By Joe Lopes
May 31, 2007

Here is part 3 of Joe’s article, recounting some of the stories he has had resulting from articles he has written. To read the previous parts click the relevant links at the end of the article.

Along different but no less memorable lines, there was this poignant message from a reader, written in delectable Brazilian Portuguese:

I just finished reading, ‘Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians,’ with tears in my eyes, for I am the daughter of Professor Jlio Mazzei [the former coach of the New York Cosmos and much-beloved mentor to Pel and countless other Brazilian sports figures].

“My father now has Alzheimer’s disease and no longer recognizes me or even speaks, much less talks about futebol. Can you believe it? I try looking for anything at all about him para matar as saudades (“to satisfy the longing”).

“I loved what you wrote about your father. I’ve always wanted to do an homage to my father, but do not write well in either language. God bless your talent for writing! Your dad is very proud of you, wherever he is. As my dad used to sign off: ‘Your friend in soccer,’ Marjorie Mazzei Raggo.”

No amount of rhetoric on my part could possibly have captured the feeling of satisfaction I sensed after having been the recipient of such a positively glowing testimonial. I thanked Marjorie for her warm words, especially concerning poor Professor Mazzei, who my dad had once met and spoken to back in the mid-1980s.

I then told her about my own father’s troubles with debilitating stroke and dementia, and his eventual passing in 1993, to which she replied: “I feel you know exactly what I’m going through. To lose such a wonderful dad whose passion for soccer may no longer live in his memory, but will never be forgotten.I’ve always admired writers because they can keep memories alive forever so that other people can share in [them].

“Please add me to your list of fans and keep me posted on news about your wonderful writings. If ever we decide to write a book about my father we will call you!”

I was most flattered. Not to be overlooked is the fact that I, too, have often wound up on the sending side of the technological equation.

Yes, in fact, it was probably due to my long-winded retort to Scottish journalist John Fitzpatrick’s eye-opening expos, “For Job Seekers Brazil is No El Dorado,” in April 2003, and its subsequent appearance on an Internet website – which led to a well-received series of writings devoted to my experiences as a teacher in South America’s largest city, São Paulo (“How I Taught English in Brazil and Survived to Tell the Story”) – that my “career” as a cultural commentator took off in earnest.

Thanks, John! By the way, we still have a long-standing commitment for a tall, cold one in Pinheiros. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that.

Part 4 next week…

Copyright 2007 by Josmar F. Lopes

A naturalized American citizen born in Brazil, Joe Lopes was raised and educated in New York City, where he worked for many years in the financial sector. In 1996, he moved to Brazil with his wife and daughters. In 2001, he returned to the U.S. and now resides in North Carolina with his family. You can email your comments to

To read previous articles by Joe Lopes click below:

Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 2
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 1
Misunderstanding Brazil’s National Anthem: A Crash-Course in the Hymn of the Nation
Brecht, Weill & Buarque: The Brazilian Play’s the Thing! Part 1
Theater, the Brecht of Life: The Influences on Chico’s “Modern” Street Opera, Part II
A Walk on the Weill Side: The Influences on Chico’s “Modern” Street Opera Part 2
A Walk on the Weill Side: The Influences on Chico’s “Modern” Street Opera Part 1
Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Brazilian Bach Part 5
Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Brazilian Bach Part 4
Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Brazilian Bach Part 3
Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Brazilian Bach Part 2
Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Brazilian Bach Part 1
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 11
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 10
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 9
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 8
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 7
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 6
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 5
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 4
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 3
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 2
Two Brazilian Charmers Part 1
Teaching English In Brazil Part 21
Teaching English In Brazil Part 20
Teaching English In Brazil Part 19
Teaching English In Brazil Part 18
Teaching English In Brazil Part 17
Teaching English In Brazil Part 16
Teaching English In Brazil Part 15
Teaching English In Brazil Part 14
Teaching English In Brazil Part 13
Teaching English In Brazil Part 12
Teaching English In Brazil Part 11
Brazil: Thrills, Spills, and… Oh Yes, No Ifs, Ands or Head-Butts, Please
Teaching English In Brazil Part 10
Teaching English In Brazil Part 9
Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians Part 4
Brazil: Taking Flight on Florencia’s Fragile Wings Part 4
Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians Part 3
Brazilian World Cup Debacle: Just Wait Till 2010! Part 2
Brazilian World Cup Debacle: Just Wait Till 2010! Part 1
Brazil: Taking Flight on Florencia’s Fragile Wings Part 3
Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians Part 2
Brazil: Taking Flight on Florencia’s Fragile Wings Part 2
Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians Part 1
Brazil: Taking Flight on Florencia’s Fragile Wings Part 1
Teaching English In Brazil Part 8
Teaching English In Brazil Part 7
Teaching English In Brazil Part 6
Teaching English In Brazil Part 5
Teaching English In Brazil Part 4
Teaching English In Brazil Part 3
Teaching English In Brazil Part 2
A German Ring in the Brazilian Rainforest Part 4
A German Ring in the Brazilian Rainforest Part 3
Teaching English In Brazil – Part I
A German Ring in the Brazilian Rainforest Part 2
A German Ring in the Brazilian Rainforest Part 1
“Down in Brazil,” with Michael Franks Part 3
“Down in Brazil,” with Michael Franks Part 2
“Down in Brazil,” with Michael Franks Part 1
Brazil: A Candid Talk with Gerald Thomas
Getting to the “bottom” of Brazil’s Gerald Thomas
A Brazilian Diva Torn Between Europe and Brazil
The Enraged Genius of Brazil’s Maestro Neschling
A German Ring in the Brazilian Rainforest
Brazil’s Musical Polyglots: What Was That You Were Singing?
Did Bossa Nova Kill Opera in Brazil?

