By John Fitzpatrick
January 27, 2009

Whenever I try to follow the ins and outs of Brazilian politics with its strange alliance, plots, duplicity and subterfuge I think of the verse from Leonard Cohen’s song Everybody Knows” that goes:

“Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people
you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows”

We are watching the unraveling at the moment of a number of plots and betrayals which everybody knows about but turns a blind eye to. First of all, President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva is trying to foist his preferred presidential candidate, Dilma Rousseff, onto the electorate, regardless of whether anyone wants her or not. Secondly, São Paulo state governor, Jose Serra, has bribed one of his main rivals, Geraldo Alckmin, by giving him a top job in his administration, thereby ensuring that Alckmin does not block Serra’s presidential ambitions. And thirdly, former President Jose Sarney is trying to become the Senate chairman by pretending he does not really want the job.

Lula has been singing the praises of Dilma Rousseff, his chief of staff, for over a year now although he always claims he has not even asked her if she even wants to be the Workers Party (PT) presidential candidate. Presumably the PT has mechanisms for choosing its candidates which actually involve taking the views of the rank and file members into consideration. If so, then Lula is not interested. Neither is Dilma who has recently changed from an Ugly Duckling to a very fine ,swan indeed, thanks to a nose job, a diet, a nip and tuck, a new hair style and contact lens instead of her old specs. Instead of the frumpy thin-lipped apparatchik of old we now have an attractive mature woman who could easily win a glamorous granny competition.

Despite her cosmetic change, Dilma has still not announced her interest in being a presidential candidate although she is expected to begin a marathon round of public appearances in February in which she will unveil works for the so-called Accelerated Growth Program. Nor has she made any speeches on what she stands for, presumably because she feels she can get by on Lula’s coat-tails. However, one thing that everybody knows is that the Brazilian people will not be so naãve as to turn out and vote for someone just because she is Lula’s favorite. And another thing that everybody knows is that Lula could dump Dilma from one moment to the next if he feels like it, particularly if he succumbs to the flattering pressure from his admirers and alters the Constitution to allow him to stand again. This may seem far-fetched but it cannot be discounted even at this late stage.

As for Serra, he may feel he has pulled off a great coup by tempting Alckmin into the fold and dangling the prospect of Alckmin succeeding him as governor when he presumably stands for the presidency in 2010. However, Alckmin’s star waned when he fought a disastrous campaign for the PSDB against Lula in 2006 and was lucky not to be beaten in the first round. He was also humiliated in the race for the São Paulo mayorship last year when Serra supported the candidate of the rival DEMs. The PSDB also has another strong candidate in the governor of Minas Gerais state, Aecio Neves, who does not think Serra has a divine right to be the party’s candidate.

In fact, Serra and Neves were almost as much to blame for the PSDB’s failure to win the presidency by letting Alckmin force himself on the party. Lula is not the only politician to disdain his own party. The PSDB big wigs – Serra, Neves, Alckmin and ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso – made the decision on who would be the party’s candidate without seeking the views of the ordinary members. What everybody knows is that Serra is desperate to be president and will do anything to achieve this aim.

As for Sarney, most Brazilians are desperate to see the back of him. He was one of a series of unimpressive presidents, along with Fernando Collor de Mello and Itamar Franco, who held power after the generals handed control back to civilian politicians. Sarney is a Northeastern old-timer who represents everything that holds Brazil back and has been a powerbroker for almost 50 years. Although he became president simply because the elected president, Tancredo Neves, died before assuming office, Sarney managed to extend the term of office from four to five years. He has already been Senate chairman, leads a faction of the PMDB, has allies and supporters in high places and has great power and influence.

He has an unusual tactic which is to stand above the fray – in public, that is – and say he will only agree to be nominated if there is common consent. This means that he virtually forces himself on Congress through backroom carrot and stick negotiations. Everybody knows that behind that avuncular, amiable exterior lies a ruthless, Machiavellian mind which is only interested in gaining power and holding onto it.

That is the sad state of the Brazilian political scene as we head into an economic crisis and prepare for a presidential election next year.

Let’s finish by quoting another verse from Leonard Cohen which sums the situation up perfectly:

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows”

John Fitzpatrick 2009

John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish writer and consultant with long experience of Brazil. He is based in São Paulo and runs his own company Celtic Comunicaes. This article originally appeared on his site http://www.brazilpoliticalcomment.com.br. He can be contacted at jf@celt.com.br.

Previous articles by John Fitzpatrick on www.gringoes.com:

Brazil: Will Obama Mention the “Brics” or just the “Rics”?
Brazil 2009 – The Year of Living Dangerously
Brazil: São Paulo Mayoral Election – a Foretaste of the Presidential Race?
Looking for Brazil’s Moon Under Water
Brazil’s Lula Finally Stops Playing the Blame Game
Brazil: Coming Up – Serra versus Dilma?
Brazil Becomes Middle Class but Not Bourgeois
Where is Brazil’s Barack Obama?
Brazil: Lula Loses Some of His Moral Luster
Lost Your Job on Wall Street? Head for Brazil!
Brazil: Lula Loves Investment Grade – Whatever That Is
There’s No Business Like Oil Business – in Brazil Anyway
Benefits of Brazil’s Growth Start to Spread
Let Brazilians Sort Out the Problems of the Amazon
Brazil’s Politicians Set to Cash in on Oil and Gas Discoveries
Brazil: Lula Learns the Lesson of Not Planning Ahead
Cops and Robbers Brazilian Style
Brazil: Oscar Freire – São Paulo’s Street of Dreams
Brazil: Lula Called to Account on Tax
Will Lula Leave Brazil in Safe or Unsafe Hands?
Senate Spits in the Face of the Brazilian People
The Lord Mayor Goes Zapping the NYSE in Brazil
Brazil: Economic Boom – Political Gloom
Around Brazil: Natal – Sun, Sand Dunes and Solitude or Hassle, Hustlers and Hookers
ACM – Brazil Will Never See His Like Again
Brazilians Let Politicians Treat Them as Doormats
Senate Chairman Upholds Tradition of Treating Brazil with Contempt
Brits Turn Their Backs on Brazil
Look Out for the New BBC – the Brazilian Broadcasting Corporation
Navel Gazing in Brasilia – Largesse in São Paulo
Brazil’s Politicians Share the Spoils
Cida – A Brazilian Entrepreneur
Ten Top Brazilian Songs to Download on Your iPod
Lula Lets Brazilians Down by Failing to Exercise His Authority
Brazil: Laid Back Lula Finally Gets His Team (Almost) Together
The George W. Bush PR Show Comes to Brazil
Briefing Bush on Brazil the CIA Way
US Authorities Tackle Brazil’s White Collar Criminals
Brazil’s Opposition Parties Try to End Disarray
Lula Faces Arm-Wrestling Contest with New Congress
Brazil Waits for Lula to Return from Holiday
Around Brazil: Santana de Parnaiba
Brazilians Start to Stand Up for Their Rights
Darfur – Brazil’s African Side Show
Economics and Politics in Brazil – a Tangled Web
Brazil’s Strange Idea of Democracy
Brazil: John Pizzarelli – the Boy from Ipanema
Brazil’s Stock Market: the Path to Riches or Rags?
Brazil: Lula Unlikely to Change Course after His Massive Victory
Brazil: Privatization – Lula and Alckmin Defend the Indefensible
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 2
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin Hits Lula but Lands No Killer Blow
Brazil: Lula Pays the Penalty for Complacency
Brazil: Does Lula Deserve to Win?
Brazil: Cardoso Writes a Poison Pen Letter
Monte Verde – Brazil’s Green Mountain
Brazil’s Gross Disappointing Product
Brazil’s Election – Alckmin Hands Lula Victory on a Plate
Lula Hits Back at Congress
Brazil’s Presidential Election May Not be a Walkover for Lula
Pity the Brazilian Voter
Brazil’s Fainthearts Let the Nation Down
Now is the Winter of Brazil’s Discontent
World Cup brings Out the Best and Worst in Brazil
Brazil’s Big Spender
Brazil: The Dogs of War are Unleashed in São Paulo
Brazil: Self-Righteous Indignation Marks Bolivian Nationalization
Brazil: Lula Still Vulnerable
Brazil: The PSDB Takes the Hard Road
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 3
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 2
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin the Hare Takes on Serra the Tortoise
Patronizing Brazilians the Politically Correct Way
Brazil: Election Gives Voters Chance to Clean Up Congress
Brazil: João Pessoa – a Victim of its Own Success
No Consistency in Brazil’s Foreign Policy
Brazil: Sitting in the Shadow of Sarney and Magalhes
Brazil: Gentrification Creeps Up On São Paulo
Dirt Flies as Brazilian Parties Aim for Presidency
Brazilians Vote for Guns and Death Not Peace and Love
Brazil’s Gun Lobby Launches Hysterical Campaign Against Arms Ban
Jews and Arabs Find Success in Brazil
Brazil’s Politicians Start Looking Ahead to Next Year
Brazil: Lula Down but Certainly Not Out
Brazil’s Congress Struggles to Cope with Ongoing Crisis
Brazil: Scandal Threatens Presidential Mandate System
Brazil: If Lula is to Survive He Needs to Change His Tactics
Brazil: Many Parties – Few Ideas
Brazil Through Foreign Eyes
Helping the Helpless in Brazil
Pinheiros – São Paulo’s Best District
Growing Old (Dis)gracefully in Brazil
Canudos, Still With Us 100 Years Later
The Rise of the Brazilian Empire
Brazil and Portugal – The Samba and the Fado
Brazil – Just A State Of Mind
Brazil: For Lula, is Ignorance Bliss?
Brazil: Pay Day – or Pay Dirt?

