October 22, 2013

Meet Vitor Salas who first visited Brazil over 10 years ago, and now runs his own business here. Read the following interview in which Vitor 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 am a Portuguese National, but I left Portugal in 1974, and lived abroad, in the UK, USA, Saudi Arabia etc. I arrived in Brazil in 2000. I am an ex-executive of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and other International Hotel Companies. In 2010, I set up my own Company, Kan Invesments Lda, Hotelaria, Consultoria e Turismo, and I provide services of Consulting Services for Hotel & Tourism Servio, in Rio Grande do Norte, Natal. In addition, with my wife Alexandra we have opened a deluxe Small Pousada, South of Natal, in Pirangi do Norte beach.

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

I came to Brazil, with an International Hotel Company to set up hotel operations, in Natal, Salvador da Bahia, So Luis do Maranho.

3. What were you first impressions of Brazil?

Great scenery, clear air, good tropical weather, the colour of the Sea in Natal, the White dunes, the buggy tours on the beach & dunes… And the tranquility of life, of a Northeast Brazilian City.

4. What do you miss most about home?

Some food & ingredients… and in business… punctuality!

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

Even if I do speak Portuguese sometimes I do not understand Brazilians and they do not understand me! There are many different expressions, and Portuguese people do speak faster.

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

The first buggy” rides in the White dunes and lagoons in Natal, a 4×4 Trip Natal to Fortaleza via the beaches, the first caipririnhas in BAR 51, in Jenipabu Dune, walking at Lenis Maranheneses, Morro de São Paulo, Bahia, and seeing Rio from Cristo Redentor… outstanding experiences!

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

All the above , plus others places to visit like Amaznia, Foz de Iguau…

To be able to live more in contact with nature, a quieter way of life in the northeast of Brazil. I could not live in São Paulo, and Rio although a truly wonderful city to visit… to live in a city I would prefer Europe!

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

In Natal “Camares”, in São Paulo “Fogo de Cho”, and Rio “Marius”.

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

Again about the languages : the other day, I asked one of my staff in Portuguese, “Leandro did buy the White grapes from the market?”, “No Sr Victor they only have green ones!”.

The other day in a hotel I tried to test the staff’s skill in English. Arriving at the bar I said to the barman, “Good evening Jonatas, two beers please”. He replied, “Sorry sir, Tobias is off today.”

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

The language and in the northeast the lack of sense of urgency!

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?

My Portuguese is fine, but Brazilian pronunciation is a different matter. I have to pay attention as some words in Portuguese have a different meaning in Brazilian! For example girl in European Portuguese is “rapariga”, but in Brazilian Portuguese means “prostitute”. Girl in Brazilian Portuguese is “moa”. You see sometimes it is better do not speak the language of the natives!

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

Enjoy the Country the way it is, with its good things. Do not try to change much, you might get frustrated. Be very patient in business with deadlines.

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

Avoid the traffic jams if you can, but it might be impossible, and enjoy the great restaurants. In business double check everything you can. Brazilians will often tell you that everything is possible, that you can do this way or that way… but beware.

You can contact Vitor via vitor.salas@hotmail.com or administrao@kanapousadadecharme.com.br.

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:

Joseph Low – USA
Joo Ferreira – Portugal
Hunter Peak – USA
Priya Ferreira – UK
Ryan Griffin – USA
Rami Alhames – Syria
Maya Bell – New Zealand
Melanie Mitrano – USA
Rob McDonell – Australia
Jennifer Souza – USA
Scott Hudson – Australia
Bill Holloway – USA
Elaine Vieira – South Africa
Pieter Kommerij – Netherlands
Rich Sallade – USA
Robyn and Willem Van Der Merwe – South Africa
Michael Smyth – UK
Danielle Carner – USA
Chris Caballero – USA
Jaya Green – USA
Wiliam Stewart – USA
Andrew Dreffen – Australia
Meredith Noll – USA
Marcus Lockwood – New Zealand
Mike Smith – UK
Jonathan Russell – USA
Jan Hillen – Belgium
Jeff Eddington – USA
Arne Rasmussen – Denmark
Rod Saunders – USA
Don Fenstermaker – USA
Ken Van Zyl – South Africa
Angus Graham – UK
Anne Morddel – USA
Jessica Mullins – Switzerland
Evan Soroka – USA
Mary de Camargo – USA
Brendan Fryer – UK
Aaron Sundquist – USA
Jay Bauman – USA
Alan Williams – USA
Derek Booth – UK
Jim Shattuck – USA
Ruby Souza – Hawaii
Stephan Hughes – Trinidad and Tobago
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 Jose Santiago
October 22, 2013

First of all, it is not an easy task to open nor to maintain a business in Brazil. There are several types of obligations one must obey before considering having a corporation in Brazil.

