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Category Archives: brazil

Go Corinthianos

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Or actually shut the #$#@ up! Seriously, please, I’ve got kids ūüėČ ¬†Yesterday was the 4th of July, not really meaningful here in beautiful Sao Paulo. But it kind of felt like it last night, fireworks till midnight… thank you again Corinthianos.

Had I been in the US, we’d have been grilling hot dogs (they don’t grill hot dogs here, just sausages, hot dog grilling seems weird to them) and hamburgers, and eating potato salad. ¬†Interestingly it’s been blue skies and sun the last few days here. ¬†Plus the kids are all out of school, so they’ve been having water fights at our apartment complex (using the shower for the soccer court as a “pool”); it really feels like a US Summer. ¬†It’s like Brasil is trying to woo me back. ¬†And of course to top it all off last night was the BIG WIN¬†for the Libertadores Cup (South American soccer cup).

Yes soccer fans ¬†the Sao Paulo Corinthians came out on top (their first win ever). ¬†I don’t even have to turn on the TV to know when a goal is scored (don’t worry it’s on, my husband wouldn’t have it any other way), the ENTIRE neighborhood explodes. ¬†For the record we’re not Corinthian fans, but it’s still nice to know that Brasil won the cup. ¬†When the Corinthians finally won, the horns, and screaming, and fireworks went off for at least an hour. ¬†It was an all out party last night, I was afraid my two year old would wake up. ¬†I literally had to sleep with the 3 month old on my chest, as he kept getting startled by the noise and fussing. ¬†It was THAT loud. ¬†But what else would you expect from Brasilians who know how to celebrate, and well the Corinthian fans do have a reputation, somewhat akin to Raider fans.


Police Jeito

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So this weekend we headed off to Maresias. There was a 40% chance of thunderstorms, but weather prediction in Brazil is pretty fickle… as you can see from this lovely photo.

As we pulled out of Sao Paulo city, my husband mentions he forgot to grab his passport, and how he’s essentially driving illegally. I was confused as he’s never brought this up before. So he explains, that a cop could pull us over randomly (um ok paranoid much hon?) and we’ve been here long enough that he should have got a Brasilian license. With the passport he could weave a story about how he just got here (since he was recently in the US). Then I start thinking about how in Brasil you have to have some kind of documentation to travel with your kid, to show that they’re not kidnapped. Then I realized this is just crazy think that we’d get pulled over, and went back to sleep for the long drive.

That was until my husband was waived off to the side by a cop? WTF?!! Yeah, at one of the roadside police stations, a cop was just standing in the middle partition of the the road and decided to wave US over. My husband immediately turned on his charm (he can seriously talk his way through any ticket), but then the cop asked him to get out of the car and step away from it. Crap right?

No this is my weasley husband here…he’s good at weasling. ¬†When he got back to the car, he let me know that the cop was enjoying the conversation about California and the tv show C.H.I.P.S. ¬†so much, that he asked my husband to step into the police station for a “cafe”… yeah okay that makes sense. My wife and children are sitting in a tiny hatchback in the “pull off area” on the side of a small freeway, and we’re going to go inside and drink some coffee and talk about C.H.I.P.S. ¬†He actually had to explain to the cop why he couldn’t.. the fact that we were clearly on our way somewhere before we were waived over seemed to slip through the logic that was being used.

Otherwise, Maresias was as lovely as ever. I did get eaten alive by these tiny vampire mosquitos. ¬†You can see the little bits of blood they left all over my ankle. ¬†It actually hurts to walk on my right foot due to the sheer numbers of bites.. and that’s just my right ankle (9 on just the right side of my right ankle).

Famous Brasilians for you

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We all know Gisele Bundchen, and if you don’t then you know her American Football playing husband Tom Brady… power couple right? ¬†But if you’re an Iphone user you most likely have been using the Instagram app, and may have heard of the recent sale of Instagram to Facebook.

What you may not have read, but a friend of mine tipped me off to is there is a Brasilian connection there. Maybe if I read magazines in Brasil, I wouldn’t have missed the full spread they did on Mike Krieger.¬† The¬†Veja article ¬†in Portuguese.

Of course, if you’ve seen the movie The Social Network, you would know that the other founder of Facebook,¬†Eduardo Saverin is Brasilian as well.

The Veja Article is an interesting read as it highlights a few of the technology geniuses that Brasil has claim to… in Google translate here. It’s funny, I’m just an expat, but I’ve gotta say I’ve got a bit of pride for all things a bit Brasilian.

Dia Internacional da Mulher

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That was yesterday by the way… and I saw a few posts by people on Facebook about it, but you know what, it’s actually kind of celebrated here in Brasil! ¬†Yeah, no random I need to post something on my status update holiday, it’s a real day here. ¬†At my doc’s office they had little treats for all of the women when they came in (and they were yummy yum).

My nanny asked if I knew what March 8th was… of course I didn’t. ¬†Turns out it’s like secretaries day kind of, everyone here knows about it. ¬†She said at jobs all the women are treated special (you know like secretaries day), or women get flowers from their hubbies etc. ¬†So yes, my dear spouse, if you happen to read this.. next year:

So now I’m asking myself… how is it that my husband knows all about dia dos namorados (which he insisted we celebrate this year instead of Valentines), but didn’t bother telling me about the day that I get celebrated for being a woman?? ¬†Yeah, he’s got some ‘splanin to do.

Thick and Thin

On the flight back from Miami I watched “Up All Night.” While it’s got funny actors, I never would have been drawn to watching it. ¬†As a mom and a soon to be mom, I’ve gotta admit it was funny. ¬†However, in the course of the show they shared a quote. ¬†Basically, as you get older, you can have a great face and a fat arse, or a tight arse and a face like skeletor, but you can’t have both.

