May 12, 2015

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Denise S. Read on as Denise tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I was born in the south of Brazil, in Porto Alegre. I am a “curious” person so I have worked for international banks and imports/exports companies, later I taught English over many years. I am now studying at a Faculty of Music and I am a blogger, as well.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

I think the language is the main barrier, in my opinion, for foreigners in some parts of Brazil. Also, bureaucracy. Very slow. And Brazilians greet people warmly. This is something that can also be seen as impoliteness, I suppose.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

Many people think that everybody is poor, in Brazil. And that everybody lives in Rio. Or only go to beaches, instead of working.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

Well, it’s a tricky question, cause I am seen in Brazil somewhat as a foreigner, because of having some characteristics of other nationalities, but some I have from my family, not all from Brazil. Let’s say, some Europeans don’t greet with kisses, rather a handshake or just waving. When I greet people in Brazil this way, they find me a snob. Don’t ever try to explain it, they will find you impolite anyway. I think British are punctual and I like it. I like the way some people care for the environment in some countries in Europe.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I studied at a North American school for a decade, so living in England and hearing the British accent was quite different for me, to “adjust” to some of their accents. Although many disagree and see some accents as “low level”, I find it very nice to hear accents in the UK. Scottish, for example, and Liverpudlian. I love those accents! I also like the Irish accent.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

If I have to pick just one place I will choose Wales. The whole country. It’s a place with rich history, polite and sweet people, amazing views along the coast and valleys and I feel at home there.

7. Favourite foreign food?

I am a fussy eater, unfortunately. And on the top of that, I am vegetarian since childhood. It makes it all very difficult for me to find food that I really like, in any part of the world. Brazilian food never said a thing to me. I used to eat Spanish dishes in my family, so I guess Spanish food doesn’t count on my report. I like simple dishes like avocado salad, caprese salad, coleslaw, fruit scones and clotted cream. Yorshire pudding is a must and Italian dishes, but alas, in the south of Brazil, hugely colonized by Italians, that would be a no-brainer. Swiss cheese like Tte de Moine is great. I also like some dishes of the Indian cuisine, like pilau rice and samosas, and Cornish and Greek pastries, such as tsoureki, trigona, bougatsa, etc.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

The Beatles. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. But I’d like to mention Balzac, as well. Movies… it’s difficult. I like old movies, from late 30s till the 50s. Then I have so many to name that it would be unfair. But alas, I will name one: Cleopatra. I am a huge fan of Bollywood, as well.

9. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or culture shock that you have experienced with a foreigner?

In Germany the landlady used to check my garbage bags to see whether I was doing it right, separating organic from dry garbage. She then rang the bell to tell me that she opened my bags in the trash bins and didn’t like one item that I have placed there. I never heard of someone who would open the garbage bags of another person, get in touch with torn paper, other intimate women’s stuff and etc. it sounded disgusting to me, but she was protecting the environment, I guess.

10. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

I think just bear in mind that bureaucracy is really ridiculous, and try not to stress over it, and that when people greet you warmly, they mean to show you are welcome and they want you to enjoy your time with them and in Brazil.

You can email Denise at denisesways@hotmail.com, and read her blog atwww.denisesplanet.com.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@gringoes.com.

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

Ana Gauz
Daniel Reschke
Adriana Schmidt Raub
Kledson Pires
Juliana Barroso
Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

5/12/2015

September 8, 2014

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Ana Gauz. Read on as Ana tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from Rio (I used to live in Leblon) and I am currently working at a very nice store as a sales associate (my first retail job ever!). Back in Brazil, I used to work in the film industry.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

I believe the obstacles are the same to any person that moves to a different country: adjusting to another culture, the food, how people relate to each other, the way they dress… Not to mention the language!

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

As tourists, I would say not trying (hard) to blend in, in order to avoid attracting burglars and scammers, as well as displaying their nice and big and expensive cameras at any place. In our online world, one should know better than visiting a place without learning about it in advance. About expats living in Brazil, I just don’t know.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

In the US, it’s the way people dress, especially bathing suits. I’ve been living here for 5 years and sometimes I think I will never get used to them. But I also believe it’s more so in the suburbs, where I live. Whenever I go to a big city, I usually see more people dressed more accordingly to what I was used to in Brazil. I mean, more contemporary and youthful.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I love the English language. Period. Every accent has its own beauty. The American accent just flows, it’s music to my ears. The British one sounds sophisticated. The Australian and South-African accents are fun.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

Hawaii, hands down. Natural beauty that reminded me of Brazil (except for the volcanos, of course), but more developed, with better services.

