Brazil: Slangs and Expressions from Bahia

SlangsBahia222By Pedro Souza
August 2nd, 2016

With its dazzling beaches, rich cultural heritage and warm people, the state of Bahia is one of the main travelling destinations in Brazil. If you plan to visit it and see for yourself what the hype is all about, it might be a good idea to get acquainted with some local slangs and expressions. For this reason, we have made this compilation.

A culhão: When someone is not interested in doing something, that person might do it without putting too much effort or paying attention to detail. In Bahia, this is called doing it “a culhão”.
Abrir o gás (Open the gas): You don’t leave a place in Bahia, you open the gas!
Abusar (Abuse): To annoy someone.
Abestalhado (Bestified): A stupid person.
Aleive: When you tell an absurd story that is probably a lie, someone might call it an “aleive”.
Colé misera!/Colé meu bródi!: A way of greeting that might be called the baiano equivalent of “what’s up man?”.
Oxê!: An exclamation with no particular meaning that you will be hearing a lot. And trust me when I say “a lot”.
Não to comendo reggae (I’m not eating reggae): To not be eating something’s/someone’s reggae, means to not be giving importance to it.
Bate o baba (Hit the baba): Baianos don’t play soccer, they hit the baba.
Apoquentado: You don’t get nervous in Bahia, you get “apoquentado”!
Arrastar a asa (To drag your wing): When you “drag your wing” for someone in Bahia, it means you are into that person.
Arriar o balaio: To open up and tell someone everything about something or about a situation.
Bodoso: A dirty or smelly person.
Boiar (to float): To “boiar” means to get tired. And when you do become tired, you now “boiado”.
Bater a caixa (To hit a box): To hold a conversation.
Pegar o boi (to get the bull): When you get something easily, you got the bull.
Na lama (In the mud): When you are having a bad day or are in a bad point in your life, you are in the mud.
Na biela (In the biela): When you are single, you are in the “biela”.
Morreu aí (It died here): When ending a conversation or a subject, a baiano might say it “died here”.
Meu nego (My nego): Another expression you will hear a lot in Bahia, it is an affectionate way of referring to someone.
Cachorro magro (thin dog): A thin dog is a person that eats at someone else’s house and leaves right after.
Comer água (To eat water): In Bahia, drinking alcoholic beverages is called “eating water”.
O Cão chupando manga (The dog sucking a mango): When someone is really good at someting, that person is “the dog sucking a mango”. This is easily one of the funnies expressions from Bahia.
Massa! (Mass!): Something cool.
Levar um chepo (To take a chepo): When you try to flirt with a girl and get rejected, you just took a “chepo”.
Despirocar: To “despirocar” is to get crazy!
Chavecar: In most places in Brazil, this means flirting with someone. In Bahia, it means annoying someone.

Brazil: Slangs and Expressions from Rio de Janeiro

RioSlangs222By Pedro Souza
June 26, 2016

Most Brazilians are somewhat familiar with the carioca accent and expressions. Foreigners however, might have some trouble with the vocabulary used by cariocas in their daily life. To help you, we have compiled some common slangs and expressions you will be hearing in Rio de Janeiro.