By Tamashin
May 31, 2007

Here is part 7 of Tamashin’s article on popular expressions in Brazilian Portuguese that he has been collecting. To read the previous parts click the relevant link at the end of the article.

121. Fazei o bem mas olhei a quem.
122. Quem pode mais, chora menos.
123. Cade cabea uma sentea.
124. O pior dos mentirosos que acredita nas suas proprias mentiras.
125. Quem pode, pode, quem nao pode se sacode.

126. Nao se amarra cachorro com linguia.
127. Burro quer patada.
128. O que os olhos nao veem, o coraao nao sente.
129. Mentira tem perna curta.
130. O pior dos cegos aquele que nao quer enxergar.

131. Em boca fechada, nao entra mosquito.
132. Falando do diabo, ele aparece.
133. Onde comem dois, comem tres.
134. Todos os caminhos levam a Roma.
135. A porta da rua a cerventia da casa.

136. Quem chega tarde, chupa os ossos.
137. uem nao ajuda, nao atrapalhe.
138. Roupa suja se lava em casa.
139. Quem beber pra esquecer, pague antes de beber.
140. O diablo nao tao feio quanto pintam.

Part 8 next week…

Editor’s note: Perhaps readers would like to suggest their own English interpretations of the phrases, and Portuguese corrections if necessary.

Tamashin is a retired civil engineer who first came to Brazil in 1993 to help build a community centre for street children in Rio. He now lives in João Pessoa with his Brazilian wife and children.

Previous articles by Tamashin:

Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 6
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 5
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 4
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 3
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 2
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 1
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 5
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 4
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 3
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 2
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 1
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 6
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 5
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 4
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 3
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 2
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 1

By Bernard Morris
May 29, 2007

The weather in late April in São Paulo is ideal for exploring the neighborhoods on foot, and I took full advantage of another opportunity to go where everyone who loves urban sights should go. São Paulo is a mother lode of interesting places to see. The streets I traversed lie near the Congonhas Airport in the city. The airplanes fly in so low every few minutes during the day that one cannot forget that a major airport is nearby, surrounded, at a safe distance, by high-rise buildings. Imagine New York’s Central Park, only Central Park is Congonhas. São Paulo’s larger airport, of course, was built well away from the center of the huge city.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the neighborhood I visited is the variety of buildings, various in style, color, size, and condition. A bright orange house stands near one painted aqua, and expensive, sturdy gates stretch along the street where other houses stand gateless. Small shops selling shoes or casual clothing stand beside small restaurants or business offices. Some businesses are converted houses; others, newer, modern buildings, none of them very large or tall. Zoning changes have allowed shops to mingle with residential dwellings, changing the look and feel of the neighborhoods. Within a block or two of the gated and guarded high-rise apartment houses, I came upon a short street where a slum had sprung up. Our friend explained that near her neighborhood, the city government had put in a main thoroughfare, leaving space along it for businesses, but the taxes were so high that merchants would not go there, and soon slums appeared.
My wife, who was raised in this part of the city, tells me that her old neighborhood has changed drastically. Automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and buses roar along the streets where she walked to school alone in relative peace. In modern cities, it is both unsafe and inconvenient to walk anywhere. Pollution – smog and noise – is ever-present, and when you add the airplanes passing overhead every few minutes, you come to appreciate the older, slower, quieter, less crowded ways.

But one must forget about the past and try to enjoy the big, booming bustle of the city today. Crime is part of it, unfortunately, and on this visit, our friends and relatives seemed to my wife and me more than ever concerned about street crime – my wife said they were almost paranoid.” One day when I prepared to walk, my iPod on my belt, hat and sunglasses in hand, our friend so strongly insisted that I not go, even around her neighborhood in the afternoon, that I feared upsetting her if I went out. She recommended a park twenty minutes away. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll go there” – no, she must drive me. So she drove me there, I stepped out of her car and walked through the gate. On my left, in a little booth, sat an older gentleman, a security guard, and I said, “Posso andar?” pleased that I could speak a phrase I knew. He nodded, and I set out along a quiet, well-kept graveled path winding around the park enclosed by an attractive wrought-iron fence with no gates. Across the street, high-rise apartment buildings loomed. The path is marked off in metered segments for those who come to jog or walk, and I think the last sign read “320m.” I figured it was about a quarter of a mile around. In the center stood shrubs and tall trees that were allowed to grow wild, and through them snaked dirt paths that reminded me of Big Trees in California or Muir Woods near San Francisco. The park was quiet and safe; I even saw a second, younger security guard sitting on a log along the path. Other exercisers were there, jogging or walking, most of them women, young and middle aged. An older gentleman, Asian, slim and reserved, walked the path a while then did graceful stretching exercises in a clearing, where several children played as adults sat nearby, watching.

I walked there more than an hour, and at 6 p.m., our friend and my wife were due to pick me up in front of the park’s gate. By then, the street was packed with vehicles; on the sidewalks people appeared to be returning home from work, many of them well dressed. I’d heard that Brazilians tend to be casual about punctuality, so I was not worried that after twenty minutes I was still standing alone and exposed on a busy street, waiting. Soon, however, I was safe inside her car being driven back home.

