The Stalker

So I have an angry blog stalker.

This is my first and I know this would probably mark some kind of milestone of success in the blogging world. But my blog stalker should have this profile: Young Brazilian anarchist blaming international powers for their own social and economic struggles… or something to that effect, in which case my random observations about Brazilian & American cultures would send him/her spinning into a furious pile of political poetry. I get that.

My stalker isn’t Brazilian. She (I’m guessing from her email address, which includes her name – and she doesn’t seem bright enough to use a pseudonym) isn’t even in Brazil, though she does struggle a bit with the English language. This blog stalker has a beef with me about my last job.

My stalker insists on debating with me about why I left my career (why is it so difficult for people in the financial services industry to comprehend that I would leave because I wanted to be with my child – especially the women), what my career objectives were, and what motivations my daily decisions were based on.

At first I was nice to Crazy. I kind of felt sorry for this lunatic that had gotten herself so upset over something she perceived I might have done and has been carrying it around for the past few years. I mean, she put some effort into hunting me down from who knows where and harassing me on my anonymous blog (a blog about me & Brazil). That’s a lot of clicks. So I acknowledged her anger, suggested that she consider therapy and wished her well. But cray-cray didn’t go away. She kept it coming.

Listen, I don’t need this. So I blocked her.

Now I’m officially calling out to all the Brazilian and Brazil-curious stalkers to take a real stab at me!! Give me something to chew on! Let’s debate some serious issues, like is Brazil still a third-world-country because sometimes the post office runs out of stamps? Are Brazilians really passive-aggressive? Do Americans only sit around Sao Paulo complaining about the price of items when they should be enjoying some of the many free cultural activities? Should I be less critical of the women and producers of “Mulheres Ricas“? Are the European expats so much more culturally accepting than the Americans? Is it really such a big deal that the cheddar cheese tastes like plastic here? How is my punctuation and sentence structure? Let’s do it.

But don’t bore me with stuff I don’t remember from a world I escaped years ago. Yawn.

Bring it on Brazilians!!

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42 Responses to The Stalker

  1. Wow. Sorry for the stalker. Hecka weird, too.

  2. Rachel says:

    Blogs are crazy like that. The randomest thing can just totally set someone off. I like to see it in an amusing way, but it can get upsetting when people make it personal.

    As for the job thing, I get shit too. I feel your decision and totally respect it. In the end that doesn’t even matter because it was your decision. The woman on woman hate has got to stop. We get crap if we don’t stay home with the kids, if we do, if we try to do it all…

    And congrats for having your first hater! It is a blog milestone! We should create a special badge of honor for our blogs. An “I’ve been hated and survived” award 😉

  3. Matt says:

    Love the post, love the blog. In regards to your excellent questions, as Samuel L. Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, “allow me to retort”:

    1. Brazil is a second-world country. (Parabéns meus amigos brasileiros!) I am sorry, but just because you have a first-world economy, does not mean that you are a first-world country. Historically, 2nd world referred to countries like Russia and China that were not under-developed, but did not have 1st world social-economic and political structure. So I would upgrade Brazil to 2nd world, but just barely. You cant have favelas in every major city and be 1st world. My rule.
    2. Are Brazilians passive-agressive? More yes than no. I find that generalizing a entire population is dangerous, because there are very “american” brazilians (Born Again Brazilian’s husband might be an example, hope this does not offend him) and very “brazilian” americans (I have a friend who has lived here for 10 years and damn he is more brazilian than gringo anyday.) But as a culture are they more prone to passive-aggressive behavior? Definitely. In the workplace even more so.
    3. This is definitely true. I complain too much about how expensive everyting is and I should shut up and enjoy the free culture more. 100% true and Guilty as charged. And it is a lame thing we expats here do. So not cool. It is like talking about kidnapping at a dinner party in Mexico City. Wrong on so many levels.
    4. Let me answer your question with a question: Is “Mulheres Ricas” a reflection of Brazilian society or is Brazilian Society a relfection of “Mulheres Ricas”? I dont know, but it is no different than The Bachelor or that show about fat people in the U.S. who work out with trainers to get skinny. Reality TV is synonymous with our culture. And you have to admit, it is hard to look away from an episode of Mulheres Ricas and you totally want to see what restaurants they go to.
    5. No, I see little difference in levels of cultural acceptance between Europeans and Americans, either in Mexico or Brazil. You have open-minded and close-minded factions in either group. If anything, I think Americans who live abroad have an innate insecurity, possibly due to their lack of exposure to multiple cultures that Europeans have from proximity, that makes them more culturally accepting.
    6. This is a HUGE DEAL. The lack of real cheddar cheese is a travesty and I feel culturally obligated to start importing Wisconsin Cheddar for my Brazilian friends. They must know the difference! Especially for a Texan this is tough. How are we supposed to have a decent Taco Salad?
    7. I have to get back to work, but please give your stalker my email address. She and I can carry on this discussion privately, no holds barred.

