English born and Italian raised Adam Glensy moved to São Paulo after getting tired of Europe and wanting a new life in Brazil. Apart from his mum and a good ‘cuppa’ he doesn’t miss much from home. He has spent his time in Brazil starting a new business and more importantly improving his tennis game. He has some great experiences to share with you.
Where are you from?
I was born in London, but was brought up in Milan, Italy where I lived until I was 24 before returning to London in 1990.
When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?
I arrived in September 2002 with my Brazilian wife (we are now separated) and my daughter Alexia who is now 4 and 1/2. I got tired of life in Europe after working for 15 years as a Foreign Exchange Dealer (specializing in Italian Lire and then Euro) and decided to start a new life in Brazil, a country I first discovered in 1994.
What do you do?
I recently set up a hedge fund with my two Brazilian partners and I trade mainly U.S markets in a relatively unorthodox way with the aim of providing positive returns in all market conditions call KMG Trading. I also represent offshore institutions with financial products for clients with a more traditional perspective on investing and I teach English to Brazilian businessmen. Last but not least, I am trying to become a better tennis player!
What do you miss about home when you are in Brazil?
To be honest, apart from my mum and a cuppa tea, not much at all. Now that I can watch live English Football and Italian Serie A here in São Paulo, there is no saudade of home.
What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?
Bureaucracy and São Paulo traffic are most annoying, but I suppose you can’t have it all. One episode though that sticks in my mind happened about 6/7 years ago when I arrived by plane in Recife at about 2a.m. There was one policeman to go through every foreigners passport and he seemed to be doing everything in slow motion as well as taking a coffee break in between. It took 4 hours to get through customs.
What do you most like about Brazil?
The people above all. Friendly, warm, interesting and varied. The country itself is spectacularly beautiful and even living here permanently one could have a lifetime of holidays in this country and never get bored.
What is your favorite restaurant here?
Good question as there are literally tons of excellent restaurants of all kinds, but one that sticks out away from the usual known ones is the Chopperia do Gonzaga in Santos where they marinate the meat overnight in Beer and cook the most exquisite barbequed skewers.
Do you have any funny stories/incidents to tell about your time in Brazil?
I had only been in Brazil a few months and I was driving on a motorway about 300km from São Paulo, when I was stopped by the Police for a routine check. Being from the UK, I am pretty lax about carrying documents on me and had left my driving license at home. The Policeman explained to me that this is a very serious infringement and the fine is R$650. I started stuttering and asked if there was no way to get round this to which he said; make me a small offer”. I only had R$35 in cash in my wallet which I placed on the dashboard. As quick as a flash the money was gone and the Policeman said to me: “All is in order, may God be with you, have a good journey”. Basically, I was introduced to Brazil’s parallel way of life.
What difference between your homeland and Brazil do you find most striking?
Despite many cliches, I find Brazilians to be hard-working and ambitious and even though the average Brazilian is far worse off than the average British citizen, he/she gets on with life without moaning all day long! The other difference which really gets you thinking is cost of living, in Brazil you can have a much higher standard of living if you have the good fortune of being used to European costs.
What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São Paulo (or anywhere else in Brazil)?
São Paulo is a very interesting city but not that touristy; in my opinion a city tour would suffice as well as a night out in a good restaurant…..I would get myself to Rio, visit the ancient capital of Portuguese Brazil, Salvador, and visit as much of the coastline as if humanly possible. Of course there is so much more to learn and see like the historic cities of Minas Gerais, the jungle city Manaus with its marble Opera House and the Iguacu falls that the most difficult choice is to decide what not to see.
If anyone would like to contact Adam with any questions about Brazil or perhaps you are interested in his trading company, he can be reached at the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Silke Tina Tischendorf – Germany
Graham Debney – New Zealand
Aaron Day – Canada
Tommie C.B. DeAssis – Japan
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 email@example.com