7. Favourite foreign food?

Italian food. Portuguese desserts.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Band – Queen Book – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen Movie – I can’t choose just one. There are sooo many! I love all Woody Allen’s movies, but there are so many others: The Untouchables, The Piano, Amlie, The Hunt, The Truman Show…

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

I have never dated a foreigner and most of my friends are married to Brazilian men. Sorry!

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or &rsquot;culture shock&rsquot; that you have experienced with a foreigner?

Sure! I have many incidents, but the one that struck me the most was when an acquaintance of mine told me, very straightforward, that she doesn’t mind hugging but she does not like being touched, after I rubbed her shoulder as I greeted her. I just said OK”, not knowing exactly what to think about it. But later, I came to the conclusion that I had to adapt, since I am not in Brazil anymore, where everybody touches each other all the time. I’d rather have someone saying that right away than feeling disgusted at my touch or starting to avoid me.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

Just be open, adventurous, try to enjoy the good things and be careful, a little more than Brazilians themselves need to be. Also, here are some practical tips (more than 2):

1. If you are invited to a party that is supposed to start at 9pm, do not show up before 10 or 10:30pm. The host won’t be ready. Not even business or school meetings start on time. It’s a cultural thing. 2. Try getting used to greeting a friend or acquaintance you come across in the streets, even if you are in a hurry, with 2 kisses on the cheek. Exchange some words, say you are in a hurry, and say goodbye with 2 more kisses. You only don’t need to do this if the person is a little far away or if it is someone you hardly know. 3. People are curious about foreigners, so expect a lot of questions. Obviously you don’t have to answer all of them, but be prepared. We, Brazilians, suffer from “the mongrel complex”. 4. People do not say “Excuse me” when someone is on their way. In Brazil, people just find their way through the crowd, without a word. I prefer the way Americans do.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

Previous Interviews

Daniel Reschke
Adriana Schmidt Raub
Kledson Pires
Juliana Barroso
Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

February 18, 2014

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Daniel Reschke. Read on as Daniel tells us about his impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from Francisco Beltrão, in Paran, a state in the South of Brazil. I graduated from the state University of Maring. Maring is a city in the North of the state which I consider my city in part because of its green beauty and wonderful people. There, I taught English as a second language for 5 years in different schools.

Currently, I am a Fulbright Scholar in Jackson, Michigan, in the United States. I teach Portuguese to speakers of English so they can have a better experience when travelling to Brazil. There is a program called USBC (United States Brazil Connect) which sends students from colleges to teach English in Brazil for a month. I am also engaged in international organizations that help promote integration between native and foreign students.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

I believe our bureaucracy is serious obstacle. There are so many obstacles to doing something legally that many Brazilians tend to use the so-called jeitinho”, which is a way of circumventing rules by being “street smart”. I don’t see many people doing this here in the U.S, and I think foreigners they are not happy when they realize the way some things work in Brazil.

Another one is the language. I’ve heard a lot of people who speak other languages say that Portuguese is really hard to master. Although there are an increasing and significant number of people who speak English in big cities, if you go to a smaller places, you’ll need Portuguese.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

I think resisting adapting. When you live in a foreign country, you have to adapt somehow! I’m living in Michigan and the weather now is just much colder than I’ve ever experienced. I’m adapting pretty well and enjoying the good things that winter can give you, even though it’s not my favorite season.

However, I feel some foreigners living in Brazil are not truly willing to adapt. I don’t think they should adapt to things as the “jeitinho” and our bureaucracy, but life is certainly easier and more enjoyable if you try hard to learn Portuguese and you greet people in a proper and warmer Brazilian way! I’ve met people from more developed countries who were regarded as rude because they didn’t care about learning Portuguese and acted too polite and formal in certain situations.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

The respect for the rules and laws. More than that, the need for organization and rules. I think people in the United States enjoy being in a more organized, controlled environment, with specific rules. For example, I went to a couple of rock shows here in which people could not stand to see it. The benefits are having a nice comfortable seat to enjoy the show and not having anyone in front of you. Although the shows were good, I would rather see them standing! Brazilians like to dance, sing along (loudly sometimes) and be able to go around. When I was in Charleston, I was surprised by how specific the rules to go to a mere water fountain were!

