Blog Archives

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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Orlando in January – Little Brazil

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We recently spent a week in Orlando. We went during that time period where the US kids are in school and the Brazil kids are still on holiday. The result being – 80% of the tourist population in Orlando was … Continue reading

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The Surgery

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First, I would like to acknowledge that it has been an absurdly long time since I have posted. Call it blogger’s block, or just a complete disorientation and disillusionment regarding what is happening these days in Brazil (more to come on … 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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Conflicted…

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Yesterday, we watched the game with friends and celebrated when Brazil won the opening. My six-year-old daughter, with her playmates, also watched the game and happily cheered the Brazil team on within the safe and comfortable confines of our sports … Continue reading

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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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Who’s to Blame for the World Cup Chaos

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Don’t blame the players, past or present, who spent their lives dedicated to their dream, at the expense of everything, including education, for the chance to support their country and prove themselves on the field. Don’t blame the people of … 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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How to Stay Safe and Sound During the World Cup

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As promised, today I am posting on how to stay safe if you are coming to Brazil, and Sao Paulo in particular, for the World Cup. My partner in “crime,” Brazil in My Eyes, posted last week on the topic. If … Continue reading

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Traveling to Brazil for the World Cup?

Here is some great information for those traveling to Brazil for the World Cup by Total Futeblog: 50 Days to Go: Brazil 2014 Travel Tips   Coming soon… how to stay safe (i.e. not get yourself in trouble (i.e. robbed … Continue reading

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hello Kaleidoscope Delivers the Story Inside

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When it comes to music, many of us like to stay within our comfort zones. We each can be defined, and define ourselves, by our lyrical indulgences. Our tastes in tunes reflect the spectrum of our personalities and emotions, an operation that … 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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So, they found a sack of body parts in my hood

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One of the things I took comfort in about living in Brazil is that the country didn’t seem to have the kind of twisted, sick criminals that randomly appear in nice, quite neighborhoods in the US. At least none that … Continue reading

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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 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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So, I drive now…

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Yes, it is true. Some of you may recall that I have spent the past three-and-a-half years avoiding driving in Brazil at all costs. I even let my New York driver’s license expire, rendering it impossible for me to legally … Continue reading

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Why are the Protesters so Pissed??!!

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Sometimes it is difficult to understand what might motivate millions of people, Brazilians no less, who are thought to be a rather peaceful lot, to get angry enough to take to the streets. It’s easier to get caught up in … Continue reading

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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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An American Consumer is Born

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We are now on week four of our U.S. stay. The other night, my six-year-old daughter told me that she discovered the “solution to all our problems.” It was a bag that looked small, but actually you could put almost … 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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Beware What You Like & Contest

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The first one to guess which Brazil blogger posted the funny, yet offensive photo I liked wins a copy of my book, American Exbrat in Sáo Paulo (if you already have a copy, I’ll gift it to the person of your choice). FYI – there is a clue in the tags of this post… Continue reading

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Bizarre Banking Business

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Is Citibank the only one that doesn’t have its act together in Brazil? I thought the most annoying obstacle is when I go to withdraw money at the teller and they cannot tell me my balance, or anything else interesting … 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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Family Day and the Nine Wives

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At my daughter’s school, they hold an annual event called Dia da Familia, or Family Day. It is held on a Saturday and includes performances by all the kids. It’s really cute and the kids get really excited about it … 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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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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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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Cancel the Cup?

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The following is a great article from Fox News (I never thought I would say that). It addresses an interesting question – should the World Cup in Brazil be cancelled? Why force Brazil to host World Cup? Does anyone really … Continue reading

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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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So What’s the Ask?

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Tonight the protests will be continue. I’m glad to see the momentum has not slowed and I hope it is peaceful. But the big question is – what exactly are we asking for? Yes, we want money channeled toward public … Continue reading

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How I Know Things Will be Different

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There has been some debate as to whether or not the passion for change displayed during recent uproars in Brazil will have some longevity, or eventually be forgotten and evaporate away, possibly because leaders make under-the-table deals with politicians. Last … Continue reading

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Protest Messages and Why You Should Help

In anticipation of the protests starting right about now, I wanted to round up some of the videos out there that explain what is happening. As well as some damn funny videos from some damn funny Brazilians (how can you … Continue reading

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The Protesting and Why Brazil Might Finally Have a Shot at World Leadership

Yesterday I wrote about crime in São Paulo. A mention of the protests that are happening here quickly shifted the discussion. This morning I came across the following important video on Facebook. I’ll be the first to admit ignorance when … 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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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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Boys & Girls, Soccer & Ballet

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In some ways, Brazil is socially progressive. For example, Brazil just recently passed a law dictating that states could not deny registration of marriage for gay couples. Yet, when it comes to children, the country, even its biggest city, is … Continue reading

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10 Things that Might Shock You in São Paulo

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For more lists of 10 and insights into Sao Paulo, see American Exbrat in São Paulo. The term “culture-shock” wasn’t coined for nothing. I know for a fact that there are many things that shock Brazilians when they visit the States. … Continue reading

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