Germany’s Silke Tina Tischendorf arrived in Brazil only two months ago and is living with her fianc Mrcio in Braslia. She has been struck by the proudness of Brazilians as well as jeitinho”. She misses pretzels and German wine but has found good substitutes in Brazil with coxinha and caipirinha with kiwi.

Where are you from?
I was born in Speyer (Germany), but lived most of the time in Iggelheim, a small village in the wine country of South West Germany, close to the French border.

What brought you to Brazil?
My fianc is Brazilian and we met four years ago while working for the same company in Germany (BASF). I visited Brazil for the first time two and a half years ago while we were still living in Europe. We always talked about living in Brazil one day, but were not sure when. This year we decided to move to Brazil after Marcio got an interesting job offer from Brasil Telecom in Braslia!

What do you do here?
Since I need to strengthen my Portuguese, I take private lessons at Berlitz, I also enjoy the wonderful Iate Clube in Braslia, and have been looking for an apartment and studying for my next sommelier exam about wine and spirits. As soon as I get my work permit I will try to find a job in one of the European embassies. I also export Brazilian sports and swimwear to Germany.

What do you miss about Germany?
Apart from my family and friends I miss some culinary things like the big selection of German bread and pretzels, the wonderful Riesling and Dornfelder wines from my region (Pfalz) and the wine festivals. As well as some of the traditional things like going to the Christmas markets with friends in November and December, because Xmas without snow and cold weather does not feel like a real Christmas to me. And also travelling to some charming places on the weekends like Strasbourg or Baden-Baden.

What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?
Sometimes I am treated very arrogantly by rich Brazilians who believe they have a particular privilege in everything at any place. Also, I was raised to respect and take care of the environment and seeing e.g. how many plastic bags a customer receives at a supermarket is really frustrating. Also, São Paulo has a severe problem with smog but still all the busses and trucks blow out big black clouds!

What do you most like about Brazil?
It is definitely the variety of all facets this wonderful country has to offer! I love the different landscapes, the beaches, the climate, its warm and welcoming people, the great variety of artists, music, food, fruit and design.

What is your favorite restaurant in Brazil?
I love the Figueira Rubaiyat, ” dez”, but there are many other favorite places like the Casa da Fazenda in Morumbi, Santa Gula and Capim Santo in Vila Madalena. In Braslia, I love eating at Porcao right by the Paranoa lake and my other favourite restaurant is in Porto de Galinhas o “Beijupira”.

Have you tried Brazilian food such as feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha? Did you like them?
Yes, and I love it! Especially the salmon with passionfruit sauce, picanha, tutu, coxinha and caipirinha with kiwi.

What difference between Germany and Brazil do you find most striking?
The proudness the Brazilians have for their country and that there is always a “jeitinho”, even if you think there is no solution to your problem. People are here extremely friendly and welcoming, but at the same time a bit superficial.

What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São Paulo?
On the weekend head off for the local beaches, I love “Riviera de São Lourenco” and visit Embu if you like handcrafts. During the week I recommend the MASP, if Casa Cor is on, it is definitely worth going and of course spend a couple of hours in one of the fantastic shopping malls. From Terraco Italia you will have a great view of the city whether at night or during the day.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Ken Marshall – Australia
John Milton – England
Pari Seeber – Iran
Jonas Helding – Denmark
Damiano Pak – South Korea
Kim Buarque – Wales
Carl Emberson – Australia
Frank de Meijer – Holland
Tanya Keshavjee Macedo – Canada

Are you are foreigner living in Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com

Brazil ranked 59th with a score 3.9 in the recently released TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2004. The Corruption Perceptions Index is a poll of polls, reflecting the perceptions of business people and country analysts, both resident and non-resident. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index draws on 18 surveys provided to Transparency International between 2002 and 2004, conducted by 12 independent institutions.

A total of 106 out of 146 countries score less than 5 against a clean score of 10, according to the new index. Sixty countries score less than 3 out of 10, indicating rampant corruption. Corruption is perceived to be most acute in Bangladesh, Haiti, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Paraguay, all of which have a score of less than 2.

Countries with a score of higher than 9, with very low levels of perceived corruption, are predominantly rich countries, namely Finland, New Zealand, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, and Sweden. The poorest countries, dominate the bottom half of the index.

The index includes only those countries that feature in at least three surveys. As a result, many countries – including some which could be among the most corrupt – are missing because there simply is not enough survey data available.

Brazil has slipped slightly since the last corruption index was released in 2002 from 45th to 59th place although there are more countries included in this years survey. In South America, Chile (20th) was the highest placed country followed by Uruguay (28th) and then Brazil. Propping up the foot of the table are Argentina (108th), Bolivia (122nd) and Paraguay (142nd).