Mermão (shortened version of “my brother”): One of the most used expressions in Rio, it is more or less the equivalent of “dude” or “bro”. Cariocas frequently say this at the start of a sentence.
Sangue bom (good blood): When someone is nice or trustworthy, that person is “sangue bom”.
Caraca!: An expression of astonishment, it is the carioca equivalent of “holy cow!”.
Maneiro (cool): When something is cool, people from Rio call it “maneiro”. This is their way of expressing approval of something.
Irado (irate): This slang is an upgrade from “maneiro”. If something is extremely cool cariocas will call it “irado”.
Partiu: Cariocas will exclaim “partiu!” when they are down to do something. You will hear this a lot when proposing an activity.
Formou (formed): Another expression said by cariocas when they are down to do something, it can replace or be replaced with “partiu”.
Deu ruim: When something goes bad, Cariocas say that it “deu ruim”. This expressions can be used for all sorts of bad situations, from a minor annoyance to a serious incident.
Na mão do palhaço (in the clown’s hand): Cariocas will say that someone was in the clown’s hand when that person became too drunk and acted in an embarrassing way.
Perdeu a linha (lost the line): This is the same as saying that someone lost composure in a situation.
Pela saco: A pela saco is a person that is annoying, sticky and doesn’t have much of a personality. If someone is a pela saco, you might want to stay away from that person.
Bolado: If a person is worried or stressed about something, Cariocas might say that person is “bolado”.
Parada: A common slang that means “thing”. Simple as that.
Vacilar (to hesitate): When someone “vacila”, that person made a mistake or lost an opportunity.
Arroz (rice): In Rio de Janeiro, an “arroz” is a man who flirts with every girl he can.
Bombando: When you to an event that is rocking, cariocas say it is “bombando”. A good party for example, is “bombando”.
Caído (fallen): A term used to designate a place that is unpleasant or not good enough.
Dar bolo (give cake): When someone scheduled a meeting and didn’t go, that person “deu o bolo” (gave the cake).
É nós (it’s us): Nothing more than an expression of companionship, this is another one you will hear a lot.
Marcar um dez (mark a 10): To “marcar um dez” is to wait for a few minutes.
Meter o pé (to put the foot): An expression that means getting away from somewhere.
Zero-bala: Something that is brand new or renewed. When a car has just been washed or repaired for example, it might be said that it is “zero-bala”.
Trocar uma idéia (exchange an idea): To have a conversation.

Brazil: The Legend of Raul Seixas

RaulSeixas222 By Pedro Souza
May 31, 2016

Brazil is a country that boasts a rich musical heritage. Musicians like Carmen Miranda, Tom Jobin, Catano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Luiz Gonzaga and Elis Regina have left their mark in history, and are now appreciated worldwide. Yet, few musicians have influenced the music and culture of Brazil as profoundly as Raul Seixas, who is called by many the father of Brazilian rock.

Raul was born in 1945 in Salvador, in the state of Bahia. In his teenage years he was introduced to rock ‘n’ roll when a friend lent him some albums. He fell in love with the style, listening to the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, who was his main inspiration. In the late fifties, a young Raul gathered some friends and formed a band. As he got his first taste of playing live, the band went through many changes in name and composition before settling for “Os Panteras” in 1963. By the time the band consolidated, they had turned into a local sensation. In 1968 they launched an album, named “Raulzito e os Panteras” (Raulzito and the Panthers).

The album was a failure, ignored by both the critics and the public. Determined to make his way into the music scene, Raul entered the VII Festival Internacional da Canção (International Song Festival) presenting two songs: “Eu sou eu, Nicuri é o diabo” (I am me, Nicuri is the devil) and “Let me sing, let me sing”, a song that mixed rock ‘n’ roll with a Baião, a traditional musical style from northeast of Brazil. Although he didn’t win the prize, his song “Let me sing let me sing” reached the finals, enchanting the public with its originality and eclecticism.

Raul’s name was growing, but fame would only arrive in 1973 when Raul launched his first solo album titled “Krig-ha, Bandolo!”. The album was a huge success, featuring songs that are still considered to be some of his best. The highlight of the album is “Ouro de Tolo” (Fool’s Gold), a scathing critic of the middle-class dream of finding a job and consuming your way to happiness. Another classic song from the album is Metamorfose Ambulante. Even nowadays most Brazilians are familiar with the song chorus that goes: “Eu prefiro ser uma metamorfose ambulante do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo” (I would rather be a walking metamorphosis than have the same old opinions about everything).

In 1974 Raul launched the Sociedade Alternativa (Alternative Society) with the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. Heavily influenced by English Occultist Aleister Crowley, the society was centered around studying philosophy and the esoteric. The influences Raul acquired during this period are quite evident in his lyrics from this point onwards, as Raul always used his songs as a way to express his personal philosophy. He was also planning to start living communally with the society in the state of Minas Gerais, until he was caught by the repression led by the military junta which governed Brazil at the time. Arrested and tortured, he went in exile into the United States.

In this year, he also launched his second solo album, named Gita. With more than 600,000 copies sold, the album earned Raul his first Golden certification. The tracks “Gita”, “A Sociedade Alternativa” (The Alternative Society) and “O Trem das 7” (7’s Train) are considered some of his best songs. Well established into the music scene, Raul would go on to launch many albums in the following years, teaming up with other musicians such as Claudio Roberto and Marcelo Nova. As Raul kept playing, he grew into a legend, but his health started deteriorating due to his alcoholism. In the eighties, the quality of his music had clearly deteriorated as well, and he often played his concerts in a sorry state.

