The Gringoes Guide to Dating Brazilian Women

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
December 12, 2015

So you have heard quite a lot about Brazilian women before, and maybe you have dreamed about finding yourself a Brazilian babe. Now that you are here, it is time for you to spring to action. However, if your image of Brazilian women comes from watching videos or looking at pictures of semi-naked women dancing in the Carnaval, you might be in for a reality check. First, Brazilian women are not as easy as foreigners often seem to think, and many girls will be wary of tourists. That being said, Brazilian women tend to be quite direct when it comes to showing interest, they usually play less games than American or European girls.

One thing that is important to have in mind is that Brazilian women usually have a two-sided perception about foreigners. On the one side, foreigners are often seem as exploiters and sex-tourists, and many tourists do in fact act in a way that reinforces this stereotype. Because of this perception, girls might take it very personally if you are rude in your approach. On the other side, many Brazilian women are highly interested in dating foreigners, and will be very open and willing to be approached.

The first thing you should pay attention to when looking for a girl is the venue. In expensive places, you will find plenty of beautiful girls, but they tend to be less approachable and harder to get. In more accessible places, girls tend to be more down-to earth and friendly, and are usually more open to approaches. You should also be aware that the more accessible a venue is, the least likely it is that you will find girls that speak English. Sometimes, this is not a problem, and many girls will attempt to communicate with you using broken English. Using some hand gestures and basic Portuguese if you have any, you should be able to understand each other fairly well. That being said, many girls will be out of your reach if you don’t speak at least some Portuguese.

If you are lucky, you will also find women that speak fluent English. Many of them have studied in International or British schools, and some of them have studied or lived abroad. This is the best type of women you can find, not only because of the language, but also because they are usually used to dealing with foreigners, and will have much more common ground with you.

Women in Brazil tend to dress very well, and they will pay attention to how you dress. Unless you plan on going to an alternative venue such as a rave or a reggae concert, you should be well dressed. When it comes to the approach, you should be direct but not forceful. Brazilian women usually decide quite fast whether they are interested or not in hooking up with someone. If things don’t seem to be going anywhere after a few minutes, you should change your target. If the woman you are talking to is showing interest on the other hand, make your move. If you take too long she might lose interest and look for someone else.

When it comes to starting a relationship, things tend to move fast in Brazil. If you have enjoyed hooking up with your beau and got her number, it is normal to call her and schedule a date for the next evening. Unless you are dating a fancy girl, I recommend keeping it simple. Take her to the beach, go watch a movie or share some beers at a street bar. Now that you have a girl, the rest is up to you. Enjoy her company, treat her well and don’t try too hard to impress her. And last but not least, don’t forget to have fun!

The Beauty of Capoeira, a Martial Art Disguised as a Dance

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer November 13, 2015 In the streets, parks and beaches of Brazil, one often sees groups of people gathered in a circle, playing instruments while two people inside the circle sway, kick and dodge to the rhythm of the music. This is capoeira, a Brazilian martial art practiced through all of Brazil, especially in the northeast of the country. No one knows exactly when capoeira originated, but it is believed that it was created by slaves in the 16th century. At that time, slaves were forbidden from practicing martial arts and their cultural traditions as well. They were also constantly subjected to torture and violence, and those that tried to run away were chased by “capites-do-mato”. In order to learn self-defense, it is said that the slaves created a new form of martial art and disguised it as a dance. The movements of capoeira are characterized by the way fighters sway and by the wide variety of kicks that they employ, as well as the acrobatic quality of the movements. Elements of diverse African cultures were also mixed in capoeira, making it a matter not only of self-defense but also of cultural identity. Training sessions usually took place near the “Senzala”, which was the building where slaves were kept. But fights would sometimes take place in fields with small shrubs which were called “capoeira” at the time. This is where the name of the sport came from. In 1890, Deodoro Fonseca, who was the president at the time, signed a law that made capoeira illegal, as it was considered subversive and violent. Later on, a capoeira master known as Mestre Bimba created a new style of capoeira known as “capoeira regional” (regional capoeira). Bimba would present his style in 1930 to Getlio Vargas, who was the president of Brazil at the time. Vargas enjoyed it so much that he made it legal and turned it into a national sport as well. Bimba also created the first capoeira gym in 1932 in Salvador and named it “Academia-escola de Capoeira Regional”. His teaching method and style represented an important step in the development of capoeira. He began the tradition of training in an enclosed space, introduced a course curriculum and a systematic training method. He also fixed a defined instrumental arrangement to be played in a capoeira “roda” (circle). The arrangement consisted of a berimbau, which is an instrument composed of a bow and one string, and two pandeiros, which are hand-framed drums very popular in some Brazilian styles like samba and pagode. But his greatest contribution was probably the idea that capoeira should be disseminated and made widely accessible through the use of legal institutions. In fact, he contributed enormously to the popularization of the sport. Once capoeira gyms became a thing, they spread like mushrooms after the rain, being found all through Brazil and even in many foreign countries. Because of his contribution, many practitioners consider Bimba the father of modern capoeira. His style is also the most widely practiced form of the sport worldwide. Training capoeira is a great way to improve cardio, strength, flexibility and learning self-defense. At a capoeira gym one also learns discipline and gains confidence as his skills are honed. Last but not least, training capoeira is extremely fun, as well as being a great way to make friends. Whether youre looking to get in shape, lose some weight, learn to defend yourself or just have some fun, capoeira is a great choice and well worth a try.