On the last day there, I took my camera, wanting a photograph of a huge jet roaring over the houses, and I chose a spot on a narrow street away from busy streets. On the way there, I passed an automobile parked by the curb, a couple in the front seat enjoying the noon hour and each other. I hurried around the corner, pausing by a house in front of which stood a brand-new-looking pick up, big and shiny. As I waited for the next airplane, a man emerged from behind a gate and eyed me, no doubt wondering what my intentions were. I showed my camera and pointed to the sky; he smiled and went back into his house. I concluded that our friends are not the only ones worried about crime.

I never did get a good shot of the airplane traffic, the airplanes too fast, my camera too slow to turn on.

Biography: Born July 25, 1935, in San Antonio, Texas. U. S. Marine Corps, 1954-58, Attended the University of California, Berkeley, 1958 to 1973. Ph.D. in English literature. College English teacher at U. C. Berkeley, 1965-1972, and in Modesto, CA, from 1972 to 2003. Publications: Salem Press has used dozens of my essays on the works of Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emerson, Denise Levertov, and Louis Simpson. More than fifty literary journals and magazines have published my poetry. Harvard Review has also carried many of my literary reviews. My critical study of the poetry and prose of X. J. Kennedy, Taking Measure, was published in January, 2003, by Susquehanna University Press. You can contact Bernard at

Previous articles by Bernard:

Brazil Underfoot
Further Impressions of Brazil
Brazil: Walking in São Paulo
Reflections on Brazil Part 4
Reflections on Brazil Part 3
Reflections on Brazil Part 3
Reflections on Brazil Part 2
Reflections on Brazil Part 1

By Michael Stewart and Jose Santiago
May 28, 2007

If a United States citizen has a child in another country, that child should be reported to the nearest US Embassy or consulate to establish an official record of the child’s claim to US citizenship. If the child comes to the USA without the proper forms having been filed, the parents must file for a Certificate of Citizenship for the child.

If the United States citizen is the husband, and the wife is an alien, the child will still obtain citizenship in the USA at birth provided it is reported to the Embassy or consulate and the husband has resided in the USA for an amount of time required by law.

When both parents are US citizens, a child born abroad will be a US citizen as long as one of the parent’s resided in the USA prior to the child’s birth.

A child born to two US residents can enter the USA without a visa when accompanied by a parent on that parent’s initial return to the USA. The child must be brought to the USA within 2-years with documents showing the parents relationship to the child. If the child is not brought back within the two years, the child can only obtain a visa from USCIS.

Michael D. Stewart, Esq.
Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
335 S. Biscayne Blvd., PH #UPH00
Miami, Florida 33131


Jose C. Santiago, Esq.
Law & Title Offices of Jose C. Santiago
Avenida Paulista, 777, 15 andar, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Previous articles by Jose:

Careful When Buying Pre-Construction Properties in Brazil!
Understanding Brazil: Sending Money Home from a Real Estate Deal
The Closing Process in Brazil
Permanent Visas in Brazil
Brazil: International Money Transfers
Brazil: Squatters Rights (Usucapião) – Be Aware!
Brazil: Annual Procedures to Keep Your CPF Number Valid
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 3
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 2
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 1
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 4
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 3
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 2
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 1
8 Reasons to Invest in Brazil’s Real Estate
The Brazilian Resident Investor Program for Foreigners
Brazil: Annual Required Procedures to Keep Your CPF Number
Legal Aspects of Acquiring Real Estate in Brazil

Meet Brian McCurtis, from the USA, who has travelled to and is currently working in Brazil. Read the following interview where he tells us about some of his most memorable experiences from Brazil and gives some useful advice to newcomers.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.?

I am a 29 y/o project manager for a Telecommunications company and I live in Dallas, TX. I am African-American, originally from Wichita, KS and did my undergrad at UC Irvine in Orange County, CA. I am single and enjoy new experiences!

2. When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?

I was assigned my first project in Latin America about a year ago and was able to travel to São Paulo, BR to meet some of my internal clients. I stayed at the Hilton Morumbi and had a great time. I found the people friendly, the food AWESOME and the overall lifestyle great. I ended up traveling to São Paulo nearly every month after that and have been to SP over 7 times so far. Now I have negotiated a 6 month transfer and am currently residing in the Morumbi area. I absolutely love it.

3. What were you first impressions of Brazil?

Well, I like to blend in wherever I go and I loved the fact that when I arrived I instantly felt like a Brasileiro! Of course until I opened my mouth. I got to the hotel with no problem and of course the Hilton Morumbi has the best service. I am writing this article from the Executive Lounge while drinking red wine so that should give you a clue. Everybody at the hotel knew my name and between the bartender Rodman and others I felt at home. My office is literally next door to the hotel so that made it easy! I had no major gripes. Of course the traffic was silly. I couldn’t understand how every time I come to SP the taxi takes a different route to the hotel.

But I figured, I paid one price in advance so I don’t care how long it takes; the taxi driver cant make a profit off of me! But I honestly believe we would get to the hotel faster if he just sits in traffic instead of taking a short cut”.