In august 1989, Brazil cried when Raul died of an alcohol-induced pancreatitis at the age of 44. Now, 26 years after his death, he is more alive than ever. His eclectic mixes of rock with traditional Brazilian musical styles and poetic yet comical lyrics have influenced and still influence many musicians to this day. He is also the main musical influence of the Brazilian counterculture, becoming almost a patron saint for Brazilian hippies. In live shows and campfires, his music requested so often that it has become an ongoing joke among Brazilians. Sometimes, when a band playing live takes a break between songs, someone will get up and jokingly scream “Toca Raul!” (Play some Raul), and everyone will have a good laugh.

Getting a CTPS in Brazil as a Foreigner

CTPS

By Pedro Souza
May 1, 2016

So you have finally got a job in Brazil, applied for a work visa and picked it up. Now all you need to do If you want to work legally in Brazil is to get a CTPS (Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social). This document allows you to be legally registered, and grants you access to labor rights. It also keeps track of your ages, employers and types of jobs that you have worked on.

To get a CTPS, you first need to go to an appointment at an MTE (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego), which is the Brazilian Work Ministry. To do that, you should first look for the nearest branch in the following website: http://portal.mte.gov.br/postos/. If you are a foreigner, you will have to go to the Head Office (Superintendencia), not to the smaller branches. Once you have found out which branch you are going to, you can mark an appointment in the following link: http://saa.mte.gov.br/default.aspx.

Once you have set up an appointment, you should gather all the documents necessary. You will need to bring your passport, two recent colored 3 cm X 4 cm photos of you with white background, a copy or printed version of your CPF card, a proof of residence such as a water or electricity bill, a copy and your original CIE (Cédula de Identidade de Estrangeiros), two copies of the publication in the “Diário Oficial da União” showing that the MTE branch in Brasília has authorized you get a work visa and the SINCRE (Sistema Nacional de Cadastramento de registro de Estrangeiros) printout that was given to you when you registered at the Federal Police. You should also bring your work contract in case they ask for it, although it is not stated in the MTE website.

Once you have all the necessary documents gathered, you should present them to the MTE during the appointment you have scheduled. At the end of the process, you will be given a protocol that notifies when you can return and pick up your CTPS. When the time comes, all you need to do is return to the MTE and pick it up. Now that you have your CTPS in hands, you are finally allowed to legally work in Brazil. Congratulations and good luck!

Brazil: Good Luck in the Year of the Monkey!

PFChangs302b

By Marilyn Diggs
March 5, 2016

In February, while revelers in Brazil delighted in carnival delirium, the Chinese had their own celebrating to do. This year the Chinese New Year arrived on February 8th. The very day samba schools were shimmering down Av. Marques de Sapuca in Rio, the Chinese were welcoming in the Year of the Monkey with firecrackers, drums, red lanterns and of course, dragons on parade. Based on the Chinese lunar calendar, New Years Day can fall any time between January 21st and February 20th. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is the most important traditional celebration of the year.

A Festival for Family, Food and Fun
The two main reasons for the festival are to wish for a lucky and prosperous upcoming year, and also to commemorate accomplishments, rest up and relax with family. Besides wearing new clothes, decorating with red and shooting off fireworks, one of the main traditional ways to bring in the New Year is eating a "reunion dinner" with family. This smacks of our Thanksgiving meal, where family members try their best to reunite and savor the feast together.

P.F. Changs, the internationally-renowned Asian cuisine restaurant, is the official sponsor of events that focus on the Chinese New Year in Brazil. If you missed the dancing dragon and drums in its front entrance, dont fret. Until April 8th you can partake of P.F. Changs special Chinese New Years Menu, consisting of eight recipes to bring you luck in 2016.