By Ricky Skelton
January 27, 2009

I can boldly state, without fear of being completely wrong, that the best clubs in Brazil, perhaps even in South America, are in Santa Catarina.

There is no other place that has so many clubs ticking so many of the boxes that the best clubs need to have ticked. It begins with the music of course. To have the best music, you need to have the best DJ’s. The best DJ’s in the world come to South America for huge events such as Skolbeats in São Paulo, Reveillon in Rio, Carnval in Salvador and Creamfields in Buenos Aires. Names such as Fat Boy Slim, Sander Kleinenberg, Darren Emerson and Deep Dish have all made the journey down this way recently. There is little point in travelling thousands of miles just for one gig, so they generally squeeze in a bit of a warm-up a night or two before. More often than not, they visit clubs such as Warung, on Praia Brava above Balnerio Cambori, and El Divino, P12 and now Pacha close to or on Jurer Internacional on Florianópolis.

Perhaps they come here because the atmosphere on the way to and inside these places is more relaxed than Rio, less shady than Salvador. Perhaps the people who make the journey from Curitiba, Porto Alegre and even São Paulo provide a more cosmopolitan crowd than clubs in Buenos Aires with porteos all seeming to hide their insecurities behind sunglasses while dancing in the same treading grapes style.

Being sited out of the cities, the clubs have scenery of beaches, mountains and lagoons that those of São Paulo can never hope to match. There is nothing like being able to see the sea while dancing in a club.

My favourite club in Brazil, South America, perhaps even the world, doesnt have this vista do mar though. Much like the best clubs in Ibiza are up in the hills away from the strip (and away from the drunken British holidaymakers!), Brazil’s Best Club is tucked away down the backroads on the rural side of the motorway from the mini-Rio of Balnerio Cambori. It makes a strange contrast to park outside a wooden cow shed, with the attendant smells of four legged beasts, while parking alongside some 4×4 beast that may have never been so close to mud before. The church-going villagers of interior Santa Catarina must wonder.

As with the best clubs in Santa Catarina, Ibiza and the world at large, it is an open-air venue, one tented roof to keep off the rain. As well as the music, the atmosphere and the setting, you also need beauty on the inside. I will put this place alongside anywhere you care to name in any place in the world. There are more stunning girls (and boys) than any club I have ever visited. The VIP Area earned the nickname Silicon Valley, but unlike in clubs built for being seen, this is a true dance club. Girls may be wearing floaty feminine summer dresses and high heels, but this does not stop them trucking on through the madrugada.

2008 finished in real style as we took our visiting friends there to see Paul van Dyk on 30th December, warming up for his Rio Reveillon gig on Barra de Tijuca. You can be as astounded as our gringoes were as the sun comes up over the surrounding mountains with thousands of beautiful people from all over South Brazil still partying hard around the lakes and stairs of the club, as well as filling the space under the tent. As the dark of night and the grey of dawn turn to blue daylight, you will also begin to appreciate how well-named is my Green Valley.

You can visit Ricky’s blog at http://redmist-redmist.blogspot.com/

Previous articles by Ricky:

The Great Brazilian Animal-Off (Land)
Understanding Brazil: Giving Directions
Understanding Brazil: Driving
Understanding Brazil: Farra do Boi
Brazil: Catching Flu’
Around Brazil: Garopaba
Understanding Brazil: Funerals
Brazil: Bernie the Berne
Around Brazil: Journey to the Amazon Jungle
Around Brazil: Crazy Town Ceremonies
Around Brazil: Crazy Town
Around Brazil: Manaus
Around Brazil: Santarem & Alter do Chao
Around Brazil: Amazon Swarms and Amazon Storms
Understanding Brazil: Playing Pool
Around Brazil: Gurup
Around South America: Peninsula Valdes
Around South America: Patagonia
Around South America: Montevideo, Uruguay
Around Brazil: The Amazon
Around South America: Bariloche, Argentina
Understanding Gringoes: Drinking
The Great Brazilian Fruit-Off Part 2
The Great Brazilian Fruit-Off Part 1
Understanding Brazil: The Kids
Brazil v Argentina: Buying Beer
Understanding Brazil: Mosquitoes
Around Brazil: São Luis
Teaching English in Brazil
Around Brazil: Lenois Maranhenses
Understanding Brazil: The National Anthem
Around Brazil: Barreirinhas
Around Brazil: Jericoacoara to Barreirinhas
Understanding Brazil: Shopping Centres
Around Brazil: Jericoacoara
Around Brazil: Chapada da Diamantina/Lenois
Brazil vs. Argentina: Statues of Christ
Around Brazil: Salvador
Brazil vs. Argentina: The Buses
Around Brazil: Morro de São Paulo (& Itabuna)
Understanding Brazil: The Workmen
Around Brazil: Praa Pateo do Colegio
Around Brazil: Porto Seguro
Around Brazil: Rio de Janeiro to Porto Seguro
Around Brazil: Cristo Redentor
Understanding Brazil: The Sellers
Around Brazil: Ilha de Gigoia
Brazil Journeys: São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro
Understanding Brazil: Dogs Part 2
Brazil: A Lie-In in Downtown São Paulo?
The Best Job in Brazil: Ankle Specialist?
Understanding Brazil: Dogs
Brazilian Places: Ilha do Santa Catarina (Floripa)
Classic Brazilian Journeys: South to Florianopolis
Understanding Brazil – The Shower
Brazil: Boats on the Amazon
Brazil: Understanding Novelas
Brazil: Bus fires in São Paulo – always a bad thing?

January 27, 2009

São Paulo musicians Raul Lima, Rodrigo Veloso, Caetano Scatena, and Jason Bermingham are this week launching a new project called Sweet Home São Paulo.” The show is tailor-made for São Paulo’s expat community and will be presenting many favorite tunes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. If you’re free, please join them this Thursday, January 29, at Finnegan’s Pub in the Pinheiros neighborhood. The show will start downstairs at 9pm. You can sip Guinness at the bar, enjoy the show over dinner out front, or play darts upstairs. Sweet Home São Paulo look forward to seeing many of their friends from around the world – friends who have made their home right here in São Paulo.

Finnegan’s Pub
Thursday, January 29, at 9pm
Rua Cristiano Viana, 358 (Pinheiros)
São Paulo, SP
R$10 cover charge
To reserve a table, call (11) 3062-3232″

January 27, 2009

Meet Stephan Hughes who first travelled to Brazil in 1995, and subsequently moved to Brazil to live. Read the following interview in which he tells us about some of his most memorable experiences and gives some useful advice to newcomers.