    • Welcome Matt!Now this is what I call a conversation. Love it! Thanks! I’m proud of you for putting out second-world and I agree with your reasoning. Be prepared for some debate. I think Brazilian reality TV producers can learn something from American reality TV. Maybe I’ll do a seminar, since I watch enough of it (I’m embarrassed to admit). Unfortunately, Stalker is only interested in debating aspects of my most recent career and not more mentally stimulating topics such as those we have addressed. Beijos!!

  4. Renato Lourenço says:

    I don’t want to sound angry, but this is for the genius who calls himself Matt, and thinks he has any imput to go around rating countries that he never put his foot on:
    So, you can see that the so-called first, second and third world terminology is more complex then the “does this country have favelas or not?” thing. So we can see that history and inteligence have failed with Matt, badly. Buy a brain in whatever nazi country you live in and show some respect for Brazil,men.
    As for the owner of the blog, who is the queen of condescending when writing about my country, as i can see when i read the texts here, you are a apparently proud Chicago woman, right?. Ok, so i want you to talk about this topics here: Cabrini-Green and Al Capone. The pride of the Wind City, right?
    Respectfully, a angry young anarchist brazilian (hehehehe), tired of “first-world queens” badmouthing my country. As for your stalker, good luck with that.

    • Finally! Some angry youths to make my blog semi-cool. Welcome!
      First, Cabrini-Green was a far cry from a favela. It was public housing built by the city. Yes, eventually it became dangerous and crime ridden. But now, just like the Taylor projects on the other side of town, everything has been torn down and replaced with expensive condos and sidewalk cafes. Al Capone was a famous gangster in Chicago. Not sure what your point is – I don’t see the connection. Have you been to Chicago?

      No insulting my readers Renato! Rule number one. You can insult me but not my readers. Strike one.

    • skarrlette says:

      Um to Renato Lourenco, favelas make it hard to classify Brazil in the 1st world category when favelas are considered 3rd world. Its a rating of the human development index based on a bunch of factors. Favelas aren’t good human development. So it brings the score way among other things. I mean these people are not part of society they are living in shacks they built themselves they steal electricity, they have no good sanitation, some have no toilets or running water, and I see heaps, mounds, piles of rotting garbage on the street in their neighborhoods that everyone just walks by and no one picks up. They were never taken care of by the government no one cared, ex slaves. Secondly the infrastructure in Brazil sucks that is a known fact. The roads suck, the public health care which is better than nothing (kind of) sucks, And the education system sucks. They maybe be trying to change it but its going at a snails pace and everyone in the government is still putting money in their pocket. Lula’s presidency which everyone thinks was so great. Meanwhile Lula is an alcoholic and his colleges were stealing all your (the people’s) money. And since Dousseldort is from the same party I wouldn’t hold your breathe. Thank god the Olympics are coming and they are trying to impress the rest of the world by making changes, lets hope they still try after its gone.