The way people dress in Brazil and in the United States is somewhat similar. There’s a clear distinction between formal and informal. However, people have less need to show their “brandy” clothes or accessories here. There are lots of Brazilians who are obsessed with their appearance and their clothing, almost as if they needed to be distinguished from the ones who don’t dress “properly”. I’ve seen students who put on a lot of make up to go to the University or schools, which is something I’ve never seen here.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

As a graduate in the study of language, I love languages and accents. I really like hearing different accents. I’m really used to the Northwestern accent now, but if I were to choose one simply because I like its sound, I’d choose the Jamaican accent.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

Chicago. Its unique architecture and skyline make you feel happy just because you’re walking around the city. In my first time at the city, I went to all the touristic attractions and museums. It was only in my second visit that I realized the city is worth visiting just to walk around downtown or by lake Michigan. And the food is a hundred times better than in New York, if you ask me! That pizza! Even the hot-dogs!

7. Favourite foreign food?

This is a tricky question. I love Japanese food, Mexican food… If were to choose just one, I’d have to say cheesecake. It’s just too good! I’ll miss American cheesecake when I go back to Brazil.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Pink Floyd, Animal Farm and One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

Brazilians like to kiss on the very first date. It’s common to meet a girl in a nightclub, exchange some glances, kiss, get each other’s phones and then meet for a real date the next day/week. Kissing is a VERY important thing for Brazilians!

Dating here in the United States nowadays is mostly done with the help of dating websites or phone apps. Most of times, people get to know each other first, and then kiss. The opposite may happen in Brazil!

Also, I think that young people in the United States have lost the ability to communicate with their eyes or their smiles. They mostly rely on their phones

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?

I have an American friend who lives in Brazil and he’s been through an interesting ‘incident’. We were in Liberdade, a Japanese neighborhood in São Paulo. We were eating some food from the local food stands when a beggar came to him and tried to put his hand into his plate of noodles. He didn&rsquot;t say anything when he arrived. My friend pulled his plate away fast, to avoid having his hands touch the food. His mouth and nose were dripping with saliva and snot. It almost fell into his plate. He appeared to have psychological problems. He started to speak by making noises and grunts. In the USA, they have places that are called “soup kitchens”. Most are at churches and other non-profits where homeless people can receive free meals. Most Americans prefer that homeless people get free meals at a soup kitchen. They don&rsquot;t want to give free food on the street because this will cause more beggars to bother old people, tourists, and others. His first reaction was to say no, based on what they think in America. Normally, he likes to share food with family and friends – but his reaction was to avoid the beggar in this situation. After the man got food from us, he tried to grab a second plate. We then quickly walked away and stood close to a policeman that was watching the park. Months later, he was riding a bus in Rio, and started to eat some candy. Suddenly, a beggar asked him for some food, and he automatically gave him some candy.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

1. Visit AS MANY regions in Brazil as you can. If one thing can truly define the country, it’s diversity. Fulbright selects people from all over the country to teach in the United States. Whenever we all meet, it becomes clear how many different things (and words!) we have to share. And we’re from the same country

Of course Rio and Bahia are must sees (by the way, when you’re in Rio, please visit the historical convents and churches downtown, like the “Convento de Santo Antonio), but if you don’t want to be spreading stereotypes as “the only beautiful things in Brazil are the beaches and the women”, you should go to the South of the country, which was mostly populated by Europeans in the 19th century. Cities like Blumenau and Gramado have a lot to show about Brazil too.

2. Go to a local market. I always loved to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the local markets in Maring. Not only can you buy really good food, but there are a great place to understand more about Brazilian ways and business. You can bargain, of course, but beware: a “gringoe” accent is not going to help prices go down!

