Here is a roundup of the events taking place at the bars and restaurants of the Grand Hyatt in São Paulo during November.

Cassoulet at Eau

On the 27th November, the attraction at the Eau restaurant is Cassoulet, the famous dish from the south-east of France. Chef Pascal Valero, from Carcassone, in the south of France, created the recipe especially.

R$48 per person.
Not including drinks.

Kimi Nuu no Kinu

On the 17th and 26th November, the Chef Yasuo Asai presents exclusive dishes inspired by ceramics that are true works of art.
These special dishes, Kimi Nii, can be shared between 2 to 4 people.
Shared dishes: a la carte from R$40.
Complete menu: R$130 per person.
Not including drinks.

Buffet Dinner in the Grand Caff

With a great variety of flavours and seasonings, the Chef Vincent Pellegrini will create a light and authentic Italian buffet, for dinner on Monday and Saturday.
R$65 per person.
The dessert buffet is included.
Not including drinks.

Upstairs Bar Lounge – Warm Up Sessions

The evenings in the Upstairs Lounge will be livened up by the performance of successful Paulistana musicians, with the best of Brazilian live music, in the genres of acoustic, jazz, pop, modern, soul and cool.

The Warm Up sessions create a new alternative in the musical scene of the city, bringing fashionable artists from the Paulistana night light in early presentations, from 9pm. To confirm the programme visit the Bar Lounge web site.

By Mark Taylor
The Man Who Copied (O Homem Que Copiava) is another of the films that prompted the recent exposure of Brazilian cinema in the international arena, although the infamous City of God (Cidade de Deus) spearheaded this. Like City of God, The Man Who Copied is a film that definitely merits international exposure as it is a charming tale, aside from being well directed and acted. Unlike City of God it shows a somewhat lighter story and side of Brazil, although still highlights some of the issues with living here for Brazilians.

The story centres around Andr (Lzaro Ramos), who works in one of the many copy shops around Brazil. His job, as the title implies, is to photocopy and not much else. This particular copy shop is in Porto Alegre. He earns a pittance, but despite this is a dreamer, and saves for a year to buy a pair of binoculars. He then uses these to watch his neighbours, similar to the Hitchcock-ian Rear Window. He develops a crush on one of his neighbours, Silvia (Leandra Leal), who has her own set of problems living with her father. Andr even follows Silvia one day, and finds out she works at a women’s clothing shop. But he’s too shy at the time to talk to her.

The beautiful but vapid Marins also works in the copy shop with Andr selling the stationery. Her dream is to meet and marry a rich man (who musn’t smoke). One evening she invites Andr out with her friend Cardoso (Pedro Cardoso) and they cook up a plan to use the photocopiers, and Andr’s skill with the machine, to counterfeit 50 Reais bills. Andr does this with a single bill, despite struggling with his conscience, and uses the bill to buy a lottery ticket. He decides to use the change from the ticket to meet Silvia, by going to the clothing shop on the premise of buying his mother a present.

So the story unfolds. What will happen to Andr? Will the counterfeit notes cause problems? Will Silvia fall in love with him?…

The story highlights the life of the majority of Brazilians, who live in relative poverty earning very little (with the average wage around 250 Reais a month). But it also shows how these people, despite their poverty, struggle with the everyday issues that we all struggle with, such as falling in love, making friends, passing time etc.

Ultimately the story is in my opinion excellent, and of course the backbone of any film, and aside from the cultural issues tells the universal story of a young man trying to survive and be happy. The film is well directed by Jorge Furtado, and at times you feel like a fly-on-the-wall in the life of the characters. Lzaro Ramos, as the central character Andr, does a fantastic job of drawing you in to the story, aside from the other excellent performances.

I recommend for those still learning Portuguese that you get the DVD version which has both Portuguese and English subtitles.