4. What do you miss most about home?

Some family, friends and that’s about it. I have a huge 4 bedroom house sitting empty in Dallas but I don’t care. I finally realized that it means nothing. I would much rather have a 50 square meter gated apartamento in São Paulo than a huge house living alone. I feel that I am forced to meet and talk to people here in SP and that makes me discover who I am! So in all, I don’t miss too much from home but then again I just got here!

5. What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?

Ummmm, the fact that because I am American everything is instantly triple the normal price. But I kind of understand, as a gringo I have money. Many people do not have jobs and/or don’t make much money so I understand. It is a minimal tax on the opportunity to meet such loving and beautiful people. I do get frustrated that I say some things in Spanish or my little Portuguese and the person has no clue what I said. Then 2 seconds later they repeat EXACTLY what I said in Portuguese and I confirm. It seems this Texas drawl and Spanglish do not make good pronunciation in Portuguese.

Also, progress in the workplace is not the same as in the USA. Deadlines seem to be “targets” and nobody is killed if you miss them. But, people work hard and work long hours but spend a lot of time talking, having coffee and forming relationships. I now understand its importance. If people do not like you, they don’t want to work with you. So its important to laugh and talk.

6. What has been your most memorable experience in Brazil (specific incident)?

I was waiting for an elevator at my hotel, the door opens and a family with 2 little girls are on the elevator. The father greets me with “Boa Noite” and I return the same and walk to my side of the elevator (habit). The youngest girl runs over and grabs my leg, looks up at me, smiles and starts babbling. I instantly expect the parents to grab her and scold her as in the USA. But instead they smile at me and I look down, pet her head and say “Hola!”. It was so simple but almost brought a tear to my eye. In the USA especially in the South, we have so many hang-ups including racial hang-ups that it would have been an awkward moment. But I just felt like apart of the family. After the long elevator ride the parents chuckled and went about their way.

7. What do you most like about Brazil (in general)?

The people are nice, the food is great and the prices are reasonable for the most part. Also, when I am here I am so much calmer. Time is not a measurement of my life. People here may or may not show up to an appointment or they may be late. That was a frustration for me at first and I took everything personally. But it taught me not to rush. It taught me to relax and enjoy myself whatever I am doing. Also, meals are time to relax and talk. I am used to eating by myself but here that seems weird. Everyone is friendly and loves to talk over food and drink. Now I take my time and the day seem so much longer.

Also, I get more hugs in one day at the office than a year with family in the USA. At first I was standoffish and wasn’t a fan of men hugging me and patting me. But then I understood it was a sign of friendship and that they care for you. Although I don’t have it down perfect I am still working on my “hello hug”. I think its awesome and I feel people really do care for me.

8. What is your favorite restaurant/place to hang out here?

Ummmm, I like São Bento in Vila Madelena. GEM is my favorite sushi place and of course Fogo De Chão is a standard. Brazz has the best pizza and the Sunday brunch at the Hilton is worth writing home about. Kiaora is fun to party and I love being hit on by the older ladies at Charles Edwards. Oi mami!

9. Do you have any funny stories/incidents to tell about your time in Brazil?

There are so many funny incidents its hard to talk about just one. They are mostly in regards to missed translations.

10. What difference between your homeland and Brazil do you find most striking?

Relationships and racial issues. As an African-American professional in the States I am sensitive to segregation in many aspects. I am very happy that I work for a European firm and I honestly believe race does not play a role in the workplace. But in Dallas and other places, people hangout or date their own color very often. Class is a big deal in the USA and in São Paulo it does not matter your color or lineage. Its about your personality and how you convey yourself. That’s how it should be. I feel like an equal to whoever I talk to and that is a big deal to me.

Also, people are sensitive to how you feel and are passionate. I had never heard a curse word in the boardroom until I came here. People are passionate, mean what they say and try to relate to you. I think that is beautiful.

The women are beautiful physically and mentally. They are so affectionate and I love that. They care how you feel and love being feminine. In the USA, I feel women are much more competitive with me. I believe women are definitely equal but I love a woman being… well… feminine. I expect a few emails on that last point…

11. How is your Portuguese coming along? What words do you find most difficult to pronounce/remember or are there any words that you regularly confuse?

I am ready to take some private lessons. I can read Portuguese and get the essence of the subject. But people here speak so fast I can only pick up 30% of what they are saying. I just nod and smile and eventually all works out good. But, I look forward to Portuguese lessons. I have been taking Spanish lessons for so long I am bored! This should be new and fun!

12. What advice do you have for newcomers to Brazil?

Be open, learn the basics of the language and smile! The vibe here is great and I suggest people be open and not be too scared. It is obvious where you should go and where you should steer clear. Any place is dangerous if you do not use common sense. Maybe I am naive but I believe this. Walk the streets of Itaim Bibi and Jardims and walk into shops and browse. I love just walking a city and I encourage others to do the same.

13. What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São
Paulo (or anywhere else in Brazil)?

Make a friend or two. Take a taxi and just walk around. Find a bistro near Avenida Paulista and watch the people walk by. Point at the hamburger on the menu and hope you get what you expect. Have a beer, breath and enjoy. I feel I have reduced my stress by 20% just by being here. Although the traffic can elevate it I am much better once I arrive.

Email me at if you want to chat!