      The corruption is so bad that all that tax money Brazil charges where does it go? No one can figure it out. They have the highest taxes in the world and the services suck. They are robbing you people BLIND. You need an educated public. But this is 3rd world too.

      So while parts of Brazil may be 1st world and some parts may be 2nd, their are parts that are downright 3rd world.

      Brazil has a long way to go.

  5. Matt says:


    First off, you certainly sound angry for someone who does not want to sound angry. You should try chilling out. I recommend yoga, or valium, or maybe both.

    Second, the country I live in is Brazil, where I have been for almost 3 years. (“nazi country”? who talks like that?)

    Third, your wikipedia link only seems to confirm what I said. Let me quote from the link you just posted: ” In other words, the concept of “Second World” was a construct of the Cold War and the term has largely fallen out of use since the revolutions of 1989, though it is still occasionally used to describe countries that are in between poverty and prosperity, many of which are communist and former communist countries today.” I took a phrase mainly used for ex-communist countries 20 years ago and applied it to Brazil. What I meant was that Brazil is not really 3rd world, but still not 1st world, and is definitely between “poverty and prosperity”…so comparable to Poland or the Czech Reupblic for instance. Thanks for the link!

    Finally, go back and re-read my post and see point #2. Being aggressive on a blog is extremely passive-agressive. That is now two points of mine you have helped to reinforce. Thank you.

    Btw, are you the Stalker? I was picturing someone much more intimidating.

  6. Danielle says:

    How do you block commenters?!

  7. OnlyinBrazil says:

    Wow, being attacked by crazy anarchists and frustrated feminists… I guess it can’t get any better than that. Your blog is pretty good. Keep posting.

  8. Lindsey says:

    Fantastic – I thoroughly enjoyed this post and also must congratulate you on your first stalker! I also EQUALLY enjoyed the comments so let’s keep em coming! I’m sorry I have nothing to stir the pot with but I love the juicy drama! 🙂

  9. Paula says:

    Hi, bab!

    This is my very first comment here, although I have read most of your blog and I love it!

    I am an young angry Brazilian lady who is si…just kidding! (Well, the Brazilian young lady is quite accurate, actually). I am leaving Higienópolis to live with my American husband in the US. Up until now I´ve worked with expatriates in São Paulo, so I can relate to a lot of stories of yours!

    From the topics brough up, the passive-agressiveness is what tricks me the most. See, I´d never noticed before such behaviour in Brazilians until you mentioned it. It seems to me that Brazilians tend to act passive-agressively, while Americans use it in their speech. What do you think?

    Cheddar cheese in this country does not deserve any remarks or attention, really. We should ignore it completely until someone does something about this situation. Or maybe, riots on the streets. (Now, THIS is a topic to be angry about, brasileirinhos!)

    I think you do an amazing job sharing your experience in Sao Paulo. It is definetly an inspiration to me, I might do something similar when hitting the States.

    Keep the posts coming!

    • Thank you Paula!! I’m sad that you are leaving Higienópolis but excited for new adventures in America! Where are you moving too? I would love, love to read about your experiences on the reverse of mine, please do put together a blog! I don’t suppose your apartment is available for rent?? 😉
      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree. Brazilians act PA but Americans make PA comments. I’ve never thought about it before but you’ve hit it on the head. And cheddar… what can we say.
      Thanks for reading, I’m glad you are enjoying. Can’t wait for yours!

  10. Ger says:

    I admire both you and Matt for going to live in Brazil. I will go too….some day…

  11. @ Bee-eigh-bee: admit it, you are dissapointed the stalker isn’t Val.