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

I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, a twin-island republic in the Caribbean. Like most gringoes in Brazil, I work with language teaching, translation and some simultaneous translation. But I spend most of my time teaching English.

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

I got here for the first time in 1995 and spent a year in Brasilia. I returned home for 6 months then came to Rio de Janeiro to do a First Class degree in Letters/Humanities. Since then, I have also done an M.A. in Linguistics and several short graduate courses, apart from working with teaching.

3. What were you first impressions of Brazil?

They were the best possible. I came to soak up as much as possible of the culture and to blend with the people. What amazed me was the hospitality and the ease with which people welcomed me. People in Rio are easy conversationalists, in the space of ten minutes in a bank line I can learn about a person’s private life! They seem so open and easy-going.

4. What do you miss most about home?

The food and some of the cultural practices. Trinidad and Tobago are a blend of African and East Indian roots, in addition to other ethnic mixes – Chinese, Spanish, to name a few. I miss the way we celebrate Christmas and the local dialect”, which is a sort of broken English unique to our people.

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

I wouldn’t exactly call it a frustrating experience but it was when I had to go through weeks and weeks of paper work, expenses and longsuffering to get my permanent visa. The federal police agents didn’t make it at all comforting.

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

One of my most memorable experiences was when I successfully presented my dissertation before a panel of university professors in Portuguese. It was nerve-wrecking but in the end, I came out on top.

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

The people. More than the vast natural resources and the most diverse of landscapes, habits, regionalisms, the people have a quality that binds them – the way they see life.

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

I live on the beachfront of the so-called South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, so there are great places to hang out. As I’m now a family man, I love going to the shopping malls, the beaches etc…

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

There is one in particular, when I was living in Brasilia. At that time I knew very little Portuguese and I shared a flat with some Brazilians who didn’t speak much English either. So communication was basically sign language. One day, my mates decided I had to go buy some bread and “taught” me how to say the word in Portuguese. The problem was that they taught me the word for wood, “pau”, which is similar to “pão”. The first word also has some sexual connotation. So you could have imagined the face of the guy at the bread counter when I told him I wanted some “pau”!

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

One striking difference is the way people here in Brazil are so easy to start up a conversation and to talk about some of the most personal things to an absolute stranger. Another difference is the amount of PDA – public display of affection. There is more physical contact between men and women, men and men here in Brazil.

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?

As I have been here for some time and having had to really delve into the language, I don’t have any difficulty really. People usually don’t believe me when I say I’m a foreigner.

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

Go with the flow and understand the “Brazilian way”, the famous “jeito”.

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

If in Rio de Janeiro, visit all the usual tourist attractions, but make sure to take time to walk around the city centre, take a bus and enjoy the view!

You can contact Stephan via stephan.hughes@gmail.com.

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 gringoes@www.gringoes.com 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:

Louis van der Wiele – Holland
Drew Glaser – USA
Barry Elliott – Canada
Joel Barsky – USA
David Drummond – Canada
Liam Porisse – France
Jim Kelley – USA
Max Ray – USA
Jeremy Clark – Canada
Don Fredrick – USA
Jase Ramsey – USA
Ben Pearce – UK
Nitai Panchmatia – India
Johnnie Kashat – USA
Jeni Bonorino – USA
Eric Jones – USA
Bill Martin – UK
Bernard Morris – USA
John Graves – USA
Deepak Sapra – India
Alison McGowan – UK
Brent Gregory – USA
R Dub – USA
Tara Bianca – USA
Jack Hurley – USA
James Woodward – Canada
Tony O’Sullivan – Ireland
Anna Belavina – Russia
Jim Kirby – USA
Linda Halverstadt – USA
Michelle Monteiro – USA
Chris Mensah – UK
David Sundin – USA
Stephanie Glennon – USA
Julien Porisse – France
Hans Keeling – USA
Jim Adams – USA
Richard Murison – USA
Will Periam – UK
Jan Sandbert – Sweden
Jim Jones – USA
Mike Stricklin – USA
Edward Gowing – Australia
Adrian Woods – USA
Kevin Raub – USA
Pierpaolo Ciarcianelli – Italy
Zachary Heilman – USA
David Johnson – Bermuda
Cipriana Leme – Argentina
Timothy Bell – USA
Patti Beckert – USA
Timothy Bell – USA
Paul James – USA
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 Jonathan Fernando
January 25, 2009

The Rio Carnival Starts to Heats Up
When carnival season hits Brazil in February, Rio de Janeiro is the destination for backpackers. The four day celebration is one of the most vibrant and colourful parties on the planet.

And for those yet to experience this blend of hedonism and noise at first hand, nothing else will come close to matching the frenetic atmosphere on show.

The carnival, which is traditionally a major celebration of the excesses before Ash Wednesday, will see the city bustling with tourists and natives alike, all ready to immerse themselves in the glamorous festivities.

It’s a good idea to plan your trip carefully, though, to help you take full advantage of a trip to Brazil without missing the best of the carnival.

Find Perfect Accommodation
If you arrive before Sunday’s main parade, there’s lots of time to explore the city and check-in to one of the many great hostels available in Rio. The centrally located Surf n’ Stay Backpackers provides a fantastic location for those also wanting to enjoy the waves during their trip. Macumba Beach is situated just 100 meters from the hostel in Copacabana, while the local shopping center is the ideal site for picking up souvenirs.

See a World Famous Attraction
The statue of Christ the Redeemer sits high above the heaving streets of Rio de Janeiro and is the city’s most iconic sight. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it is located on the peak of the Corcovado Mountain and can be accessed from a mini-train that ascends from the Cosme Velho District. The summit will not only provide a stunning view of Rio (and the carnival chaos below), but will literally have you standing at the foot of one of the world’s most spectacular sights.

Eating Out
Experiencing the best in local cuisine is one of the joys of backpacking, whether it’s simple snacks or massive main courses you’re after. Brazil is well known for the snack empadinha, which is a pastry pocket stuffed with various fillings and ingredients. Popular due to its size and wide availability, this snack is perfect for on-the-go eating, as you party through the streets till dawn.

Carnival Capital
When Sunday arrives, the parade kicks off celebrations and the carnival has well and truly begun; all the events of the day before lead up to a great explosion of colour and sound emanating from the ‘Sambadrome’.

Brazil’s love for dance is celebrated in all its glory during the evening parade, as thousands of people gather to enjoy the spectacle of seeing various samba schools ‘compete’. The fantastic blend of music, floats, dancing and flamboyant costumes make for an unrivalled experience, as backpackers can sit back and soak in the culture and traditions that Brazil has to offer.

For those travelers on too tight a budget to make it into the Sambadrome (unfortunately, tickets can be expensive), there are a host of other events taking part all over the city. Carnival balls, street parties and the very popular samba beach parties all take place outside of the purpose-built arena, meaning everyone can enjoy the amazing atmosphere of the carnival season.

Great Weather
The carnival takes place in February; a peak time to enjoy Brazil’s weather and beaches, while also soaking up the carnival atmosphere, that will make this a trip you’ll never forget.

Before joining HostelBookers in 2008, Jonathan Fernando stayed in a number of

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By Jose Santiago
January 25, 2009

Banks in Brazil do not open regular bank accounts to foreign individuals who do not have legal and permanent residency in Brazil, which is always verified by whether the foreigner has a RNE card.

For this case and a few others there are the non-resident bank accounts, however they are not common in Brazil for foreign individuals. Despite the fact that they prescribed by the current legislation and are fundamental in many circumstances, almost all financial institutions in Brazil do not offer such accounts due to the excessive compliance requirements and excessive governmental scrutiny.

These accounts are necessary for a variety of situations ranging for people who simply want to invest their money via a bank account in Brazil to large international corporations that sends and receives numerous international wire transfers on a monthly basis. For example, they are fundamental for foreign individuals who do not have an RNE and thus do not have a bank account in Brazil, but need to sell real estate property in Brazil and get the funds. They are also a great tool for those individuals planning to invest in the financial market in Brazil.