There are also several types of corporations and they vary, mostly, according to the scope (objective) of your business and some other factors. For en example, an individual can open a single owned business such as an ME which stands for Micro Empresa (this type does not qualify for an investment visa) and/or open Limitada or Ltda. (import and export – for example), which limits your personal liability to the amount invested in the company (such as the American LLCs – Limited Liability Companies). For the sake of this article, we will only consider this type of corporation.

According to the current laws in Brazil and contrary to popular belief, it is always mandatory to have an attorney sign off the articles of incorporation and also any amendment done afterwards. Although some accountants may offer these services themselves (through an in-house lawyer), simply ask to see the corporate documents and you will always see an attorney’s signature on it.

Here is what is needed in order to open one:

a) Documents (partners/owners):

– Limitadas require at least 2 quota holders (owners) which could be 2 individuals or 2 corporations or a combination of these two, either foreign nationals or Brazilians, it does not matter.
– In case of foreign individuals, each share holders/owners will we need the following documents:

1. Five legalized copies of passport (copies must be legalized by Brazilian Consulates abroad or at local cartorio” in Brazil)
2. Brazilian CPF number(s) for of all shareholder(s).

b) Address:

– Corporations must have an address in Brazil. Depending on the type of products that corporation will deal with, (import and export corporation) the government may require a minimum square footage for the address or a third party warehouse rental contract. Legalized copies of property tax bill and/or rental contract may be required.

c) Other Legal Requirements:

– By Law, all Brazilian corporations/companies must have a local administrator simply known as Administrador. This person must be a Brazilian citizen or at least a legal resident in Brazil (if foreign national). This person shall be responsible for the corporation’s activities before all of the different governmental authorities.

With all of these documents and information in hands, you can then seek legal help in order to open your corporation in Brazil, which, in São Paulo, can take up to 10 weeks.

Jose C. Santiago
Licensed & Certified Title Attorney – Brazil
Paralegal & Licensed Real Estate Agent – USA

DISCLOSURE: All information herein given is merely for elucidative purposes. It reflects current legislation, which can be modified in the future. In case of questions regarding a particular case/issue, always consult with your own attorney.

Previous articles by Jose:
Getting Permanent Residency in Brazil Through an NGO
Bank Accounts For Foreigners Without Legal Residency in Brazil
Brazil: New Changes to the Investment Visas
Brazil: The New Real Estate Rental Law
Brazil: The 2010 Income Tax Return Rule Changes
How to Get Divorced in Brazil
Brazil: Advantages and Disadvantages of Importing a Vehicle to Brazil
Changes to Investment Visa Law
How Foreign Individuals Can Invest in the Brazilian Stock Market
Non-Resident Bank Accounts for Foreigners in Brazil
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 (Usucapio) – 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 Ann Aubrey Hanson
October 22, 2013

A recent walk with the pups made me realize (again) that the isolation bubble that engulfed me when we moved here is shrinking. Initially, I walked along the sidewalk completely unable to understand anything around me, whether talking or signage. And I walked alone, unacquainted with another soul on the street.

Not so anymore.

On today’s walk, we had no sooner exited the man cage and greeted our porteiros than one of our neighbors greeted me, Bonjour! Como a va?” (For some reason, she thinks I’m French.) “a va bien, et vouz?” “a va. Au revoir.” “Au revoir.” I smiled and turned up the hill, realizing that the porteiros probably wondered what the heck we were speaking, given that I’m American. (In my mind, I began reciting dialogue from the Dr. Seuss book Go, Dog, Go: Hello. Hello. Do you like my hat? I do not. Good-by. Good-by.)

As I passed the magazine stand, the Barao Banca, I smiled at the woman who runs it, whom I see twice a day at least. We actually greeted each other verbally today, since she had no cigarette dangling from her mouth.