Previous articles by Mark Taylor:

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

This week’s entertainment guide for São Paulo covers a bar and grill in Campo Belo, a large club in Vila Olimpia, a modern art exhibition at Cultural Cervantes Institute, a theme park in Shopping SP Market, and this week’s recommended cinema release.This week’s entertainment guide for São Paulo covers a bar and grill in Campo Belo, a large club in Vila Olimpia, a modern art exhibition at Cultural Cervantes Institute, a theme park in Shopping SP Market, and this week’s recommended cinema release.

Leporace Bar & GrillLeporace Bar & Grill, close to Congonhas airport, in Campo Belo is a great place to while away the afternoons and evenings. The bar tries to mix that informal atmosphere of a “bar on the corner” but with style in terms of drinks and food. Great for a sunny and hot day, as the beer is served in buckets of ice. Being a grill as well you get a great selection of grilled meat, such as Baby Beef, Ribs, and Picanha. Other specialities include various grilled sausage, and the famous “mussarela no espeto” (Mozzarella cheese grilled on a stick). To accompany all this there’s a traditional selection of side dishes and salads. Esquina da R. Leporace com R. Edson, Campo Belo. Tel. 5044-0948.

Armazm da VilaArmazm da Vila is one of the largest and most famous clubs in São Paulo. With a capacity of around 2500 people, the club is able to host live music with ease, as well as DJs and large corporate events. It has two stages and dance floors, as well as three separate VIP areas that can host up to 300 people, as well as three separate bars. For sunny days and more importantly clear nights the roof is able to partially open, giving that feeling of a true open air performance. It’s strongly recommended to visit their web site so you don’t turn up on a corporate night, or equally a night with music that you won’t like. Entry price varies from R$10 to R$35, depending on the event. Rua Beira Rio, 116, Vila Olmpia. Tel. 3845-9192.

Visualides/TcnicasOpening to the public on the 17th November is the art exhibition Visuals/Technical (Visualides/Tcnicas) at the Cultural Cervantes Institute. Presented by the Curator João Spinelli, it’s an exhibition of art created through the medium of technology. The project brings pioneers in the area, such as Luiz Sacilotto, Danilo Di Prete, Waldemar Cordeiro, Marcelo Nitsche, and Gilberto Salvador. Free entry. Open Tuesday to Friday, 12h to 21h. Saturday, 11h to 17h. Instituto Cultural Cervantes – Centro de Cultura. Av. Paulista – Piso Trreo, 2439. Bela Vista. Tel. 3897 9609.

O Mundo da XuxaO Mundo da Xuxa (The World of Xuxa) is the children’s theme park from the infamous children’s presenter, and ex-wife of Pel. At the park you can meet various characters related to Xuxa and her programmes and films, as well as the various fairground style rides, suited to younger children. There is also a small rollercoaster, and a chocolate factory. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10h to 17h. Saturday, 11h to 21h. Sunday, 11h to 17h. Adults: R$26. Children: R$30. The theme park is located within the Shopping SP Market. Av. dos Nacoes Unidas, 22540. Campo Grande. Tel. 5541 2530.

A History of ViolenceThe pick of the films this week is A History of Violence (Mudana Radical in Portuguese) directed by David Cronenberg. The story centres around Tom Stall (played by Viggo Mortensen) who owns and works in a small caf in a small US town, aside from being married with two children. Life seems simple until two robbers walk into the caf and against all odds Tom kills them both, saving both his staff and the clientele, as well as being the town hero. If this wasn’t complicated enough three mobsters arrive at the caf the following day saying that Tom is an old mobster friend, which causes friction with his family, and so the story continues. The film has been quite successful in other countries, although the story is a little simplistic and not for the sensitive. Rated R in the USA and 18 in the UK for sex and violence.