Brazil: Get Me to the Church on Time – Prokofiev Style

By Larry Ludwig October 18, 2015 Sergei Prokofievs Opera “Monastery Weddings” is sheer JOY! He composed this work at the onset of World War II, in 1940. Think perhaps to escape for but a brief few hours into a delightful comedy with which to forget the doom and gloom of Stalin purges and the horrors of war. Yes, it is a comic opera, featuring some eight-lead roles, yes, eight principal singers. More than likely the key reason why this work is rarely performed. Wikipedia mentions “recent” performances in only England, Scotland and Spain, in 1989, 2006 and 2008. It was first performed in 1946 in St. Petersburg. Well to be added to that list is the August-September 2015 production of Theatro So Pedro in So Paulo, Brasil. Also called “Betrothals in a Monastery” (“Bodas no Monastrio” in Portuguese), the plot is a convoluted, complex scenariao much reminiscent of a Shakespearean “Comedy of Errors” mixed in with a Verdian “Falstaff”. At times seemingly too complex to follow, but in the end, as the saying goes, “alls well that ends well.” Yes, an opera with a happy ending. Nobody dies! Hopefully the Wikipedia plot summary below will help clarify the confusion. The 600-seat Theatros production was superb, excellent. Not a single fault could I find. A friendly semi-abstract set with its mix of a curtain drop and multi-purpose plastic blocks that for once “worked”, which with varying degrees of multi-colored lighting, allowed for quick scene changes (of which there are many in this opera) clearly evoking the required plot setting. Beautiful period Costumes (the opera seems to take place in the 1700s-1800s), good makeup, wonderful wigs, great choreography, great acting, and of course, excellent singing. Not a weak link in the entire eight singing lead roles (contralto, bass, tenors, baritones, soprano, mezzo-soprano), two principal secondaries and an exemplary chorus. Not to mention, excellent conducting and outstanding performance of the orchestra. Sung in Russian, a Russian speaking Brasilian friend pointed out, the singers Russian diction was more than passable, a testament to both the Russian language coach and the linguistic talents of the mostly Brasilian cast. And for the record, the Portuguese subtitles were excellent. Besides the myriad of plot surprises, Prokofiev worked in a few subtle, not so subtle surprising moments. For instance, what seemed like pure walk-on non-singing supernumerary roles for some of the servants, servants who pretended to be talking and gesticulating… well appearances can be deceiving. Two of them turn into secondary singing roles, with the maid suddenly becoming, after what seemed like half of the opera, one of the two top lead, and most applauded singers. Never had occasion to experience that role-reversal in an opera heretofore. Then there was the subdued, but quite classically balletic dancing by some of the servants, done in quite confined spaces. Difficult but done beautifully, elegantly. More like a side-bar action to main events elsewhere on stage… sometimes feeling like a three ring circus. Also featured was a three-piece trumpet, drum, clarinet combo on stage, as well as cast members walking onstage up from the audience. Than the big WOWer, well one of two big WOWs of the night… a super rousing rambunctious well staged chorus of drunken, rapacious, yes very greedy monastery monks. Felt like a scene out of Karl Orffs “Carmina Burana”, perhaps the inspiration for what was one of the more powerful scenes of this opera. The monks brought the house down, as that saying goes. The other “WOW” moment was during the concluding moments of the opera, with Don Jerome, tenor Giovanni Tristacci, while singing at full volume, put on a virtuoso performance playing musical-bottles non-stop, at a presto high-velocity pace. A true musical “tour de force”, one of the evenings many memorable highlights. Prokofievs music is much like that of his ballet, “Romeo and Juliet”. The music melodies, tender or be it martial, flow, seeming seamlessly, without pause, leading one easily from one scene to the next, from one emotional moment to the next. There are very few solo aria or duet or quartet like moments common to more traditional operas, no real place for the audience to express delight with applause and bravos. That has to be saved for the end of each act, and especially at the end of the opera itself. And applause and bravos, bravas and bravis were aplenty with the standing ovation, this one, in my view, truly earned and very much