Brazilian Challenge: Suggestions Anyone?

While I’m far from running out of ideas to become a bit more Brazilian each day (see Brazilian Challenge), I’m definitely open to ideas and suggestions from others! (Because I’ve got 358 more days to go.) Now this isn’t truth or dare, so nothing too lewd or outrageous por favor.  I’m not going to send pictures to the Brazilian Playboy (hahahahahah) or get plastic surgery (this year), but any helpful hints would be much appreciated!

Obrigada amigos e amigas!

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55 Responses to Brazilian Challenge: Suggestions Anyone?

  1. How about a Brazilian bikini? (or maybe you already sport one?) And come clear out some of the rainforest.

  2. Meredith says:

    Manicure/pedicure (on a regular basis)
    Blood tests (Brazilian doctors love to ask for these)
    Eating tapioca
    Drinking guarana
    Waiting in a long line at a bank – or anywhere else for that matter
    Eating feijoada

    (this is kind of fun 🙂

    • Ok, I’ve yet to get a blood test here… will definitely find out why not. 🙂
      Tapioca? Really? Cool.
      I’m not a big soda person, but great idea – go for the Guarana.
      Done the bank – too many times.
      Planning on making this Saturday a feijoada day – excellent suggestion.
      Thanks for the ideas!!!

      • Meredith says:

        Brazilian doctors love to ask for blood tests. They are thorough, but seem for the easy way out. I hope you don’t need one any time soon.
        Tapioca with cheese is delicious! Great for breakfast.
        I’m not a big soda drinker either, but Guarana seems different to me. It’s more like Ginger Ale.
        I’ll try to think of more :).

  3. Rebecca Brandon says:

    Hi – been enjoying your blog! I follow some other expats in Brazil… I am in London but working towards moving to Rio.
    My challenge would be going to the gym in true brasilieros style -y! It is so different from the UK and I am guessing the US also. The look we are going for is potentially the ‘all in one’ brightly patterned unitard or knee length leggings (think c.1986) and the absolutely obligatory white socks pulled up to mid calf! Have you noticed this is the way all the women in gyms in Brazil dress? The socks – I just don’t get… Rachel @ Rachels rants has commented I think on this also. But bizarrely you will not stand out at all! Rebecca

    • Oh my. Yes, I remember Danielle’s post about the gym. I am so a “roll out of bed and go to the gym” kind of person, this would be a big challenge! I haven’t noticed the socks, but I will keep an eye out. While I’m not a big fan of getting “made up” to go to the gym (some gyms in the U.S. you will find women will full-on makeup, like they think they are at a dance club not a sports club), I don’t understand wearing something as unflattering – at least on me – as you described. But, I’m going to try it.
      Thanks for your suggestions!!

  4. Anna says:

    listen/dance to bossa nova, frevo, samba, pagode, MPB.
    coxinha, pastel, risolis, pao de queijo ,brigadeiro, paçoca, catupiry,passion fruit mousse, farofa, fruit juices
    iron everything every time: sheets, towels, underwear, etc
    weekly massage and manicure
    every 2 weeks: pedicure, hair treatment, waxing.
    weekly bath at the petshop if you have a dog.
    choose a brazilian soccer team for life!
    meat meat meat: Porcão, Varanda Grill, Barbacoa,etc
    havaianas in different colours and models.
    Brazilian trips: Amazon, Lençóis Maranhenses, Pantanal, Fernando de Noronha, Iguaçu Falls,
    Açaí and other local lotions from Natura or O Boticário

  5. Danielle says:

    I interpret your challenge to help you learn about the culture while exploring Sao Paulo more and becoming more independent. So here are my ideas…

    Have you tried buying meat freshly cut from the butcher? Maybe that’s not new to you but I had zero experience with it growing up with California supermarkets.

    Let’s see…have you tried buying groceries at a Brazilian farmer’s market? Or learned how to make beans, or maybe some other Brazilian dish that you enjoy?

    Also, have you checked out Diego’s day trip plan for Sao Paulo? I think it’s even centered around your neighborhood:

    Another extra-Brazilian thing that I really enjoyed was going to a rehearsal for a samba school. The word for rehersal is “ensaio”.

