By Teacher Claudia
Part 1 – Mesmo”

Dear readers, in Portuguese, as in many other languages, there are some special, unique words which may have several meanings, depending on the context they are used.

Mesmo is such an example. Today we’ll take a look at it, but be aware, because you might discover something else, as language is indeed a living thing!

Activity 1

Read parts of two songs by Lulu Santos.

“Certas Coisas”
Não existiria som se não
Houvesse o silncio.
Não haveria luz se não
Fosse a escuridão.
A vida mesmo assim:
Dia e noite,
Não e sim.

(Certain Things
There wouldn’t be sound if
there weren’t silence.
There wouldn’t be light if
there weren’t darkness.
Life is like that;
Day and night,
No and yes.)

A gente exige respeito
E mesmo consideraão
A gente não tem compaixão
Se contenta com a razão
Nem com a gente mesmo
A gente não tem compaixão

We demand respect
And even consideration
We don’t have compassion
We’re satisfied with reason
We have no compassion
With our own self)

Activity 2

Identify and understand mesmo’s meanings.
In the first song mesmo means like, similar to, as; A vida mesmo assim.
In the second mesmo means even; E mesmo consideraão.

Activity 3

Learn other sentences where mesmo can be used.
isso mesmo! (That’s it!)
mesmo? (Is it true? / Really?)
Por isso mesmo. (Exactly because of that.)

Activity 4

There’s another situation which we speak mesmo, when we mean by oneself, on their own effort.
Eu mesma fiz aqueles Lemmingtons para voc. (I myself made those Lemmingtons for you.)
Eu lembro de voc mesmo cantando “No aphrodisiac” para mim. (I recall you yourself singing No aphrodisiac to me.)

Activity 5

See if you can understand the meanings of mesmo in “Iluminados” by Ivan Lins.
Dear student, do try first, please. Only after read the translation!

“O amor tem feito coisas
Que at mesmo Deus duvida
J curou desenganados
J fechou tanta ferida.
O amor junta os pedaos
Quando um coraão se quebra
Mesmo que seja de ao
Mesmo que seja de pedra.”

(Love’s done things
That even God doubts
It’s cured the dying
It’s closed so many wounds.
Love brings the pieces together
When a heart’s broken
Even if it’s made of steel
Even if it’s made of stone)

See you next class!

Teacher Cludia

Teacher Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at

To read previous articles by Teacher Claudia click below:

Portuguese Tip: Interjections and ExpressionsA Brazilian Holiday: October 12th
Portuguese Tip: Sounds
Portuguese Tip: Verb Tenses
Portuguese Tip: The Mystery of Seu, Sua
Portuguese Tip: Interjections and Expressions
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 2
A Brazilian custom: Kissing the Cheek
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Past
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 1
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Present
Portuguese Tips
Portuguese Tips: Adverbs in Portuguese
Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative
Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

We are seeking people to participate in our interview series, whether you are a gringo” living in Brazil, or a Brazilian who has significant experience of travel abroad. The interview itself is a series of simple questions, so all you need to do is identify whether you’re Brazilian or a foreigner so that we send you the correct set of questions. We also ask that you send a digital photo with your answers to accompany the interivew on the web site.

For this month though we are also offering an extra incentive! All those who submit a completed interview by the end of December will be entered into a draw to win a weekend at the São Pedro Spa. If you are interested in participating then please send an email to with “Interview” in the subject line.

Also a gentle reminder to those who offered to complete interviews, or still need to send a photo to accompany their interview. We look forward to receving your emails!”

Designer Rico Lins has selected the best Brazilian posters produced since the 1950s exhibited for the first time in an international show

Rico Lins, the noted Brazilian designer has brought merited international attention to the artistic production of Brazilian posters starting from the 1950s onwards in the exhibit Brazil in Posters, Brsil l’Affiche”, in Chaumont, France. The town is known worldwide as the “City of Posters”, where the International Poster Festival is held every year.

This is the first time that Brazil has participated in the event, which is now in its 17th edition. Christelle Kirchstettler, director of graphic arts of Chaumont, came to Brazil recently to help conclude organizing the event and meet with Brazilian institutions interested in establishing contacts with Chaumont.