Are you a foreigner who has lived in, or is living or travelling in Brazil? Are you a Brazilian who has a lot of contact with foreigners and/or lived outside of Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer for our interview series, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send a blank email to with “Interview” in the subject. We will send you the interview questions by return email.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:

David McLoughlin – Ireland
Pat Moraes – USA
Richard Dougherty – USA
James Weeds – USA
Tom Sluberski – USA
Peter Kefalas – USA
Sylvie Campbell – UK
Kathleen Haynes – USA
Matt Bowlby – USA
Alan Longbottom – UK
Eric Karukin – USA
Eddie Soto – USA
Kieran Gartlan – Ireland
Bryan Thomas Scmidt – USA
Emile Myburgh – South Africa
Bob Chapman – USA
David Barnes – USA
John Milan – USA
Chris Coates – UK
Matthew Ward – UK
Allison Glick – USA
Drake Smith – USA
Jim Jones – USA
Philip Wigan – UK
Atlanta Foresyth – USA
Lee Gordon – USA
Carmen Naidoo – South Africa
Lee Safian – USA
Laurie Carneiro – USA
Dana De Lise – USA
Richard Gant – USA
Robin Hoffman – USA
Wayne Wright – UK
Walt Kirspel – USA
Priya Guyadeen – Guyana
Caitlin McQuilling – USA
Nicole Rombach – Holland
Steven Engler – Canada
Richard Conti – USA
Zak Burkons – USA
Ann White – USA
Monde Ngqumeya – South Africa
Johnny Sweeney – USA
David Harty – Canada
Bill McCrossen – USA
Peter Berner – Switzerland/Brazil
Ethan Munson – USA
Solveig Skadhauge – Denmark
Sean McGown – USA
Condrad Downes – UK
Jennifer Silva – Australian
Justin Mounts – USA
Elliott Zussman – USA
Jonathan Abernathy – USA
Steve Koenig – USA
Kyron Gibbs – USA
Stephanie Early – USA
Martin Raw – UK
Sean Coady – UK
Hugo Delgado – Mexico
Sean Terrillon – Canada
Jessie Simon – USA
Michael Meehan – USA
Thales Panagides – Cyprus
Tammy Montagna – USA
Samantha Tennant – England
Ron Finely – United States
Bob Duprez – United States
Peter Baines – England
Youssef Bouguerra – Tunisia
Van Wallach – USA
Lesley Cushing – England
Alexander von Brincken – Germany
Hank Avellar – USA
Ed Catchpole – England
Penny Freeland – England
Yasemin de Pinto – Turkey
Amy Williams Lima – USA
John Naumann – England
Marsye Schouella – Eygpt
Rita Shannon Koeser – USA
John Fitzpatrick – Scotland
Liam Gallagher – Northern Ireland
Lorelei Jones – England
Adam Glensy – England
Tommie C.B. DeAssis – Japan
Aaron Day – Canada
Graham Debney – New Zealand
Silke Tina Tischendorf – Germany
Tanya Keshavjee Macedo – Canada
Frank de Meijer – Holland
Carl Emberson – Australia
Kim Buarque – Wales
Damiano Pak – South Korea
Jonas Helding – Denmark
Pari Seeber – Iran
John Milton – England
Ken Marshall – Australia

By Teacher Claudia
May 25, 2007

Dear readers, today we’ll see the last part of the regularity of verbs in Portuguese, concerning Second and Third Conjugations.

Activity 1 – Introduction
Read a piece of the song Cara Valente”, by Maria Rita.

Foi escolher o mal-me-quer
Entre o amor de uma mulher
E as certezas do caminho
Ele não pde se entregar
E agora vai ter de pagar com o coraão.

(Bold guy

He chose loves-me-not
Between a woman’s love
And the well-known way
He could not surrender
And now he will pay
With his heart.)

Activity 2 – Context
Dear students, there are some conjugated verbs in italics in the song above: foi, pde, vai, ter. As you know, foi is from “ir”, pde from “poder”, vai from “ir” again, and ter is already in the infinitive form. It’s not coincidental that these verbs end either in “er” or “ir”.
They are from the Second (“er”) and Third Conjugations (“ir”), our object of study today.

Activity 3 – Form
The Second Conjugation consists of all verbs ending in “er”. Among many considered difficult verbs in Portuguese, one that is particularly tricky is “caber”, to fit. Here it is, in the Present of the Indicative.

Eu caibo
Voc, ele, ela cabe
Nós cabemos
Vocs, eles, elas cabem

Activity 4 – A curiosity!
If you are a little acquainted with verbal study, you may be asking yourself, Where are the verbs ending in “or”? Well dear reader, verbs of that kind, for ex, “por”, and all its related ones, such as “transpor”, “expor”, “supor” etc belong to the Second Conjugation, because in the past their ending was “oer”. Personally, I’m not a fan of such verbs, due to their sound. Here is their so-called father, “por” because all of “or” ended verbs follow its conjugation.

Eu ponho
Voc, ele, ela pe
Nós pomos
Vocs, eles, elas pem

Activity 5 – Form: Third Conjugation
Besides all verbs ending in “ir”, the Third Conjugation also considers verbs ending in “air” and “uir”, because these receive an “i” on the second and third persons of the singular form in the Indicative. Look:

Cair (to fall) Possuir (to own)
Eu caio Possuo
Voc, ele, ela cai Possui
Nós camos Possumos
Vocs, eles, elas caem Possuem

Most used verbs that follow “cair”: sair, atrair, esvair, trair. Most used verbs that follow “possuir”: atribuir, anuir, contribuir, influir, evoluir, distribuir, and retribuir.