Nonetheless, such accounts and their necessity have become more popular in Brazil and now more financial institutions are opening non-resident accounts. Most financial institutions charge heavy monthly fees and requires large amounts of funding, but there is a new bank based in São Paulo that requires an investment of R$50,000.00 (fifty thousand Reais) for a 6 (six) months period only.

Should you need additional information in this matter, feel free to contact my office.

Jose C. Santiago
Attorney at Law
Brazil: General Guidelines for Foreigners who Intend to Open a Brazilian Corporation
Brazil: Myths and Facts Regarding the Investment Visa Program
Brazil: The Importance of a Title Search When Buying Real Estate
Brazil: Restrictions for Foreigners When Buying Rural Properties
Brazil: Having a Child Abroad for US Citizens
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

By Mark Taylor
January 16th, 2009

It was back in April 2006 that I first reviewed satellite navigation software for Brazil: TomTom‘s entrance into the Brazilian satnav market, primarily because TomTom were offering one of the best core programs in terms of usability and interface. Things have not changed much in almost 2 years and TomTom are still arguably at the head of the pack, so I was happy to see around the middle of last year that TomTom released their dedicated devices with preloaded maps in Brazil. I was even happier to see in December that they released downloadable maps for Navigator, their PDA/mobile product which is the platform I prefer to use. Although I’m away from Brazil most of the year I did have a chance to visit São Paulo state in mid-December, so it was an ideal opportunity to try out the map.

For those who aren’t familiar with TomTom at all, it’s typical of most satnav programs in that it offers a 3D view while driving, spoken directions, 2D maps, and various other features, such as points of interest. Where TomTom tends to excel is that both the 3D view – which you spend most of your time using – and other features are a good balance of simple yet useful.

In practise the Brazil map was a similar experience to those I’ve used elsewhere. For the most part the map was accurate and informative. I already had some points of interest installed e.g. speed cameras, so I am unsure which actually came with the TomTom map (if anyone can advise on that I would be curious to know). A tip for those that use it, that Rua is shortened to R”, and Avenida is shortened to “Av”, although Alameda is still “Alameda”.

It wasn’t all gravy though. There were two major errors that would crop up repeatedly in São Paulo city:

1. Suggesting U-turns could be made, typically in avenues, when it was not actually possible or prohibited.

2. Suggesting left-hand turns, again typically onto avenues, when it was prohibited.

Both the above would be a pain for a relatively savvy driver who was used to Brazilian roads, but could lead to an accident in extreme circumstances for those who are not so savvy.

Ironically though while writing this review I received an email from TomTom that stated “na versão 8.15 2095, que foram baixados nas ltimas 6 semanas de 2008 podem apresentar erros de navegaão, em particular sugerindo de virar ou fazer curvas e retornos em lugares não permitidos.” (in version 8.15 2095, that was downloaded in the last 6 weeks of 2008, there were navigation errors, in particular that suggest you can turn or make U-turns in places that are not permitted). The instructions then stated to download the latest map in TomTom Home.

So hopefully TomTom have spotted the above problems and corrected most if not all of them, particularly due to their serious nature for drivers unfamiliar with Brazilian roads. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has the map update.

The only other problem I experienced seemed to be due to “map fidelity”, as when travelling to the countryside I purportedly came off the toll road, according to TomTom, and was driving in a neighbouring field. This happened for sufficiently long that it didn’t seem to be a satellite error, and more so a slight error in the location of the toll road. Not a showstopper, but again it might have proved confusing for an inexperienced driver.

Two caveats with the review:

1. I was only using TomTom in and around São Paulo city. I would certainly be interested to hear from others who use TomTom elsewhere in Brazil, as one of the useful features of TomTom is a fully integrated Brazil map, that doesn’t require map changes while driving across the country.

2. TomTom is not the only satnav product out there. Garmin is another manufacturer that I frequently see recommended, along with STI, and Airis, although I have not had a chance to try these. I am sure there are others, and it will pay to shop around. Again, if I can ask readers to let us know their experiences, either good or bad.

Readers comments:

Have a look into the following link, if you do not know it already.

http://www.tracksource.org.br

Recent forays into Uruguay and Argentina were also accomplished by the maps provided by another Peer user group in Argentina:

mark@www.gringoes.com.

Previous articles by Mark:

Around Brazil: Boiucanga
Brazil: São Paulo – The Forgotten City
Brazil: Mythbusting!
Brazil: Enough of the “Estrangeirismos”
Understanding Brazil: Sense of Humour
Brazil: The “Turistas” Storm in a Teacup
Understanding Brazil: Christmas and New Year’s Traditions
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 5
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 4
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 3
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 2
Brazil: An Interview with Marcia Loebick
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 2
Brazil: Google Maps Gets an Upgrade
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 1
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 1
Brazil: Daylight Savings Time
Brazil: Carjacking and Theft
Brazil: Airport Delays Grow Among Crash Speculation
Brazil: São Paulo’s International Film Festival (and The Fountain)
Brazil: Single Gringo Beware!
Brazil: The House of Coffee Comes Home
Brazil: Film Review
Brazil: The Portuguese Language Museum
Brazil: Election Time! Part 2
Brazil: Election Time! Part 1
Brazil: Torrent TV
Brazil: Book Review
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 2
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 1
The PCC Shows a New Level of Organisation
Brazil: Metr-ettiquette
Brazil: Trading Places
Brazil: São Paulo’s Pinacoteca
Brazil: Don’t Forget, You’re in Another Country!
Brazil: PCC Violence Returns to São Paulo
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 5
Brazil’s World Cup Defeat Party
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 4
Brazil: Japanese Standard Chosen for Digital TV
Brazil: NET Petition Feedback
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 3
Brazil: Football Love
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 2
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 1
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 3
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 2
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 1
GPS in Brazil
Brazil: PCC Attacks in São Paulo
Brazil: Tips on Buying or Renting an Apartment or House
Brazil: A Critical Sensitivity
Cleanliness is next to Brazilianiness
Brazil: Manners
Brazil: No Change, No Sale
Brazilian TV
Brazil: Ubatuba
Brazil: Professional Children
Brazil: We deliver… everything!
Brazil: Terrao Itlia
Brazil: A Layman’s Carnival Guide
Brazil: Portunglish or Engluguese?
Brazil: Feira Food
Brazil: Bilhete Unico flexibility increases
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: U2 Ticket Chaos
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: Termites
Brazil: Queues, Queues, Queues
Brazil: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!
Brazil… the Film That Is
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 Joe Lopes
January 16, 2009

No doubt Carnival was king” in Rio, as it has been throughout much of the nation’s cultural history. And nowhere is it pursued with more intensity than in the remotest regions of the North and Northeast, if in more modified forms than its notorious southern “exposure” would have us believe.

The joke among fellow Brazilians is that celebrants in the northern corridors liked to party it up early and often – a full month ahead of time, according to sources – and continue on for another month thereafter, well beyond Ash Wednesday, the traditional close of festivities and the beginning of the solemn period of reflection known as Lent.

That many nordestinos (baianos, paraibanos, or whatever regional slur tickles your fancy) unapologetically march to a different samba beat – without regard to what the rest of Brazil thinks, says or does – is basically a done deal. Still, they no more enjoy a night out on the town than folks in other parts of the country do, only more so.

Reflecting, if you will, on the relevance of the annual affair in the everyday lives of its citizens, the extravagant costume pageant has been at the forefront of people’s opinions about Brazil, both good and bad, for as long as it has been practiced there (although present during colonial times, it was only sanctioned as an official event in 1932).

It is worth remembering, then, that it was Carnival that drove an American filmmaker named Orson Welles – full of sound and fury, and itching to make cinematic history – to dizzying heights of distraction. At the same time, it provided the impetus for a Carioca-born poet, Vinicius de Moraes, to breathe new life into a dusty old fable, which, in turn, inspired a minor New-Wave director, Marcel Camus, to devote a major portion of his talents to a modern film adaptation of Vinicius’ classic theater piece.