deserved. If you get the chance, do go see this work. Its an opera evening as noted earlier of pure JOY. You wont be disappointed. By the way, the cast list follows, along with the Wikipedia plot-summary synopsis. A Duenna Lidia Schffer, Mendoza Svio Sperandio, Don Jerome Giovanni Tristacci, Don Ferdinando Johnny Frana, Louisa Laua Duarte, Don Antonio Anibal Mancini, Clara DAlmanza Marly Montoni, Dom Carlos Erick Souza…and honorable mention on secondary, the two chief Monks, Padre Elustaf and Padre Augustin, Mar Oliveira and Educaro Fujita. This is in addition to eight other minor secondary roles. Conductor Andr Dos Santos. Coral Lrico Paulista and Orquestra do Theatro So Pedro Synopsis: Act 1 Don Jerome intends his daughter Louisa to marry the vain, wealthy and ugly fish merchant Mendoza. However, she loves instead Antonio, who is poor, though noble in spirit. Furthermore, Don Ferdinand, son of Don Jerome and prone to fits of jealousy, wants to marry Clara dAlmanza, who is a virtual prisoner of her stepmother. Act 2 Don Jerome locks up Louisa in her room to force her to marry Mendoza. Louisas nurse (the Duenna) provokes the fury of Don Jerome by pretending to be a messenger between Antonio and Louisa. Jerome dismisses her – but the Duenna exchanges clothes with Louisa who makes her escape in this disguise. By the quayside – where fisherwomen are praising the quality of the fish caught in Mendozas boats – Louisa encounters her friend Clara, who has also run away from home and intends to seek sanctuary at the monastery. Louisa asks to borrow Claras name for a day – Clara assents. Enter Mendoza and his courtly friend Don Carlos. Mendoza is recognized by Louisa but he has never seen her. She therefore approaches Mendoza claiming to be Clara and asks him to take her under his protection and find Antonio with whom she is in love. Mendoza is attracted by this idea as a means to rid himself of his rival Antonio by marrying him off to Clara. Don Carlos escorts Clara to Mendozas house. Mendoza visits the house of Don Jerome to meet Louisa (the Duenna in disguise); whilst Louisa is not as young and beautiful as Mendoza had been led to believe, her dowry is sufficient attraction. they agree to elope that evening. Act 3 The mystified Antonio arrives at Mendozas house; while he is offstage meeting Clara, Mendoza and don Carlos congratulate themselves on their cunning. Still unwitting, they agree to help the pair get married. Don Jerome is rehearsing some amateur musicians (A trio of trumpet, clarinet and bass drum). He receives two messages- one from Mendoza saying he has eloped with Louisa, which delights him, and another from the real Louisa, which he does not read carefully, asking for his blessing on her marriage. He sends back his consent with both messengers and arranges for a great feat later that evening to celebrate. At the monastery, Clara meets with Antonio and Luisa and laments her apparent loss of Ferdinand. Enter Ferdinand , who mistaking Clara for a nun exclaims that he is chasing his false friend Antonio who has run off with his beloved Clara. Clara is secretly overjoyed at this demonstration of Ferdinands passion. Act 4 The act opens with a drinking song for the monks in the monastery where the marriages are to be performed. The monks then switch to a hymn that extols fasting and abstinence, to a tune that is a slower variant of the earlier drinking song. Enter Mendoza and Antonio who by lavish bribery gain the monks consent to marry them to their loves. Enter Ferdinand who challenges Antonio to a duel, but the genuine Clara arrives and Ferdinand now understands the true situation. The three marriages are agreed. At Don Jeromes feast, the host is increasingly amazed, exasperated and infuriated as the successive arrival of the newly-weds makes it clear that his plans have gone completely awry. He is slightly compensated by the likely size of Claras dowry. He sings a drinking song, accompanying himself on a set of tuned glasses.

Brazilian Customs and Etiquette: Some Things You Should Know

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
October 18, 2015

Brazilians are known throughout the world as warm and friendly people. They are also usually receptive towards foreigners, and tend to treat them very well. That being said, there are many cultural differences foreigners face when coming to Brazil, especially those that do not come from a Latino culture. Whether you plan to visit Brazil or live here, being aware of those differences is a good way to improve your interactions with locals.