    @ Matt: I enjoyed your comment and commend you for showing an interest in the world. I also love to discover and experience new things, and talk about them. Sometimes though people get upset with my feedback and outlook. Like the reactions I once received in Mexico just for initiating a discussion about kidnapping during a dinner party. I still don’t get what happened there: the two Mexican security agents assigned to accompany me during the business trip took no offense; yet everyone else did. Wierd. Anyway I took it in stride, and followed the same advice I often give my Argentine friends when traveling to Buenos Aires: one must learn how to adapt to new circumstances, and the adversities they may encompass. In their specific case once being wealthy, then not so wealthy, then poor, then miserable, then improving to poor; yet only to fail once more and downgrade to miserable. Not to be a showoff here but sometimes I feel my wisdom renders them speechless.
    BTW, I realize that new cultures are sometimes difficult to assimilate into so if you need any tips please feel free to ask.


    • Hey Gritty. You know I’d LOVE to have Val as a stalker. Instead, I have someone much less interesting and less rica (in so many ways).
      Nice job on the comment – I cannot tell if you are really trying to be helpful or being totally sarcastic, which just proves how witty and gritty you really are 🙂
      Unlike myself, who attempts to assimilate by taking photos of creepy baby dolls and watching Brazilian reality television, Matt actually works all day long with Brazilians in Sao Paulo. How come you’ve never offered to assimilate me?

      • Hey Bee-eigh-bee,
        I was being sarcastic. I don’t think you guys need any help regarding assimilation. I mean you certainly don’t, and if Matt has already established himself in the Brazilian work force then neither does he.
        I would be interested in reading an article which explains how the human brain develops to succesfully cope when encountering a perspective that is different from that which it holds. I am not a psychologist – so probalby not the best person to pursue said research; but it think it would be useful for expats to look into since they are more prone to be exposed to such reactions. I often ponder the following: when one is a child and something is taken way then the automatic response is to cry, then we strart changing and deal with similar situations differently. Now how come, when reading things like the posts you asked others to comment on, many can’t seem to do so without containing that child from yesteryears? Isn’t it strange, and kinda fascination, albeit annoying at times?
        Take my comments over Mexico and Argentina. Sarcasm? Yes; but I bet you I would get reactions from natives of these countries similar to those you receive here when posting non-sarcastic and straightfoward articles and asking for feedback . In other words if you were to take my comment and replace Mexico and Argentina with Brazil and post that instead then the childish brains of some (many in my experience) would react in the same fashion as if reading pieces like passive-aggressive and post office runs out of stamps.
        I think it would be interesting to know why – from a psychological standpoint.

        • That would actually be a very interesting study. Just reading bloggers comments, you can tell whose reactions are knee-jerk, adrenaline based and whose are thought out. Upbringing? Genetics? You are on to something here. Let’s contact the Economist with a proposal (although they usually don’t do the science stuff.) How are you on capital? Let’s fund it and sell the info for millions! (oh, BTW, I don’t have any money…)

  12. Oh, I simply loved your post! Loved reading, and it was, actually, quite funny…. People don’t realize when they’re crossing the line… And this is coming from a Brazilian-bor expat (whatever I’m right now, doesn’t really matter… sometimes it’s hard for myself to comprehend!) Anyway, sorry for your ‘stalker’- I once had one, but through a different media… FB… had to cancel the original profile, and begin building a new one, making sure that that particular person would not have a way (again!) to introduce itself (let’s keep the gender out of this) to my contacts, in a cray ‘networking/social climbing attempt’ way… There are strange people out there, and I wish you luck… Regarding Brazilians being passive-aggressive, sorry for saying this, green-yellow countrymen out there, but, it’s true… women, especially – we learn that in grammar school! 😮 Thanks for sharing this post, and, my best of luck!

    • Thank you for your input! Because you are definitely an expert (not on the stalking, the culture). Glad you enjoyed it. People are way weird. Unfortunately, in the U.S. – we might have the weirdest. I’d like to say, while passive-aggresive got a bad name in the states, it is just a way of dealing, right? Would you agree? Aggressive was really cool for awhile, but my NYC aggressiveness might have generated me one scary stalker. HA! What’s the alternative… passive? Nah.