Up the street, I nodded to gentlemen who were holding down the concrete at one of the local lanchonettes, beers in hand and cigs alight. They still intimidate me, but at least I get a smile and a nod in return.

Just past those gentlemen, I passed two empregadas from our building. We’ve seen each other enough that they smile and I smile in greeting. Connection established.

Approaching the Mambo supermarket, I nodded at the van of policeman who have taken up residence along the road during the day and evening. I recognized two of them, and they nodded and whistled at the pups (who, rudely, were whizzing on the lawn near them).

Around the corner, the dogs saw one of their favorite friends, a fellow who lives on the street and sells Halls cough drops in front of the store during the day. The pups pulled at the leash to go greet him, jumping up and kissing him as he made over them. We greeted each other, and I asked his permission to give him a beaded bracelet with God’s-eye beads on it. He gave me permission (very formal, the two of us), and I said it was from the girls and me. He put it on immediately, with obvious delight. (What the people at the bus stop or stopped in traffic next to us thought of this exchange, I’d love to know.) Tomorrow, I’ll tell him my name and ask his. Then, we’ll be set.

As short way past him, we encountered a man sitting on the sidewalk selling homemade honey. I stopped and asked what it was: thought it was honey, but could have been whiskey, judging by the color. Honey, at only R$7 for a small, Coke-size bottle, or R$15 for a larger fifth of liquor-size bottle. He turned the bottle upside down so I could see the bubble float lazily to the top. Yum! I told him I had no money, but would try to buy some tomorrow, said tchau, and then turned on my way.

As I walked, I heard an older voice say in Portuguese, “She is speaking Portuguese now,” and his wife (I assume), saying, “Yes, she does now.” I didn’t turn to see who was speaking, but I understood, and they were talking about me!

En route back to the apartment, we encountered four dogs and owners who also stroll these streets. Two of the dogs are friendly, and two (small little ragbags) threaten to rip my girls apart. My girls just wag their tails and greet each of them and walk on. They, too, are getting to know the neighbors.

As we came into the complex, we greeted Simone, one of the building staff, in English. “Oi, Simone, how are you?” “Fine. And how are you?” (That’s as far as we’ve gotten in her passing-in-the-elevator lessons.)

So, not so isolated. Still a bit, but that will change as I improve my Portuguese skills, and as I continue to interact with the world around me. It was a pretty darn good walk!

You can read Ann’s blog at www.tossoffbowlines.com.

Previous articles by Ann Aubrey Hanson:

Brazilian Friends Are Vital

October 22, 2013

All royalties/proceeds of the Never Lonely Planet will be donated to ECPAT International”, a global network of organizations working to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children world wide. For more information please visit www.ecpat.net.

Travel writing is quite easy to classify. If it’s instructive and descriptive, then you have guidebooks and it can be easily argued that there’s no better-known series of established guidebooks than Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel guidebook publisher. If the book is descriptive and evocative, then you get the travel book, such as Colin Thubron’s To a Mountain in Tibet, which deals with the writer’s journey to Mount Kailas, one of Tibet’s sacred mountains.

If the writing is both evocative and enchanting, but also has a story too, then you’ve reached the realms of travel literature, and Pico Iyer’s recent The Man Within My Head or most of Paul Theroux’s non-fiction work make perfect examples. If it is instructive and there’s a narrator detailing personal views, then you’ve got the travel journal, of which numerous examples can be found online. People with a love for traveling have succeeded in financing their wanderlust by keeping an online travel journal, building along the way a large audience via their blogs and social media platforms.

However, it has to be noted that not all travel writing is a clear-cut affair and, these days, beginning writers tend to mix everything up in their presentation style. This kind of book usually starts as a mini-autobiography and, as the writer-traveler experiences new things, the text changes focus and it eventually reads as a mixture of guidebook, travel book and journal. It is obvious that what drives the authors to write such books is their love for travelling and a certain affinity with words. On most occasions, such works were at first merely intended to keep a personal record of the experiences the author has had in this or that location. But after a few pages had turned into a few thousand words and then reached the length of a full-fledged book, the writer-traveler then becomes an author.

A very good example of an instructive, descriptive, evocative autobiography with a personal story to tell is The Never Lonely Planet (Book Guild Publishing, 2012) by Dubai-based British travel writer Martin R. Oliver. Actually, even the title of the book, a play on words on the highly respected Lonely Planet brand, suggests the kind of reading experience Martin’s book would give to its readers: a personal cross-cultural journey around the world.