    You could buy a Brazilian magazine or two in order to see what people are reading about and also to practice your Portuguese. Three good ones are Veja, Superinteressante, and Época. There are lots of magazine bashing that comes from class warfare (ex: Veja is elitist! Superinteressante is sensationalized!) but in general I think they’re both great ways to get a peek into pop culture and practice the language as a foreigner. (The Portuguese of Época and Superinteressante are easier than that of Veja. Maybe check them out online before buying them?)

    You might enjoy going to a big church service for either Catholics, Brazilian evangelicals, or a “centro espírito”. Even if it’s not your religion, I think it’d still be an interesting learning experience.

    Maybe you could buy a lottery ticket and play the Megasenha? The cheapest ticket is only 2 reais and you’d learn about the Brazilian lottery game system. 🙂 Any “lotérica” employee would be happy to explain it to you.

    I guess my advice would be to not limit your definition of “Brazilian” to the upper middle class lifestyle of your husband’s friends and family. (For example, some of them may be against the idea of going to the rehersal.) I think if you try to think of things (or talk to people who would know) that other social groups in Brazil do, you might get some more creative and enriching ideas.

    I hope those ideas help! xo

    • I love the list!! You know, outside of my wedding, I’ve never been to a Catholic mass here! We had a plan in NYC that we would explore all the various churches and never did.
      Just today I was thinking how I wanted to learn to make black bean (good black beans).
      Thanks for all the suggestions! Great!

  6. Anna says:

    -Festa Junina
    -take at least 2 showers a day
    -eat “milho cozido” or “churros” at the beach
    -socialize a lot – invite friends and family to your house all the time and vice-versa.
    -stay until 5AM at a brazilian wedding
    -read Folha or Estadao
    -watch soccer and formula 1
    -go to Cease early in the morning to buy flowers
    – get a personal trainer to work on your legs and gluteus
    -shop at Mercado Municipal
    – visit Nossa Senhora do Carmo and Candelaria in Rio
    Nossa Senhora do Brasil , Mosteiro Sao Bento and Catedral da Se in SP
    -go out to eat lunch every sunday with family

  7. Shelley says:

    How about bargaining while shopping? Go to a sitio/fazenda, make pão de quiejo, make brigadeiros, use bar soap instead of liquid (what’s it called? Ype?), ride the bus, maybe try some new kind of fruit, pick a soap opera and watch it, go to a club (for swimming, exercising). Buy pineapple from a street vendor. Make friends with a vendor (at the sacalão, padaria, etc). Wash your clothes by hand (yikes). See a person urinating in public (yuck). Hang out at a bar (with your child, extra points!). Make farofa. Try various kinds of biscoitos/goodies at the padaria. Try different kinds of salgados. Hope that helps 🙂

    • So funny! I’m planning on making Farofa today!
      Love the list, except for seeing someone urinate in public. Unfortunately, I could already check that off… yuck.
      Does scooping brigadiero from a can count as making it? Probably not.
      Very helpful! Thanks!!!

  8. Sarah says:

    Those are all great suggestions! The first thing that popped into my head was “take a commuter train.” (Or bus, but that’s not as fun.) With the average round-trip commute being well over two hours (can’t remember the statistics, but I remember that it was quite a bit more than that), that’s a very typical paulistano thing to do! I was going to add “from Brás station at 6pm” but that would be worse than making you watch Faustão. 😉

    You could go to the Museu da Língua Portuguesa at Luz station and then hop over to Brás to watch the action……If you want to actually take a train, do it, just not at the worst part of rush hour! When you’re with a small child, people are generally super nice and always offer a seat, and then you can just sit back and people-watch. (And it really isn’t hard – an easy circle route would be to take the subway to Brás, get the Rio Grande da Serra train three stops to Tamanduateí station, and from there, you can transfer for free back to the green line subway.)

    Have fun!