“Our plans are to set up a closer relation with France, ensuring the continued participation of Brazil in the event, which includes exhibits, seminars, contests and workshops for professionals and students, as well as encouraging a broader exchange between the countries, with the possibility of bringing international events here,” said Rico Lins.

The exhibit, which will end the program for the “Brazil Year-France 2005” celebrations, is considered the most important exhibit of Brazilian graphic design to date. The objective is to present the most important creative designers, Brazilian movements and artistic tendencies, as well as disseminate fragments of our history and culture, integrating the graphic creation of Brazil in the contemporary scene worldwide.

A total of 80 original posters will be on show, as well as approximately 100 works in digital format created by designers of various generations in different parts of the country, including Rico Lins, Alexandre Wollner, Geraldo de Barros, Jair de Souza, Kiko Farkas, Ruth Klotzel, João Baptista da Costa Aguiar, Ziraldo and the Grupo Coringa, as well as popular posters produced anonymously. The poster of Antonio Maluf is the oldest in the collection and was made for the first Bienal Internacional de Artes de São Paulo, in 1951. The exhibit will be open to the public in Chaumont between December 15 2005 and February 15, 2006.

A Bit of History
Chaumont became known internationally as the “City of Posters” thanks largely to a donation given by the Deputy of the region of Haute Marne, Gustave Dutailly, who left an inheritance of nearly 10,000 printed documents, including books, newspapers engravings and an extraordinary collection of 5,000 lithography posters, illustrated by the great masters of the period, such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Grasset, Chret, Bonnard and others.

With the support of the Director of Books of the Ministry of Culture of France, the poster collection began to be restored in 1982. Eight years later, the city of Chaumont started remodeling some deactivated silos of the old farm cooperative to house a community cultural center, with libraries, media rooms, technical reserves, workshops, serigraphic print shops, spaces for exhibitions, as well as a drama room for children.

In November 1994, these installations received the name Les Silos and for the past 11 years they have housed the International Poster Festival. Chaumont is known worldwide thanks to the quality of its exhibits and its collections, as well as for the permanent work dedicated to the graphic arts and to the art of the poster. The city of Chaumont, where the collection organized by Rico Lins will be exhibited, boasts of a collection of approximately 30,000 posters.

About the Curator
With individual exhibits in Paris, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas and the main biennial exhibits and international collective shows, the Brazilian designer and director Rico Lins owns numerous posters published in Brazil, France, the US and Germany.

His works are part of the collections of the Muse de lAffiche and the Muse de lHistoire Contemporaine, in Paris; the Festival of Chaumont; Die Neue Sammlung/ Staatliches, of Munich; MoCA, of San Francisco, and MAC of São Paulo. His work has also appeared in international books and magazines such as Graphis, Print, How, Design, Creative Review, Novum, tapes, +81, Linea Grfica and others.

Lins won the Prmio Abril, as well as the competition for the poster of the XXI Bienal de São Paulo. He was chosen Designer of the Year for 2001/Design by Designers, and received gold medals from the NY Art of Directors Club and the Society of Publication Designers.

In the last 20 years Rico Lins has been active in related projects in Paris, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and has done graphic work for CBS Records, Time Warner, NY Times, Newsweek, MTV Network, Centre Pompidou, Klartext Verlag, TV Globo, Ed. Abril, Banco do Brasil, SESC, Natura, Itaipu, Fundaes Padre Anchieta and Roberto Marinho, etc.

Lins received a Master’s degree from the Royal College Art of London and after having been a professor at the New York School of Visual Arts 1992-93, he is currently coordinator of the Master’s Program in Graphic Arts of the Istituto Europeo di Design. He is also a member of the Consulting boards of the Associaão dos Designers Grficos (ADG) and the Panamericana Escola de Arte e Design and represents Brazil in the Alliance Graphique Internationalle (AGI).”

By D. E. Finley
Where we’re from in Austin, Texas, there are hundreds of acres of leash-free parks. Our mutts, Rocky and Baylor, love to run, paddle in creeks, and haphazardly chase wild critters like squirrels, rabbits, mice, deer, and skunk. (Fortunately, the critters always outsmart or out-spray them.) When we moved to Campinas, Brazil, we sadly learned that public parks and our condominium (gated housing community) park prohibit dogs. (Ironically, small yappy dogs are allowed in stores and shopping malls.)