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, 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 Gary Sands
One of this year’s hottest destinations for ecotourists is Brazil, and as one of the few countries remaining where the dollar is still strong, the most luxurious vacation can be great value. A good way to start is with Brazil’s first national park in Itatiaia, consisting of 46 square miles of a rich mixture of alpine and tropical flora and fauna, well-known to birdwatchers worldwide for species like the giant antshrike, Itatiaia spinetail, and three-toed jacamar. The park was named after the native Brazilian word for rocks full of sharp edges”, and the hiking draws many climbing enthusiasts from around Brazil.

With some of the coolest temperatures in Brazil (annual temperature averages between 59 – 63 degrees Fahrenheit), many locals also escape the heat and noise of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo for the tranquility of the park.

The most comfortable place to stay in the park is the charming old-world Hotel Donati, one of the original hotels set deep in the park, and within walking distance to many of the waterfalls. Hotel Donati offers 23 rooms in luxuriously appointed chalets of wood and stone, each equipped with a fireplace for those cool nights. Don’t worry about knowing how to build a fire – the maid will have built one by the time you return to your room. Guests can also choose among one of 4 individual chalets which offer their own en-suite Jacuzzi – ask for Number 4, our favorite with a deck facing the forest. For those rainy days, the hotel also offers an indoor heated pool and dry sauna. Most guests go in the morning to visit the park’s museum, showing a rare and macabre collection of stuffed birds, jaguars, spiders, and snakes in jars. During the hotter hours of the day, guests can choose from among several trails leading to waterfalls and swimming holes or relax around the hotel’s natural outdoor pool with an informal open-air bar. Fortunately, given the hotel’s remote location, the kitchen offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the food and beverage service is generally quite good. Every other weekend, the hotel cooks up food from various regions of the world, including specialities from Italy, France, Spain, and the diverse regions of Brazil. The wine selection includes some of the finest wines from these regions, which you can also enjoy downstairs in the English-style pub. Your breakfast, lunch and dinner, without wine, are included in the room rate. If you’re lucky, your table will be visited by one of the several hummingbirds who come through the windows for a look, or spot a jacu, a large turkey-like bird feeding on the jabuticaba berries of a nearby tree. Doubles from about $80, individual cabins from $110. Estrada do Parque Nacional Km 9.5, Itatiaia. Tel: (55) 24-3352-1110, Fax: (55) 24-3352-1509. Ask for Dora, the resident owner and head chef who speaks English.

The Hotel Donati makes a good base for exploring the region, with several hiking trails easily accessible, including a 3-hour hike starting behind the hotel grounds and going to the top of Tres Picos, or Three Peaks, for a panoramic view of the park. Depending on your itinerary, the hotel can arrange for an English-speaking guide to drive you to the Pico das Agulhas Negras (Peak of the Black Needles), with a short 45-minute hike to the top, a day trip for a group of 4 costing around $250. At 9,144 feet high, Agulhas Negras is the 2nd highest peak in Brazil and can sometimes experience snowfall, a rarity in this most tropical country. If you’re a serious birdwatcher, check out the hotel’s website for a list of the species that have been spotted in the park. For Americans traveling to Brazil, there is a visa charge of $100, but your tourist visa will be valid for multiple entries over 5 years. There are direct flights into Rio de Janeiro from Miami, and direct flights into São Paulo from Miami, Washington, New York, Chicago, Houston and Dallas. Your best bet for transport within Brazil, given the sometimes aggressive style of driving, is to arrange a luxury taxi service, typically charging $250 for 4 people one-way for the 3-hour, 150-mile ride from São Paolo or $160 for 4 people one-way for the 2-hour, 100 mile journey from Rio de Janeiro. Luxury taxis usually offer a deluxe, modern air-conditioned van seating between 4-6 passengers. You can also hire a regular taxi at the airport for between $80-100 one-way.