Find below a list of some of the countries measured in this years Corruption Perceptions Index.

1. Finland
2. New Zealand
3. Denmark
4. Singapore
5. Sweden
20. Chile
28. Uruguay
59. Brazil
60. Columbia
67. Peru
108. Argentina
112. Equador
122. Bolivia
140. Paraguay
145. Bangladesh & Haiti

For a complete listing you can check the website www.transparency.org

Brazil is currently the global capital for online hacking and fraud and is home to eight out of 10 of the world’s hackers. Brazil loses more money to Internet financial fraud than through bank robberies, and two-thirds of online child pornography is said to originate in the country.

For at least the past two years, Brazil has been the most active base for shady Internet characters, according to mi2g Intelligence Unit, a digital risk consulting firm in London. Last year, the world’s 10 most active groups of Internet vandals and criminals were Brazilian, according to mi2g, and included syndicates with names like Breaking Your Security, Virtual Hell and Rooting Your Admin. So far this year, nearly 96,000 overt Internet attacks – ones that are reported, validated or witnessed – have been traced to Brazil. That was more than six times the number of attacks traced to the runner-up, Turkey, mi2g reported last month.

The police effort is not helped by vague legislation dating from 1988, well before most Brazilians had even heard of the Internet. Under that law, police officers cannot arrest a hacker merely for breaking into a site, or even for distributing a software virus, unless they can prove that the action resulted in a crime.

So even after investigators identified an 18-year-old hacker in Rio de Janeiro, they had to track him for seven months and find evidence that he had actually stolen money from several credit-card companies before they could pounce.

Already overburdened in their fight against violent crime in cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Braslia, police officials are finding it difficult to keep pace with hacker syndicates. The 20 officers working for the electronic crime division of the São Paulo police catch about 40 suspected cybercrooks a month. But those cases account for a small fraction of the notorious and ever increasing” number of cybercrimes in São Paulo,

The country is becoming a laboratory for cybercrime, with hackers – able to collaborate with relative impunity – specializing in identity and data theft, credit-card fraud and piracy, as well as online vandalism.

Across the globe, hackers like to classify themselves as white hats (the good guys) or black hats (the bad guys), said a Brazilian expert, Alessio Fon Melozo, editorial director of Digerati, which publishes a hacker magazine, H4ck3r: The Magazine of the Digital Underworld. “Here in Brazil, though, there are just various shades of gray,” Melozo said.

“They say they have their own security and prefer to turn a blind eye,” he said. “But Brazilian hackers are known for our creativity. If things go on like this, there’ll be no more bank holdups with guns. All robberies will be done over the Net.”

Although the expense of owning a computer is prohibitive for most people in Brazil, getting information about hacking is simple. H4ck3r magazine, available at newsstands, sells about 20,000 copies a month.”

The British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil- BRITCHAM – following the success of previous years is also planning an unforgettable night for this year, that is, The Britcham Ball, 2004 – A Night of Mystery with Sherlock Holmes.

In addition to British Chamber’s members and other friends, the night will also be attended by friends of the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Chambers, as well as by representatives of the Commonwealth Community in Brazil and by other friend countries. As usual, The Britcham Ball, 2004 – is to be an event of prestige to be attended by the Ambassadors and their wives, by the General Consuls, and other authorities as well.

The Ball will take place on Friday, 19 November, 2004. The Hilton São Paulo Morumbi facilities and premises will be especially prepared so as to welcome all guests in great style. It will offer an elegant menu especially chosen for the occasion. Special and great quality beverages will also be served during the party.

It will be an optional black-tie ball. The Flash band will perform a show and will brighten even more the Sherlock Holmes theme party; a theme especially selected to bring more joy to this special night. In addition to being a night full of amusements, raffles, and entertainment, the Ball will also provide a great opportunity for contact among top executives from several companies and their clients and friends.

Confirm now your interest in taking part of this event. Reserve a table so that you and your friends can enjoy this night together, a night which will surely create special moments to be enjoyed and remembered by all those who attended it.

Local: Hotel Hilton São Paulo Morumbi, Av. das Naes Unidas, 12901, Morumbi
Date: November 19th, 2004
Time: Cocktail at 8:30 p.m. and Dinner at 9:30 p.m
Costs: R$ 190,00 for members, R$ 230,00 for non-members
Information: Andrea or Felipe (11) 3819-0265, (11) 3819-0265
Website: www.britcham.com.br

By Ed Walker
Whilst a dependency of Portugal, Brazil was a wine drinking country and only became accustomed to the delights of beer following Independence, in 1822, when beer was imported from Britain and other European countries. The tropical weather and the abundance of beaches helped Brazilians fall in love with beer. Brazil also has climatic conditions which favor the cultivation of malt and cevada the raw material of Brazilian beer.