One of the first things that strike unaware foreigners is the way people greet each other in Brazil. Men tend to great one another with handshakes, while kissing women on the cheeks. Women also kiss each other on the cheeks usually. In some parts of the country such as So Paulo, this is done with a single kiss, but in other places, people will greet with two kisses instead.

Another thing that might seem strange for foreigners, especially those from European or Asian countries, is how touchy Brazilians are. It is very common for locals to touch others in the shoulder or to give a slap in the back while they talk for example. When talking, Brazilians tend to speak in a direct manner, and in a relaxed and casual style. They also have a tendency to interrupt others during a conversation, which can bother foreigners but is considered normal for natives.

Brazilians usually dress well and in a stylish manner, specially in large cities. In the countryside, people tend to dress in a simpler manner and are more conservative in their style. When going to churches or government buildings, using tank-tops or hats is frowned upon. As for business meetings, men are always expected to wear a full suit, while women should wear smart business suits. Brazilians can also be quite formal when it comes to business settings, despite their laidback manner in casual settings.

There is also something known as "Brazilian time". For most informal meetings, be they parties, dinners or reunions, it is very common for people to be late. Except in the case of a business meeting, you should not expect people to arrive on time.

When it comes to conversations, it is often sensible to avoid some topics. Brazilians tend to be very sensitive when it comes to foreigners opinion of Brazil, and usually do not take criticism very well. Topics such as poverty, crime and politics can make Brazilians upset, so you need to be very careful when threading on these topics. You should avoid criticizing Brazilian culture as well, unless you are fairly sure that the people you are talking to are open to it, which usually isn’t the case.

There are also a few things foreigners should know about eating in Brazil, the first being that lunches or dinners can take very long. Brazilians like to take their meals slowly and talk a lot, so a lunch can last over two hours in some cases. They also tend to have good table manners in industrial cities, so be careful with the way you eat. Chewing or talking with an open mouth is considered really rude, and in some settings putting your elbows on the table is frowned upon. When eating at a restaurant, putting your fork and knife side by side in your plate indicate that you have finished, but waiters will not bring the bill unless you ask them to. Tipping is not common in Brazil, and there is usually a 10% service fee that is included in the bill.

With those things in mind, you shouldn’t have much of a problem adapting to Brazil. Despite cultural differences, Brazilians are friendly and easy to deal with, and are usually quite tolerant of mistakes that foreigners might make. Be willing to adapt and open, and soon you will find yourself at home here in Brazil.

Around Brazil: Sao Thome das Letras

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer September 26, 2015 An alternative paradise in the state of Minas: Come taste the magic of Sao Thome das Letras. Located near Trs Coraes, in the state of Minas Gerais, So Thom das Letras is truly a wonder to behold. The best way of getting there is through the Ferno Dias highway, which connects So Paulo and Belo Horizonte. From the highway, one should exit at the city of Trs Coraes and then take the MG-868 road to So Thom.The city lies at the peak of a mountain 1.444 meter above sea levels, surrounded by rolling hills that are full of rivers, waterfalls and caves ready to be explored. The name of the city comes from a local legend, which tells the tale of a runaway slave that entered a cave and found a statue of Saint Thomas. So Thom is famous for harboring many alternative lifestyles. The city is full of artists and hippies, which form a vibrant and welcoming community. Some also say that So Thom is one of the 7 points of energy of the planet, which attracts many mystics, spiritualists and lovers of the esoteric. This esotericism is quite present in the city. Walking around, one sees places for yoga, meditation, crystal healing and even shamanic rituals. UFO sightings are also very common there, attracting UFO enthusiasts as well. For those that enjoy partying, the night is very lively there. The city is full of bars playing rock, reggae and other styles of music, and most of them offer free entrance. For those that know how to play, there are even bars that allow you to play with your band or join in with the other musicians. The cachaa from So Thom is also extremely good and cheap, and enthusiasts can find quite a variety of cachaas available. Late-night partiers can also join in the tradition of watching the sunset from the pyramid, a small watchtower located at the very top of the city that offers a dazzling view from the hills around the city. So Thom is also a great destination for the outdoors lovers. The city is surrounded by mountains that can be freely explored. Those that are adventurous are even free to explore them outside the walking trails, as the lack of thick vegetation makes it easy to do so without getting lost. These mountains are also full of waterfalls such as Shangri-l, Vale das Borboletas, Eubiose and Antares. There are also many grottos that can be explored. Some examples are Gruta do Sobradinho (Sobradinhos Grotto), Gruta So Thom (So Thoms Grotto) and Gruta do Carimbado (Carimbados Grotto). Those that plan to visit So Thom can stay in inns or in the camping sites around the city. For those that want to focus on the outdoors and have no problem camping, it is recommended to do so. Most campsites have bathrooms and restaurants, and prices are quite cheap, usually at roughly R$ 20 a day. The city is within walking distance from most campsites, so camping isnt much of an obstacle for those who also want to visit it. Drinking and eating in So Thom is quite cheap as well, making it a great choice for those who want to travel at a low budget. But whether you want to visit So Thom for its nature, culture or music, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