  13. Samia says:

    I’m young, Brazilian, but not angry. Not anymore, anyways. If you had met in my teens you’d see what a crazy-pseudo-socialist-hating-America brat I used to be. That said, I do sometimes get hot about things some people say about Brazil and Brazilians (being Brazilian, shit affects me), especially if they don’t know the country all that well. It changes quite a bit if the person commenting lives in Brazil. If you live here you have every right to complain about what is going on here, same as I felt that I had the right no complain about things in the US when I lived there (not anymore, cada macaco no seu galho). Now I complain about Brazil and life here because I live here, was born here, am a citizen of this country, and just because I can really.

    I do think you should try and adapt to the place where you living, and unfortunately being frustrated with said place is part of adapting. Unlike some people who have commented I lived in Chicago, had my bike stolen in Chicago, got angry at drivers in Chicago, hated how segregated Chicago is, and still I love the city, Al Capone and all. It’s my second home. I learned to love it from struggling to be a true “Chicagoan” and living the city, and complaining about how expensive things are in Chicago (the city) in comparison to the suburbs in its neighbor Wisconsin. 🙂

    Stalkers are gonna stalk, and be a pain, and make zero sense. I’ve had stalkers on my blog too and it isn’t even all that popular. I was called a spoiled brat who went to the US to work as a nanny and clean shit; therefore I’ve lost my rights to complain about Brazil. How can a spoiled brat make herself work as nanny and clean shit? I don’t know. That’s the opposite of a brat to me. Also was told that I only complained about Brazil because I’m frustrated for not getting a green card, that when I’ve never aimed at a green card in my life. So, y’know, these type of miserable human being usually don’t make sense, and are bad writers, which makes your job of trying to understand them that much harder.

    1. I wouldn’t say Brazil is a third world country because I hate the expression third world. I’m still a bit of an idealist and I believe in a better world, so… I like “developing” world better because we have a great economic but it has yet to reach the people, because our people don’t really know what a real democracy is, because our people still “sell” their votes and are unaware of their rights, because corruption is widely accepted in all areas. We are a young democracy, after so many years of a dictatorship, only 27 of democracy (my age!), there’s a lot we have to learn and I’ll continue to believe we will get there, slowly but steadily.

    2. Well, some are. I’m not, I know that. But passive-aggressiveness is everywhere. Brazilians do have a tendency to just sit down and watch things happen and as long as their asses are covered all is good. At the same time that we are very family-community oriented we tend not to care about people outside our inner circles. It’s the stupidest rationale ever, but it’s here. It’s another aspect that we need to work on, but it’ll take time for us to understand that this country will only be a GREAT country if everyone has the same rights and if we fight for common welfare. Again, living and learning.

    3. Yes, complain less live more and that applies to me too. SP is a pain in the butt and those subways/trains suck at 6pm, and I love SP! Go figure. Good stuff, bad stuff. There’s a lot of free enjoyable cultural activities in SP, just keep an eye open. Big city, same as Chicago, shit’s expensive.

    4. I don’t watch reality tv. I don’t like it. But I’m guilty of watching “Mulheres Ricas” and enjoying every second of it. I never thought the rich could be so clueless and entertaining. You’d expect to be at least smarter as they have more opportunities to be, but nooooo! Of course, it’s a generalization and I think those women were playing characters of themselves, but it’s an aspect of Brazil that I hate and wish didn’t exist. I know there are plenty of people exactly like those women and it’s absurd considering how many people still live in extreme poverty in this country. I’m critical of it while enjoying the spectacle, you should be too.

    5. When I was younger, living in Belo Horizonte, I met a group of exchange students and some of them were very closed off and not at all open to learning the culture and even the language, which made it veeeery difficult to live with them. I spoke zero English at the time. They weren’t all Americans. They came from every part of Europe, Australia, North America… but they were also teenagers so you have to weight that in. It depends on the person more than on the country he or she came from, I believe. Again, it’s what I said before, if you’re moving to a new country you should adapt, you’re one against millions after all.

