Canada’s Aaron Day moved to São Paulo with his Brazilian wife Paula about a year ago. Despite having lived in such exotic locations as Curacao Island, he was still enchanted with São Paulo and it’s nearby beaches. It certainly beats the 8 months of winter in Vancouver.
Where are you from?
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, but had been living in Miami for 12 years before moving to São Paulo
What brought you to Brazil?
During 1996 I was working on the Island of Curacao, installing what became one of the first Internet Casinos and I met and fell in love with a girl from São Paulo.
What do you do here?
Internet marketing and web site development, I manage a dozen or so web sites and Blogs that reside on a server in California, connected by Virtua from my home.
What do you miss about Canada?
My wife and I usually go back to Canada for July but we missed it this year and I often thought about my family, as I especially miss my niece and nephews. Also, if you’ve ever been to Vancouver you’d know what the combination of sky, sea and mountains could do to your mind. I definitely don’t miss the 8 months of winter.
What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?
Just celebrated my first full year living in Brasil and found that Learning Portuguese has been a challenge but I’m making progress. When I first came to Brazil for a visit, 8 years ago I was a little frustrated by the deplorable distribution of wealth and that there are so many children living on the streets. Now I’ve come to accept the situation and recognize that most people are happy.
What do you most like about Brazil?
It would be too simplistic to say that it’s the culture I like the most about Brasil, so to be more specific, it’s the combination of exotic location (I love the beaches), with great music (I enjoy Brazilian music), fabulous food and wonderful people who really know how to enjoy life when the opportunity presents it.
What is your favorite restaurant in Brazil?
Since there are purported to be over 3,000 restaurants in São Paulo it’s really hard to choose just one but for total style, ambiance and incredible cuisine I’m very fond of Viccolo Nostre but still, for me, nothing compares to the Rubiyat.
Do you have any funny stories/incidents to tell about your time in Brazil?
Driving a car for the first time in São Paulo can always be amusing. My first experience in Rio was kind of comical and hanging out in Buzios, trying to be natural and fit in but having lived in Miami for many years I was too much of a Gringo.
What difference between Canada and Brazil do you find most striking?
Weather is obviously the biggest difference between Canada and Brazil but also in Canada we have a huge middle class and very small lower class. Children are not seen out on the streets, especially during school hours. In comparing my experiences with living in Florida: I’d say they you don’t see the race integration and the poor are more hidden out of sight.
What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São Paulo?
Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and try to be with locals. The richness of São Paulo lays hidden behind a grimy cover-layer and it can be difficult to get to see what’s behind unless someone shows you. Make sure you take a trip to Litoral Norte.
Aaron Day can be contacted at email@example.com
To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Graham Debney – New Zealand
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
Silke Tina Tischendorf – Germany
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 firstname.lastname@example.org