Category Archives: Expatriate Info & Advice

Rich, But Not Pretty – A Short Story

For readers and followers, download free, today through Wednesday, the short story Rich, But Not Pretty. Don’t forget to leave a review!  

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Corruption, Criticism and Cupcakes, Today’s Paulista Protests

Today in São Paulo, as in many cities across Brazil, people took to the streets to protest and complain about pretty much everything they could think of – but mostly how government corruption and mismanagement is eroding Brazil’s economy. The … Continue reading

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The Magic of Missing Mailboxes

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My brother, who lives in Los Angeles, recently went on a rant about the excessiveness of direct mail. I’m not sure what timeline the above photo he posted represents, but even if it’s a week’s worth, it is annoyingly much. … Continue reading

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The Creepy Side of Campos do Jordão

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  So, I’m not sure what the big whoop is about Campos do Jordão. We went this past weekend and it seemed to me that it was just like any of the other over commercialized small mountain towns, only even … Continue reading

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Journalists bring Brazilian football to a worldwide audience in new eBook

Originally posted on A Brazilian Operating in This Area:
Just in time for the 2014 World Cup, journalists Mauricio Savarese and Euan Marshall have released A to Zico: An alphabet of Brazilian football, an independent eBook on the history and…

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Five More Great Gifts to Bring from Brazil (Sao Paulo Specifically)

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For more lists and insights into Sao Paulo, see American Exbrat in São Paulo. You’re coming all this way to experience the Brazilian culture and São Paulo scene, naturally you’ll want to return with something special in your suitcase. There are … Continue reading

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Six Assumptions You Shouldn’t Make About Sao Paulo

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Ensuring good experiences is all about managing expectations. If you are soon on your way to São Paulo for World Cup activities, or for any other events, it is important that you don’t make assumptions about what might be here … Continue reading

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Why Figurinhas are Awesome for Little Kids

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Hey world! Are the rest of the kids out there as crazy about collecting and trading World Cup figurinhas as the kids in Brazil are?? (And, ahem, their parents are??) If you are not yet aware of this craze, this … Continue reading

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Vigilante Killings & Sub-par Education Vs. School Shootings

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There has been a disturbing trend on the rise in Brazil as of late. Vigilante vengeance. I understand why this might be happening. The police are unproductive, underpaid and often unqualified for their jobs. So people start to get that the … Continue reading

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What’s A Confederate to Do?

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Last week, we attended the Confederate Festival in Santa Barbara Oeste. I mean, really, how could we not? While I don’t claim any Confederate loyalty, nor do I believe my ancestors were among those that hung around the South, a … Continue reading

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They were shooting at my home…it was time to leave!

Originally posted on Vivo en un Mundo Loco:
I am back in Norway trying hard to understand how things could go so terrible wrong. Since my last post the situation in Venezuela kept getting worse every day. It was after…

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What Can Carnaval Tell Us About Brazilian Business Skills?

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In Brazil, each Escola de Samba, or Samba school, works all year long to develop their portion of the Carnaval parade. The people who put together these elaborate affairs are not the wealthy of Brazil. In fact, some of the … Continue reading

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What’s Holding Brazil Back?

It seems like an ideal equation. An abundance of natural resources, multiple emerging middle classes, democracy in one of its purest forms (on paper), people who can dance… So what is the problem? Why can’t Brazil forge ahead? Here is … Continue reading

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What You Can Buy on the Beach in Rio

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Did I mention that I drove all the way from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro? I’ll admit, after avoiding this type of task for so long, I’m feeling very empowered. We’ve spend the week back and forth between my … Continue reading

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Rachel’s Giveaway: American Exbrat in Sao Paulo

Originally posted on born again brazilian:
Hello all! Heads up – Rachel’s Rantings in Rio is holding a contest and the prize is… a copy of American Exbrat in São Paulo! Get a glimpse inside with “Ten Terms You Should…

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10 Things I Still Can’t Come to Terms With

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For more lists of 10 and insights into Sao Paulo, see American Exbrat in São Paulo. My daughter and I spent a rather long time in the States for the holidays, about six weeks. It’s funny how as the time goes … Continue reading

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So You Want to Throw A Brazilian Birthday Party?