Today, each Brazilian drinks an average of 47 liters of beer per year which accounts for an impressive total production of 8 billion litres of beer per year. For those of you who like statistics, first in ranking is Czech Republic (158 liters per year), followed by Germany (115), United Kingdom (97), Australia (92), United States (84), Spain (75), Japan (56), Mexico (50) and then Brazil.

The biggest Brazilian beer maker is Ambev (short for American Beverage), which produces the brands Skol, Bohemia, Brahma and Antarctica. Skol is the undisputed market leader, while the other brands fight the competition. Ambev controls more than half the Brazilian beer market as a result of the merging of a number of big beer factories. Ambev was able to convince the government that a merge would help the company compete in the international markets. In 2004, Ambev joined with Belgium group Interbrew, creating the biggest beer group in the world, as measured by volume produced.

If you are against market domination, the other main brands are Kaiser (owned by Molson, the Canadian group) and Schin. There are several other brands, many local and regional, which don’t have much relevance in the national market. All these most famous brands are made with a similar process, resulting in the kind of beer called Pilsen. If you like stout, there is a Brazilian version of it, called Caracu.

Which Brazilian beer is best? This topic can be debated at length but if you use gringoes readers as a gauge the best Brazilian beer is Bohemia (the oldest Brazilian brand, established in 1854) – by a street. Our poll located on the home page for the past few weeks has Bohemia with 37% of the vote almost double the next placed beer Bramha (19%) followed by Antartica (16%), Skol (15%) and other (12%). In truth they are all very drinkable.

Just to complicate matters at many bars and restaurants you have the choice between chope, also called chopp, which is a draft beer or cerveja (served in can, long next or 600ml bottle) which is beer. The main difference between them is that chope is not pasteurized, while beer is. This causes differences in taste and alcoholic grade. Beer is more alcoholic.

At local bars you will most likely be served a 600ml bottle called a garafa, which typically comes with thermal protector to keep the beer cold, garafa’s offer the best value for money. At more up-market places you will often be faced with the choice between small bottles called long-necks (355 ml) and cans. Always go with the long-neck as the beer tastes better and will stay cold longer. A tip is to ask the waiter to bring you a few long-necks and keep them in an ice bucket strategically located next to your table. Lots of places will do this for you anyway.

Interestingly chope typically costs more than beer, despite the fact that it is served in a smaller glass and arrives with a very large head. Coupled with lower alcoholic content this style of drinking offers the least ‘bang for your buck’. Opinion is divided on the merits of chope served with a large head but I know where I come from you would be in all sorts of trouble if you served up to a customer a beer with half a head on it. If you prefer your chope without a head you can ask for ‘sem colarinho or sem espuma‘ although not all bars will oblige. However having said all that chope served fresh and cold is a delight and before you know you will be racking up empty glasses and beer coaster.

Besides loving beer, Brazilians also love beer propaganda – which typically involves beautiful women posing in the close proximity of beer. I’m sure you can use your imagination for this, however for those having trouble visualising, you can see examples at the following site here

Please let other www.gringoes.com readers know what you think the best beers are, perhaps you know some less popular beers worth trying. Send your comments and recommendations to gringoes@www.gringoes.com

To read previous articles in the wine series:
South American Wine Guide: Argentina
South American Wine Guide: Chile
South American Wine Guide: Brazil

Exorcist: The Beginning” is the fourth “Exorcist” movie. And, like the last two, it’s not up to the 1973 original by William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin which is widely regarded as one of the scariest movies ever, mostly because of the documentary style approach to the reality of a demonic possession. “Exorcist: The Beginning,” much like John Boorman’s “Exorcist II: The Heretic” and Blatty’s 1990 “The Exorcist III,” plays down realism and ups the hype – in other words it is nearly as real or scary.

The Exorcist: The Beginning is a prequel to the 1973 movie, charting the earlier career of Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard), the old priest who wrestled with the devil in Linda Blair. Wind back to the late 1940s and Father Merrin, has given up the priesthood, his faith shattered by horrors he witnessed and was forced to participate in under the Nazis. A British collector seeking a priceless artifact entices Merrin to join a dig in Kenya, where a pristine Roman Catholic church has been discovered, buried in the fifth century at a time when no Christian inroads had been made that far into Africa. A young priest, Father Francis (James D’Arcy) accompanies him, seeking to lure Merrin back into the fold. Merrin finds temptation of the flesh with a beautiful doctor (Izabella Scorupco) and becomes a protector for a boy (Remy Sweeney) the local tribesmen believe is possessed by a demon.