Born in the English city of Coventry, Martin entered the workforce just before his fifteenth birthday. Since Coventry was the “Detroit of England” and was at its zenith in the mid-sixties when the author started learning his trade from his seniors, there were very high chances that every lad born there would end up working in a car factory. But young Martin Oliver seemed to want nothing of that, so he immigrated to Brazil, where “beautiful women, exotic beaches, tropical weather and a carnival atmosphere” enticed his adventurous spirit.

The Never Lonely Planet dedicates one chapter to each city or country Martin has visited or has worked in. Therefore, we follow the ups-and-downs of his Brazilian life in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Aracaju, and Salvador where he started working in the oil industry, eventually becoming a skilled marine engineer. If one would have to guess the location where Martin solidified his life philosophy which he declared in the Foreword to his book – “every exit leads to an entry” – then Brazil would be a very good guess. Even the cover of the book, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer welcoming sea travelers on top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, is a good indicator of how much Brazil means to the author.

From meeting his future wife and mother of his children to learning a new trade that would make him a successful person, Brazil offered Martin the promise land he had hoped for when he had left England in the late s. However, like everyone who’s caught the travel bug, Martin started “touring” the Middle East where the need for skilled engineers in a booming oil industry secured the author lucrative contracts in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Now, based in Dubai, Martin has the financial security to keep on living his childhood dream, jumping from one plane to the other, visiting the world at large.

Half of The Never Lonely Planet is dedicated to the author’s travels in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, where, in the late s and the early years of the 21st century, nature was still largely unspoiled by tourist developments. His travels to Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam have left on him a profound love for that part of the world and a deep feeling of respect for its inhabitants.

Although at times the book reads similar to a social studies textbook, with far more details than necessary about the geography and the history of each locale Martin has visited, the bits and pieces of personal reflections definitely make the reading humorous and very worthwhile. The writer-traveler discovers and experiences new cultures like any “good traveler” who “has no fixed plans and does not care when he arrives.”

Touring Southeast Asia, the golden stupas and Buddhist statues of Burma impressed Martin the most, while his trip to Cambodia was a grim reminder of Pol Pot’s brutal regime in the Khmer Rouge during the mid-to-late 1970s. Thailand was mostly enjoyed through the Thai beaches, bars, good food, and golf and once he had crossed the Mekong River, Martin experienced the laid-back lifestyle of the local Laotian population. The journey to Vietnam involved dodging enormous rats and making sure no dog-as-food was served at his table, whilst a short business trip to China resulted in an unfortunate communication nightmare.

The various chapters making up The Never Lonely Planet were most likely written soon after Martin’s return from his travels, so the book doesn’t have a central theme for the readers to follow and, at several points, it even loses its rhythm with off topic details. It has been decades since some of the journal entries were written and, although things have changed in the meantime, Martin chose not to alter his text and update it to the current state of affairs. Instead, he added short, news-like pieces at the end of some chapters, further fragmenting the reading experience but bringing the book in line with the latest historical, political and economical developments of his former destinations.

Staying true to history, in The Never Lonely Planet, Martin R. Oliver doesn’t waste any chance at slamming down on America’s “habit” to police the world. From the ruthless bombings of Laos and Vietnam during the Vietnam War in the s to the USA’s intervention in Iraq during the 1990s and early 2000’s, Martin has very strong words for any outsider’s intervention that infringes on the human rights of the local population.

However, it is also important to note that his stance against the oppression of the weak is more than just words on paper. The author is going to donate all the proceeds from sales of his book to ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking), an NGO headquartered in Thailand that works towards ending child prostitution, child pornography, and child trafficking for sexual purposes. So, by purchasing The Never Lonely Planet by Martin R. Oliver, not only will you enjoy the author’s autobiographical travel journal, but you will also make a personal contribution to the betterment of unfortunate children exploited for sexual reasons.

“Go check out the world.” Martin encourages his readers in the last paragraph of the book. “You may find that it really is the never lonely planet.”

The book is available as a paperback in Thailand at Kinokunia and AsiaBooks locations, by mail order via Amazon.co.uk, and through various third party booksellers on Amazon.com.