You can contact Daniel via daniel.reschke.pires@gmail.com

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Adriana Schmidt Raub
Kledson Pires
Juliana Barroso
Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

April 30, 2013

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Adriana Schmidt Raub. Read on as Adriana tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from São Paulo city – born and raised. I majored in Hotel Management at Cornell University in the USA but started a small ecotourism agency called Your Way in 2001 helping foreigners visit this unique little paradise off the northeast coast of Brazil called Fernando de Noronha. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s heaven.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

I believe the biggest obstacles are the country’s bureaucracy as well as its lack of good customer service. I also believe that labor laws that favor the employee also play a major part when an executive moves to Brazil.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

I believe that foreigners who move here should try and embrace this move as a learning and eye-opening experience in their lives. If you try and recreate your home country in Brazil, it is probably close to impossible, so you better not even try it as to avoid frustration. But I am not defending that foreigners should not have a critical eye onto the country, but simply try not to single-handedly change an entire culture, which probably has centuries of history that explains our behavior and our bad habits.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

Wow, I work with quite a few nationalities and I am married to an American, so let’s see where I should begin! I like British irony and sarcasm, and I love how practical Germans can be when planning a trip. Italians can be a bit confusing and too laid-back for my taste (and I am Brazilian!) but I have heard that Italians are the Brazilians of Europe! (Ha!). I love the politeness of Scandinavians and their love and appreciation for good weather. I was just talking to my husband about how nice and appreciative Americans can be. They are just genuinely nice people and don’t normally envy others… they are usually focused on their goals and work hard for them, without paying attention to how well their neighbors are doing. At least this has been my experience with them.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I have a bit of a hard time understanding UK folks, especially those Scottish ones. This reminds me of when I used to work at a hotel back in the 90’s. I had recently returned from the USA and therefore still had my freshly-acquired Texan accent. A British guest was checking out, and turned to me and said: Oh my, you speak fluent English, you sound American!” to which I humbly thanked her for what I thought was a compliment. But then she said: “Oh darling, that’s not a compliment!” I didn’t find it endearing.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

New Zealand because of the outdoor activities and the people (cute accent, too!). Patagonia because of the spectacular glaciers and my absolute hate for crampons acquired on that trip. Turkey blew my mind with the mosques and all the burkas and the Muslim calls to prayer. Peru because of Machu Picchu, India for the Taj Mahal, the food, and Udaipur. It was very interesting and also sad to notice the particularities of various cultures as well. For example, in India I learned that you always need to be alert because they can rob you in your face, without carrying a knife or a gun – they simply tell you a story and fool you, taking advantage of how gullible a foreign visitor can be. I didn’t think that was nice and tried to reconcile this trait in my head by remembering their long-lived history of trading spices, fabric, and precious stones back in time, but at the end of the day, I just felt taken advantage of.

7. Favorite foreign food?

Thai soups, Mexican burritos, and anything from an Indian tandoor. The food and the people from each destination I visit are my absolute passion when traveling.

8. Favorite foreign band, book and movie?

U2, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.

I am a huge movie fan so it is hard to pick one, but I am a big Jack Nicholson fan too so these come to my mind first: The Shining is the movie that hooked me onto looking forward to going to the movie theater almost every weekend as I was growing up. As Good as It Gets is also a touching movie of his that’s definitely on my list of favorites. I’m also a fan of the classics: Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, E.T., Star Wars, The Godfather trilogy, yadda yadda. My favorite comedy of all time is The Hangover.

For books, I could pull a few that stuck with me from my younger years, but I’ve been really into TV shows lately, and a few that have caught my undivided attention are: Breaking Bad, Homeland, Dexter and The Following, to only name a few.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

Women in Brazil claim that Brazilian boys have the famous “pegada” (the grabs) when they touch a girl and make out with her. But I have to say that I am not really into Brazilian guys as they tend to be too possessive and also a bit macho… I like my independence and have adjusted better with a foreigner because of that.

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or &rsquot;culture shock&rsquot; that you have experienced with a foreigner?

I tend to believe that there are more Brazilians trying to take advantage and cheat the system than any other nationality that I am familiar with… In Brazil, when you buy ice at a grocery store, the ice bags have to be inside the store. But on my last visit to the USA, I went to a pretty big grocery store that had a freezer that was beyond glass door exits, almost on your way out to the parking lot. I found it strange but grabbed two bags of ice anyway and took them all the way inside to run it at the cashier. The clerk was so surprised to see me carrying these two freezing bags that she said out loud: “Oh sweetie! You didn’t have to bring these here. You just need to tell me how many bags you need and you pick them up on your way out!” And I thought to myself: “And how do you know if I take only the ones I paid for, and not more than those?” The whole situation made me a bit flustered and I forgot to look for the metal container that dispenses the coins when you have change in coins. I had never seen those, either, and she had to remind me that I should collect the change from the machine that spits the change automatically when she runs a sale. It was a difficult trip to the grocery store!