Not to be left out of the running, filmmaker Carlos Diegues, along with superstar songwriter Caetano Veloso – both native Northeasterners of some renown – went a step further in their passion for the celebration with an updated re-filming of the Orpheus saga at Carnival time. To be certain, it was Diegues’ desire for setting the record straight that led him to retool the story to his personal taste and satisfaction.

Nevertheless, in the chapter “In the Land of Carnival,” author Joseph A. Page, whose work The Brazilians is a fascinating compilation of what it means to be Brazilian, effectively put into words what many of us have long felt about the earlier movie version and its elevation of the festival to near-Elysian status:

“The film Black Orpheus might have done more than anything else to bring the event to the attention of people everywhere and to assure its immortality.Camus demonstrates with powerful sensitivity how the illusion of Carnival takes over the lives of samba-school members.”

But there is more to Rio’s elaborate costume parade than meets the foreign eye. According to Professor Steven Wright, “The modern celebration of Carnival certainly has much in common with the ancient festivals of Dionysus [sic] in classical times.[or] Bacchus in the Roman period. Even if the lineage is not clear, the motives and outcomes of the festivals are the same: to celebrate life without the trappings of social norms.”

As an adjunct to this theory, he supports the position that Vinicius’ preference for the Greek myth of Orpheus was “well chosen in that it had symbolic significance in the personification of various aspects of Brazilian culture.such as the emphasis on music, eroticism, public intoxication, and irrational behavior.

“Those who have experienced Carnival in Brazil,” Dr. Wright added, “are very aware of these characteristics as the ancient Greeks would have been as well.”

It makes little difference how we personally feel about these so-called “classical implications” of Carnival, but there are times when we’re forced to accept the obvious at face value, this being one of those times.

Considering what it has done for the country’s reputation over time, no expense has been spared and no bauble overlooked, on the part of the multiple organizations and participants involved in its outcome, to make this yearly round of music and mirth the unforgettable experience it has become for viewers of all ages.

The Once and Future Song King

There are no existing records (at least, none that I am aware of) of Carnival taking over the lives of two of the most naturally gifted songwriting talents Brazil has ever had the good fortune to produce: composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes. Both hit the ground running with their very first collaboration, and hardly paused to draw breath thereinafter.

With the conclusion in October 1956 of their Orfeu da Conceião, both took on further challenges by immersing themselves in new work, the result of which led to an enviable (and nearly unbroken) string of song hits. “Between the years 1958 and 1965,” by writer Ruy Castro’s accounting, “Vinicius produced close to fifty titles with Tom [alone], forty with Baden Powell, and thirty with Ary Barroso, Moacyr Santos and others,” to include such promising newcomers as Carlos Lyra, Edu Lobo, Francis Hime and Toquinho.

Researcher Sergio Ximenes put the total for Tom at “over two hundred and fifty works, with twenty-nine albums recorded under his own name,” and as a guest artist or participant in approximately thirty-seven more.

Even more impressive, musicologist Jairo Severiano, in his Uma História da Msica Popular Brasileira, notes that, “In the period 1963-1994, Jobim composed a hundred some-odd pieces of music that, taking into account those he had completed earlier, reached two hundred and thirty recorded compositions. Besides sambas, sambas-canes, and other characteristic constructions.there were songs dedicated to ecological themes, expressed in his usual good-humored style and tinged with a degree of romanticism.”

Severiano cites such noteworthy examples as “guas de maro” (“The Waters of March”), “Chovendo na roseira” (“Double Rainbow”), “Matita per,” “Passarim,” Borzeguim,” “Chansong,” “Anos dourados” (“Looks Like December”), “Sabi,” “Retrato em branco e preto” (“Portrait in Black and White”), and those pretty little ditties with ladies in their titles (“Ana Luiza,” “Bebel,” “Lgia,” and “Luiza”).

The more songs the tunesmith turned out, it would appear, the more accomplished he became at it. The only thing that Jobim had failed at evolving was an appropriately thick skin to go with his compositional flair, something not even his most frequent working partner had bothered to grow over a lifetime of living large in the public eye.

According to the composer’s self-analysis, “timidity” is the word that best encompassed Tom’s reticent comportment around others. But be not deceived: he was no pushover when it came to defending his artistic turf, neither did he deem it necessary to berate the opposition in the same “demonstrative” mien The Little Poet loved to exhibit; audacity, intuition, curiosity, duality, obstinacy, unconventionality and universality were the other key attributes of Jobim’s personal makeup, and they undoubtedly showed.

Still lionized as “the most beautiful man in Brazil” (which he was), he had grown discomfited over reports in the national press of his becoming too Americanized – journalistic shorthand for “going native” – for his introduction of jazz and bebop elements into the corpus of his work. (In actuality, jazz owed more to bossa nova than bossa nova owed to jazz, but that made little difference to the nitpickers of his day.)

These were the same baseless accusations that dogged the career of the late Carmen Miranda in her prime, the kind that forced the popular entertainer to pull up stakes in her home country and go seek her fortune elsewhere (in the United States, to be exact). Now they were winding their insidious way into Jobim’s world as well. He was even accused at one point of adopting the American form of “Tom,” a nickname younger sister Helena had tagged him with as a boy, as proof of his outside aspirations.

For a man whose middle name happened to be Brasileiro (Portuguese for “Brazilian”), this was a savage blow indeed to his integrity and self-worth. Overcoming his well-documented reserve, Jobim felt he needed to prepare some sort of response to these charges while maintaining his vaunted coolness under fire, even in the face of mounting critical concerns.

His much-publicized 1970 interview with leftwing journalist and ex-politician Carlos Lacerda, for the Brazilian magazine Manchete (“the only serious piece that describes who I am,” Jobim announced to all), is a fair indication of how he conducted himself in hand-to-hand combat with the media. In it, Tom simply took on the same “e da?” (“what of it?”) attitude the good-natured Heitor Villa-Lobos once boasted of when confronted with a similar situation in the past:

“I am Brazilian, and I write Brazilian music not because of nationalism, but because I don’t know how to do any other kind. If I were to do jazz, I’d be an idiot, since any black musician from their Lapa [the poor bohemian district of Rio] could play better than I.”

– Antonio Carlos Jobim

That’s telling them, Tom! Lacerda gave the composer free reign to air his pent-up feelings and frustrations. Before the dust had time to settle, though, the wily reporter and would-be shrink had released the following notations about them:

“It seems to me that [Jobim’s] worries were not about criticism of his music. His songs get better over time. His critics, only worse. He’s accused of being Americanized? Nonsense. The Americans speak of French influences. The French know, after Black Orpheus, that he’s very much Brazilian. The most Brazilian there is, since Heitor Vila-Lbos [sic]. What he’s unable to hide is his musical education.”

In the decades that passed since this piece first appeared, many a “black musician from their Lapa” would unhesitatingly step up to pay tribute to Tom’s “musical education.”

In Antonio Carlos Jobim: Um Homem Illuminado (“An Enlightened Man”), an unusually intimate portrait of her dearly departed older sibling, novelist and poet Helena Jobim recalls what one of them, the reclusive pianist Thelonius Monk, had to say about Brazil’s lasting contribution to his particular brand of music making: “Bossa nova gave to New York’s intellectual jazz community what it lacked, that is, rhythm, balance, and a Latin heat.”

Tom was quite beside himself to hear how America had taken to the harmonically advanced chord progressions – from F major, F# major, F# major, G minor, back down again to F major – of his and Vinicius’ chartbusting single, “The Girl from Ipanema” from 1962, thanks ever so much to saxophone great Stan Getz, and the sensuous, come-hither sounds (speaking of Latin heat) of Astrud Gilberto.

Their recording came in at Number Five on the Billboard Top Pop charts of 1964, while reaching Number One on the Adult Contemporary scene. (It was kept under wraps for a few years before finally being released into a market dominated by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, and other formidable folks.)

For now, there was no jumping off the bossa nova bandwagon. On the contrary, Jobim was more anxious than ever to hold on for dear life and keep the mutual admiration society going. “More and more,” sister Helena observed, “Tom respected the U.S. as a country that received, with open arms and without prejudices, artists from all over. He felt himself a citizen of the world there.”