10 Brazilian Movies You Should Definitely Watch – Part 1

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer September 26, 2015 The Brazilian film industry is highly underrated. Although few national movies have become popular internationally, Brazilian movie directors has been releasing solid films for decades. We have compiled a list of some of the best for you to enjoy. Cidade de Deus (City of God) If you have never been to Brazil but have heard of a Brazilian movie before, it is probably Cidade de Deus. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, this movie is a harrowing tale about a slum known as Cidade de Deus in the beginning of the 80s. The movie tells the story of many characters from the point of view of Buscap, an aspiring photographer that has to face the grim reality of living in an environment where the only choice seems to be between semi-slave labor and crime. It is through his perspective that we come to understand the humanity that exists in a world ravaged by constant violence. Those that intent to watch it without subtitles should be aware that the heavy use of slangs make it a hard movie to understand. But with our without subtitles, this is a must watch if you want to get into Brazilian cinema. O Auto da Compadecida (A Dogs Will) Based on a work of Brazilian writer Ariano Suassuna and directed by Guel Arraes, many consider this the best Brazilian comedy every made. The protagonists of the story are two friends that live in the village of Tapero in the state of Paraba called Joo Grilo (Jack the Cricket) and Chic. Grilo is a liar, Chic is a coward and they are both poor. The movie chronicles their adventures as they get into all sorts of shenanigans, whether looking for work, tricking people or trying to get Chic a girl. The movie plays with stereotypes from the northeast of Brazil, and at the same time offers a humorous criticism of the misery that the region still faces nowadays. It is also hilarious from beginning to end, with many unforgettable scenes. If you are feeling adventurous and want to watch it without subtitles be warned: like Cidade de Deus, it is quite hard to understand due to the heavy northeastern accent and use of regional expressions. O Que Isso Companheiro? (Four Days in September) In 1969, the United States ambassador to Brazil Charles Elbrick was kidnapped by members of the Revolutionary Movement 8th October (MR8) and Ao Libertadora Nacional (ALN), two left-wing guerilla groups that fought against the military dictatorship. Their intention was to trade Elbrick for 15 political prisoners, most of them guerilla fighters as well. This film, directed by Bruno Barreto, is a thriller that tells a fictional version of the event. Loosely based on a memoir written by Fernando Gabeira, a Brazilian politician who was one of the kidnappers, it is a truly fascinating account from the time Brazil lived under a dictatorship engaged in a constant fight with guerilla groups and other “subversives”. This movie, which was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is a must watch for those that want to have a better understanding of that period, as well as for those that simply enjoy watching a good thriller.