FlamingGarlicBeef302

Spicy Firecracker Chicken symbolizes firecrackers used in a ritual to scare away evil spirits and open the door to fortune. Crab Wontons are in the shape of ancient coins and symbolize prosperity and a new start. They are served with chives for protection, and plum sauce for long life, youth and beauty. Continue with seafood, which brings abundance and prosperity. Since shrimp brings happiness Ma La Shrimp is a perfect choice. The Apple Crunch dessert helps new opportunities arrive to you. Just decide what you desire and choose the delectable dish symbolizing your wish for vitality, protection, communication skills, spiritual cleaning, happiness, good health, mind expansion, love, harmony, power, long life or even an aphrodisiac. Choosing the dish is half the fun and you cant go wrong because they are all winners.

If you still want more, request a red piece of paper (representing fire), then write your wish with black ink (representing water) and tie it onto the "Tree of Wishes" (a.k.a. decorative room partitions inside the restaurant). At the end of the Year of the Monkey, P.F. Changs will host a ceremony in which a Buddhist monk will bless the notes before burning them so they can be received by the universe and granted.

The Chinese New Year is a Season of Superstitions – Taboos
These measures will be especially helpful for those who were born in former Years of the Monkey (1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, etc.), washed your hair on Feb. 8th, and/or cleaned your house on Feb. 8th and 9th. It also goes for those who before Feb. 15th did not pray in a temple, asked for a loan, allowed your child to cry, did not have a girl/boyfriend and/or did not wear red underwear. It certainly makes the American tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day for good luck, seem trivial, doesnt it?

These dishes and wishes activity will be available at the four restaurants located in Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo state: Av. Juscelino Kubitschek, 627 in Vila Nova Conceio, S.P. city; Alphaville and Campinas. Until April 8.

Further information: www.pfchangs.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 written for the Miami Herald and Museum International (a UNESCO publication) as well as newspapers and inflight 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

The Gringoes Guide to Brazilian Folklore and Myths (Part 1)

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
March 5, 2016

Brazil is a country with a very rich folklore. Originally inhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes, the national mythology and folklore is still imbued with tales that have been passed down generation after generation from ancient times. When settlers came, the tales and myths of Europeans and Africans mingled with the native mythology to create a unique folklore that is ingrained in the culture of Brazil. As an introduction to Brazilian folklore, we have prepared this guide.

Saci Perer: Probably the most recognizable Brazilian myth, the Saci Perer has been depicted in countless movies, cartoons, comics and other forms of media. The Saci even has a national day, which is the 31st October. No one knows exactly the origins of the myth, but experts believe that it originated from the indigenous people of the south of the country, migrating later to the north. In the north, the myth of Saci was strongly shaped by African influences. Nowadays, he is depicted as a one-legged black boy that wears a red cap and is always smoking a pipe. According to legend, he rides around on dust devils and enjoys playing tricks such as letting animals loose, misplacing things and tying knots in manes and hairs. Supposedly, an offering of cachaa or tobacco pipe can stop his antics. Despite his liking for pranks, he is also said to be a connoisseur of forest herbs, and in some places it is said that one should ask the Saci for permission before collecting herbs. Folks also say that if the Saci decides to chase you, you can escape by crossing a stream, as water makes him lose his power.

Curupira: Another staple of Brazilian folklore, the Curupira is a mythical creature with European and West African influences. According to the legend, the Curupira is a red-haired dwarf with his feet turned backwards that inhabits the forests of Brazil. In most versions of the myth, he rides around on a pig and makes a high-pitched whistling sound, which can drive his victims to madness. He is said to be a guardian of the forest, preying on hunters that take more than what they need. He confuses his victims by placing traps and confusing them by leaving tracks with his backwards feet. Legend goes that if being chased by a Curupira, one should leave a tied knot in a vine, which will distract him. In some places, hunters asked the Curupira for permission before going out hunting.

Boto Cor-de-rosa: The Boto Cor-de rosa is a cetacean found in the Amazon river and known in english as the Amazon river dolphin. According to the folklore of the North of Brazil, the Boto has the power of transforming himself into an attractive human male. Legend says he joins the "Festa Junina" (June parties) disguised as a human male wearing a hat to hide the hole on top of his head. In this form, he is said to seduce and make love to women, disappearing into the waters when morning comes. This is why in some parts of Brazil people will call a child with no father a "child of the boto".

An Introduction to Brazilian Folk Sayings

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
March 5, 2016

Every country has its own sayings, which pass down from generation from generation. You never know where they come from, but you are always familiar with the ones from your country. Sayings say a lot about the culture from where they originate, and from the mindset of its inhabitants. Below, we have compiled and explained some traditional Brazilian sayings you might hear over here. They may not be unique to Brazil, but might have a Brazilian twist.