Rocky and Baylor have adjusted somewhat to walks on leashes. However, they are losing their muscle tone and athletic physiques. They miss running and chasing things. Instead, the critters here chase them. Intimidating owls swoop down, screech, and brush the dogs’ backs with their sharp talons to guard their nests.

I try to think of ways to get the dogs more exercise in Brazil. One evening when the roads looked empty in our condominium, I let Rocky and Baylor off their leashes to run up a hill. Rocky happily loped along. But Baylor, ignoring the No Trespassing” sign, darted into a house that was under construction. After whistling for her, for what seemed longer than a Hollywood marriage, Baylor finally barked back.

Her bark sounded more like a desperate child, searching for a misplaced retainer or DVD game, “BOW W.OW SH*T! BOW W.OW SH*T!”

I followed her barks. Looking up, I saw Baylor teetering on a second story window ledge. She was shaking more than an acrophobic doing a handstand on the shoulders of Shaquille O’Neal (NBA basketball star).

I walked over to the house. In darkness, I ascended up the sandy hill to reach the second story. I called Baylor. She exited safely towards me, whining with relief. Rescue mission accomplished. But what the Hec was biting me everywhere?

As we headed home, my bare arms and legs were still getting nipped. From my arm, I pulled off and identified a hearty sand flea, probably on steroids and protein powder supplements. Once home, I managed to skip giving the dramatic details of the walk to my husband. He is a strong proponent of leashes, choke collars, and not getting deported. I slipped Rocky and Baylor industrial strength tick control applications. I gave myself an industrial strength shower with Motel-6 shampoo and bath gel. So much for letting the dogs off of their leashes to run on the street.

Disheartened but still determined, I tried to find another place for the dogs to run. Driving around our condominium, which contains about fourteen hundred homes, I found a group of several vacant lots together.

As Rocky and Baylor pranced through the open grasses, I gleefully sang my favorite apropos accompaniment, “Born free, as free as the grass grows, as free the wind blows, born free to follow.”.

Then, the dog’s real fun started when they spotted and followed a cat in someone’s yard. I shouted, pleaded, and bribed them with chewy treats to come back. They ignored me and raced after the cat. By the time, I reached the three of them, they were in a tangled tussle in the cat’s yard. The cat’s owner was watching from his balcony.

Now I was barking in mind, “Ow sh*t! Ow sh*t!”

He called, “Fifi! Fifi!”

The cat tumbled to try to get away. She rolled and splashed into the goldfish pond. I somehow managed to grab the dogs by their collars.

The angry owner headed towards us yelling in Portuguese. “Blah! Blah! Policia! Blah! Blah! Policia!”

I replied, “Desculpe! Desculpe!”, meaning “I’m sorry” in Portuguese.

“Nao Desculpe! Blah! Blah! Policia! Blah! Blah! Policia!”

The fluffy black cat, most likely a pure-breed with papers and Gucci pet accessories, stood leg deep in the goldfish pond. Her owner, a hefty balding gray haired man, fished her out of the water. He gently placed Fifi under his arm.
Now on a leash, but still not grasping that their hooligan fun was over, Baylor lunged towards the cat and the man. I yanked Baylor back. She continued to tug at the leash with rabid enthusiasm. Fifi continued to drip goldfish pond water. She looked more like a wet pom-pom.

“Desculpe,” I apologized again, yanking Baylor back, “Sit Baylor! Come on, sit! Sit! Come on, SIT!”

“Oh. You are an American?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Well, this is my cat and I love her! She means everything to me!”, the man ranted on. “I could not let anything happen to her. Do you understand me?! Fifi is my cat. And, I love her! I LOVE HER!! “

As he stroked and kissed the dripping Fifi, I continued to apologize profusely.

“Where do you live? In America?”, he asked.

“No, I live here in the condominium.”

“Oh, so you will be back! I will need to look out for you! You and your mongrels. who tried to eat my Fifi!”

For the first time, since I was five, I felt like I was going to wet my pants from fright. Back then, I wet my pants after being scolded by a churlish neighbor, who looked like her only means of transportation was a broom. He reminded more of a militant PETA activist (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

I tried to assure him that I would never come to his neck of the condominium again – even without a restraining order. So much for letting the dogs off their leashes to run in vacant lots. So, my quest for finding leash free zones in Brazil for Rocky and Baylor continues – and also my quest not piss off any more Brazilians.

