Brazil Through Foreign Eyes

November 12, 2013 Meet Sheldon Feingold who has lived in Brazil over 40 years. Read the following interview in which Sheldon tells us about some of his most memorable experiences and gives some useful advice to newcomers. 1. Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.? I’m an American from New York City, and my wife is Brazilian. I live in Recife and have been here since December 1970 – a long time, and so many people say that I’m now a Brazilian. As to my activity, I’m retired, although I would love to have something to do. I am a chemist and have an MBA in marketing and am fully bilingual. 2. When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here? My first impressions of Brazil, so many years ago, were that Brazilians are basically very nice and friendly people – especially those from here in the northeast. I remember, as well, that I thought that all these crazy Brazilian motorists were out to kill this gringo.” After 43 years of driving in this country my opinion hasn’t really changed in this respect. 3. What were you first impressions of Brazil? My first visit to Brazil was in 1961 when I came to work with an American author who lived in Rio and I was sent by my company to help him edit his book. 4. What do you miss most about home? What I miss most about New York is the theater, the museums, and all the other positive things that the city has to offer. 5. What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil? My most frustrating experience has been getting things done when they are promised to be done… and not weeks and weeks later. 6. What has been your most memorable experience in Brazil (specific incident)? Without doubt my most memorable experience in Brazil was the birth of my daughter. What can be more important than that? 7. What do you most like about Brazil (in general)? What I like most about Brazil is the diversity of the people and the various cultures, from north to south and vice versa. 8. What is your favorite restaurant/place to hang out here? I don’t ‘hang out’, but I do like many restaurants in many places. 9. Do you have any funny stories/incidents to tell about your time in Brazil? No particularly funny stories to tell and of course the variety of climate is the most striking difference. 10. What difference between your homeland and Brazil do you find most striking? My Portuguese is fine, thank you, and it should be after so many years. 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 advice to newcomers is to learn the language ASAP – Brazilians, in the majority, don’t speak English. 12. What advice do you have for newcomers to Brazil? There’s much to see and much to do in So Paulo as well as in the rest of Brazil. See and do as much as you can. Are you a foreigner who has lived in, or is living or travelling in Brazil? Are you a Brazilian who has a lot of contact with foreigners and/or lived outside of Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer for our interview series, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send a blank email to with “Interview” in the subject. We will send you the interview questions by return email. To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below: Vitor Salas – Portugal 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

Leave a Reply