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One of my distractions during my unplanned blogging sabbatical was yet another event that has proven me a hypocrite. Yes, it was that time of year. Brazilian birthday party time. Shortly after moving to Brazil, I was all but forced into … Continue reading

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Holiday Giving Misfire

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For the first time in three years, we spent Christmas in the United States. More specifically, with my family in Chicagoland. Because I am a hypocrite (i.e. I mock aspects of the culture and then fully indulge myself in  it … Continue reading

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The Avocado: Dip or Dessert

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A few months after moving to São Paulo, we had lunch at a friend’s house. When dessert time came around and my daughter received a bowl of green goop, I believe this was the moment she initially decided Brazil wasn’t … Continue reading

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Beware What You Like & Contest

Originally posted on born again brazilian:
Photo courtesy of http://gradireland.wordpress.com In the security info that Brazil in My Eyes and I share, there is a portion dedicated to protecting your online presence. It’s a good idea to Google yourself and…

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Safe in São Paulo – Live!

For those who enjoyed our series on staying safe in São Paulo, and reside in the city, Brazil in My Eyes and I will be taking our show on the road! This Thursday evening, we will deliver dicas on crime-avoidance, … Continue reading

Posted in Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, Safe in Sao Paulo, Tourist Info, Travel | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Mark Hillary delivers reality check to gringos who moan about Brazil, in self-published book (1/2)

Originally posted on The Displaced Nation:
A little while ago I interviewed Megan Farrell, a fellow gringo in São Paulo, about the book she had written about “exbrat” life in the city. As far as I’m aware, Megan’s was the…

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Safe in São Paulo: Home Security

Brazil in My Eyes and Born Again Brazilian will be co-hosting a seminar about safety in São Paulo on Thursday, September 26th that will include a Q&A with local security experts. For more information, contact the International Newcomers Club at vpevents@newcomers-sp.com.br. This week’s installment on crime-avoidance in São Paulo focuses on staying safe in and outside your home. Continue reading

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Safe in São Paulo: School Security

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The next installment of the Safe in São Paulo collaboration between Born Again Brazilian and Brazil in My Eyes focuses on school safety. Continue reading

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Safe in São Paulo: Taxis and Public Transportation

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Last week we discussed avoid crime while driving, parking or using a car. But what if you decide not to drive (because we scared you so much…)? Like any city, you have options for getting across town other than hoofing it. Continue reading

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Safe in São Paulo: Car Smarts

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This next installment of the Born Again Brazilian / Brazil In My Eyes series on crime-avoidance in São Paulo focuses on car safety – not driving safely, that’s a whole other series. But how to avoid being involved in a crime while in your car and what to do if you find yourself in trouble. Continue reading

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Safe in São Paulo: Street Smarts

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The following is the next installment of our collaboration (Born Again Brazilian and Brazil in My Eyes) on staying safe in São Paulo. São Paulo is an exciting place to be, but with such a vast and diverse population, you are bound to have a higher percentage of bad guys than other places. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Staying Safe in São Paulo

This post will be the first in a series of guides to staying safe as a business traveler, a tourist or a resident in São Paulo and Brazil. Continue reading

Posted in Culture Conflicts, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, Safe in Sao Paulo, Tourist Info | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Podcast with Live in Brazil’s Kevin Porter

Check out my podcast with Kevin Porter from “Live in Brazil.” We discussed life in Brazil and what it means to be an “exbrat.” http://www.liveinbrazil.org/lib-10-why-you-should-move-to-sao-paulo-with-maggie-foxhole/ Kevin has inspired me to possibly start podcasting. Thoughts?

Posted in Brazilliant, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, Tourist Info, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Why “exbrats” in São Paulo need their own book to appreciate life in Brazil’s largest city

Originally posted on The Displaced Nation:
This week’s guest interviewee is Megan Farrell, who like myself is an estrangeiro (foreigner) in São Paulo and married to a Brazilian—although unlike my good British self, Megan is American and also has a…

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Meet author Rosie Whitehouse, who trailed her spouse into a war zone (and enter to win her book!)