Initially published in Mango Metro (August 2013, Vol. 7, No.9)

By Alison McGowan
October 22, 2013

From the moment you walk into Dreamland Bungalows you feel the magic in all your senses. It’s not just the amazing sea views and the sound of the waves, but it’s the whole style of the place coupled with the warmth of Norwegian/Brazilian hosts, Jan and Lyana.

There are 10 suites, curiously in 2 story villas rather than in bungalows as the name might suggest, and all have varandas, hammocks and writing tables where you can chill out or write looking out to sea or over the palm groves. Attention to detail is everywhere: from the wood and eucalypto craftwork, which create a rustic Brazilian charm to the beautiful bed linen, which ensure you have those sweet dreams. And if you find you&#145ve forgotten your insect repellent or suntan lotion that’s not a problem. You&#145ll find replacements at the small shop in reception.

In the rest of the pousada there is a restaurant which serves food until 8pm after which the local pizza place (which apparently is very good) runs a delivery service. However, the pice de resistance is the beach bar, also open to passing beach lovers, offering wonderfully iced beer, as well as caipirinhas and snacks all to the sound of reggae and Latin music.

The day we arrived the local village transformer blew up and the power was off for 24 hours. So no wi-fi internet to add to the lack of any mobile phone coverage. Dreamland fortunately has its own generator, so once that came on we were back to normal. But actually, you know, you can do without it! Sitting in that bar watching the waves roll in, and the moon rise in good company for me is paradise.

Not to be Missed
– Pousada Starpoints
– Beachfront location
– Rustic charm and comfort
– Hospitality of Jan, Lyana and staff

Try a Different Place if…
… you are worried about time or potholes or picking up your emails

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on alison@hiddenpousadasbrazil.com. Visit her site at http://www.hiddenpousadasbrazil.com/.

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Dona Zilha, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Natur Campeche, Florianpolis, Santa Catarina
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Fim da Trilha, Ilha do Mel (Encantadas), Parana
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta da Piteira Boutique Hotel, Praia do Rosa, Santa Catarina
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Caminho do Rei, Praia do Rosa, Santa Catarina
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Vila do Patacho, Praia do Patacho, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Sagi Iti, Praia do Sagi, Baia Formosa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Praiagogi Boutique Pousada, Maragogi, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarao Alto Mucuge, Arraial d&#145Ajuda, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Calypso, Trancoso, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Capim Santo, Trancoso, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Maris, Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Guesthouse Bianca, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Cool Beans, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Aratinga Inn, Ilha Grande (Abraao), Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Chez les Rois, Manaus, Amazonas
Five Exceptional Beach Destinations in Brazil
Brazil: Relaxation and Rejuvenation in Bahia’s Eco-paradises
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Taruma, Conceicao de Jacarei, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Tanara, Itacare, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Encanto da Lua, Marau, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Vila dos Orixas Boutique Hotel, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Baia Grande, South Pantanal (Miranda), Mato Grosso do Sul
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa da Carmen e do Fernando, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Palafitas Lodge, Rondonia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Lagoa das Cores, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mangueira, Boipeba (Morere), Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Naturalia, Ilha Grande (Abraao), Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Cote Sud, Porto da Rua, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ilha de Toque Toque Boutique Hotel, So Sebastiao, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Spa Casinha Branca, Bananal, nr. Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Eco-Rio Lodge, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Castelinho 38, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Amazon Tupana Lodge, Manaus, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Capao, Serro, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Luar do Rosario, Milho Verde, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada d&#145Oleo de Guignard, Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Chal Oasis, Galinhos, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Bela Vista, Novo Airo, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijo do Vento, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Agua de Coco, Ceara
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Artjungle Eco Lodge & Spa, Itacare, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Alcino Estalagem, Lenois, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada 0031, Cumbuco, Cear
Brazil: Maguire’s Guesthouse, Manaus, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Cho, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Santa Marina, Santana dos Montes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casaro da Amaznia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

October 2, 3013

Mark Hillary has kindly offered us 5 copies of his new Kindle book, Reality Check: Life in Brazil Through the Eyes of a Foreigner, and we will be giving a copy away to the best submitted photo for the next 5 newsletters. So if you have a funny or unusual photo depicting life in Brazil, and would like to win Mark’s Kindle book, then please send it to mark@gringoes.com with ‘Photo of the Week: Competition!’ in the subject line. Competition photos will not be used outside of the following 5 newsletters unless mentioned otherwise.