Activity 6 – Practice
Finally, dear student! This is the last exercise of verbal conjugation! (at least for now…). Practice these, in the simple present and simple past:

1. Expor – Trazer
2. Atrair – Evoluir

Dear reader, I’ve made a typing mistake on my last tip. In Activity 4, instead of “most used irregular verbs”, I should have typed “most used verbs”. That’s it.

See you next week!

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: Regularity of Verbs in Portuguese – Exceptions
Portuguese Tip: Regularity of Verbs
Brazil: A Day in São Paulo
Why Not? (Or on Brazilian Indians)
Portuguese Tip: Infinitives and Gerunds Part 1
Brazil: Portuguese Tip – Ningum X Nenhum
Brazil: Portuguese Tip – Tudo vs. Todo
Brazil’s Independence Day
Brazil: Portuguese Tips – Denials
Brazil: Portuguese Tips – Não and Nem
Portuguese Tip: If Clauses Part 1
Portuguese Tip: If Clauses Part 1
Portuguese Tip: The X Doubts Part 2
Portuguese Tip: The X Doubts
Brazil: To Tell or Not to Tell
Brazil: Ipiranga Museum
Portuguese Tip: Odd words
Portuguese Tip: Interjections and Expressions
A 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

May 25, 2007

Prosecutor Seeks Indictments of US Pilots
Brazilian prosecutor Thiago Lemos de Andrade is seeking indictments against the two US pilots involved in Brazil’s worst air crash. This follows reports that the police had cited the two pilots as being responsible. The indictments are based on the pilots not noticing the plane’s transponder wasn’t working from 55 minutes before the crash. This is despite reports that the failed transponder didn’t show an alert in the cockpit, and air traffic controllers are also responsible for spotting a problem.

Romario Claims Thousandth Goal
Famous Brazilian striker Romario claimed the thousandth goal in his career last Sunday, in a match of Vasco de Gama vs. Recife Sport. Romario scored 56 times for Brazil. His goal calculations included youth games and testimonials so has not been ratified by FIFA.

Students Strike in São Paulo
Over 500 students have been occupying the administration building at the University of São Paulo for the last 3 weeks, which in turn has lead to further student revolt around the country. This week the university staff also joined the occupation, as part of an attempt to get the government to build more student housing and hire more teachers.

Energy Minister Quits Over Scandal
Energy Minister Silas Rondeau was in discussions earlier in the week with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva while police were investigating claims of embezzlement of public funds. Rondeau claimed he had done nothing wrong, while 50 others have been arrested by police as part of Project Razor, a crackdown on embezzling money from government infrastructure projects.

Pope Tries to Smooth Over Backlash
This Wednesday the Pope made comments about the unjustifiable crimes” that were committed as part of the colonial conquest of Latin America. This follows his comments last week about the native populations that were “silently longing” for Catholicism.

National Squad Promote Christ Statue
The national squad have added their support to Rio de Janeiro’s campaign for the Christ the Redeemer statue to be one of the new seven wonders of the world. This is part of a campaign by to choose seven current wonders of the world, which include votes for the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and Stonehenge.

This article was sponsored by TABU, located in Sonesta São Paulo, the lodging answer for all your business and leisure needs.

Tabu Restaurant São Paulo Sonesta Hotel São Paulo

By Richard Conti
May 24, 2007

No-one has been such a strong supporter of the northeast of Brazil as I have been in the past few years and my past articles prove it, which you can find here in the archives of the wonderful site. However, lately during my past few trips there and especially to the areas of the northeast and João Pessoa in particular I have reason for concern, and now can no longer with a clear heart continue to praise the area as I once have done.

It is no secret to any of us that the US Dollar is not bringing the buying power that it once did. In support of Brazil it is not Brazil that is entirely at fault but the US Dollar as well. Needless to say, or place blame on anyone, Americans are not in as good a position, nor is the area as great a value as it once was for us.

Aside from the US Dollar falling the people selling real estate there seemed to have severely inflated their prices. Once of great value in Brazil, the northeast and João Pessoa do not seem as great a value as other beautiful areas in Brazil, and in some cases far less affordable then even here in the States as it once was a short time ago. What is going on? I see no sound reasoning for such increases. I believe it is being driven by greed now, and is a very bad climate to buy in as well.

I fear now, as many others (Brazilians and Americans), that our worst fears are in fact coming true in João Pessoa now. That is no improvements in flights to the area, or reasonable fares, or improvements to the area’s infrastructure. Overcrowding is more inevitable than ever.

Can the local governments support this influx of people? Can they afford to make the necessary improvements? Can they get money from the Federal Government there to help them? I fear no” is the correct answer.

For these reasons and many others I feel greed has overcome the real estate market there as it has here in the States as well, as some areas in Brazil only hurt many many people rather then help them make their dreams come true.

In the case of the northeast and João Pessoa it is even more serious then here in the United States, where victimized or unaware unfortunate buyers have the option of foreclosure and or bankruptcy and not losing all of their investment and hard earned dollars. In Brazil you pay cash for your homes and when you lose you lose big!

So my advice at present is the old saying “Let The Buyer BEWARE” and in the case of João Pessoa this has never been more true then I believe it to be at present. You now have to be extra cautious as to what you are paying for a property there. Even more cautious as to who you are dealing with as well.