    4. Cheddar cheese and apples combo. Love it. Please do import the cheese, I’ll get the apples. Those cheese squares they sell here are not cheddar, sorry you folks who think they are.

    5. I’m not good at punctuation anyways, so you’re good in my books.

    • Love it! Thanks for your comments. I like “developing” although some get angry about that term as well. So how do we start the cheddar import/export biz?? Or better yet, how do we get someone to just produce it here?! And I’m going to use “cada macaco no seu galho” on the BAB Facebook page as my phrase of the day. What would be the English translation of meaning (not words) – to each his own?

      • Samia says:

        What’s the alternative then? Emerging world/economy/market? I like that less.
        Getting Brazilians to produce it would make it cheaper, and create jobs, and you know, I’m from Minas Gerais, we’re cheese producers here. 😉

        I’ve seen “cada macaco no seu galho” translated as “every jack to his trade” and “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It means that you should only speak about what you understand and relates to you. I think it depends on the context and the later works best for what I was trying to say. It could work as “mind your own business” too. “To each his own” might work depending on what you’re trying to say.

  14. Ray says:

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!! This blog is on fire!! Where have I been missing all the fun!! 🙂
    We need to say a prayer to keep the trolls away…

    Great post M

  15. Caio says:

    Matt makes a few excellent observations here; and number 2 in particular is right on. My fiancée and I realized part of the reason we worked out is because she is a very “brazilian” american and I´m a very “american” brazilian. And yes, the whole passive agressive crap is real and annoying. I´m sorry about the stalker, though. Anyway, here´s my own question for you: what is it with americans and litigation? The impact on the health care system alone is stunning…

    Gostei do blog.

    • Obrigada! Yes, litigation is out of control in the U.S. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The only explanation I have is that lawyers are allowed to purchased endless amounts of advertising time on television and space on subways, making a law suit only a phone call away. Oh yes, and shows like People’s Court and Judge Judy only make it more mainstream. Did you know we had an actual cable channel called Court TV? I think it’s called TruTV now, probably because producers got sued over the name and they had to change it.

      • Caio says:

        I didn´t know about that channel, but it doesn´t surprise me. Maybe it (litigation) is to the U.S. like bureaucracy is to Brazil, and endemic cultural idiossincrasy. It stems from some distant, murky past, but it´s been around for so long nobody knows how to make it go away. Btw, my fiancée tells me she contacted you via email; her name´s Amanda .We´re planning a trip to Chicago ASAP, since I´ve never been there. Are deep dish pizzas really all that, or are they overrated?

  16. Alex says:

    I’m coming clean: I’m the stalker. Completely kidding.

    Well, yes, this is weird. But you should be flattered! Someone out there really has a lot of interest in you (too bad online restraining orders don’t exist….)!

    Anyway, interesting comments brought up here. Especially the comment about the second world classification of Brazil. I don’t know if I think it’s that black and white to include Brazil in a ”world” category, because the country is probably more complex than 95% of countries on the planet (based on history, diversity and development) but maybe it’s a step in the right direction that people are not necessarily thinking Brazil is such a “3rd world shit hole” like they used to.

    Pardon my francês.


    • HA. I always suspected it was you… actually, for awhile I thought perhaps it was a friend with more of a twisted sense of humor than I thought, but then the stupidity surfaced…
      Yes, the “third world” topic is really complicated, and it really doesn’t apply. But it certainly drags out some interesting debates, right?? Way complex.

  17. scrubgrub says:

    you know you have a resume floating out there on the internet somewhere— I’m a recruiter so by nature a stalker 😉 I just remember I ran across it. Either way great post. Wish I had time to wax poetic, but great comments on here. Agreed on cheddar!

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