We need photos that are of something a little different, not traditional shots of beaches and sunsets. If you’re unsure what to send then please have a look at our previous submissions. Please send relatively high resolution images (0.5 Megapixel / 640 x 480 or bigger), let us know where you took the photo, if you have a title for it, and your name.”

The American Society of São Paulo is happy to announce their annual HALLOWEEN PARTY for kids ages 2-12 on Saturday, October 26, 2013, from 3-6pm.

We’ll have games, a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, where you can purchase your own pumpkin for carving at home, crafts, snacks and more!

HURRY! Space is limited.

Before October 18 tickets are R$50 per child for AMSOC members.
After October 18 tickets are R$75.

Non-member tickets are R$100 per child.

Email amsoc1@amsoc.com.br or call 5182-2074 today!

Location: Marine House, near Shopping Morumbi.

By Larry Ludwig
October 1, 2013

[Photo by Joa Caldas] Serenade”

The São Paulo Companhia de Danca (São Paulo Dance Company) hosted its 1st International Dance Seminar (1st Seminrio Internacional de Dana) in August this year here in the city of São Paulo. Participants from Brasil, Argentina, the United States and France attended this event, co-sponsored by SESC São Paulo and the UNESP-Instituto de Artes, under the overall auspices of the Secretary of Culture for the State of São Paulo.

While attending the various panels, lectures and dance performances taking place during the Seminar, my thoughts transported back one year to the winter of 2012 when thanks to an invitation from the Company, I was essentially “gifted” with spending an entire day at the company’s campus/headquarters located in the Bom Retiro neighborhood near downtown São Paulo. Situated in the cultural “Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade” complex, the facility is only a few blocks and a short walk from the nearby Metro Tiradentes station. The late 19th century architectural style of the structure is open and inviting, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a grand entry lobby and traditional wide stair cases… propelling one upwards to where the Company, occupying the entire first floor, has its offices, classrooms and rehearsal halls.

Arrival on Campus
Reaching the first floor landing, one enters a world that I personally, a ballet neophyte at best, could only begin to envision. At best, a conceptualization based on movies like the classic, The Turning Point (remember Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft and Mikhail Baryshnikov), the more recent Oscar award winning Black Swan (Natalie Portman), the hysterical I Love Lucy episode of tutu-clad Lucy taking on the stern and unrelenting ballet Mistress at the “barre”, along with anecdotal comments from my niece Allison having danced ballet in her high school days of yore.

The hallway was and is indeed the world of ballet, instant immersion to this performing art… from the clipboard sign-in sheets at the reception desk, the wall listings of classes and rehearsals and performances, to dancers coming and going in tights and leggings… the dancers casually chatting and occasionally practicing a dance step or two, to administrative staff busy in their office cubicles, to photographs and displays of performances and dancers in costume, to the company brochures and promotional literature on tables. Seemingly a world of perpetual energy and motion. Heady stuff for this ballet newbie.

And dare I say, what a day at the ballet it was.

Ballet Class
The day commenced with the daily morning class in a large, well lit, airy, high ceiling room, with those floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides of the room, and floor to ceiling mirrors on the remaining two sides. For starters, the some 30 students-dancers were stanced alongside portable bars (“barres”), about 4feet above the ground. Under the tutelage of a ballet-master/instructor, the dancers hold on to the barres to practice and execute various dips, bends, leanings, stretches, standing on toes, and related movements . Presumably it is the youth of the dancers, ranging from say 20-to-35 years of age, that facilitate those bodily positionings. Had they been attempted by the likes of myself, would have brought nothing but impossible pain and lasting physical grief. I was in awe at the dancers ability to achieve the desired steps and movements with what seems a minimum of effort and difficulty, an effect I later learned obtained only after months, if not years of hard and diligent “muscle memory” exercise and work.

Also mind boggling was the ability of the students to instantly retain instructions from the ballet master. He would pronounce10-to-15-to-20 or more steps he wanted the class to perform in sequence at the barre, usually just once, but sometimes repeating the sequence of movements. And seemingly “just like that”, all 30 students performed the required steps without fail or missteps, albeit the master would occasionally interject the next movement from time-to-time. He also walked about the floor physically positioning various dancers to properly obtain the desired bodily form. Was interesting to note that as in Master Classes of other performing arts attended during my past (opera: Hampson & Schwarzkopf, and cello: Casals), the master focused most of his/her “corrective” if not severe “constructive critical instruction” on the better performing artists.