De cavalo dado no se olha os dentes (you don’t look at the teeth of a horse that is given to you): One of the most common Brazilian sayings, this one is about gratitude. You might hear someone reprimanding a person who complained about a present with this saying, or someone might say it in a resigned tone after receiving a bad present. In Brazil, gift giving is part of the local culture. Complaining about a gift however, is perceived as a rude behavior.

Ladro endinheirado no more enforcado (A rich thief is never hanged): Sadly, this one says a lot about Brazil. It is a criticism of the privileges and differentiated treatment that those with money receive here. All one needs to do to understand it is look at the news here, where rich people constantly get away with serious crimes while those less fortunate crowd our prisons.

Seja dono da sua boca para no ser escravo das suas palavras (Be the owner of your mouth so you don’t become the slave of your words): Those who don’t watch what they say might become compromised by what comes out of their mouths. This is a warning against those that fall prey to their own words.

<strong>Quando a cabea no pensa o corpo padece</strong> (When the head doesn’t think, the body withers): A warning against intellectual stagnation, which can be the cause of mental and physical decay.

Deus ajuda quem cedo madruga (God helps those who wake up early): Another very common saying, it is a praise of hard work and diligence.

A palavra de prata, o silencio de ouro (Words are made of silver, silence is made of gold): Words have their worth but not as much as silence, at least according to this saying.

A duvida o travesseiro do sabio (Doubt is the wise man’s pillow): A call for questioning things like the wise do.

A ocasio faz o ladro (The occasion makes the thief): According to this saying one does not do bad things because he was born bad, but because the circumstances have pushed him towards doing these things.

aguas passadas no movem moinhos (Waters from the past move no windmills): What is gone is gone, and cannot do anything for you anymore. This is all there is to it.

De grão em grão a galinha enche o papo (Grain by grain, the chicken fills its stomach):Little by little, one can accomplish great things. This is what is being expressed in these words.

dando que se recebe (It is by giving that you receive): A call against stinginess and for generosity.

Na pratica, a teoria outra (In practice, the theory is another): As this saying cleverly expresses, things may work in a different way than we think that they do.

Quem no tem co caa com gato (Those who don’t have a dog hunt with a cat): If you don’t have what you need to accomplish something, you can improvise and use something else.

Rico bebe para comemorar, o pobre para no chorar (The rich one drinks to celebrate, while the poor drinks so he doesn’t cry): In a country with such high inequality, the poor have it hard while the rich have it too easy. This situation finds expression in many sayings such as this one.

You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com

5 Brazilian Dishes You Should Try

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
February 6, 2016

Brazilian cuisine is extremely rich and diverse, being influenced by Portuguese colonizers, African slaves, Brazilian natives and immigrants from all over the world. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the best dishes the country has to offer.

1. Feijoadafeijoada One of the most traditional Brazilian dishes, feijoada is a stew of black beans, beef and pork that is as delicious as it is caloric. Depending on where you eat feijoada, different parts of the pork are used. One can find feijoadas with pork ribs, ears, tails, sausages and much more. Some common additional ingredients are rice, farofa, oranges and kale, but one can find an enormous variety of ingredients in feijoadas from different places. This tasty stew is not only simple to make but also makes for a true feast. For those that enjoy a hearty meal and are not worried about the calories, I would recommend jumping at the opportunity to try feijoada.

2. Farofa Another staple from Brazilian culinary, farofa is a mixture of toasted cassava flour that is eaten through all the country. By itself, it doesn’t have much to offer, but it can be fried with many different ingredients. It also goes extremely well with rice and beans, which are the essential Brazilian foods. Some common ingredients to be cooked with farofa are sausages, eggs, bacon, onions and olives. Some also like to put in ingredients such as chopped bananas, raisins or nuts, but the farofa offers limitless possibilities of mixtures. Whether you are eating a feijoada, a fish fillet or a Brazilian-style barbecue, farofa has a lot of flavor to bring to the table. Moqueca

3. Moqueca One of the most traditional dishes in the northeast of Brazil, moqueca is a seafood stew to make any mouth water. Usually served in a clay pot, moqueca is a mixture of seafood, diced tomatoes, onions and coriander. In the state of Bahia, it is usually cooked with palm oil, peppers and coconut milk. For the complete experience, moqueca should be eaten with rice, farofa and piro, a spicy mixture of manioc flour and fish. If you are a seafood lover that is willing to experiment with new flavors, then moqueca is definitely for you.