Copyright D.E. Finley 2005.

D.E. Finley is a writer and graphic artist. You can visit her website at

To read previous articles by D. E. Finley click below:

Brazil Humour: Dental Visit

Brazil Humour: Dying Pet

Brazil Humour: Doctor Visit

Brazil Humour: Lost Dog

Brazil Humour: Brazilian Chicken

Brazil Humour: Visiting Santos

Brazil: Novo Jerusalem

Brazil Humour: Plastic Surgery

Brazil Humour: What’s In A Name?

Brazil Humour: Sizing Up Shoes in Brazil

Brazil Humour: Hiring a Cook

Brazil Humour: Pet Sitting

Brazil Humour: Driving in Campinas

Brazil Humour: Lighting Up

Brazil: Going to the US Consulate

Brazil: Advice to Dialinda

Brazil: Feijoada Anyone?

Brazil Life: Winter in Brazil

Brazil Life: Home Safe Home
Brazil Life: Hose Shopping
Brazil Life: In-Laws In Town
Brazil Life: Got Floss
Brazil Life: Hiring a Maid
Brazil Life: Brazilians are so Nice
Brazil Life: Gringa Goes Shopping at Carrefour
Brazil Life: Amazon Encounter Lodge Vacation
Brazil Life: Keeping Track of My Purse

By Rafe Stone
Santa Catarina is an all-time favourite summer holiday destination for Brazilians and other South Americans, but it’s now starting to be discovered by the outside world”. In the past, most visitors to Brazil, from overseas, would head to Rio to see “that big statue of Christ” or go to the “Amazon” rainforest, but as travel interests become more diverse people are now starting to explore other areas of this huge country, and are liking what they find. If you head south instead of north after leaving Rio then a visit to Santa Catarina should definitely figure in your plans. A few good reasons to visit are: its glorious beaches, beautiful lagoons, a thick, lush carpet of Atlantic Rainforest, dramatic mountain scenery and charming colonial architecture… so, it’s no small wonder that the locals are relaxed and friendly with all this on their doorsteps!

Despite its many attractions it is still the beaches that draw the crowds and as there are so many of them (in Florianopolis, the Capital of the State, some people say there are more than a hundred!), you won’t have any problem finding one that suits your taste or mood. On the north coast, an hour away from the Capital, you will find Ponta dos Ganchos, one of the most exclusive beach resorts in Brazil. On the south coast you will find even more beautiful beaches (Praia do Rosa being the most famous and a new member of the “Most Beautiful Bays of the World Club”), with the added bonus of being an area of outstanding natural beauty. If you want to visit the whale sanctuary to see Southern Right Whales nurturing their young then plan to visit between July and October.

A great day trip is a visit to one of the smaller, rainforest-covered islands dotted around Florianopolis. Campeche Island is a great place for snorkeling with its emerald-green waters. It is also a National Heritage Site as it contains innumerous rock inscriptions that date from around 5,000 years ago. Arvoredo Island is part of a marine national park. Here, currents from the North and South meet, resulting in a great variety of sea life and making it the best place for diving in the South of Brazil.

As well as the diving and the lying on the beach, Santa Catarina is a major center for active adventures and radical sports. Surfing, naturally, is massive. International competitions come to town every year and surf schools are everyday more popular (and affordable). The wind and waves draw in the kite and windsurfers, and Para gliders as well. Rafting, abseiling, diving, trekking… in fact most things sporty can be done in this land of outdoors lovers.

If you are more of a culture vulture, you will be interested in the legacy of the Azorian immigration. Its architecture is represented in the local churches (Mid-late 18th Century), and typical houses still found in the Capital in the early settlements of Santo Antonio de Lisboa e Ribeirão da Ilha. Outside Florianopolis, São Francisco do Sul, the third oldest city in Brazil, and Laguna are also interesting colonial towns.