Let us not forget for a moment the problems of seas rising and global warming, effects which have already caused problems in the João Pessoa areas, especially in the beach areas. Many of the areas have been deemed erosion areas by local government now by the beaches especially of Ponta do Seixas and Penha. I have seen first hand some of the problems.

This is not to say that one must give up on this once promising, area but move ever so slowly and be ever so cautious there now and play the waiting game, as many of us are doing now. What will be, will be, but if it remains as bad as it has become or gets even worse as I fear it may, it may be time to look elsewhere in Brazil where your Dollar may be well spent and not wasted or washed away by high tides.

I for one am disheartened by these latest developments and possibly cause for some of them due to my many articles praising the area as I have always done. I have done so with good reason and good intentions but things seemed to have taken off into the wrong direction and I fear they will not change course and many an investor there will be seriously hurt now.

I would much rather be bringing you good news rather then bad, but as I have brought so much attention to this area through my articles here on and other sites as well, I feel obligated to tell you the bad news along with the good. It is only right and fair.

Beware, beware, beware, my friends, and do be cautious and take your time if you do decide to look in this area of João Pessoa and Brazil. Brazil is a wonderful country with even more wonderful people but more so there, as in America, one has to be very cautious of many, many factors when investing in real estate.

Move ever so slowly and wisely and if anyone tries to rush you into anything take that as a sign that you need to look deeper before over paying or buying a problem property and taking that leap into paradise! The horror stories continue and they are just beginning in João Pessoa as they have in other areas of Brazil and yes here in the States as well.

Please be very careful. Please feel free to e mail me with any questions or concerns I may be able to shed some light on for you.

Readers comments:

While my Brazilian wife have been looking into moving to Brazil the Brazilian Real (B$) has moved between 2.8 to the and 5.4 to the .

This is very important to anyone looking to transfer large amounts of money, it would seem to me that if you can get B$4 to the that is a good rate looking over the long term.

I don’t believe the problems between the R$ and the US$ are the fault of Brazil but are as a result of US foreign policy, but even without the US foreign policy the R$ will grow in value over the US$, Just look at what Lula has done over the last 4/5 years in paying back the debts to the World Bank, IMF and bank of America, he has untied the hands of Brazil allowing the Brazilian Government to set Government policy for the first time in decades, until he paid of these debts Brazilian Government policy was dictated by others as conditions of the loans.

I also think the comments about the price of property going up because of greed are a little premature, I personally believe the “advertised” prices for property don’t mean anything, it is the price that is eventually paid that is important.

Brazil being one of the BRIC economies and the low cost of flights means that many European property companies are looking to Brazil to expand there markets and it is this that is artificially inflating the “advertised” price, my understanding from people we know who live there is that prices being paid are still good value and they say they have seen little if any inflation on the prices being paid.

The number of Brits and other Europeans moving abroad is getting larger every year, it was the case for many years that Brits were moving to Spain, but this is no slowing down due to many thing, bad deals and deals going wrong being publicized widely in the press and on TV, also concern over some of the “land grab laws” and stories relating to them, but I also believe many people are now looking at Spain as a country where Taxes and Prices have to go up, the reason for this is the expansion of the EU that will mean Spain will need to become a net contributor to the EU to cover the costs incurred in expansion and money that was going to Spain to help with infrastructure and other cost are now being diverted to the “new” EU courtiers.

This has meant that many (and there are many) companies advertising “properties abroad” have widened there areas and South America and a stable Brazil is a prime target for these companies and as such they are inflating internet prices as they need to make larger profits than many Brazilian based agents, but as they are paid by the vendor no sale means no money, so they want top price, but as I say above, this means looking on the internet it appears prices are going up; but looking at the market on the ground prices are staying about the same.

We just had friends buy a beach house that was advertised for R$200,000, but asking locals they found the house had been on the market for 15 months or more, so they offered R$160,000 and got the house after saying that was there one and only offer.

I have also noticed that many of the properties we have look at; and again from friends living in the area that many properties are on the market for many months, if this is the case then I can’t see putting the price up will do anything other than keep it on the market longer, it is basic supply and demand, if what we are told is true, that houses are not selling and staying on the market for months then there is no demand and over supply, so if anything prices will have to fall.

Anyway we will find out for ourselves next month as we leave the UK for Joao Pessoa, we will be looking for a house right away and I will try and keep people posted via the forum.

I would agree with the points made about checking that when you buy a house you really do buy a house, this is the same anywhere in the world, it is up to the buyer to ensure that the house belongs to the person selling it, to check that there are no outstanding claims against the property, that it will not be under 6 foot of water in 10 years time and that you will not have a 400 bedroom hotel built next door

— London Lad

Richard is an American born and raised in New York City in the shadows of the once towering World Trade Center. He now lives in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida. He is presently doing design work and general contracting, but his dream is to complete his private community in João Pessoa, Brazil, and to move there with his Brazilian girlfriend. Once there he wants to devote time to building many many more projects with Americans and Brazilians in mind. In his spare time he wants to write many many more enjoyable articles for for you all to enjoy. If you want to contact Richard by email then send to

Previous articles by Richard:

Brazil: Let the Buyer Beware
The US Real Estate Bubble has moved South to Brazil Part 2
The US Real Estate Bubble has moved South to Brazil Part 1
Thoughts of Brazil and João Pessoa Part 2
Thoughts of Brazil and João Pessoa Part 1
Brazil is Looking Better and Better Everyday
Brazil’s Best Kept Secret

By John D. Markunas
May 24, 2007

Any instrument that affects rights to a property must be recorded in the Real Estate Registry. The main legal document binding the transaction is the public deed of purchase and sale (escritura pblica). Once the escritura is executed, the closing process ends, but not the entire process of acquiring the real estate. Property rights in Brazil are 100% enforceable only when the escritura is duly registered at the proper Real Estate Registry.