Gary Sands is the Managing Director of Micro Equity and freelance journalist based in Rio de Janeiro. Gary also publishes a humorous weblog called Everything I Know about Foreign Policy I Learned as a Kid found on (

To read previous articles by Gary click below:

Combating Slavery in Brazil
An Analysis of the Brazilian Airline Sector

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Adriano Gomes. Adriano has been working as a camp counselor in Hawaii and had a wide ranging experience of foreigners working at the camp. Read on as Adriano tells us about his impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

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

I’m from Campinas (SP) and I’m currently working in Hawaii as a camp counselor.

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

I guess that would be the language and also, the culture shock. Those were my obstacles when I first arrived here.

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

Well… here, most Americans don’t know too much about Brazil. They think we speak Spanish and we just party all time. That’s not true. We do love to party and have fun but also, we have to work a lot to have something.

I guess not knowing the country, culture, language and food are the commom mistakes foreigners make in brazil and also, expect everything to be easy as in their home country. Brazil is a really good country but it takes times to realize that.

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

Well… as I’m living in Hawaii, I know people from many countries. I work at a camp that has international staff. I know and knew people from Australia, England, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Holland, America etc.

I guess Americans are fun but sometimes they don’t accept jokes or don’t understand them. I like the French people, they are funny and love to party, just like Brazilians. The people from Asia are more reserved and don’t like jokes. They’re so serious. But none of them has the Jeitinho Brasileiro (Brazilian way)… hehe.

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

I like the Britsh and Australian accent… they rock!!

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

Well… the only place I have been abroad is Hawaii and I love it cause Hawaii has paradisiac beaches and a nice and warm people.

7. Favourite foreign food?

Humm… I love KFC fast food but my favorite food so far is Brazilian.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Movie: The Lord of the Rings

Book: The Alchemist

Band: Green day

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

Well… I guess Brazilians like to party more and be together all the time. Here, the girls don’t like to stay together and you don’t have too much kissing in a relationship.

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

Today a lady told me that she though that we had no cities in Brazil. She though we just had farms and forests. Too much ignorance.

The foreignes just know Brazil as the land of Samba, Soccer and hot women. That’s all. One day a guy told me that he went to Brazil and he thinks Brazilians are the happiest people in the world.

I’m a happy Guy!!!!

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

I would suggest for English native speakers to teach English at schools, so, you’ll have more time to get to know the country, who is huge and even I don’t know Brazil as well as I should. Also, get away from big cities like Rio, SP and visit the countryside, you’ll see what makes Brazil what it is.

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

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

By Blair A. Lasky
Since the very beginning, I’ve been a big fan of the Brazilian telenovela, Amrica. I was attracted to it because of its main theme, the desire of Sol (Deborah Secco), the young Brazilian woman, to immigrate to my country, the United States of America. As an Amrican living in Brazil, I was intrigued by Brazilians who want to do the reverse, to go north, young man/woman.” I was also curious as to how Glória Peres, the author of this telenovela, would portray Amrica and Amricans.

In my previous article about this particular telenovela, called Telenovela and the Illegals, I wrote about my sympathy for the plight of Brazilians who want to live and work in the USA, but are denied legal entry by my government. However, I must now take issue with how this telenovela portrays my fellow-Amricans.

In a recent episode, Sol, after miraculously arriving on a deserted beach near Miami (after spending several days on a raft drifting between the Dominican Republic and Florida – how did she bypass the Bahamas?), runs through it’s streets on her way to find her infant son. She trips and falls. A nearby police officer helps her to her feet. Sol says “thank you” with her heavy Brazilian accent. Hearing her poor English, the cop looks at her suspiciously and asks Sol where she’s from. She responds “from Amrica” causing him to demand identification, which of course, she doesn’t have. Actually, Sol had previously been deported from the USA because of a drug charge, in spite of her marriage to an Amrican.

The above encounter with a cop represents a distortion of the facts. The cop had no legal reason to ask Sol for identification. She was not doing anything suspicious. Someone running and tripping on the street or speaking poor English is not a valid reason to demand identification. Even Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito would agree. Half the people in Miami are immigrants or tourists from Latin America who speak English with an accent (if they speak English at all). Furthermore, illegal immigration is not the responsibility of the local police. Instead, it is the purview of Federal immigration authorities. Why would Glória Peres include this distortion? Was it ignorance or was it something else?