4. Arroz carreteiro (Wagoner’s Rice) In the south of Brazil, a “carreteiro” was someone who transported goods across the country. This dish was created by these travelers using ingredients that could be preserved without refrigeration, so as to provide a tasty and nutritious food that can be prepared during their journeys. It is consists of a mixture of rice, beef jerky and onions, with some other vegetables or spices being used sometimes as well. This tasty dish quickly spread through the rest of Brazil, and is now enjoyed through all the country. While it is quite good on its own, the arroz carreteiro is at its best when served as a side dish, offering a delicious alternative for the plain rice that is usually served in Brazil.

5. Virado a Paulista While the state of So Paulo is not well known for its culinary, it is the home of this deliciousness known as the Virado a Paulista. Traditionally, this dish was made from a mix of food leftovers. Nowadays, the virado is a full plate that mixes rice, cooked beans, kale, cassava flour, sausages, pork chops and eggs sometimes. This combination is a force to be reckoned, and should leave anyone satisfied. In the city of So Paulo, it is usually served on Mondays at a fair price in restaurants and bars through the city.

Come Taste the Wonders of Mineira Cuisine

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer January 9, 2016 Minas Gerais is a state in the southeast of Brazil marked by rolling hills, mountains and a sky that is said by some to be the bluest in the country. Minas has played an important part in the history of Brazil, playing a role akin to the Wild West in the United States when gold was discovered in the depths of its mountains. Nowadays, the gold is all but gone, and all of the misery and riches it has brought has gone with it, with the exception of the gold-adorned churches of Ouro Preto. But the inflow of people that occurred in these times has not only made it the second most populous state in the country, but also one of the most culturally rich states. Among these riches, is a culinary tradition amazing in its diversity and richness of flavors. In Brazil, the cuisine from Minas is known as the epitome of home-cooked food, and some even go as far as calling it “the soul of Brazilian cuisine”. From the Portuguese colonizers, it has inherited elaborate pastries and thick broths and stews. From indigenous culture, it inherited the use of many local spices and plants such as manioc. And from the African culture that came to Brazil with the slaves it took its ingenuity and capacity to create and adapt recipes with whatever resources available. The trademark of mineira cuisine is the wooden stove and the assortment of rustic pans and pots made of clay or stone. Whether in Minas or not, any mineiro restaurant that prizes itself still used this setup. One of the things that is most notable in mineira cuisine is the abundance of thick broths and stews. These usually have a lot of meat, specially chicken and pork meat, and are as caloric as they are delicious. It also uses a lot of native vegetables and roots, such as kale, cassava, and okra. Two staple dishes of Minas are the Feijo Tropeiro and Tutu de Feijo, which are broths elaborated from cassava flour, beans and a mix of other ingredients. Pork is used with no restraints in Minas, and can be found prepared in a variety of ways. There are pork stews, broths, roasted pork and fried pork. One of the most popular pork recipes from Minas is the torresmo, an appetizer that is made from fried pork skin and fat. Minas is also notorious for its variety of cheeses, which are very popular through Brazil. Its staple cheese is known through the country as “queijo mineiro” (Minas cheese), which is a whitish cheese with a soft texture that is often served as a dessert together with goiabada, a guava-based candy. From Minas also comes the “po de queijo” (cheese bread), a cheese flavored roll that might be the most recognizable Brazilian snack. To top it all, Minas is known for its cachaa, a distilled spirit made from sugar cane that is known outside of Brazil for its use in preparing caipirinhas, a notorious Brazilian fruit cocktail. Although cachaa is popular through the whole country, the cachaa from Minas is reputed to be the best. It also goes down very well with the mineiro dishes, especially the heavy pork-based ones. If you are a fan of eating and drinking well, you shouldnt miss the opportunity to try some authentic mineira cuisine washed down for some cahaa. But be warned: if you are wary of caloric meals, this experience might not be for you.

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!