Despite the protection that recording title provides, purchasers of Brazilian real estate may still be liable for previous problems with the property. There exists the real possibility of errors committed by clerks in the Real Estate Registry. Risks or title defects could include survey errors, title flaws, fraud, forgery, undisclosed liens and encumbrances, and a host of other problems. Attorneys identify these risks, but if by chance, the attorney misses something (a hidden defect for example) buyers could face substantial losses or damages with no remedy. In one notable case, a US buyer of beachfront property in Northeast Brazil lost his land after the deceased seller’s illegitimate children surfaced after closing and claimed possession of the property. In addition, a buyer may be liable for environmental violations even though they occurred before the acquisition. Brazil has a stringent environmental liability system, composed of civil, criminal and administrative liability.

Investors and lenders historically have relied on title opinions from local counsel. Brazilian attorneys also provide opinions – legal opinions – based on the documentation they review. A legal opinion is in essence a disclosure document, in which counsel carefully defines the state of the title and related issues, identifying but not eliminating risks. There is no guarantee that a problem will not occur with title to a property. One recourse is to take legal action against the attorney or seller. However, getting involved in litigation in Brazil is not the most prudent course of action – especially if you are a foreigner. It can take years and cost a tremendous amount of money to settle title disputes. And despite the extra investment, the outcome doesn’t always favor the buyer.

A title insurance policy reduces your legal risks and provides a guarantee. It is protection that goes beyond a legal opinion to underwrite risks and ensure clean title. The policy protects investors against the ultimate risk of failure and property loss as well as the cost of litigation to defend against title claims. It also insures against defects and encumbrances related to title, and against compliance problems with zoning, codes and permits.

Title insurance policies will simplify the technical due diligence and legal requirements for owners, lenders, their counsel, and the credit rating agencies. For example, on multi-property portfolios, standardized title insurance covering the entire group of properties can dramatically accelerate the due diligence process, document reviews and closings. In addition, it provides a solution for restrictive covenants, which can affect the value of the property and the cost of financing, as well as the ability to close the transaction. This is particularly important today, when global property owners and lenders typically are financial institutions and corporations, managed by professionals with fiduciary obligations to protect their investors against the legal risks inherent in real estate transactions.

Title risks related to indirect transactions, where there may not be a certification by an attorney or transfer in a land registry, can also be covered by title insurance. This includes the sale of interests in limited partnerships, units in real estate funds and shares in property companies. Real estate professionals are increasingly aware of the role that title insurance can play in making international securitization and REIT markets safer and more efficient. There are other advantages in obtaining title insurance on property in Brazil, underwritten by a reputable title insurance company, and insured through an international policy. For example, the policy is in English, in US dollars and with claims made in the US. And a reputable insurer will also work with local Brazilian attorneys to efficiently research the title and prepare the title report.

Overall, international title insurance provides cost-effective, comprehensive protection. Ultimately, if you have a title insurance policy, you can make your claim directly with the title insurance provider. The provider has the obligation to defend you as well as indemnify you against covered losses. In the final analysis, it is highly recommended to purchase title insurance for your Brazilian real estate investment.

By John D. Markunas (email:; tel: 212-220-7006) of the LandAmerica Financial Group headquartered in New York City.

Previous articles by John:

Do Foreigners Need Title Insurance in Brazil? Part 1

By Tamashin
May 24, 2007

Here is part 6 of Tamashin’s article on popular expressions in Brazilian Portuguese that he has been collecting. To read the previous parts click the relevant link at the end of the article.

101. O habito nao faz o monge.
102. A barba nao faz o filosofo.
103. Nao ha roses sem espinhos.
104. Dinheiro nao traz felicidade.
105. Quem cala, consente.

106. Quem foi pra Portugal, perdeu o lugar.
107. Ro quepula de galho em galho nao faz ninho.
108. Quem tem telhado de vidro, nao atira pedras.
109. Nao se acua a ona com vara curta.
110. A gente colhe o que plante.

111. Se conselho fosse bom, nao se dava, vendia-se.
112. Nao se deve chorar de barriga cheia.
113. Nao se mexe em equipe que esta ganhando.
114. Cada povo tem o governo que merece.
115. Uma desgraa nunca vem so.

116. Nao ha o bom sem o ruim.
117. O sol nasceu para todos, mas nem todos podem ver o sol brilhar.
118. Quem tarde vier comera do que trouxer.
119. Quem procura, acha.
120. O ataque e a melhor defesa.

Part 7 next week…

Editor’s note: Perhaps readers would like to suggest their own English interpretations of the phrases, and Portuguese corrections if necessary.

Tamashin is a retired civil engineer who first came to Brazil in 1993 to help build a community centre for street children in Rio. He now lives in João Pessoa with his Brazilian wife and children.

Previous articles by Tamashin:

Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 5
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 4
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 3
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 2
Popular Brazilian Expressions Part 1
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 5
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 4
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 3
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 2
Around Brazil: João Pessoa Part 1
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 6
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 5
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 4
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 3
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 2
Brazil: The Great North Road Part 1