Seven Brazilian Desserts Every Foreigner Should Try

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer August 25, 2015 Brazilian cuisine is really diverse and tasty as well. When it comes to sweets and desserts, there is a whole world of sugary goodness to explore. Below, we have compiled five Brazilian deserts for you to try if you get the chance. Brigadeiro Brigadeiros are among the most popular sweets in Brazil, especially at birthday parties. They are basically balls of condensed milk mixed with chocolate powder, which are then covered in chocolate sprinkles. Not only are brigadeiros delicious, but they are also very easy to make at home. If you want to try one but are not in Brazil, you can try making your own. Tapioca Tapioca is a type of pancake made with a particular type of flour. Tapiocas can be salty, but they can also be made into delicious desserts. They can be filled with chocolate, fruits, condensed milk and many other sweet fillings. Personally, I would recommend filling it with bananas and Nutella. Quindim Quindims are amongst the most traditional Brazilian pastries. This delicious treat, which came from the northeast of Brazil, is made from a mix of sugar, egg yolks and ground coconuts, and is usually presented inside an upturned cup. The quindim also has a larger version, which can serve many people, referred to as “quindo”. Pudim de Leite Condensado Different versions of this desert can be found in other countries with different names, but the Brazilian one is made with condensed milk, which makes it sweeter than most versions. The “pudim” is a traditional dessert in Brazil, and can be found in many restaurants and households. If you get the chance to try it, I would recommend not missing the opportunity. Cocada Cocadas are a traditional candy that can be found in many parts of Latin America, specially in Brazil. Made with eggs and shredded coconut, they usually have a chewy texture and a sugary taste, and come in a variety of colors. In Brazil, cocadas are mostly found in the northeast, sometimes being sold in the street by vendors. For candy lovers, it is definitely worth a try. Paoca The paoca is a Brazilian candy made with ground peanuts, cassava flour, sugar and salt. It is eaten mostly in the states of Minas Gerais and So Paulo, but can be found all though the country. Paocas come mostly shaped like a cube or a cork, and have a dry texture and a sweet taste that many say is similar to peanut butter. Whether trying the artisanal or the industrially-made paoca, the experience is highly recommended. Pamonha Pamonhas are a sweet corn-based paste that can be found all through Brazil. There are many different recipes for pamonha, but the traditional one consists of grounded green corn, milk (or coconut milk), sugar, butter and cinnamon. Pamonhas are very popular, and are often sold inside corn husks or wrapped in banana leaves. They usually have a pasty texture and taste delicious. You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com. Previous articles by Pedro: Getting Married in Brazil 16 Funny Brazilian Expressions The Best Festivals in Brazil for the EDM Lovers – Part 1 6 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make Trying to Speak Portuguese in Brazil Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of So Paulo – Part 1

Getting Married in Brazil

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer August 25, 2015 So you have found your love in Brazil and wants to get married, but between you and your (hopefully) happy marriage, there stands a bureaucratic process for you to conquer. Do not be afraid, for we have written this article to guide you through the process. First, you need to gather the documents that you will be presenting at the cartorio (registry office). You should have a notarized copy of your spouse’s ID, an original and up to date copy of their birth certificate, your original birth certificate (certified by the Brazilian Consulate in the issuing country), receipt showing that the birth certificate has been legalized (GRU receipt), a translated copy of your birth certificate and passport, a declaration of non-impediment and a notarized ID copy of two Brazilian witnesses. You might also need to register your passport and birth certificate at the Cartorio de registros and bring a proof of address in Brazil. In order for your spouse to get a notarized copy of an ID, they need to request a photocopy of an ID, which can be done in any cartorio at the cost of roughly R$5. They also need to apply for an up to date birth certificate from the state that they were born. As for your birth certificate, it needs to be recognized in Brazil, which can be done by sending it to the Brazilian consulate with a cover letter asking them to legalize it. Once you get your birth certificate back, you need to pay a fee at a branch of Banco do Brazil through a GRU form. After you have gathered all the documents that are necessary, you need to go to the Cartrio de Registro Civil e Pessoas Naturais (Civil Registry), and apply for permission to marry. They will then give you a date and a time for you to pay a fee of roughly R$300, sign some forms and present two witnesses that know you well. On this day, you should show the officer that you have a basic understanding of Portuguese if you don’t want to hire a public translator. After this process is finished they will send the documentation to another official office for approval. Once the documents are approved, you will be notified and asked to sign another form, in which you need to list two godparents as witnesses and attach a certified copy of their identification to the form. After this is finished, you are finally allowed to marry on a date of your choice. One thing to remember is that whether or not you chose to have a wedding ceremony, it is required for all Brazilians to have the civil wedding as well, whether in the registry office or elsewhere (at additional cost). At the registry office both the bride and the groom are allowed to have 8 people present, or 16 in some cases. Once this process is finished, you are finally married, and free to enjoy your marriage. You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com. Previous articles by Pedro: 16 Funny Brazilian Expressions The Best Festivals in Brazil for the EDM Lovers – Part 1 6 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make Trying to Speak Portuguese in Brazil Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of So Paulo – Part 1

Sao Paulo City – A Gourmands Dream

By Marilyn Diggs July 21, 2015 The joke in Rio is that restaurants replace beaches for entertainment in So Paulo. Its true. Brazils gastronomical capital keeps restaurateurs competitive, resulting in culinary experiences to be savored. The variety of restaurants in So Paulo is mind-boggling! Here are a few of my favorites. Brasil a Gosto. Take a gastronomic journey throughout Brazil without leaving the table. Dine in this two-story home-turned-restaurant, surrounded by Brazilian folk art and nave paintings. Chef and owner/chef Ana Luiza Trajano taps into the soul of Brazil through reinvented regional dishes that she personally researches. Brazil has very distinctive regional cooking, which makes for a not-soon-to-be-forgotten tasting menu featuring different localities. Exotic tropical fruit juices compliment the delectable degustation menu that changes monthly. Rua Professor Azevedo do Amaral, 70. Jardim Paulista. Tel: 3086-3565. www.brasilagosto.com.br