And with good reason. From 1963 until his death in December 1994 (in New York, of heart failure following surgery for bladder cancer – another uncanny reference to his hero Villa-Lobos), Jobim divided his time between the American East and West Coasts, and the southeastern tip of Brazil. While in the U.S., he recorded many of his most fondly remembered works (including two classic sessions with Sinatra) for Warner-Reprise as well as the strictly jazz label Verve. His two pet projects, “Matita per” (1973) and “Urubu” (1976), were roundly rejected in Rio but eventually picked up here by MCA and Warner, respectively.

Having gone their separate ways since the middle of the 1960s onward – the motive behind the amicable split being de Moraes’ need to share his poetic insights with other, lesser-known adherents – the once potent duo reunited as a quartet in September 1977 for a now-historic series of concerts.

Backed by Toquinho, Vinicius’ current touring partner, and Chico Buarque’s sister Micha (recently wed to the equally hermetic João Gilberto), the group played Rio’s Canecão nightclub for seven straight months, then took their show on the road to such places as São Paulo, London and Paris.

Ruy Castro recounts, in his fact-filled tome Ela Carioca: Uma Enciclopédia de Ipanema, one of the high points of their encounter: the nostalgic “Carta ao Tom 74,” succeeded by its parody “Carta do Tom” (“Letter from Tom”), in which the composer and his co-writer Chico bemoaned the loss of innocence once associated with Ipanema’s tranquil, middle-class neighborhood.

“Their music,” Castro informs us, “woke audiences up” to the shocking realization that “a marvelous world was about to pass on,” to be replaced by “another, more somber and alarming one.” He concluded his musings with a poignant reminder of what was still to come: “At the end of 1978, when the show finally closed due to the members’ mutual exhaustion, no one imagined that Vinicius had less than two years to live.”

To be continued…

Copyright 2008 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 JosmarLopes@msn.com.

To read previous articles by Joe Lopes click below:

Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 14
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 13
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 12
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 11
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 10
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 9
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 8
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 7
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 6
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 5
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 4
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 3
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 2
Brazil: “Tristeza Não Tem Fim” (“Sadness Has No End”) Part 1
Brecht, Weill & Buarque: The Brazilian Play’s the Thing! Part 3
Brazil: “Opera” in the Amazon – Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, or The Madness of Foreign Men Part 4
Brazil: “Opera” in the Amazon – Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, or The Madness of Foreign Men Part 3
Brazil: “Opera” in the Amazon – Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, or The Madness of Foreign Men Part 2
Brazil: “Opera” in the Amazon – Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, or The Madness of Foreign Men Part 1
The Brazilian Beat Goes On: My Own “Best-Of” List of Present-Day Bossa Nova Classics Part 5
The Brazilian Beat Goes On: My Own “Best-Of” List of Present-Day Bossa Nova Classics Part 4
The Brazilian Beat Goes On: My Own “Best-Of” List of Present-Day Bossa Nova Classics Part 3
The Brazilian Beat Goes On: My Own “Best-Of” List of Present-Day Bossa Nova Classics Part 2
The Brazilian Beat Goes On: My Own “Best-Of” List of Present-Day Bossa Nova Classics Part 1
Brazil: The “Italian” Composer from Campinas Part 4
Brazil: The “Italian” Composer from Campinas Part 3
Brazil: The “Italian” Composer from Campinas Part 2
Brazil: The “Italian” Composer from Campinas Part 1
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 6
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 5
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 4
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 3
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 2
Bringing People Together: Electronic Voyages to Brazil Part 1
Brecht, Weill & Buarque: The Brazilian Play’s the Thing! Part 2
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 John Fitzpatrick
January 16, 2009

When President Barack Obama assumes office on January 20 can we expect to hear him say the magic word Brazil”? I would not bet on it although he may refer to two or three of the other “Brics” – Russia, India and China. Presumably, he will follow his two predecessors – George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – and visit Brazil some day but it is hard to imagine this occurring during President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s last two years in office. That is unless a regional crisis arises which could easily happen depending on what occurs in Cuba after Fidel Castro’s death. In this case, we might see Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton – who referred to “our friends to the south” but lumped Brazil in with China, India, South Africa and Indonesia in her testimony to Congress on January 13 – in Brasilia a lot earlier than might be expected. Although Brazil and the US have differences in a number of areas, such as Cuba, their bilateral relationship is generally good. However, Cuba is key to any improvement in Washington’s relations with its Latin American neighbors. If Obama maintains the American ban on trade with Cuba he is missing a golden opportunity to improve the US’s image in Latin America and offset the anti-American rhetoric of its main ideological opponent in South America, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Obama would be advised to pay a lot of attention to Cuba. There is a realistic chance that Castro will die during Obama’s term of office and the new president will come under great domestic pressure to prevent the Communists maintaining their grip. Just as George W. Bush was determined to complete his father’s work and topple Saddam Hussein, a young Democrat like Obama might be tempted to try and finish John Kennedy’s failed attempt to overthrow Communism in America’s backyard.

An American invasion of Cuba seems out of the question but so does any idea that Washington will sit back and watch the transfer of power from one Communist despot to another. “Why are our soldiers fighting Moslem guerrillas in far-off Afghanistan who pose no immediate threat to the US while we let Communists maintain their control of an island only 70 miles off our coast?” will be a typical Republican response.

Should a crisis over Cuba flare up, then Brazil and Mexico would be the obvious mediators. Just as Obama should prepare for the change in Cuba so should Brazil by drawing up some out some strategies. However, there are no signs of this under the Lula administration which cozies up to Castro and treats him as some kind of romantic freedom fighter instead of the tyrant he is.

By changing its attitude, Brazil could even make some progress with the new administration in its dream of gaining a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. In its favor, Brazil can point to its successful command of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti since 2004. For the moment, the US will continue to praise Brazil for assuming this burden but, in turn, will expect the Brazilians to take on much more responsibility before even considering the request for a permanent place on the Security Council.

Deadlock Over Trade
Trade has been the main source of disagreement between Brazil and the Bush administration. The idea of a free trade zone of all the Americas, of which much was spoken four or five years ago, has been quietly ditched by both sides. Bush and Lula did little to hide their lack of interest and there was never any chance of this idealistic common market stretching from Alaska to Patagonia coming into being. The chances of any improvement under a more protectionist Democrat president like Obama are remote. The Brazilians will continue to call for an end to US tariffs on imports of orange juice, steel, ethanol etc and the Americans will continue to call for Brazil to open its markets further and tighten up on intellectual property rights etc. The chief US trade negotiator – embodied for a number of years in the figure of the current World Bank chairman, Robert Zoellick – will remain the bogeyman Brazilians love to hate.

One area which looks like failing to live up to its earlier promise is ethanol, at least in the short term. Remember when George Bush came to Brazil in March 2007 and talked up the prospects for ethanol as a renewable fuel and how the two countries would cooperate on developing it? Well those days have gone. Ethanol produced from sugar cane in Brazil may be cheaper than the US type produced from corn but the Americans are not going to let the Brazilians flood their market with it. At the same time, the sugar alcohol sector in Brazil is being hit by the financial crisis which has dried up credit and put expansion projects on hold. The former Brazilian agricultural minister, Robert Rodrigues, said in a recent interview with the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper that it would take at least a year before ethanol became a global commodity, a forecast which seems optimistic to say the least.

The current financial crisis in the US will affect millions of Brazilians whose jobs depend on trade or who live as immigrants in the US. The US is still Brazil’s main trading partner and there are an estimated 1.3 million Brazilians living in the US, many illegally. As the American economy worsens, many of these immigrants will return home and compete with their compatriots on the local job market. Radio station WLRN recently reported that up to 10,000 immigrants in Boston were expected to return home in the near future and that Brazilian strongholds in New Jersey and South Florida were seeing a similar exodus.

Military Might
In the military sphere, Brazil’s nationalists of the left and right will continue to be hostile to the US and ready to be offended at any slight, real or imaginary. The loonier fringe will continue to believe that the US wants to annex the Amazon and is setting up bases in other countries to do so.