Skarsgard, a Swede (incidentally the original Harland played by Max von Sydow was also a Swede) puts in a shocker and seems genuinely unhappy about being in the film. Generally the performances are wildly inconsistent, either loud as buggery or as quiet as a mouse.

Original director John Frankenheimer left the project and died shortly thereafter, and star Liam Neeson quit. Stellan Skarsgard replaced Neeson, with Paul Schrader directing, but the producers didn’t think the movie he made was scary enough. That version was shelved, new director Harlin (Die Hard 2, Driven) came aboard, the story was tweaked, roles were recast, and the movie was shot again, with Skarsgard still starring.

Harlin, tries to emulate William Friedkin’s grossly terrifying original, but all his images capture are the gross parts; a bird pecking a man’s eye socket clean, crows feasting on other crows’ innards, a stillborn baby emerging from its mother’s womb coated in maggots, a pack of hyenas that tear up a Kenyan boy.. you get the picture. Also thrown in for good measure is a shower sequence with our tidy blond medic, which ends with her running around in darkness, dripping wet, armed only with a towel and candle.

In summary most of this film is boring as hell (forgive the pun) with the remainder loud, crude and full of disturbing imagery. It is not scary or even shocking just vulgar and disappointing.

Running time: 1 hour 54minutes, Rating: R (For strong violence and gore, disturbing images and rituals and for language including some sexual dialogue).

Check our cinema listings here for details of screenings at a cinema near you.

The Tim Festival 2004 brings many international and local performers to São Paulo for 3 days of music. The event is to be held at the Jockey Club of São Paulo from 5 – 7 November, 2004. The music has been divided into 4 different areas know as; TIM Stage, TIM Motomix, TIM Club and TIM Lab. There will also be the TIM Village which will host restaurants, bars and lounges where people can meet before and after the shows.

The TIM Stage is the major venue at the festival, accommodating up to 4,000 people. Music here will be more mainstream with a mixture of international and local bands. The lineup includes: Kid 606, Kraftwerk, Picassos. Falsos, PJ Harvey, Primal Scream & Brian Wilson.

will have a mixture of international and local DJs. The mood will be will be frenetic with some of the best electronic and dance music on offer. Artist performing include; Soulwax, Cansei De Ser Sexy, 2manydjs, De Leve, Stone Love, Digitaldubs, Bumba Beat, Pet Shop Boys & DJ Mau Mau.

TIM Club offers listeners some of the true icons of jazz music and attendance here is obligatory. This years performers include; Chico Pinheiro, Brad Mehldau, Nancy Wilson, Maogani, David Snchez, Branford Marsalis, Dave Holland, Bireli Lagrne & Art Van Damme.

Finally the TIM Lab breaks all the rules with sounds and rhythm – without restrictions. You are guaranteed some of the most different musical experiences. Watch out for artists; F.UR.T.O, Kinky, Panjabi MC, The Cinematic Orchestra, Bebel Gilberto, Grenade, The Libertines & The Mars Volta.

Date: 5 – 7 November, 2004.
Location: Jockey Club de São Paulo, Avenida Lineu de Paula Machado, 1.263 Cidade Jardim
Ticket Prices: TIM Club: R$ 120, TIM Lab: R$ 60, TIM Stage: R$ 80 -R$ 150, MOTOMIX R$ 40 & TIM Village: R$ 10
Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com.br, or by calling (11) 6846-6000 in São Paulo or 0300 789-6846 from other cities in Brazil.

Details of the schedule, bands and event details can be found on the TIM Festival website www.timfestival.com.br

The Upstairs Lounge, of the Grand Hyatt São Paulo is holding two events; musician Ed Motta and a Halloween Party on 29 and 30 October, 2004 respectively. Details are given below but you will need to be quick as numbers are limited for these events.

Friday 29 October, 2004 brings the first show in the second season of Upstairs Sounds at the The Upstairs Lounge, of the Grand Hyatt. The show titled Poptical is to be performed by the singer and instrumentalist Ed Motta. Under the musical guardianship of Carlos Mamberti, the season provides an opportunity for modern musicans to perform in an intimate environment. Restricted to 120 people the audience will be in close proximity to the artists. Following the concert by Ed Motta the following shows have been programmed:

06 November: Nelson Ayres and Trio
27 November: Paula Lima
04 December: Wagner Tiso
11 December: Luciana Melo

The cost is R$150 and as numbers are limited to 120 people you will need to make a reservation on (11) 6838-3207, 3862-3205, 6838-3208.