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

To experience botecos and boteco food. And also going to a typical Brazilian beach and eating the food available on the beach, as well as the drinks and perhaps a bit of sports either on the sand or water sports. The true samba clubs are also a great experience. There is one with classical samba in Vila Madalena in São Paulo that is great and not stereotypical. I also like when foreigners experience buying fruits and vegetables from a street fair and having a pastel with sugar cane juice at the end. Padarias are also a great Paulistana experience, and if they try a coxinha, it always makes me smile as these are true Brazilian staples and not that common overseas. Pizza in São Paulo also tends to surprise to foreigners and going on a Saturday or Sunday night truly shows what a big tradition this is.

You can contact Adriana about trips to Fernando de Noronha on her website at Your Way or at adriana@yourway.com.br.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Kledson Pires
Juliana Barroso
Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

March 12, 2013

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Kledson Pires. Read on as Kledson tells us about his impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

Born and raised in São Paulo. I have studied in New York City for over a year and visited Canada several times (from east to west). I am a civil servant and have been moonlighting teaching English/Portuguese on and off for 22 years at schools and international companies in Brazil.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

To me, one of the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil is to think that the institutions here will work in the same way they work in their countries.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

When a Brazilian person says drop by sometime” (aparea l em casa), you should not think you have been invited to go to his/her house. This is just something we say.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

Asian people strike me as having a painful time adapting. It seems to me they have a harder time understanding all sorts of shenanigans we do. If they ever do.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I am used to American and Canadian accents. However, I don’t think one is supposed to have a favorite accent. I believe an accent might tell us where people are from. Just that.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

I guess I will have to say that Niagara Falls, Ontario is one place I usually think of with a gleeful smile. The Maid of the Mist boat ride takes you right up close to the magnificent Horseshoe Falls. You will get drenched, but it is worth every drop. It is a breathtaking experience. The B&Bs are romantic and the city itself offers a variety of entertainment (Marineland, for example). I am also fond of London (The British Museum is phenomenal), Toronto, ON, Golden, BC, Quebec City and New York.

7. Favourite foreign food?

That’s a no-brainer. Scallops. Any style.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Pink Floyd, Memórias Póstumas de Bras Cubas (Machado de Assis) and Amadeus.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

When people from different cultures date, a certain degree of awkwardness is expected. The more different the cultures are, the more likely there will be some shock. Forbearance is key to smooth things out.

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?

In college, there was an American girl in my class. We used to chat a lot, even though that made my best friend redden with jealousy. Anyway, as I would get closer to her, she would step back. I became concerned and thought to myself: “Do I smell?” Later, I found out she was just trying to make me respect her private space.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

I would recommend a walking tour of Historic Downtown São Paulo. In 4 square kilometers, you can visit museums (e.g. Museu Anchieta – Pateo do Collegio), theaters, pleasant restaurants (typically Paulistanos) and historic buildings (e.g. Casa da Marquesa de Santos). It really gives you a feel of what it is to live here. Shanty towns in São Paulo are thought-provoking.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Juliana Barroso
Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

November 20, 2012

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Juliana Barroso. Read on as Juliana tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from Belo Horizonte, MG. I have been an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor since 1997. I currently teach ESL in Atlanta, USA, where I have been living for the past 4 years.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

The language and being taken advantage of. Most foreigners do not speak Portuguese and communication can be hard. Brazilians are warm and friendly and we will do our best to help you, but sometimes it can be frustrating. Also, make sure you do some research about the prices of services, such as taxi, percentage when tipping (only 10%), etc, so you don&#145t get ripped off.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

Wrong assumptions. Foreigners many times assume that all Brazilian women are easy and slutty, for example. Also, remember Brazil is a huge country and there are several cultural differences from one state to another. Don&#145t generalize.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

Honesty. Foreigners tend to be so straightforward and sometimes blunt, according to us. Brazilians sugarcoat everything they say, so being too honest can come across as rude.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

American, just because I am used to it.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

Italy. I just loved the people, the food, the language school I attended, the host family I lived with and the sites.