Originally posted on The Displaced Nation:
One of the expressions I picked up from living in England for many years is “Keep the home fires burning.” For some reason, that expression, along with the WWI song from which it comes,…

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If You Are Coming to São Paulo… you’ll need a bit of info

When I was doing a semester of grad school in Barcelona, my friend and I would jump on a train last minute on any given evening and wake up in yet another glorious European country ready to be explored (ok, … Continue reading

Posted in Brazilliant, Crazy Adventures, Expatriate Info & Advice, Food & Drink, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, Tourist Info, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Five Brazilian Expletives and How to Use Them

  —- Warning. Explicit material below. — Happy Braziliversary to me! On this special day, I’m going to give a Portuguese lesson… I’ve grown tired of swearing at Brazilians who almost run me over with their car in English. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Conflicts, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, What the h*ll is that? | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

As an expat, is it my place to join another country’s political protest?

Originally posted on The Displaced Nation:
Just after the street protests broke out in Brazil last month, Megan Farrell, an American who lives in São Paulo with her Brazilian spouse, contributed a guest post to the Displaced Nation. Megan was…

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Ponta do Corumbau and Martine Renwart

The road to Ponta do Corumbau was even more complicated than that to Espelho, but more beautiful. The 52 km, bumpy, dirt path up a mountain, over hills and around corners took two and a half hours to travel from … Continue reading

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Praia do Espelho, Bahia

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills The road to Espelho was not just unpaved. It was not just unmaintained, but a nearly treacherous path through forests and fields. It was especially damaged through the … Continue reading

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The Road to Bahia: The Road

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São Mateus was a welcome resting point. While the city doesn’t have much, it does have this ruin of an ancient Jesuit church right in the middle of it. I couldn’t find much information about it, but there was a decent … Continue reading

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The Road to Bahia: Vitória

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Second stop on our road trip to Bahia was the city of Vitória in Espírito Santo. We arrived in the evening and the military police were stationed everywhere. I was actually too nervous to take a picture after learning more … Continue reading

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An American writer in Brazil is transformed from “exbrat” to politically awakened expat

Originally posted on The Displaced Nation:
Well, the best-laid plans of mice and men—and international creatives—often go astray. Today, instead of Andy Martin interviewing Megan Farrell about her excellent book, American Exbrat in São Paulo: Advice, Stories, Tips and Tricks…

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So who is this Dilma person?

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Whoo hoo! Female presidents! Whoo hoo, yeeerrrr…. I admit. What I knew about the leader of my new home country was definitely not enough. Dilma Vana Rousseff, president of Brazil, has stood in support of the Brazilian protesters. Because, of … Continue reading

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Road to Bahia: Petropolis

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First stop on the road to Bahia was Petropolis. This city, which was once the royal summer residence, has a number of museums that will give you insight to the times when Brazil was a kingdom. The best of them … Continue reading

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The Road to Bahia

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We are taking a break from the city life of São Paulo, and maybe the protesting, and headed to the state of Bahia. Driving. Yes today, we – myself, my husband, a five-year-old and a maltese – are loading up … Continue reading

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Coverage Conspiracy?

Originally posted on born again brazilian:
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22 “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow…

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Window of Opportunity

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There are some (Brazilians) out there claiming it is OK that the protesters are not armed with leadership and a clear set of actionable demands. The fact that they organized themselves enough to bring the masses to the streets is … Continue reading

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Coverage Conspiracy?

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“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22 “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow It’s curious, the light coverage from … Continue reading

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Monsters on Motobikes

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It’s become increasingly difficult to tell my daughter that monsters don’t exist. A classroom of little kids being gunned down, girls captured and tortured for over a decade, police officers plotting to cook and eat victims… These dangerous abominations are … Continue reading

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5 Items for Foreigners from the Feira for Feriado

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As an extension of Tuesday’s post 10 Great Gifts to Bring from Brazil, here are five fun items you can buy at your local feira to bring to family and friends: 1. Make Your Own Bolo de Mandioca At our … Continue reading

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10 Great Gifts to Bring from Brazil

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Many of us foreigners in the city are making, or have already secured, plans to travel to our home countries for the Brazilian winter. But what fun items do we bring for friends and family that will represent the culture … Continue reading

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American Exbrat in São Paulo

Originally posted on born again brazilian:
Definition of EXBRAT:  1. A foreigner living in a “developing” country, spoiled by the conveniences of previous homes 2. An expatriate who refuses to understand the language or culture, but instead spends his/her time…

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Top 5 Reasons Why I Plan to Not be Anywhere Near the World Cup

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The Huffington Post decided to publish an article entitled “Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Plan to Be at the 2014 World Cup.” I love Brazil. I love soccer. However, these two loves, the construction or reconstruction of stadiums under … Continue reading

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