That saying is sooo true on so many levels. ¬†You can have fresh hot bread, and exotic tropical fruit, and no snow and give up your peanut butter M&Ms, or you can have peanut butter M&Ms, and live in the US ūüėČ

So when I saw this photo on Facebook I had to post it. ¬†Brasilians would unilaterally agree that US women are too skinny, and I have to say, I love Brasil’s love of curves. ¬†When I was watching TV in the US, I thought to myself, is she supposed to be attractive, she’s tooooo skinny. ¬†When I lost a bunch of weight I thought I was too skinny…I’m curvy, but living in Brazil I’m even more aware of my Japanese¬†ancestry…. I have no butt whatsoever, freaking Japanese genes.

So in summary, I can live in Brasil, and eat like a Brasilian and get nice and curvy (except for that freaking butt), or I can live in the US and be average and see images of skinny biatches all the time that make me go on cleanses.

Politics– in Brazil

Not that I really follow Politics in Brasil, I’m having a hard enough time keeping my house running, working, raising a child, growing a child, and keeping up with this blog. ¬†But if I did, I’d be following the US’ election (my husband is an ardent Republican, so we spend many a night up till 2am watching each and every GOP debate). ¬†I do happen to know a few Democrats, and one of them recently posted a Gallup poll stat, intending to demonstrate that things aren’t as bad as we think. ¬†I tend to disagree, as I’m one of the few people I know who are happy with their financial situation.. and that’s because I’m in the ever so lovely (albeit expensive) Brasil. ¬†Lucky me!!!

The Gallup Poll stats paint a pretty dismal picture of the US.  Basically when I started College the world was all roses, and then slowly began to decline until it hit right about where we are now:

The extent to which Americans are suffering financially because of the nation’s protracted economic downturn is evident in the large numbers — 49% — saying their personal finances are worse than a year ago. With barely 3 in 10 saying their finances are better, this is among the worst evaluations Americans have given of their finances since Gallup began measuring this in 1976.

Half the US Feel Worse Off Financially- Gallup Poll

So I mentioned this to the spouse, who pointed out that when President Lula left office after like 8 years, his approval rating was 88%. This is completely unheard of in US politics.  Almost all of our Presidents are hated by half or more of the US Population, then years later we look back on them with rose colored glasses. But still that high of a rating is unheard of in the US.

Now not everyone (I hear) loves Dilma, but I ran some stats on her, and she’s at a 72% approval rating as of January. ¬†Employment is up, trade is up, and Brasil moved from 7th to 6th in GDP. ¬†This is a growth economy. ¬†So again, while people have their opinions, she seems to be doing okay.

Because I can’t be TOO pro Brasil, I will point out that there is still a lot that Dilma needs to take on politically. ¬†For instance, the insane taxes. ¬†I can always tell the Brasilians at the airport as they’re the ones with the carryons stuffed to the brim, and two 70lb suitcases. ¬†Prices here are crazy high.

People still work like dogs here, other than the fact that they get like a month off for their Holiday, but the rest of the year they work HARD. ¬†Crime is also a big issue, as I’ve noticed the whole pyramid scheme of employment seems to be big here. I.e the rich get richer, and the poor well they get a little less poor. ¬†So the rich here are ever so rich, and the poor, well I’ve visited homes without toilet seats or formal showers.. and yes that’s normal, and no they were not in a favela. ¬†Education is sadly still and issue here, and I think if that were to improve we would see a marked improvement in the living standards, crime, and salaries. ¬†But Brasil is a huge area to manage, there are tons of severely rural towns, that we risk destroying rain forest by helping to “move into the current century” and provide running water etc., so it’s not an easy country to manage, and the solutions are not one size fits all.

And of course, again I’m just some random expat blogger, so in the end what do I really know?

Swim Lessons

So a few of our expat friends live at Villagio Panamby over in Morumbi. ¬†Our beat up banged up car that we bought from an expat was from someone who lived there as well. ¬†It’s one of those mega complexes with tennis courts, and a zillion pools, and playgrounds, and everywhere you look there are kids with babas in white in tow. ¬†We chose not to live there due to the fact that traffic was a pain, and I don’t have a car or driver, and it’s not exactly public transportation friendly. ¬†Not that one would ever have to leave this beauty of a compound, and if you have kids in Graded (the Americas School here), it’s close by. ¬†So we did the next best thing to living there, we’ve got friends there ūüėČ

Saturday was a 3 year old American style birthday.  Food, presents, and some pool time fun.  The last and first time our son dipped his toes in a pool was in Fortaleza at the waterpark. That was more laying on rafts, or walking around in ankle deep kiddie pools. This time, we let him go for it.  We figured the sooner he learns to swim the better. And he did great.

Yes he fell a few times and landed on his back under the water– no crying at all. ¬†But he loved it, he loved jumping into daddy’s arms from the edge of the pool. ¬†I think most of Brasil was in shock and worry that our little one year old was going to die.

So for good measure we decided to see how well our kid did under the water. Dad would count 1-2-3 and then blow in his face and dunk him. Each time he would get super excited and kick his feet and start screeching. ¬†. ¬†He’d come up with the biggest grin on his face kicking in excitement. ¬†See we have video proof… and this video was made after like his 6th dunk.

Either way, Villagio is a beautiful apartment complexes. ¬†The toilets all flush…. with toilet paper in them. ¬†There is¬†central¬†air and heating in each apartment, and the architecture is lovely. ¬†Yeah you’ll definitely pay for all the luxury, but it’s nice luxury to have. ¬†I still like Brooklin Paulista best though, even sans Tennis courts and heated pool.