Only two hours away from “Floripa”, you will be in the heart of Santa Catarina’s Serra Geral Mountain Range. Peaks rise to over 1800m, and overlook high plateaus covered in Araucaria forest, lush canyons, pristine rivers and cascading waterfalls. You can easily spend a few days here. The activities are as varied as they are at sea level .You can trek through mountain landscapes rich in flora and fauna or horse ride through cattle ranches in true gaucho style. The rivers are perfect for fly fishing or, if you just want to get even further away from it all just relax in a cozy mountain lodge for a few days.

When to come? Busiest time is during Brazilian Summer (from Christmas to end of Carnival). This is the hottest and the wettest time of the year as well. Spring (Mar-Jun) and Autumn (Sep-Dec) are much quieter but still sunny and warm enough to enjoy the beach. These are the best times for visiting the mountains and for all active adventures, as the days are clear and you have wild flowers and migrating birds making a show. Winter, the season for whale watching, is mild: even in the coldest months (Jul and Aug) temperatures don’t usually go below 12C at night on the coast and quite often reach mid-20s during the day. With an open mind, you can certainly enjoy Santa Catarina all year around.”

By Stephen Thompson
It’s a typical quiet Sunday morning in São Paulo and I am standing in the Stand Center Shopping Mall, on Avenida Paulista, which is already buzzing with activity, even though most of the shops on São Paulo’s most famous street are closed. It’s a bit of the Chinese electronics market in Brazil. You can get laptops, desktops, iPod’s, and just about every type of high-tech gadget you can imagine, for 40% less than the price in legitimate shops. In the two-storey shopping centre there are 200 booths, mostly selling computers and electronics smuggled in from China via Paraguay. Most of the shop owners, and the owners of the shopping centre itself, are Chinese. They stay in their tiny booths seven days a week because they make more money here than they could ever make in China.

I myself have just opened up a restaurant further down Paulista Avenue, but now I’m regretting I didn’t come here and open up a shop selling smuggled Chinese electronics. The rents of the shops here start at 3,500 Reais per month, for the smallest booth, measuring just 6 square meters in size. There’s a list of 500 people waiting to rent, and there hasn’t been a vacant booth in over 18 months, so it must be good business. You can imagine how much money passes through this place, and how much tax the Brazilian government fails to collect, because the goods sold here do not pass through legitimate channels. This scene is repeated every day all over the country. Over 70% of computers sold in Brazil are smuggled in from Paraguay. But the Brazilian government still cherishes the dream of nurturing a home-grown electronics industry here in Brazil, to rival that of China’s. You can hardly blame the Chinese for taking advantage of a good business opportunity, legitimate or illegitimate

I’ve always hated spending more than necessary on computers, software and related goods. I’m looking forward to the day when I can buy a laptop in Brazil for a price that compares well with New York or Paraguay. I’ll be able to go home just to visit my friends, without staggering under the weight of my shopping. It’s not purely for selfish reasons that I oppose the Information Technology Law. I honestly believe that it does harm Brazil to restrict the access to high-quality computer products and encourages the development of the black market, corruption and tax evasion.

Of course, I support the noble ideal that Brazil should encourage its own home-grown electronics industry, behind a super high tariff barrier, but only up to a point. I think it became clear a long time ago that Brazil cannot compete with China, Taiwan and Korea when it comes to producing cheap PCs, and the tariff barrier only serves to encourage smuggling, with the knock-on effects of tax evasion and police bribery. If I was an IT company executive faced with the question of where I was going to open a semiconductor plant I wouldn’t do it in Brazil for a long list of reasons, beginning with insane bureaucracy, high taxes, high interest rates, high non-wage labour costs, dilapidated infrastructure, a complex and constantly changing tax system, a creaking justice system and lack of protection for intellectual property; the list is long. Compared with these disadvantages, Brazil’s tariff protection doesn’t count for much. It’s better to produce in China.

Here is a small example from personal experience of the difference of doing business in China and Brazil. Last year I opened a bank account at the Bank of China in Beijing, in half an hour, on a Sunday. I walked out right then and there with my bank book and plastic cash card. All I had to show was my passport. The same process took three months in Brazil, with weekly visits to the bank, when the bank manager would say every time it’ll be ready by next week at the very latest”. The requests for documentation seemed endless, irrelevant, for example documentary proof of my parents names, and were often unnecessarily repeated because the bank staff didn’t bother to look carefully at what I had already provided. By the time I’d finished opening my account, my currency had devalued more than 20%.

