarantees, but people do this all the time in nyc, and it's generally safe.  is it safe is brazil to do that?

1. It's workable.  The train system in BH is very limited, but the buses are ok, and there's Uber.  Central Belo Horizonte is not a bad walking city, although it is hillier than you are probably used to.  If you live and work/go to school in the same or nearby bairros, you should be fine.
2-5. I like BrazilGringo's stuff, but sometimes he's a little ... idiosyncratic.  Like all big cities, BH has an accent and its own slang, but it's light and easily understandable.  Nobody that I know of thinks that people from BH (unlike some people from the interior of both Minas and SP State) sound like "hillbillies".  I used to find the Portuguese of Belo Horizonte a little more nasal than some other places, but the local accent, there like everywhere else (just like in the States) has softened under the influence of television.  Now, everybody talks like news presenters, or tries to.
Besides, a little local color in your Portuguese is not necessarily a bad thing; if your Portuguese reaches a level where people think you're from BH rather than the USA, consider it a "win".
6. It's hard to find an apartment anywhere in Brazil if you don't speak Portuguese.  Fewer people in BH speak English than in SP because there are fewer people, but they don't speak it any worse.
7. Unclear.  That BrazilGringo piece is pretty old:  they could be legit, and just changed their Internet contact info.
8. See #6 above.
9. There are at least two websites you can try:  roomgo.com.br, and vivalocal.com.  You're looking for "quartos".  They seem to have a lot of rooms.  Most single people in Brazil live with their families until they get married, if they can.  In looking for a room, you're likely to run into a lot of students from the interior of Minas Gerais studying in the capital, or young professionals from somewhere else.  Many of these people may like having an English-speaking roommate.
10. If you stick to nice properties in good neighborhoods, interview your potential roommates, and trust your gut, you'll probably be ok.

so if i taught english, i would probably have to go outside of the central/downtown zone and into different bairros.

so if i taught english, which commute (via public transportation) would be longer - in sao paulo or belo horizonte?

it seems like sao paulo has a superior public transportation system, but belo horizonte is smaller.

"roomgo.com.br"

this website looks good.

"If you stick to nice properties in good neighborhoods, interview your potential roommates, and trust your gut, you'll probably be ok."

do you think i should lock the door to my personal room (inside of the apartment) if i live with a roommate, or is that too paranoid? 

when you mentioned that belo horizonte is hilly, how hilly are we talking about - are we talking about so hilly that your knees will hurt going up and down the hill, or are we talking about small hills?

and do you agree with what the braziliangringo website says - that "mineiros" (i'm guessing that means people from minas gerais) are the friendliest people in Brazil?

thanks

Traffic in Belo is less horrible than in São Paulo, and distances are shorter.  That said, it's very hard to answer your question intelligently:  it all depends on where you choose to live, and where you choose to work.  In either city, I'd recommend having a list of accessible bairros where you'd accept work, and others where you wouldn't without a premium -- transportation provided, for example.
I checked with my husband on your locked door question, because before we were married, he rented rooms in São Paulo for a while.  He assures me that locking your door when you're out is normal, and not viewed as paranoid.
We're talking San Francisco-caliber hills, especially once you cross Avenida do Contorno, and are outside the original city plan.  Minas Gerais is a very mountainous state.  Life in Belo can definitely help you stay in shape, with or without a gym membership.
My heart belongs to the Northeast.  Sergipe is the state where I lived longest, my Portuguese still has a touch of Sergipano in it, and I consider it my Brazilian home state, so of course, I think that Northeasterners are the friendliest Brazilians.  But I've always found Mineiros to be very friendly, and have always enjoyed my times with them.

"I checked with my husband on your locked door question, because before we were married, he rented rooms in São Paulo for a while.  He assures me that locking your door when you're out is normal, and not viewed as paranoid."

thanks for checking.

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