To commemorate Halloween the Upstairs Bar/Lounge, of the Grand Hyatt São Paulo, has organised a party at 10pm on Saturday 30 October, 2004. There will be an open bar with beer, caipirinha, cocktails, whisky and the Vamp drink which has been concocted specially by bartender Beatriz Pernambuco. The bar will be decorated Halloween style.A DJ will provide the music.

The cost is R$100 for men and R$70 for women and the night is of course fancy dress. The numbers are limited to 150 people so you will need to make a reservation on (11) 6838-3207.

Brazil successfully launched its first rocket into space on Saturday 22 October, 2004 from the Alcantara base in the northern state of Maranhao. The rocket which is a two-stage VSB-30 or Brazilian Exploration Vehicle, spent just seven minutes in microgravity at an altitude of 100 kilometres above the earth.

This launch comes 14 months after the Brazilian Space Program was devastated by a deadly launch pad accident. VLS-1 VO3 rocket, carrying two research satellites, exploded on the launch platform three days before the scheduled launch. Tragically, 21 space agency employees were killed and the reputation of the countries space agency severely damaged. The investigation following the disaster concluded an electrical flaw triggered one of the rocket’s four solid fuel boosters during final preparations at the seaside launch pad.

The accident was the third failure for Brazil’s space program, in 1997, a rocket launched from Alcantara crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after liftoff. In 1999, officials destroyed a rocket after it veered off course three minutes after takeoff.

Air force officials said Saturday’s launch was supervised by teams from the Brazilian Space Agency and the German Space Center.

The successful launch has gone some way in restoring the reputation of the Brazilian space program which hopes to sell 15 of the rockets to the European Space Agency. The VSB-30 rockets can carry a payload of 300kg and fly up to 200 km, which could replace the British made Skylark rocket. More launches are planned in 2005 and 2006.

Brazil is trying to promote Alcantara as an ideal venue for rocket launches. Alcantara is located close to the equator (just 2,3 degrees south) making for easier launches into space. Rockets require less thrust and as a consequence can carry more cargo in lieu of additional fuel.

Canada’s Tanya Keshavjee Macedo married a Brazilian and now lives in São Paulo. She loves a mixed fruit caipiroska and Brazilian Pizza but misses a Montreal Bagel and a snowy day in front of the fire.

Where are you from?
I was born in Toronto, Canada

What brought you to Brazil?
I was studying for my MBA at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, USA, when I met my future husband, who is Brazilian. We fell in love during an MBA study trip to Brazil, and after I graduated we married, and moved to São Paulo.

What do you do here?
I am a Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics at Business School São Paulo (BSP). I am also the Manager of International Programs at BSP – funnily enough I create and manage the same type of study tour programs on which I met my husband.

What do you miss about Canada?
Mainly, I miss my family and friends. I miss Montreal bagels, fabulous Thai and Vietnamese and other ethic foods from Toronto. I miss snowy days, when you can curl up by a fireplace and read a good book while sipping hot chocolate with marsh mellows.

What do you most like about Brazil?
I love the opportunity to better understand the culture in which my husband was raised. I love the Brazilian people, they are warm and lovely. I love the fabulous restaurants and shopping in São Paulo, the old city of Pelorinho in Salvador, beaches of Rio.

What is your favourite restaurant in Brazil?
Viccolonostro – charming place (perfect for a date), great decor / atmosphere and fabulous food.

Have you tried brazilian food and drink such as feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha? Did you like them?
I am a vegetarian, so I have not tried the feijoada or churrasco, but I love the mixed fruit caipiroska (Caipirinha made with a mixture of fruits and vodka). I think that the Brazilian pizza is fabulous!

What difference between Canada and Brazil do you find most striking?
So many exist that I have to mention a few…The most glaring is the personal safety issue. In Canada, even in its largest city Toronto, it is very safe in many ways; I would never think about being robbed at a street light, or worry about whether or not to wear jewelry, in case it is stolen. However, in Canada you worry about other crimes like kidnapping, which I think are less common here. Another big difference is the extreme differences in wealth distribution in Brazil which you dont see in Canada. Finally, Canadians seem to be a lot more willing to demand fair treatment from the government. We expect and demand transparency with respect to the spending of our tax dollars. If Canadians had to pay the exorbitant speeding fines that they have in São Paulo (even going 1km over), there would be public outcry about the government gauging the public.

What are 3 things you would recommend to do for a visitor to São Paulo?
I would recommend shopping in the Jardins, walking in Iberapuera park and having dinner at Viccolonostro.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Are you are foreigner living in Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com