Don Curro is the best Spanish restaurant in town. Treat yourself to its award-winning paella, made from secret recipes brought from the Spanish Royal Palace where the first cook once worked. Enjoy a variety of savory seafood options, sangria, Spanish appetizers and desserts. The owner, a former bullfighter, moved here in 1958 and opened this popular restaurant with a toreador theme. Edilson Melo, on the premises 31 years, supervises the impeccable service. Rua Alves Guimares 230. Jardim Paulista. Tel: 3062-4712. www.restaurantedoncurro.com.br P.F. Chang’s is a dining experience you won’t soon forget. Although one of the biggest Asian restaurant chains in the world, the focus is on excellence. Its cuisine is innovative with fresh ingredients and first-rate quality. Traditional wok cooking seals in flavor and keeps veggies crunchy. Mostly Chinese, the menu also sports its neighboring countries’ delicacies. Save room for the banana spring rolls dessert. Chinese paintings and Xi’an statues combine with contemporary dcor. Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek, 627. Vila Nova Conceio. Tel: 3044-0571.www.pfchangs.com NB Steak. Brazil is famous for its steakhouses, or churrascarias where waiters continually circulate and slice skewered meat directly onto your plate. NB takes that experience to the next level. In this gourmet steakhouse, waiters still circulate but only offer a top quality bill of fare. The salad choices and garnishes are limited, but top-notch. Here the gaucho barbeques experience has been refined and redefined inside a contemporary, clean decr. There are three locations in So Paulo, all maintaining the high quality of food, coupled with superb service which has earned this restaurant countless awards.www.nbsteak.com.br Charles Edward Bar shows how delicious dishes can be found where you least expect them! This bar combines the names of famed Englishmen Charles Miller and his partner Edward Goddard. Miller is accredited with bringing soccer to Brazil! Partake of brew and spirits in a charming pub, specializing in imported beer and whiskey. Traditional appetizers combine with sophisticated dishes. Live entertainment performs nightly. Dance the night away. Loud, crowded and fun. Rua Mariti (corner of Av. Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, 1400 T – 1) . Tel: 3078-5022/ 3079-2804. www.barcharles.com.br Marilyn Diggs is an American living in Brazil for over twenty-five years. She is a freelance writer, artist, lecturer and author of nine books – two about Brazilian art history. As an art reporter and travel writer she has two monthly columns in Sunday News, Brazil’s English language newspaper that circulates in So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. She has written for the Miami Herald, UNESCO’s Museum International and several in-flight magazines. Marilyn has a degree in Latin American Studies and is often contracted by intercultural training services to give talks on expat challenges. www.mdiggs.com Previous articles by Marilyn: Brazil: Nature and Culture Combine in One Delightful Spot Beautiful Meets Bizarre in Brazilian Swamps Brazil: Head for the Hills for an Authentic Festa Junina Fazenda Capoava: Tourism – Brazilian Style Dune Walk in Northeastern Brazil Everythings Coming Up Roses in Holambra, the City of Flowers Around Brazil: Embu Das Artes – History, Headdresses and Handicrafts Full Steam Ahead! Chilean Vineyards by Train A Trip to Easter Island: Beyond the Obvious Atacama Desert, Chile – I Came, I Saw, I Explored Journey through the Fjords of Patagonia Around Brazil: Jap Mountains, When Nature Calls Around Brazil: Living the Amazon Brazil: A Spa that Takes Care of Body and Soul Around South America: Puyuhuapi – Chiles Patagonian Secret Around South America: Looking for Adventure in Chiles Patagonia Around South America: Road Trip through a Forgotten Land – Aisn, Chile Conquering Cape Horn Around Brazil: Hang-Gliding Over Rio Around Brazil: Sailing in Paraty Santiago: Gateway to the Chilean Experience The Enchanting Easter Island Nature and Nurturing in Chile’s Lake Region Chilean Patagonia: Going to the Ends of the Earth Around Brazil: Adventure in the Pantanal and Bonito Part 2 Around Brazil: Adventure in the Pantanal and Bonito Part 1 Spending the Night in the Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu Brazil: Happy Moonlit Trails To You Brazil: Paradise Found – Fernando de Noronha