However, to me, the character of May, the villain of the story, epitomizes this telenovela’s view of Amricans. After losing her boyfriend, Eddie, to Sol, instead of moving on with her life, May plots to win him back. First, she convinces Eddie that she is still his friend. When she discovers that Sol is wanted by the police, she turns her in (May visits Sol in jail and sadistically laughs in her face). She looks upon all Brazilians with obvious contempt. When May is seduced by a Brazilian, she refers to him as a caveman. After Sol returns to the USA to see her son, May again turns her in to the police. This time, Eddie discovers her betrayal and rejects her permanently. In the finale, when Eddie decides to go with Sol and their son to start a new life in Brazil, May is completely distraught. With tears in her eyes and her head banging against the wall of the airline terminal, Eddie’s airplane rises into the sky heading away from Amrica. May got what she deserved.

Is it significant that a story that starts with Sol wanting to emigrate to Amrica ends with Sol and her family returning to Brazil? Is there a message here? And why would Glória Peres include such negative images of Amrica and Amricans? Or am I just being paranoid?

Blair A. Lasky was born in Syracuse, New York and educated at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a retired accountant who has been living in São Paulo since September, 2003, giving English classes and writing novels. You can contact Blair at

To read previous articles by Blair Lasky click below:

Brazil: Parents and Children
Brazil: Sim ou Não? (Yes or No?)
American Sports with a Brazilian Flair
Brazil: Deny, Deny, Deny
Brazil: Telenovela and the Illegals
Sports in Brazil
Watergate do Brasil

The British Chamber of Commerce (Britcham) is planning to replicate the first ever football match played in Brazil exactly 110 years ago in 1895 in São Paulo between teams from the then São Paulo Gas Company (predecessor to Comgs) and the previous São Paulo Railway Company. This was immediately following the return of Charles Miller to Brazil following his education in England and was the start of the great Brazilian footballing tradition that we have today. Charles Miller was an outstanding all round sportsman who had played soccer in England for the predecessor team to modern day Southampton, and had also played cricket and rugby for well known teams.

The Britcham plan to hold the replica match at SPAC in Santo Amaro on 19 November with the full collaboration of the club who will provide one of the teams. The second team will be provided by Comgs. We would plan to try and have some celebrity players. We also intend to produce some football shirts and shorts typical of the period. Britcham will be filming the football match to obtain footage for the Britcham institutional film to be produced on DVD for the 2006 90th anniversary celebrations of the British Chamber and we also hope to attract a lot of media coverage.

The award to the winning team will be made at the match and also at the Britcham Ball on 25 November this being the Friday immediately following the match. The theme of the ball will be A Night With Charles Miller”.

Focus on the Sponsor
The Britcham wishes to offer their sponsors the chance to participate in these events in a very special way, taking their names and logos to be viewed by executives, customers, members of various Chambers of Commerce and companies of diverse segments, as well as authorities and celebrities, generating new business-oriented opportunities in a light, fun, high profile environment.

These events will generate significant content that will be part of the Britcham institutional video, to be released in 2006 honoring the 90 years of its foundation. This project has attracted participants and sponsors that want to associate their images to the events and the video project, whose results will last for a long time.

Other Involvement
Besides the associates and all the other friends of the British Chamber, also invited are the members of the Canadian, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives of all the Commonwealth Community in Brazil and other countries.

The Britcham Ball 2005 – A Night With Charles Miller will be an event, as always, of prestige, the presence of Ambassadors and their wives, as well as the presence of General Consuls and other authorities and celebrities, including the sports sector, that will brighten the event even more.

For both events, soccer players, especially veterans, will be stimulated to participate. Representatives of the São Paulo Federacy of Soccer and other sports entities will also be contacted to participate.