7. Favourite foreign food?

I love food, so I eat pretty much anything (except exotic meat like snake, frog, rabbit, etc). I mainly enjoy Japanese, Chinese and Mexican. I have a food blog called cooking with Juju”, where I post healthy recipes. You can contact me at cookingwjuju.blogspot.com.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

I love American blockbusters, and hate most French movies. Sorry. No preference when it comes to music or author.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

The phases or stages of dating are so different. In Brazil, it&#145s OK to meet a girl, kiss her on the spot, and then, if you want, you get her number and ask her out. In the USA, I have never seen that happen. The guy flirts with you, then asks for your number, then asks you out and after the 2nd or 3rd date, maybe he will kiss you. The process is a lot longer in the USA. But then, some couples move in together after a month! It seems like they speed things up all of a sudden. In Brazil, most people do not leave their parents&#145 home till they get married, so the concept of having a roommate, having your boyfriend over or living together is a bit foreign to us. Also, in Portuguese, we use the verb “namorar” (to date, but only when a man and a woman are a couple, not when you are “dating”, as in going out).

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or &#145culture shock&#145 that you have experienced with a foreigner?

I used to say the F word very often. We watch tons of American TV and movies in Brazil, so we are exposed to that type of language and think it is normal. However, I quickly learned how bad it is to use the F word before everything. To me, saying something like “this is “effing” good” was positive, cool and transmitted my excitement. Big mistake… LOL.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

Read this website from top to bottom beforehand… Be openminded and respectful once you are in Brazil. Make friends. Avoid the super touristic places. Go where locals go. Do what locals do. Ask “why” every time you do not understand something. Always ask more than one person. Never draw conclusions about the culture when you see it only once! Do not generalize.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn
Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

October 30, 2012

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn. Read on as Maria tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I am from Rio de Janeiro, Carioca! I am a real estate house hunter specialist at www.belavistario.com for those who are relocating to Rio.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

The main obstacles are the bureaucracy that you will face on simple things from paying a bill at a bank (if you do not have an online Brazilian bank account) to understanding certain things you want. You need to have the jeitinho” which is a special way in handling/talking/acting to achieve your goal. Because Brazil is not so tough on laws like other countries, many of the things you need have to be negotiated… if you do not have the mind or the will to do it, you can be frustrated. Also, Portuguese is not an easy language… Brazilians speak fast, but are always willing to help! Certain bills here are expensive like bank fees, credit cards, internet, cell phone… you will get frustrated if you compare to where you come from. Also, accepting that it is OK to have a servant, a cleaning lady, an “empregada” (maid) can be looked at first as a wrong thing (“we would never have people serving me where I come from”, “this is wrong”, “it’s snobby”, or “it’s a sign that I am or she is not self-sufficient”) can be an obstacle if you see it as “normal in Brazil”. Help in Brazil is cheap, workers are not slaves, they get paid, they are part of the family, they love what they do and you pay them and give them a job and dignity, just like any other job.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

I think that the main mistake is trying to compare where you lived with where you will live. If you compare you will always blame, get upset and get frustrated. Don’t do that, just accept that this is where you live now and you will get the most out of it. Brazilians are friendly, welcoming and helpful. Don’t think you can resolve everything by yourself, ask for help, hire help if needed. Another mistake is to be closed minded. Be open minded and you will be happier.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

Living all over the world and being in contact with many nationalities, I have some observations (but I can’t generalize). I see Americans as more rigid, by the book, more disciplined, less “jogo de cintura” (which means literally hip game, which in essence means that they are harder to break the mold. When you have “jogo de cintura” you “go with the flow”). I see Europeans, especially German and French as more explorers, more well-mannered, more well-dressed. They date Brazilian women, they buy apartments in Rio, they love Rio and want to live here forever. They want to “blend in” to the “povo” or people. I see Latin Americans as more easygoing and they understand right away the culture and lifestyle. I see the Polish as having a great sense of humor, and very catholic and friendly. Japanese, Koreans, Chinese are more cocooned in their own community and very rarely blend in unless they have longtime friends. Australians are fun, friendly, and party goers!

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

The American accent is the easiest to understand, but the English from Great Britain is so elegant.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

As a Brazilian I tend to prefer to feel more “at home” then to think a place is just gorgeous. I think Portugal is a great place to visit. It has our language, they always welcome Brazilians, they have phenomenal food and beautiful and historical Places. I like culture, old world feeling mixed with the new generation, the ocean and a sense of history, past and elegance. Portugal for me reunites all of this quality.