Brazil: Nature and Culture Combine in One Delightful Spot

By Marilyn Diggs July 21, 2015 View works of art, listen to classical music concerts, attend cultural lectures and drink tea in one lush and peaceful setting. Sounds too good to be true? It all happens at the Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano Foundation, in So Paulo. In Honor of his Wife The spacious home built in the 1950s was the country residence of Oscar Americano de Caldas Filho and his family. As a civil engineer he made his fortune by founding and directing a company that constructed many public works and buildings. When his wife Maria died, Oscar left his home as a museum in her memory. It was his way of thanking So Paulo for his prosperity. Thus, the 75,000-square-meters of woods and 2,500-square-meter house became a park and museum displaying paintings, rugs, furniture, objets d’art and commemorative memorabilia from Brazilian history. After the museum opened in 1974, new donations, mostly from the couple’s children, were added. Seeing Eye to Eye – the Portrait Gallery Visitors can’t help but be impressed as they enter the house and see two giant tapestries woven in 1768 by Globelins in France. Their former owner was British poet and writer, Lord Byron. Their theme is the New World, an appropriate introduction to the Brazilian artwork and furniture showcased in the museum’s collection. Continue walking to see paintings and objects from the colonial time, Imperial Period (1823-1889) and the Old Republican Era (1898-1930). Explanations are in English as well as Portuguese. An important collection of paintings by the Dutch painter Frans Post (1612-1680) hangs in the dining room. The 24-year-old artist was enchanted by Brazil and remained 30 years. His somber colonial landscapes were painted in the dark European colors instead of tropical ones, and maintain the popular composition of his time – sky and land. Since Post was not a prolific painter, this museum’s collection has a significant sampling. Portraits of Brazilian royalty are extensive. Princess Leopoldina as a child caresses a parrot, and baby Prince Dom Alfonso nestles in from a carriage window with a view of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian modern art is scarce but well represented by Portinari, Di Cavalcanti and Lasar Segall. These three were instrumental in changing the direction of Brazilian art during the early part of this century. Toothpicks and Tea The collection of porcelain and china includes lovely pieces from the Dutch East India Company and Delft China. Empress Maria Leopoldina’s 98 plates are each painted with a different flower motif. Dancing animals, cupids, birds and much more decorate the curious collection of elaborate sterling silver toothpick holders. After your visit, relax in the charming tea room where you will be served a traditional high tea, Brazilian style. Light meals are available too. Be sure to ask for the concert schedule for the season. Here is an excellent opportunity to learn about Brazilian heritage through a wide range of objects and cultural experiences. Fundao Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano. Av. Morumbi 3700. Tel: 3742-0077. Marilyn Diggs is an American living in Brazil for over twenty-five years. She is a freelance writer, artist, lecturer and author of nine books – two about Brazilian art history. As an art reporter and travel writer she has two monthly columns in Sunday News, Brazil’s English language newspaper that circulates in So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. She has written for the Miami Herald, UNESCO’s Museum International and several in-flight magazines. Marilyn has a degree in Latin American Studies and is often contracted by intercultural training services to give talks on expat challenges. www.mdiggs.com Previous articles by Marilyn: Beautiful Meets Bizarre in Brazilian Swamps Brazil: Head for the Hills for an Authentic Festa Junina Fazenda Capoava: Tourism – Brazilian Style Dune Walk in Northeastern Brazil Everythings Coming Up Roses in Holambra, the City of Flowers Around Brazil: Embu Das Artes – History, Headdresses and Handicrafts Full Steam Ahead! Chilean Vineyards by Train A Trip to Easter Island: Beyond the Obvious Atacama Desert, Chile – I Came, I Saw, I Explored Journey through the Fjords of Patagonia Around Brazil: Jap Mountains, When Nature Calls Around Brazil: Living the Amazon Brazil: A Spa that Takes Care of Body and Soul Around South America: Puyuhuapi – Chiles Patagonian Secret Around South America: Looking for Adventure in Chiles Patagonia Around South America: Road Trip through a Forgotten Land – Aisn, Chile Conquering Cape Horn Around Brazil: Hang-Gliding Over Rio Around Brazil: Sailing in Paraty Santiago: Gateway to the Chilean Experience The Enchanting Easter Island Nature and Nurturing in Chile’s Lake Region Chilean Patagonia: Going to the Ends of the Earth Around Brazil: Adventure in the Pantanal and Bonito Part 2 Around Brazil: Adventure in the Pantanal and Bonito Part 1 Spending the Night in the Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu Brazil: Happy Moonlit Trails To You Brazil: Paradise Found – Fernando de Noronha