Canada’s Tanya Keshavjee Macedo married a Brazilian and now lives in São Paulo. She loves a mixed fruit caipiroska and Brazilian Pizza but misses a Montreal Bagel and a snowy day in front of the fire.

Where are you from?
I was born in Toronto, Canada

What brought you to Brazil?
I was studying for my MBA at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, USA, when I met my future husband, who is Brazilian. We fell in love during an MBA study trip to Brazil, and after I graduated we married, and moved to São Paulo.

What do you do here?
I am a Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics at Business School São Paulo (BSP). I am also the Manager of International Programs at BSP – funnily enough I create and manage the same type of study tour programs on which I met my husband.

What do you miss about Canada?
Mainly, I miss my family and friends. I miss Montreal bagels, fabulous Thai and Vietnamese and other ethic foods from Toronto. I miss snowy days, when you can curl up by a fireplace and read a good book while sipping hot chocolate with marsh mellows.

What do you most like about Brazil?
I love the opportunity to better understand the culture in which my husband was raised. I love the Brazilian people, they are warm and lovely. I love the fabulous restaurants and shopping in São Paulo, the old city of Pelorinho in Salvador, beaches of Rio.

What is your favourite restaurant in Brazil?
Viccolonostro – charming place (perfect for a date), great decor / atmosphere and fabulous food.

Have you tried brazilian food and drink such as feijoada, churrasco and caipirinha? Did you like them?
I am a vegetarian, so I have not tried the feijoada or churrasco, but I love the mixed fruit caipiroska (Caipirinha made with a mixture of fruits and vodka). I think that the Brazilian pizza is fabulous!

What difference between Canada and Brazil do you find most striking?
So many exist that I have to mention a few…The most glaring is the personal safety issue. In Canada, even in its largest city Toronto, it is very safe in many ways; I would never think about being robbed at a street light, or worry about whether or not to wear jewelry, in case it is stolen. However, in Canada you worry about other crimes like kidnapping, which I think are less common here. Another big difference is the extreme differences in wealth distribution in Brazil which you dont see in Canada. Finally, Canadians seem to be a lot more willing to demand fair treatment from the government. We expect and demand transparency with respect to the spending of our tax dollars. If Canadians had to pay the exorbitant speeding fines that they have in São Paulo (even going 1km over), there would be public outcry about the government gauging the public.

What are 3 things you would recommend to do for a visitor to São Paulo?
I would recommend shopping in the Jardins, walking in Iberapuera park and having dinner at Viccolonostro.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
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