Washington’s decision in July 2008 to restore the US Fourth Naval Fleet for Latin America and the Caribbean for the first time since 1950 confirmed the views of these people. The Globo newspaper quoted Lula as saying in September that he was “concerned” over this move and the presence of foreign vessels near Brazil’s offshore oil deposits and had spoken to President Bush about it. Neutral observers believe this development has more to do with the US fear of the rise of China and poses little threat to Latin America.

Brazil’s strategic affairs minister, Mangabeira Unger, met members of Obama’s transition team in the first week of January and reports say he rejected any possibility of the Brazilian armed forces becoming involved in anti-drug trafficking activities in South America and the Caribbean. Lula is said to have authorized the meeting which also covered education and biofuels.

Unger – who incidentally taught Obama law at Harvard – was quoted as saying that the US should not insist in selling fighter planes and other weapons to Brazil but make cooperation agreements in the defense area. This is wishful thinking as the Americans will not share this kind of top secret technology. Brazil’s response to the American refusal was to sign contracts worth US$ 12 billion in December 2008 to buy 50 military transport helicopters and five submarines from its old European “ally”, France.

Despite this, relations between the armed forces of Brazil and the US are good. Brazilian, Argentinean and American vessels took part in joint maneuvers in the south Atlantic in April and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington paid a courtesy call to Rio de Janeiro shortly afterwards. This vessel was the object of awe in the local media and highlighted the difference between the US and Brazilian forces. It is no exaggeration to say that this ship alone probably had more firepower than the whole of Brazil’s armed forces put together. It cost US$4. 5 billion to build, weighs almost 100,000 tons, is as high as a 24-storey building, carries 80 combat aircraft and 6,250 crew and can travel three million miles without needing to be refueled.

In conclusion, Obama should use the fact that virtually everyone in Brazil will be glad to see the back of Bush and make efforts to win Brazilians over. He has one great personal advantage in the fact that he will be the first “mulatto” President. This puts him in the same position as about half the Brazilian population which is of mixed race.

John Fitzpatrick 2008

John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish writer and consultant with long experience of Brazil. He is based in São Paulo and runs his own company Celtic Comunicaes. This article originally appeared on his site http://www.brazilpoliticalcomment.com.br. He can be contacted at jf@celt.com.br.

Previous articles by John Fitzpatrick on www.gringoes.com:

Brazil 2009 – The Year of Living Dangerously
Brazil: São Paulo Mayoral Election – a Foretaste of the Presidential Race?
Looking for Brazil’s Moon Under Water
Brazil’s Lula Finally Stops Playing the Blame Game
Brazil: Coming Up – Serra versus Dilma?
Brazil Becomes Middle Class but Not Bourgeois
Where is Brazil’s Barack Obama?
Brazil: Lula Loses Some of His Moral Luster
Lost Your Job on Wall Street? Head for Brazil!
Brazil: Lula Loves Investment Grade – Whatever That Is
There’s No Business Like Oil Business – in Brazil Anyway
Benefits of Brazil’s Growth Start to Spread
Let Brazilians Sort Out the Problems of the Amazon
Brazil’s Politicians Set to Cash in on Oil and Gas Discoveries
Brazil: Lula Learns the Lesson of Not Planning Ahead
Cops and Robbers Brazilian Style
Brazil: Oscar Freire – São Paulo’s Street of Dreams
Brazil: Lula Called to Account on Tax
Will Lula Leave Brazil in Safe or Unsafe Hands?
Senate Spits in the Face of the Brazilian People
The Lord Mayor Goes Zapping the NYSE in Brazil
Brazil: Economic Boom – Political Gloom
Around Brazil: Natal – Sun, Sand Dunes and Solitude or Hassle, Hustlers and Hookers
ACM – Brazil Will Never See His Like Again
Brazilians Let Politicians Treat Them as Doormats
Senate Chairman Upholds Tradition of Treating Brazil with Contempt
Brits Turn Their Backs on Brazil
Look Out for the New BBC – the Brazilian Broadcasting Corporation
Navel Gazing in Brasilia – Largesse in São Paulo
Brazil’s Politicians Share the Spoils
Cida – A Brazilian Entrepreneur
Ten Top Brazilian Songs to Download on Your iPod
Lula Lets Brazilians Down by Failing to Exercise His Authority
Brazil: Laid Back Lula Finally Gets His Team (Almost) Together
The George W. Bush PR Show Comes to Brazil
Briefing Bush on Brazil the CIA Way
US Authorities Tackle Brazil’s White Collar Criminals
Brazil’s Opposition Parties Try to End Disarray
Lula Faces Arm-Wrestling Contest with New Congress
Brazil Waits for Lula to Return from Holiday
Around Brazil: Santana de Parnaiba
Brazilians Start to Stand Up for Their Rights
Darfur – Brazil’s African Side Show
Economics and Politics in Brazil – a Tangled Web
Brazil’s Strange Idea of Democracy
Brazil: John Pizzarelli – the Boy from Ipanema
Brazil’s Stock Market: the Path to Riches or Rags?
Brazil: Lula Unlikely to Change Course after His Massive Victory
Brazil: Privatization – Lula and Alckmin Defend the Indefensible
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 2
Brazil: Many Emigrants, Fewer Immigrants Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin Hits Lula but Lands No Killer Blow
Brazil: Lula Pays the Penalty for Complacency
Brazil: Does Lula Deserve to Win?
Brazil: Cardoso Writes a Poison Pen Letter
Monte Verde – Brazil’s Green Mountain
Brazil’s Gross Disappointing Product
Brazil’s Election – Alckmin Hands Lula Victory on a Plate
Lula Hits Back at Congress
Brazil’s Presidential Election May Not be a Walkover for Lula
Pity the Brazilian Voter
Brazil’s Fainthearts Let the Nation Down
Now is the Winter of Brazil’s Discontent
World Cup brings Out the Best and Worst in Brazil
Brazil’s Big Spender
Brazil: The Dogs of War are Unleashed in São Paulo
Brazil: Self-Righteous Indignation Marks Bolivian Nationalization
Brazil: Lula Still Vulnerable
Brazil: The PSDB Takes the Hard Road
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 3
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 2
Fooling Around with Brazilian Politics and History Part 1
Brazil: Alckmin the Hare Takes on Serra the Tortoise
Patronizing Brazilians the Politically Correct Way
Brazil: Election Gives Voters Chance to Clean Up Congress
Brazil: João Pessoa – a Victim of its Own Success
No Consistency in Brazil’s Foreign Policy
Brazil: Sitting in the Shadow of Sarney and Magalhes
Brazil: Gentrification Creeps Up On São Paulo
Dirt Flies as Brazilian Parties Aim for Presidency
Brazilians Vote for Guns and Death Not Peace and Love
Brazil’s Gun Lobby Launches Hysterical Campaign Against Arms Ban
Jews and Arabs Find Success in Brazil
Brazil’s Politicians Start Looking Ahead to Next Year
Brazil: Lula Down but Certainly Not Out
Brazil’s Congress Struggles to Cope with Ongoing Crisis
Brazil: Scandal Threatens Presidential Mandate System
Brazil: If Lula is to Survive He Needs to Change His Tactics
Brazil: Many Parties – Few Ideas
Brazil Through Foreign Eyes
Helping the Helpless in Brazil
Pinheiros – São Paulo’s Best District
Growing Old (Dis)gracefully in Brazil
Canudos, Still With Us 100 Years Later
The Rise of the Brazilian Empire
Brazil and Portugal – The Samba and the Fado
Brazil – Just A State Of Mind
Brazil: For Lula, is Ignorance Bliss?
Brazil: Pay Day – or Pay Dirt?

By Mark Taylor
I’ve often heard it said that when you understand the sense of humour of a nation, then you understand it completely, as if it were the final piece in a puzzle. So with that thought in mind, is it possible to understand the Brazilian sense of humour? What forms of comedy do Brazilians enjoy? What programmes do Brazilians like? Is the Brazilian sense of humour any different from elsewhere?