So it would be better if Brazil abandoned its dream of developing a high-tech electronics industry and reduced its tariff barriers to something more reasonable, say 20%. Then Brazilians would be able to benefit from cheap computer imports, which would stimulate their software industry, which by the way is as big as India’s, believe it or not.

It would encourage social inclusion, education and help businesses compete for export markets. The Brazilian government would collect more taxes because most computers would be imported legitimately. Police corruption would be reduced, and intellectual property will be more respected. Brazil would have entered the real world, somewhat humbler having abandoned its grandiose dreams, but able to benefit fully from the amazing Chinese capacity to push down prices. But don’t expect it to happen soon, reform moves at a glacial pace in Brazil. Oh, and don’t forget to bring me a laptop if you go home.

Editor’s Note: Stand Center was recently raided by the Federal Police and associated bodies, and is currently closed while they conduct their audit.

Stephen Thompson runs “O Gaucho”, a snack bar serving breakfast, juices, smoothies, sandwiches. For an English menu contact

To read previous articles by Stephen click the links below:

Managing a Brazilian bank account
Brazil’s Middle Class Ruled By Political Apathy

This week’s entertainment guide for São Paulo features a restaurant in Itaim, a night club in Cidade Mones, a Christmas event in Ibirapuera Park, an assault course for kids, and this week’s recommended cinema release.

Cafe de la MusiqueThe fashionable and chic may well want to pay a visit to Cafe de la Musique, a relatively new restaurant that has opened in the last 6 months. The restaurant is owned by a polo player and businessman who both travel extensively around Europe, and wanted to bring a sense of the European restaurants they visit to São Paulo to entertain their friends, but of course the restaurant is open to others also. There’s a curious mix of French relaxed “chill out” style in the restaurant design (with rather funky chairs), but it has a sushi bar as well as an Italian menu. A large smiling Brazilian flag looks down on the customers, made by the artist Zilando Freitas. The restaurant is particularly flexible, and often on Saturday’s will have live music and a space cleared later in the evening for dancing. Areas can also be reserved for corporate events. The restaurants itself is hidden a little around the corner of the host building in case you miss it. Open Monday to Saturday, from 8pm to the last customer (5am). Parking R$10. Av. Juscelino Kubitschek, 1400. Tel. 3079 5588.

CabaretThe recently opened night club Cabaret has a great contemporary feel to it. The bar is to the side of the dance floor, and the bar itself is filled with lights and crystals. The large lounge areas has sofas and chairs for relaxing. The mezzanine floor is for VIP customers, and has more sofas and an area to relax. The music programme is as follows. Tuesday = “Black music”. Thursday = House. Friday and Saturday = Flash House. Open from 11pm. Entry from R$25- R$50. Parking $R10. R. Quintana, 765. Cidade Mones (South region). Tel. 5505 6886.

Ibirapuera ParkFor the last few Christmases a lot of effort has been made at Ibirapuera Park as the holiday approaches, with a hoard of tree climbers festooning Christmas lights on many of the trees that surround the lake. Also at 8:30pm and 9pm in the lead-up to Christmas the famous fountain in the lake has been synchronised with a Christmas music and light display which is well worth a watch. The park can be accessed from the various Avenues that encircle it, such as Av. 23 de Maio, and Av. Republica do Libano.

Shopping MorumbiMorumbi Shopping Centre has a reasonably sized Christmas themed assault course for kids. The assault course consists of a variety of ladders and towers, as well as two rope bridges. The course itself is gorgeously decorated with Christmas trees, tinsel etc. Meanwhile the parents can grab a coffee at the nearby Caf do Ponto, or head off and do some shopping.

The Chronicles of NarniaThe film choice this week is The Chronicles of Narnia (“As Crnicas de Nrnia” in Portuguese). The classic children’s book by CS Lewis receives a film conversion (after having been previously produced as two TV series). It tells the story of four children in England who are sent to the country during World War 2 to escape the blitz in London. They go to live in a big, old and mysterious house. One of the children discovers a wardrobe in a room of the house, enters it, and finds herself in a mysterious other world full of incredible and mystical creatures. The children soon find themselves entwined in the story of this other world. So the story continues. The film itself has been well received. Make sure if taking English speaking children to seek cinemas that are showing the film “legendado” (subtitled) as opposed to “dublado” (dubbed) in Portuguese.