7. Favourite foreign food?

French food, but nothing is quite better than homemade “rice and beans” from Rio.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Now I am reading many books. I do not have one that I love but the Unbearable Lightness of Being from Milan Kundera when I was 25 made a huge impact on me. I am now reading two books: “Raising Beb” and “A Essncia do Estilo”. A favorite band is any great bossa nova trio or band. A great movie, I guess I would say “The Sound of Music” and “Breakfast at Tiffany”.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

Hummm, because I am married to an American, the major difference that seems to impact our lives more now is the different upbringing of 2 different countries (I was raised in Rio and he was raised in California). Different culture, lifestyle, social class, religion and upbringing will play a huge roll in your dating, marriage and how you raise your children. My advice for the ladies and gentleman out there is one simple rule “make sure you know exactly where you want to raise your kids and whether you want to stay with your family from childhood around or not when you settle down. Based on that you can start dating your future husband and wife ?”

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?

I do not a specific incident, but I do have a culture shock that becomes “unshocked” once they are living in Brazil. One of the commentaries I always hear and I mentioned above is the fact that in Brazil having “help” is normal. I have clients who swear that they will never have a maid, cleaning lady, driver or cook. They spend hours over a beer trying to tell me and my co-workers how much they think this is absurd bla, bla… After months of living in Rio they all hire a cleaning lady or “faxineira”, a cook “cozinheira” and an ironing lady “passadeira”… and they call me saying how happy they are because NOW they have more time to enjoy life, date and not have to worry with house affairs. That’s how they become totally immersed in the culture. I love it.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

Do what your locals do (go buy your fruits at the farmer’s market, dress like a Brazilian (informal), participate in social gatherings, parties… relax.
And
Get informed of where you to go (online, books, videos, movies, talk to a friend etc).

Remember, Brazilians are the nicest and warmest culture on earth. You will love living, visiting or dating here.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Antonia Sales
Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

October 9, 2012

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Antonia Sales. Read on as Antonia tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?
I am from Cear, it`s in the northeast of Brazil.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?
I suppose the language and the cultural habits are tricky things when foreigners arrive in Brazil.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?
Foreigners usually don`t try to adapt themselves to the way Brazilians live. I compare this, for example, when Brazilians travel abroad, we usually have to adapt ourselves to the differences.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?
The lack of sense of humour is for sure one of the main characteristics when talking about foreigners.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?
I studied American English, but in fact I prefer British accent.

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?
I loved London. I am totally in love with this lovely city.

7. Favourite foreign food?
Mexican food.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?
Maroon 5.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?
I really don`t know this answer, I mean I have never dated a foreigner, but I suppose that the formality in foreigners causes a little troube when talking about dating.

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or ‘culture shock’ that you have experienced with a foreigner?
Once, I was in Germany and I tried to buy some products in the supermarket. But then, in the end the cashier couldn`t speak English and I couldn`t understand German. By gestures, I understood that my credit card wasn`t accepted in that supermarket.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?
I would ask them to try to be a little bit more smiling and talkative, good characteristics of Brazilian people.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Augusto Gomes
Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

June 19, 2012

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Augusto Gomes. Read on as Augusto tells us about his impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I&rsquot;m from São Paulo and I work with insurance and now I finished my Journalism course.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

I think Brazil is a good place for foreigners, can be a problem some people dont know how to speak English.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

The foreigners think that Brazil has only samba, monkeys, and soccer.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

How to dress.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I prefer the American, because I use to watch American Movies and listen to American songs.

6. Favorite place travelled abroad and why?

I went to Argentina and Paraguay only, I liked the water falls.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

I think the culture is different, dating a Brazilian you know how to make the person happy what kind of places to go, but a foreigner could have a different view of some places and a different rate for food, therefore it is better to give more details about the place.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

I would recommend staying in São Paulo for 2 weeks minimum as a large City with museums, parks, and very good restaurants. I believe Central Market at downtown is a good place to visit as you can find any kind of fruit and typical food. Paulista Avenue is another place I would suggest to visit. If possible to go to other places in Brazil I would recommend Foz do Iguacu and
Caldas Novas (winter time due to natural hot water).

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Tatiane Silva
Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti

November 15, 2011

This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Tatiane Silva. Read on as Tatiane tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also.

1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do?

I&#145m an English teacher and university student (Tourism) who was born and currently lives in So Paulo.

2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil?

The language. Especially for those who are learning Portuguese and can&#145t stand people teasing or laughing at their accent. It happens a lot here in So Paulo. People either make fun or think it&#145s cute. There&#145s also the driving and directions, which I think is even tough for us Brazilians. Traffic here is crazy and some simple rules are not respected like stopping at the stop sign, like they do in most civilized countries.

