Germanys Silke Tina Tischendorf arrived in Brazil only two months ago and is living with her fiancé Márcio in Brasília. She has been struck by the proudness of Brazilians as well as "jeitinho". She misses pretzels and German wine but has found good substitutes in Brazil with coxinha and caipirinha with kiwi.
Where are you from?
I was born in Speyer (Germany), but lived most of the time in Iggelheim, a small village in the wine country of South West Germany, close to the French border.
What brought you to Brazil?
My fiancé is Brazilian and we met four years ago while working for the same company in Germany (BASF). I visited Brazil for the first time two and a half years ago while we were still living in Europe. We always talked about living in Brazil one day, but were not sure when. This year we decided to move to Brazil after Marcio got an interesting job offer from Brasil Telecom in Brasília!
What do you do here?
Since I need to strengthen my Portuguese, I take private lessons at Berlitz, I also enjoy the wonderful Iate Clube in Brasília, and have been looking for an apartment and studying for my next sommelier exam about wine and spirits. As soon as I get my work permit I will try to find a job in one of the European embassies. I also export Brazilian sports and swimwear to Germany.
What do you miss about Germany?
Apart from my family and friends I miss some culinary things like the big selection of German bread and pretzels, the wonderful Riesling and Dornfelder wines from my region (Pfalz) and the wine festivals. As well as some of the traditional things like going to the Christmas markets with friends in November and December, because Xmas without snow and cold weather does not feel like a real Christmas to me. And also travelling to some charming places on the weekends like Strasbourg or Baden-Baden.
What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?
Sometimes I am treated very arrogantly by rich Brazilians who believe they have a particular privilege in everything at any place. Also, I was raised to respect and take care of the environment and seeing e.g. how many plastic bags a customer receives at a supermarket is really frustrating. Also, Sao Paulo has a severe problem with smog but still all the busses and trucks blow out big black clouds!
What do you most like about Brazil?
It is definitely the variety of all facets this wonderful country has to offer! I love the different landscapes, the beaches, the climate, its warm and welcoming people, the great variety of artists, music, food, fruit and design.
What is your favorite restaurant in Brazil?
I love the Figueira Rubaiyat, "é dez", but there are many other favorite places like the Casa da Fazenda in Morumbi, Santa Gula and Capim Santo in Vila Madalena. In Brasília, I love eating at Porcao right by the Paranoa lake and my other favourite restaurant is in Porto de Galinhas o "Beijupira".
Have you tried Brazilian food such as feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha? Did you like them?
Yes, and I love it! Especially the salmon with passionfruit sauce, picanha, tutu, coxinha and caipirinha with kiwi.
What difference between Germany and Brazil do you find most striking?
The proudness the Brazilians have for their country and that there is always a "jeitinho", even if you think there is no solution to your problem. People are here extremely friendly and welcoming, but at the same time a bit superficial.
What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in Sao Paulo?
On the weekend head off for the local beaches, I love "Riviera de Sao Lourenco" and visit Embu if you like handcrafts. During the week I recommend the MASP, if Casa Cor is on, it is definitely worth going and of course spend a couple of hours in one of the fantastic shopping malls. From Terraco Italia you will have a great view of the city whether at night or during the day.
To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Ken Marshall - Australia
John Milton - England
Pari Seeber - Iran
Jonas Helding - Denmark
Damiano Pak - South Korea
Kim Buarque - Wales
Carl Emberson - Australia
Frank de Meijer - Holland
Tanya Keshavjee Macedo - Canada
Are you are foreigner living in Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org