Members of the Miller family will be invited and we are counting on the presence of Charles Miller Jr. to “kick off” the game on November 19th.

The media in general (printed and electronic press, including the British press) will be informed and invited to cover both events.

Place and Date
Game – November 19th, 2005, at SPAC (São Paulo Athletic Club / British Club) at Av. Robert Kennedy 1448, Santo Amaro, SP.

Ball – November 25th, at the Renaissance Hotel SP at Al. Santos, 2233, Cerqueira Cesar, SP.
Number of Participants
Game – around 200 people
Ball – around 300 people

List of Names for the Tables
Your table can be named after Charles Miller, soccer teams, famous players of all times or the other items displayed in the list below, all related to the theme.

Check the list below and choose what brings up your interest
(If you prefer, make your suggestion)
Charles Miller
Vrzea do Carmo (the place where the first ever soccer game in Brazil took place)
Braz, São Paulo (neighborhood and city where Charles Miller was born)
Southampton (city where Charles Miller lived and studied between the ages of 10 and 20)
Banister Court School (the school where he studied)
Liga de Football Paulista
Mala Real Inglesa (the British company that
Charles Miller represented in Brazil)
Miller Goddard Comp. Ilimitada (Charles Miller’s company)
John Miller (Charles Miller’s father)
Carlota Alexandrina Fox Miller (Mother)
Manchester United
São Paulo Futebol Clube
Santos Futebol Clube
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista
Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras
Sir Stanley Matthews (The first soccer player to be honored by the Queen)
Bill Shankly (Liverpool’s Coach)
Sir Matt Busby (Manchester United’s famous Coach)

For further information, please contact Tatiane, Andrea or Felipe, by phone (11) 3819 0265 or by e-mail:

In this article we present some replies to John Fitzpatrick’s article, Brazilians Vote for Guns and Death Not Peace and Love, on the the final vote in the gun referendum.

The first response is by Kevin Smith:

I would like to write a few words regarding John Fitzpatrick’s emotional reaction to the recent referendum on the gun laws.

As a long time resident of Brazil, I’ve been on the wrong end of a gun more than once and have even been shot at. But then I’ve been shot at elsewhere as well.

John’s article begs the question “If guns had been banned, would the violence have gone away?” I don’t think that anyone would answer this with a “Yes”.

I believe that the reason the referendum produced the result that it did, is that the population feels a deep insecurity. Everyone knows that the police are having a hard time of it and Brazil’s laws which allow impunity to criminals under the age of 18 add to an overpowering problem. If the police can’t cope and if professional criminals are armed with weapons that not even the public can buy (and by extension would not be affected by the gun ban), then its fairly obvious that the average citizen did not want to give up the option of being able to purchase a weapon for self/family protection.

Let’s consider some of John’s claims:

“Brazilians have condemned thousands of their fellow citizens to death in coming years. Angry husbands will shoot their wives during domestic rows, irate middle-aged men will shoot their teenage neighbors because they are fed up telling them to reduce the volume of their CD players, motorists will shoot other motorists for denting their cars, while physically or mentally handicapped people will kill themselves in moments of despair.” Well, first of all, legally owned weapons would have continued to be allowed, so no real change in statistics of someone going off the deep end and doing something stupid could be expected. Furthermore as history has long shown us, if someone wants to kill him/herself or another person the weapon or means used is irrelevant. They will do it with poison or a knife or with their car or with a rock.

“The killers and thieves among us will see the vote as a declaration of war and become even more trigger happy” This is absurd. In any case, the point made by the gun lobby that if the criminals continue to be armed and the general population is disarmed, the advantage is clearly with the former, is valid.

“The flow of guns into private hands will continue, enriching arms manufacturers, gun dealers and feeding Brazil’s parasitical private security industry” Arms manufacturing and the controlled selling of guns are lawful enterprises. And I don’t consider the security industry here parasitic. It exists to fill a need. Ban the guns? Ban the security industry? God help us.