Once the class had “warmed up” at the barre, the bars were removed, and the excitement began…. with runs, leaps and jumps, turns, spins, all those movements one sees in theater and television productions. All the more exciting and dramatic for the visitors, like myself, sitting on low benches against the mirrors, just a few inches sometimes feet from the dancers. All the movements executed are “up front, close and personal”, very personal. After a rapid sequence of steps across the floor, dancers come to a sudden abrupt leaping stop at the edges of the visitor’s feet. This closeness, this proximity to the dancers, definitely gives one a sense of the physicality and hard effort of the body required to make, what is incredibly difficult, look incredibly suave, smooth, serene. Particularly impressive is the physical conditioning and strength acquired by these dancers to land and come to a complete stop on one foot/leg after a high leap. Makes one cringe at the thought of the pain to one’s knees and legs, but also to appreciate the difficult, if not sometimes excruciating physical training dancers must endure to become a professional in their field. One might say their conditioning equals if not exceeds that of professional athletes in football, basketball, soccer and the like..

Each class lasts approximately two hours, and pretty much goes non-stop without pause. Classes , along with rehearsals, are held six days a week , usually six hours a day in total, with each class instructed by a different master, therein imparting as much technique and dance knowledge as possible to the dancers.

Interesting to this observer were the interpersonal dynamics between the dancers themselves, particularly that among the female ballerinas. There was a pervasive sense of family, friendliness, sisterhood, with the some 20 young women laughing and chatting with one another, assisting one another. No visible cattiness, no “I am better than you” attitudes…rather a wholesome supportive team spirit prevailed. Males being males, while to a large degree sharing the feeling of family and teamwork, one did sense a tad of the testosterone effect, that “quien es mas macho”, “if you got it flaunt it” spirit every once in a while. (Albeit, since the summer of 2012 have had the opportunity to chat with more of the dancers, with a consensus reached that female ballerinas are not totally exempt from dancing competitiveness, just that they tend to be “more discreet, more subtle”.)

Serenade Rehearsal
After the post-class break, some eighteen of the ballerinas returned to the class-rehearsal space for an hour or two of rehearsing the Company’s performance of “Serenade”. This wonderful work, choreographed by Balanchine, to the music of Tchaikovsky , was the very same I saw performed at Teatro Municipal de São Paulo in 2011. To be able to see the very same dancers dance the very same steps viewed from high up in the second balcony of the Teatro, dance the same piece at face-to-face level, only inches to a few feet distant from my bench, well to put it “understatedly” was TOTALLY AWESOME!!

Garbed in the 3/4-dress-length “romantic” tutu’s, much the same as the costumes worn on performance nights, the dancers were put through their paces by a lady teacher/master. The same degree of professionalism I perceived and admired at the Teatro, shone through the entire rehearsal of the piece. These are truly professional ballerinas of the highest level. All the scurrying abouts, the dips, bends, the execution to perfection of complex choreography as if it was “just another day at the office”, was shear delight, if not joy to behold.

Also delightful was the realization that the young woman operating the CD player during the Serenade rehearsal was none other than Irupe. It was she who danced the “The Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” satyr solo at the 2011 Teatro performance. I did have the opportunity to chat with her, not withstanding my then very limited capabilities of the Portuguese language, as also occurred earlier with three or four of the class dancers during the removal of the barres from the room. All were young, friendly, down-to-earth, interesting, inquisitive, and a delight to converse with.

Administrative Staff
After the rehearsal ended, I met with Marcela Benvegnu who had extended the invitation to visit the Company. Marcela, the Company’s Co-ordinator for Communications and Marketing, briefly explained the history and organizational structure of the Company, founded in 2008, as a repertory performance dance troupe, now one of the largest, if not largest ballet company in Brazil. There were over 16 works in the repertory at the time of my visit. The Company eschews the prima ballerina and primo ballerino approach. All of the dancers dance as a member of the Company “corps de ballet”, with starring roles rotated among the better dancers of the corps. All-in-all there are about 40 dancers within the corps. Marcela noted it generally take from three-to-four weeks to learn a new repertory piece, which seems like an incredibly short period of time to me, But she reminded that these are professional dancers..