  9. nina says:

    Go to one of those fishing holes with your husband and you play bingo.
    Go to a church party (they usually have bingo too).
    Go to Hoppi Hari with your daughter.
    Go to the Portuguese Language Museum.
    Go to a samba school for a party.
    Go to every state in Brazil (now that’s a real challenge).
    Go meet some neighbors.
    Go a carnival party with a reputation this year!
    Watch cultura and know current events.
    Eat while standing.
    Buy products on the side of the road while traveling.
    Go shopping on the beach.
    Make juice everyday.
    Kiss your husband in public passionately.
    Give your daughter a nickname.

    • HA! Love this list! I think Danielle mentioned Hoppi Hari awhile ago – have to check it out. OMG – everyone else calls my daughter “So.” I’m not calling her that…. it will have to be something else. Thanks for the suggestions!!!

  10. Alex says:

    Harvest the organs of the person you just murdered and sell them on the black market…………

    JUST KIDDING. This is my favorite ridiculous and completely false stereotype of Brazilians. Makes me cringe!


  11. Leca says:

    Try drinking MATE with milk or fruits on Rei do Mate!!

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  13. Becky says:

    have you ever tried tereré? in the city it’s hard to find… when I was in SP I always asked people if they drank it and they said “oooh! when i’m on the farm!” but for some reason they didn’t ever keep the stuff in stock at home. ask your inlaws! it’s totally a part of our daily lives here in Rondônia… our schedules are built around tereré. We get up have breakfast, have tereré.. then we go to work, come back home have tereré then eat lunch, then nap, then have tereré and go back to work, then come home and have tereré (or chimarrão if it is cold) while watching the novelas before dinner. its a huge social ritual, similar to Mate in Argentina… you sit in a circle, someone is in charge of pouring the water and you all share the same straw (obviously you don’t invite strangers to partake in the event and everyone knows to opt out if they have any weird sicknesses or whatever). when i was stateside this was the thing i missed the MOST about brazil! the coolest part: the REAL tereré people drink it out of a “cuia” made from a cow horn… and we have one! that’s SERIOUS brazilian for ya!

  14. Anna says:

    Chimarrao is common is the south , specially rio grande do sul. Its really easy to buy in the south.
    I am sure you can find in SP too.

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  20. Hey Megan! A lot of good ideas have already been mentioned, but here are a few that haven’t that I’ve noticed:
    get a tattoo on the inside of your wrist or ankle
    go to embu and listen to a band doing bad US covers while you eat ice cream strolling the streets
    25 de marco around the holidays
    the neighborhood next to the municipal market with all the dry goods
    count your waxing experience and add it to your list 🙂

    • HA! I think I’ll skip the tattoo. Love the other suggestions. I didn’t know about the neighborhood next to the municipal market!
      Yeah, the waxing, maybe again next holiday season! HA. Today, I’m going to try and go to one of those foot places – that’s definitely a different experience than in the States. Thanks for your suggestions!!

  21. Anna says:

    you should try a massage called: “drenagem para modelar o corpo”. Its not a relaxing massage. Its good for “reshaping” your body like tummy and legs specially but in order to have a good results you need at least 2 or 3 times a week for a few weeks. Some brazilians do this for years and years. You can ask your SIL or a beauty salon. You can ask them to come to your house twice a week … it’s easier than going to the masseur.

  22. Anna says:
    * Drenagem linfática 2x por semana
    Profissional: Pati França (011) 7889. 7998
    same as abovebut you can find other info about beauty stuff in SP there.

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  24. Anna says:

    I dont know if you like interior or fashion design but anyway here are some tips:

    “São Paulo Fashion Week” (SPFW) held at Ibirapuera Park, in São Paulo. it is twice a year i think.

    Interior Design:
    “Casa Cor” May 29th – July 22nd 2012
    Jockey Club de São Paulo ( Av. Lineu de Paula Machado, 1.173 – Cidade Jardim – SP)

    “Hyundai Mostra Black”,,EMI242397-16802,00-O+LADO+BLACK+DA+DECORACAO+SAIBA+MAIS+SOBRE+A+MOSTRA.html
    i dont know when the 2012 event will be held. It’s in SP -Jardim Europa.

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