“The pro-arms lobby was so effective in selling the message that guns are good that one can expect to see a surge in sales. Perhaps guns will become popular Christmas presents this year along with cellular phones and iPods. Members of the family can then compete to see who will be the first to fire the weapon and kill a criminal.” Let’s keep an eye on this claim. So far I haven’t seen any ads for guns, not even with an iPod thrown in if you buy two.

“… at the end of the day, people did not vote for peace and love but guns and death” No, John, at the end of the day, people voted for their right to choose.

“… this vote has blighted the spontaneity and innocence which is one of the greatest attractions of this country. October 23 was the day the music died – a sad day for all of us and future generations” The good news for all of you who have read this article is that there was no blight on Brazil’s spontaneity and innocence. And of course, the music will never die in this wonderful country..

Biographical Note: Kevin is a New Zealander living in Brazil for more than 20 years. He runs the South American operations of a multinational manufacturer. E-mail for contact:

The second response is by Daniel Williams:

Bravo Brasil! – Congratulations for standing firm on the right to bear arms

I was simply amazed by Mr. Fitzpatrick’s vicious attack on the democratic right of law abiding Brasilians to also have the right to arm themselves in order to protect them self against the bandits and crooks! What about the farmer who actually needs a gun for hundred and ten reasons (having grown up on a farm myself) I cannot imagine how we would have gotten along without the faithful shotgun to the reliable .22 “saloon” rifle to pick off anything from rats and snakes to vampire bats that were a plague at one stage drinking my mother’s 4000 odd white leghorn chickens dry?

The undisputable fact is that if guns are outlawed – only the outlaws will have guns – FULL STOP! Only and only if the guns are removed from all the criminals FIRST can any government even begin to very carefully think about disarming the population, and we all know that is an impossible mission. The law abiding people did not cause the situation – but they have to live with it. Thank God that sensibility has prevailed and the true patriotic Brasilians has rejected this senseless idiotic attack on their democratic freedom to bear arms.

Mr. Fitzpatrick unashamedly, from his throne of “superiority” talks about the average Brasilian as if they are a bunch of schizophrenic morons who would kill their neighbours if the music is too loud… tsk, tsk. If I were Brasilian I would have been deeply offended by a gringo on his high horse making such sweeping statements about the psyche of the entire Brasilian nation – who has avoided armed conflict for decades and decades.

Now – I completely agree that guns should be regulated – and even strictly regulated – but making gun ownership illegal just simply and logically will not solve the problem. The argument that banning guns will solve crime and criminality is stupid – sorry there is no other way to put it, and it is saturated with a left-wing agenda, even a blind man can feel that with a stick. Solving the economic inequalities, creating jobs and prosperity, boosting education, etc is the answer to reducing criminality – not disarming law abiding citizens and taking away their democratic rights especially the right to defend themselves!

Finally guns do not kill people – people kill people – if somebody has the profound desire to kill (others or himself) there are many tools to use… knives, poison, a club, whatever comes to mind. Don’t blame the instrument – blame the criminal holding the instrument. In solving the problem don’t turn on the law abiding citizen, don’t reduce his democratic rights, and don’t blame him for the actions and the problems caused by the criminal. Rather strengthen his hand, provide training, regulate gun ownership, but don’t turn on the law abiding citizen – it is simply so logic – it is scary that anyone cannot see that!

Congratulations Brasil and all the people in Brasil and the Brasilian democratic system – where laws are not simply pushed through parliament, but where an example was set to the rest of the world on how true democracy really work. The people were consulted on a sensitive issue, everybody had ample chance to state their case for and against – this is how true democracy should work! Now the people has spoken – and spoken out loud. Accept it and don’t be such cry-baby because it does fit in with your view of the situation.