Besides performing at sites through out Brazil, the Company conducts an active outreach program, including free performances for K-through-12 students, classes for young students and distribution of teaching materials for teachers to use in school classrooms. The Company also pursues regular marketing and public relations campaigns normally associated with performing arts organizations, including the preparation and publication of both brochures, pamphlets, and DVDs but also hard-cover, beautifully illustrated “inch-thick” books. Both focus on the history of the Company and its repertory works , as well as on the day-to-day personal glimpses into the workings of the Company and the lives of the individual dancers. Included therein are essays of non-ballet, non-Company contributors expressing how ballet in general and the Company in particular have benefited and affected their lives.

Gratefully accepted were two illuminating books Ms. Benvegnu “gifted” the author: “Sala de Ensaio–Textos Sobre a São Paulo Companhia de Dana” (Rehearsal Room–Essays on the São Paulo Dance Company–285 pages) and “Primeira Estaão — Ensaios Sobre a São Paulo Companhia de Dana” (First Season — Rehearsals on the São Paulo Dance Company–330 pages). Both books are in Portuguese and English. The web site for the Company, by the way, is Brazil: A Beautiful Day in the “Hood” – Bless You Beethoven
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October 1, 2013

This is our regular column called Ask a Brazilian”, the idea being that you can quite literally ask a question of a Brazilian – for those issues you aren’t sure about but perhaps dare not ask someone else. It is meant as a bit of fun and answers should not be construed as expert opinion or the definitive reply on the matter. For that reason we ask you to please send your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

This site is great! I recently moved to Brazil with my female partner. Although our city has gay rights and a gay parade each year I am still nervous showing public displays of affection. I read that “on the streets” gay relationships are not tolerated even though they are recognized by the government. Are my fears validated or have I been misled?

— Reba

Hello, Reba.

Where do you live?

If your are in São Paulo, where I live, and live among many gays couples that are close to me, I don’t believe you will have any trouble. Go ahead and live your life, with love. If someone doesn’t like it, their loss.


Vanessa Agricola

Dear Reba,

Brazil is famous for its people’s diversity and its tolerance. That includes respect for sexual orientation as well and no need to say that São Paulo is famous for hosting the largest Gay Parade of the world.

But like any other society, Brazil struggles to make it a universal thinking. Unfortunately Brazil is also famous for it sexist approach in many regions. The debate over women’s and gays rights is always on the agenda and our population is relatively far from being totally respectful towards gays.

There’s been a lot of talks about Gay’s rights recently and the media is helping a lot, fighting against conservative churches and political parties which insist on causing trouble to gay people instead of letting them live their lives and promoting free love.

Thank God even the Pope joined the fight now! Concerning prejudice and risk of aggression (verbal or physical), there is very little chance of happening to you if you are in a large or medium-sized city. Gay men face more danger, especially if kissing in public (like any other country).

But showing affection in a gentle way, just like any other type of couple will make your life very pleasant in Brazil.

Use your own common sense, but bear in mind that “Common Sense is not Common”.


Rodrigo Chaves is the Director of Studies of Ask a Brazilian: Hijab
Ask a Brazilian: Dogs
Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
Ask a Brazilian: What Do the Police Do?
Ask a Brazilian: Contractor Frustrations
Ask a Brazilian: English Books and Brazilian Boys
Ask a Brazilian: Cold Cahaca
Ask a Brazilian: Interruptions
Ask a Brazilian: Travel and Security Concerns
Ask a Brazilian: Gestures and Toys
Ask a Brazilian: Hispanics or Latinos, and Duvets
Ask a Brazilian: Overbearing Sogros
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Bank Transfers
Ask a Brazilian: Swimming, Showers and New Year’s
Ask a Brazilian: Making Friends
Ask a Brazilian: Female Etiquette
Ask a Brazilian: Washing Machines
Ask a Brazilian: Picking Teeth
Ask a Brazilian: Lozenge or Candy?
Ask a Brazilian: Liberal or Jealous?
Ask a Brazilian: Truck Wheels
Ask a Brazilian: Tolerance
Ask a Brazilian: Screens
Ask a Brazilian: Brazilian Wax
Ask a Brazilian: Flashing Lights
Ask a Brazilian: Lemon and Limes
Ask a Brazilian: Shocking Showers