3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil?

They think Brazilians are all warm and cheerful despite the difficulties, which is not true. We have all kinds of people here too, no matter what region. Well, maybe Bahia is an exception to this case… lol … they do have very warm, cheerful and welcoming people indeed… even the grumpy ones are not that grumpy.

4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)?

I think Brazilians are much more explorers than foreign people. I think we&#145ve got less fear of the unknown. We go further on getting to know people, places, cultures, etc, beyond what&#145s laid out in front of our eyes. Therefore, creativeness is also our great asset.

5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)?

I love to hear the British accent, especially when they&#145re male voices…
it&rsquot;s really charming and refined, but I&#145m more used to speaking the American accent, which is more continuous and more melodic (seems like).

6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why?

I&#145m stuck between three places because there&#145s a different feeling about each of them: Switzerland – England – Thailand. Switzerland&#145s natural beauty, England&#145s variety of cultural places to visit and Thailand&#145s welcoming vibe.

8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie?

Im in love with most British things in the showbiz area. Keane is my favorite band nowadays, but I also love Elton John. I read the whole Harry Potter book series when I was going through a tough phase of my life, so those put me out of my misery whenever I need a break from it. Evita is my favorite movie ever.

9. What is the difference between dating a Brazilian and Foreigner (if this applies to you or perhaps a friend)?

I believe it&rsquot;s mostly the language (laughs). Based on personal experience I can tell they are very much alike and it&#145s relative. It depends on age, background and whether you&#145ve met them in your country or theirs. The ones who go abroad have, obviously, a more easy-going and determined nature.

10. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or &#145culture shock&#145 that you have experienced with a foreigner?

Once in the US a man dropped a bill by the cashier and I instantly bent down to pick it up to return it to him, but he took my nice gesture as completely rude, as if I was intending to keep the money for myself. And back to the language differences, my family is very used to creating weird nicknames for intimate people, especially newcomers (boyfriends/girlfriends).

They gave some nicknames to my ex-unitedstatian” boyfriend and that ended up being a topic for further discussions between us because he took it as very offensive. I remember once in India someone came up to me and told me “You look like a wealthy Hindi person, except you&#145re way too fat”… I obviously would take it as very rude if I had heard it in Brazil, but I had observed before the incident that Hindi people are normally very frank (way frank… lol).

Another time, also in India, the landlord would come into the house we had rented without even knocking. Sometimes he even went in when nobody was home. So we decided to write a note so he could ring the bell and we also changed the locks. One day the people I lived with (Brazilian and British) left for a walk while I stayed in my room with the door locked from the inside. In India they normally use locks both inside and outside the door instead of keys.

I decided to leave the room when I found myself locked from the outside. I peeked under the door and I saw the landlord&#145s feet. He had locked me inside my room so I wouldn&#145t come across him checking the house.

11. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture?

Id recommend them to meet real Brazilians and stick to them while here, get to know them, their families and friends. Most Brazilians are very eager to make people feel at home and they surely would be pleased to welcome new friends into their circle. By real Brazilians I mean the ones who work hard and yet have fun. I would also suggest they try and search for the best gathering places (we call them “Points”) in town, since theyll always find there large groups of good friends. Every town in Brazil has one for sure, whether it&#145s a pub, a restaurant, a park or even a gas station! There&#145s also volunteering for those who like to donate a little bit of their time to make someone happy. And if they&#145re in So Paulo, I&#145d be glad to help them with that ;). You can reach me at tati.ri.silva@gmail.com.

If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com.

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

Regina Scharf
Rebecca Carvalho
Augusto Uehara
Ana da Silva
Daniel Bertorelli
Marco Cassol
Ana Clark
Vanessa Agricola
Ubiratan S. Malta
Brescia Terra
Renata Andraus
Ana Vitoria Joly
Helio Araujo
Adriano Abila
Anderson Ferreira
Sandra Partridge
Samara Klug Szachnowicz
Flavius Ferrari
Daniela Ribeiro
Adriano Gomes
Alexandre
Elizabeth Sacknus
Geberson Coelho
Rosaly Loula
Andreas Saller
Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima
Bruno Santos
Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf
Marta Dalla Chiesa
Cludia Ramis De Almeida
Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite
Fernando Saffi
Gabriela Kluppel
Patrcia C. Ribeiro
Fabiano Deffenti