The third response is by George Millard:

Couldn’t be more inappropriate the article wrote by J Fitzpatrick

This gentlemen demostrates how distant he is, from the desires of the Brazilian population, mentioning many totally irelevant arguments, used by ONG’s looking for having unknown advantages on passing laws to restraint constitutional rights.

George Millard is a teacher at the “Policia Civil” academy in São Paulo.

By D. E. Finley
Why did the Brazilian chicken cross the Dom Pedro highway in Campinas, Brazil?

To get to the other side.

Copyright D.E. Finley 2005.

Reader Comments:

Suck an egg!

I just have to say chickens are not just in Brazil. Chickens are in other countries too like the United States. Get used to seeing chickens in Brazil. It’s just part of life.

Traffic can be very dangerous on Dom Pedro highway. The trick is for the chicken to cross the highway in tact.

Your analysis is quite pedestrian, my dearest. And, the beat-er goes on.

I’m from the UK and find that half-baked chickens crossing the road are the main reason that traffic is so bloody slow in Welwa, Brazil. Just watch them.

Why don’t you get in your crappy Mini Cooper and motor back to the UK?! Ignorant bloke!

A constructive article about a Brazilian chicken is good – you’re writing about common life. It is a little break from reading about politicians and others crazies.

I would like to know what chickens are really like in Brazil: compared to Ireland.

Author, if it’s that hard for you to deal with chickens crossing the highway here in brazil, then, dumb cluck, go back to your f-ing country! Chicken will never be as intelligent and fresh as they are here in Brazil.

Lighten up bird brain! Why did you take the Brazilian chicken article so seriously? The author is just making an observation about a Brazilian chicken that she saw on the highway in Campinas. It didn’t come across as attacking. But with your inferiority complex you’re offended. Go flock yourself!

Nothing egg shattering about the observations the author makes about a chicken crossing on the Dom Pedro highway. but it’s true. I have seen chickens cross the road many times in Belo Bonito but, sadly, they don’t always make to the other side.

Good job to the author for recounting a slice of everyday life in Brazil.

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: 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 Max Hodgkin
This column is for all you lovely classical music lovers in São Paulo. This week’s suggestion list includes yet another 2 Operas for the buffs.

Prices normally are ridiculously low in SP so don’t miss the opportunities! Often there is price for children and senior citizens.

Nov 9th and 11th
Comic Opera: Donizetti’s Il Campanello di Notte”.
Teatro São Pedro. Rua Barra Funda 171. Tel. 3667 0499
Good parking at the side.
Entry $R20 to $R40. Starts 21h.

Nov 10th, 12th and 14th
Chorus and Symphonic Orchestra of São Paulo State performing Beethoven’s Fidelio.
At the Sala São Paulo, (part of the railway station) Praca Julio Prestes. Tel. 3337 5414.
Has its own excellent parking and good seats.
Entry R25$ to R$79. Snacks available. Starts 21h.

Nov 10th
Martha Graham Dance Company.
Teatro Municipal. Praca Ramos de Azevedo. Tel.222 8698.
Plenty of parking nearby. Metros Anhangabau and São Bento are in walking distance.
Prices R$20 to R$120. Snacks and drinks available. Noisy seats. Starts 20h.

For classical music on the radio tune to Cultura (FM 103.30MHz). On some late nights they transmit Jazz. More extensive details can be found in a monthly magazine called Concerto and is available via Tel. (11) 5535 5518

For previous articles by Max Hodgkin see below:

Brazil: São Paulo’s Classical Music Roundup – Nov 2nd to Nov 8th
Brazil: São Paulo’s Classical Music Roundup – Oct 25th to Nov 1st
Brazil: São Paulo’s Classical Music Roundup – Oct 20th to 24th
Brazil: São Paulo’s Classical Music Roundup – Oct 5th to Oct 16th
Brazil: São Paulo’s Classical Music Roundup – Oct 5th to Oct 12th”