If you have been to a restaurant, club, park, or anywhere that you would like to recommend to other readers in future Entertainment Guides then don’t hesitate to contact us!

What’s On Guide, December 5 – December 11 2005
What’s On Guide, November 28 – December 4 2005
What’s On Guide, November 21 – November 27 2005
What’s On Guide, November 14 – November 20 2005
What’s On Guide, November 7 – November 13 2005
What’s On Guide, October 31 – November 6 2005
What’s On Guide, October 24 – October 30 2005
What’s On Guide, October 17 – October 23 2005
What’s On Guide, October 10 – October 16 2005
What’s On Guide, October 3 – October 9 2005
What’s On Guide, September 26 – October 2 2005
What’s On Guide, September 19 – September 25 2005
What’s On Guide, September 12 – September 18 2005
What’s On Guide, September 5 – September 11 2005
What’s On Guide, August 29 – September 4 2005
What’s On Guide, August 15 – August 28 2005
What’s On Guide, July 28 – August 14 2005
What’s On Guide, July 7 – July 27 2005
What’s On Guide, June 22 – June 28, 2005
What’s On Guide, June 15 – June 22, 2005
What’s On Guide, June 6 – June 15, 2005
What’s On Guide, May 26 – June 6, 2005
What’s On Guide, May 20 – May 25, 2005
What’s On Guide, May 13 – May 19, 2005
What’s On Guide, May 6 – May 12, 2005
What’s On Guide, Apr 29 – May 5, 2005
What’s On Guide, Apr 21 – Apr 28, 2005
What’s On Guide, Apr 6 – Apr 20, 2005
What’s On Guide, Mar 31 – Apr 6, 2005

By Mark Taylor
For those who’ve not seen it, there is also a film named Brazil, written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Despite the name, the film would seem to have little to do with Brazil. The story revolves around the character Sam Lowry, played by Jonathan Pryce. He initially comes across as a rather weak willed guy, working at the Ministry of Information. The film itself is set in a rather horrible future reminiscent of 1984, in fact one of the titles suggested for the film was 1984 and a half. The story plays as a black comedy. Lowry falls in love with a woman who is fighting the government. Meanwhile he’s trying to cope with his mother having repeated plastic surgery, and an ensuing crisis at work when the wrong man is apprended and his department is blamed.

So what does this all have to do with Brazil, and why did Gilliam choose this title for the film? One clue is in the music. Aquarela do Brazil” is a theme repeated throughout the film in many variations, but primarily a strident orchestral form, rearranged to wonderful effect by Michael Kamen. But why this theme? Legend has it that Gilliam was walking along beside an English beach on a day with particularly awful weather. A lone guy was sitting on the beach with his stereo listening to Aquarela do Brazil, and Gilliam was struck by the fascinating discordance of the awful weather but at the same time this guy perhaps imagining that he was sitting on a beautiful sunny Brazilian beach somewhere. Hence Gilliam chose the music and the film’s name. The idea of this wonderful dream versus the awful reality is a central theme of the film. Indeed stanley has repeated dreams of the terrorist girl before he even meets her, with himself as a hero. The dreams continue throughout the film.

Despite the beach dream and the link with the title and soundtrack there are some curious parallels and coincidences with other aspects of Brazil that weren’t intended by Gilliam. For starters, the world of plastic surgery is growing here in Brazil, and foreigners travel to Brazil for the low price and good quality. Another theme of the film is paperwork and bureaucracy, and those who’ve encountered bureaucracy in Brazil may well sympathise with one of the characters in the film. This character, played in a curious and brief performance by Robert de Niro, is attacked by pieces of paper to the point where he is consumed and vanishes. I’m sure some of us living here have felt like this at times.

Aside from its links with Brazil the country, the film Brazil is generally received as a wonderful work and considered by some as Gilliam’s finest film. For those who’ve not seen it, and enjoy a black comedy and the themes discussed, it’s well worth at least renting.