It was as an English teacher several years ago that I first had these thoughts in mind. I was attending a pre-semester meeting at the school I worked at. All the teachers were gathered around the table, and I was the only non-Brazilian and native English speaker there. One of the teachers was criticising a book used to teach advanced English: The content isn’t particularly great”, she said, “even the jokes are rubbish, listen…”, and she thumbed to a page of the book and read. “What do you call an elephant with a machine gun?… Sir.” It was at this point that I burst out laughing. It wasn’t just the joke though, it was the rather surreal setting and the surprise. The co-ordinator beamed and said “well, it made Mark laugh, so I think the book’s OK.”

I was more fascinated by the reaction to the joke than the joke itself. Why was it that nobody else found it funny, did they simply not get it, or was it something deeper. We spent a few minutes discussing the joke, and explained the sense of “sir”, which most teachers didn’t quite understand. Even so, the joke simply wasn’t funny to the others even when translated to Portuguese.

When out with my wife’s family and friends the topic of conversation frequently turns to telling jokes, and I often wheel out the elephant joke to test their reaction, albeit translated to Portuguese: Como voce chama um elefante com uma metralhadora?… Senhor. Without fail the joke doesn’t get any laughs, but then I tell the story of the joke, which does get some laughs (also I finish the story off with the one and only Portuguese joke I can remember: “O que um peixe faz?… Nada”, particularly if folks aren’t that amused by the story).

In terms of other comedy, what is it that Brazilians enjoy? Of some interest is imported TV and film, which gives a clue that there is some overlap between Brazilians, and at least some of the rest of the world. I was bemused to discover that my mother-in-law, and many other Brazilians, love Mr. Bean (or “Meester Bin” as she calls him). For those who haven’t seen him, Mr. Bean is a childlike but adult character played by the British comedian Rowan Atkinson. The character gets into all sorts of odd situations, mostly self inflicted e.g. trying to use a paint can and a stick of dynamite to paint his living room. One advantage with Mr. Bean is that more or less there is no talking, as the comedy relies on visual situations. But here is one clue, that Brazilians seem to enjoy this style of slapstick comedy. This is reinforced by the extremely famous Brazilian comic, Didi, who relies on a lot of slapstick in his performances. From what I’ve seen of his films and shows I’m reminded a lot of another famous British slapstick comedian, Benny Hill.

One of the sharpest and funniest comedy programmes made for Brazilian TV is Casseta & Planeta. This features a core of comedians, who write general sketches, as well as sketches centred around current affairs. Not so different from programmes that are seen in North America and Europe. Casseta & Planeta relies on comedic forms like satire, particularly for its political comment. Whereas the other sketches rely on a mix of slapstick again, as well as anarchic and alternative styles. The Portuguese language often comes into play, where words are taken and modified to give some amusing meaning. This is something that’s particularly easy to do with Portuguese, and not so easy or often seen with English. An example that springs to mind is that of a sketch which centred around the word “cofrinho”. The word “cofre” means safe, in the sense of somewhere you lock away money and jewels. But the meaning had been perverted to refer to the cleft of someone’s buttocks, that can often appear when you need a belt for your trousers (so called “builder’s bum” in the UK). The idea was that you could keep things safe in your little cofrinho. I’m not doing a great job of explaining this in an amusing way. It would be much better to watch the sketch.

So these are some examples, but are there any overall conclusions to be made about understanding the Brazilian sense of humour? Well for starters slapstick is in. Other styles like anarchic, albeit close to slapstick, and parody are also popular, the latter particularly with politicians. What don’t tend to be as popular though are styles such as stand-up and improvisational. I’ve yet to see a stand-up comic on Brazilian TV, or some equivalent of the Comedy Club in São Paulo city at least. Ultimately though the devil is in the detail, and there are still situations and circumstances that Brazilians may not find funny. I certainly recommend avoiding anything involving elephants with machine guns.

What are your views on Brazilian comedy, do you think it’s markedly different from the rest of the world, or much the same? What are your favourite Brazilian comedians and programmes, or do you just have a good joke in Portuguese to tell us?

Readers Comments:

I really enjoyed reading your article, and generally agree with your observations. I think the Brazilians do have a good sense of humour, though sometimes it is seems a bit formula-like. What causes a lot of laughter is usually similar comedic contexts, situations… whether this be over a few beers laughing at the footballing antics of your fellow “pelada” friends or “A Grande Famlia” on the TV. Humour which is more, how can I put it, of the individualistic, bluff, or subtle variety (“stand-up” would fit here) such as sarcasm often fails to hit the mark. At least that is my experience! Humour is a significant part of that whole cultural dis-location which is part of many people’s experience of living abroad. I find I am sometimes quite misunderstood by a failure on my own part to modify my “style/humour”… e.g. people think I am being serious when I am joking (albeit, possibly in an acute/cynical/sarcastic way!) However, this “style” is, I guess, a part of my (more British?) personality… and hence humour is at the core of the quest of integration into another culture and understamding of it.

Well, my favourites are “A Grande Famlia” (though everyone seems to give me the impression it used to be better. Another friend cruelly says I only enjoy it because I can understand it, and in fact he makes an important point, it is very gratifying that I am now able to get a great insight into Brazilian culture through humour as locals enjoy it), and “Sob Nova Direão”, both on Globo.

Sorry I cant do jokes.

— Philip

Great Article. You have put into words what I have always felt about Brazilian humor. Their humor is much more physical than ours (in the USA) and they play on words quite a bit as you mentioned.

P.S. What did the elephants say when they saw Tarzan coming through the jungle? Nothing. They didn’t recognize him. He was wearing sunglasses!

— Hank

You are so right in your article! l’m a Brazilian living in London for the past 10 years. Married to an English guy with a very sharp sense of humour. This is where I learned the English sense of humour, which l’m very proud to have achieved.

Been back to Brazil to visit my family a couple of times, the English humour didn’t work. My mum thought I was serious, even with a smile on my face as a clue, and only ended up in tears trying to explain it was a joke!!

Anyway, love your article and good luck in Brazil.

— Lucy

If you have a comment on Mark’s article or would simply like to contact him then email mark@www.gringoes.com.

Previous articles by Mark:

Brazil: The “Turistas” Storm in a Teacup
Understanding Brazil: Christmas and New Year’s Traditions
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 5
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 4
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 3
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 2
Brazil: An Interview with Marcia Loebick
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 2
Brazil: Google Maps Gets an Upgrade
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 1
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 1
Brazil: Daylight Savings Time
Brazil: Carjacking and Theft
Brazil: Airport Delays Grow Among Crash Speculation
Brazil: São Paulo’s International Film Festival (and The Fountain)
Brazil: Single Gringo Beware!
Brazil: The House of Coffee Comes Home
Brazil: Film Review
Brazil: The Portuguese Language Museum
Brazil: Election Time! Part 2
Brazil: Election Time! Part 1
Brazil: Torrent TV
Brazil: Book Review
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 2
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 1
The PCC Shows a New Level of Organisation
Brazil: Metr-ettiquette
Brazil: Trading Places
Brazil: São Paulo’s Pinacoteca
Brazil: Don’t Forget, You’re in Another Country!
Brazil: PCC Violence Returns to São Paulo
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 5
Brazil’s World Cup Defeat Party
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 4
Brazil: Japanese Standard Chosen for Digital TV
Brazil: NET Petition Feedback
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 3
Brazil: Football Love
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 2
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 1
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 3
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 2
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 1
GPS in Brazil
Brazil: PCC Attacks in São Paulo
Brazil: Tips on Buying or Renting an Apartment or House
Brazil: A Critical Sensitivity
Cleanliness is next to Brazilianiness
Brazil: Manners
Brazil: No Change, No Sale
Brazilian TV
Brazil: Ubatuba
Brazil: Professional Children
Brazil: We deliver… everything!
Brazil: Terrao Itlia
Brazil: A Layman’s Carnival Guide
Brazil: Portunglish or Engluguese?
Brazil: Feira Food
Brazil: Bilhete Unico flexibility increases
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: U2 Ticket Chaos
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: Termites
Brazil: Queues, Queues, Queues
Brazil: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!
Brazil… the Film That Is
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