Previous articles by Mark Taylor:

Brazil: The Bus to Nowhere
Brazil: Piracy
Brazil: Gestures
Brazil: Proclamation of the Republic
Brazilian Film Review
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Finados (Day of the Dead)
Interjections, exclamations and onomatopoeia in Brazilian Portuguese
Brazil: Halloween
Brazil says “No” to banning firearms
Brazil Humour: Phone Etiquette
Brazil’s Gun Referendum
Brazil: Scams
Brazil: Moby Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 5
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 4
Brazil: Avril Lavigne at Pacaembu
Moby in Brazil
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 3
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 2
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 1
Brazil: First season of Lost repeated on AXN

By Kieran Gartlan
There are a few Mexican restaurants in São Paulo, but if you are looking for a bit more than just Mexican food El Mariachi is the place to go. The decor is very simple, almost cantina style, but with amusing life size paper mach mariachis dolls on a balcony above you as you eat. The real attraction here is the music that comes from the live mariachis on stage every night, usually starting around 8.30 to 9pm. The food is excellent, with all the usual favorites including tortillas (made on the premises), Tacos (hard and soft), Burritos, enchiladas and chili com carne. My favorite was the tostadas, which comes with guacamole, beans, cheese and minced beef or chicken, in between layers of tortillas. For drinks there is a large selection of national beers and whiskeys as well as Mexican favorite’s such as tequila, frozen marguerites and imported Sol beer.

Also open lunch times, Monday to Friday, when you can try their buffet, pay per kilo, and on Saturday and Sunday when they have a fixed price (R$25,00) buffet of all you can eat.

There’s also a big screen that comes down from the ceiling showing old Mexican films and telenovelas. Service is efficient and friendly and they stay open till late (last customer). Prices are fair and portions are generous, so overall a very good deal. Valet parking available (R$6,00).

Address: Rua dos Pinheiros, 412
Phone: (11) 3081-0055

To read other articles by Kieran click the links below:

Brazil: Bits and Bobs

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Daniela Ribeiro. Daniela works as an English teacher in Minas Gerais and has a wide ranging experience of foreigners from travel to France, Germany, and a brief stay in Wales! Read on as Daniela tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from Uberlndia, MG and I am an English teacher.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

Well, I believe the obstacles for them would be the language – if they intend to spend more time here and actually get to know the country and facts about its culture – and also the social differences we have in Brasil. Oh, we can’t forget to mention everything they hear or read about our country when they are in their own countries, mainly about violence and other bad things.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

I can not say for sure, but I believe some of these mistakes may concern language, specially pronunciation of vowels. That can be fun to hear… hehe. Some other mistakes they might make are related to the stereotypes of Brazilians. The image that we are party people” and that women in Brazil are easy… It is a pity…

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

French people think they are unique… I have been to France and it was nearly impossible to communicate, because I can’t speak French and they wouldn’t speak English to me. But I have to say there are exceptions… I met a girl from Paris who was so attentious and would do anything to communicate with me and my friends in English. And I met a French boy who was really helpful, helping me find me a hotel, the way to the station and even a good – and not expensive – restaurant. He was also a great company during a train journey from Cologne to Paris. Very friendly.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I would have to say I like the Irish accent. I think it is beautiful, classy and sensual. I learned the British one. I don’t like the American accent, because it seems they don’t speak correctly… haha. I think the Australian accent is funny. Oh, and I love the welsh accent my welsh boyfriend has… It is “music to my ears”…

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

Germany. I stayed there for nearly 2 weeks and I was treated really well. They were very friendly. (I wish I could say Wales, but I stayed there for just 8 hours!!!)

7. Favourite foreign food?


8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

U2, Wuthering Heights, Tuesdays with Morrie.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

Brazilian men are too complicated sometimes and like to play games. I like practical and romantic, and not afraid of showing he cares.

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?

I was in Cologne for the World Youth Day. There were about 1 million people at the Marienfeld. When it was time to go back home, all the buses had stopped, the trains were crowded and the police wouldn’t let anyone pass the “barrier”. So, there was this German girl, about 18 years old, with a map. I was amazed to know that she could actually read that map and in the end she guided us – on foot! – through 3 villages till we got to the place we needed to get. Phew!

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

Mingle. I think it is the best way of getting to know things about Brasil. Go where the things happen. Talk to different people – learn Portuguese, at least the basics – join groups for routine activities.

To read previous interviews in the Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series click below:

Adriano Gomes
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to