Issue No. 218    |    São Paulo - Nov 16, 2006    |    circulation 11,000


Welcome to the email newsletter!
This newsletter pulls together some of the articles, photos, polls and other information that has been published on the web site over the last week or so. Don't forget to visit the site to checkout our article archive, useful information pages, classified adverts, services, forum and other pages. So read on and we hope you enjoy the newsletter. As always if you have any comments, such as what you'd like to see more or less of on the site or newsletter, don't hesitate to contact us at
Please note that although we are based in São Paulo, the site and newsletter are for the whole of Brazil. We are particularly interested in hearing from people outside of São Paulo city, specifically Rio de Janeiro and the Northeast, so if you would like to write about your experiences or any topic related to Brazil see our request for "Article Writers" below.
If you're interested to know the origin behind the site name, then read the "Dear Gringo" article here by Dr. G.

Brazil: São Paulo Entertainment Guide

This week‘s entertainment guide for São Paulo features an Italian restaurant in Bela Vista, an exhibition at Itau Cultura, this week‘s recommended film, and a roundup of some other upcoming events.
If you have been to a restaurant, club, park, museum, or anywhere else in São Paulo that you would like to recommend to other readers in future Entertainment Guides then don‘t hesitate to contact us!
Also if you are a bar, restaurant, or night club owner (or hosting any other form of event that might be of interest to foreigners) that would like to be reviewed by, as well as appearing in our entertainment guide, please contact us to arrange a visit. If you would like to submit an entertainment guide for your city we‘d be interested to hear from you also.
…click here to read the rest of the article>> December Meet Up (São Paulo)

We've now set a date for our second meet up, on December 1st (Friday) at 8pm, at Drake's Bar in Pinheiros. Drake's is a popular meeting place for foreigners, and located next to the British Consulate.
We have reserved the deck area for, so make your way there when you arrive. Partners and friends, Brazilian or otherwise, are welcome. For those who will be attending can you please send us an email with how many of you are going, so we can estimate numbers.
If you'd like to organise a readers meet-up in your town or city then just drop us an email and we can advertise it for you.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: Thanksgiving at the Grand Hyatt

To commemorate Thanksgiving the chef Vincent Pellegrini has prepared a special buffet, with both hot and cold options and desserts, served on the 23rd November in the Hyatt's Grand Caffé restaurant.
The menu includes the classic options such as turkey with cranberry, pumpkin pie, seasoned mashed potatoes with butter, and corn with butter. The cold options include salmagundi of smoked chicken, marinated figs with Parma ham, honey and gorgonzola cheese and asparagus with vinaigrette.
The dessert buffet is composed of delicious items, including New York cheesecake with red fruit sauce, pecan pie, hot pear crepes with cinnamon, ragout of seasonal fruits, and green apple strudel with Chantilly and vanilla sauce.
The Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 7pm, the price per person is R$65 (not including drinks). Children up to 4 year old are free, and 5 to 10 years old have a 50% discount.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 2

By Mark Taylor This is the second and final part of Mark's article about the 14 Bis and Santos Dumont. To read the first part click the relevant link at the end of the article.
This year sees the centenary of the legendary 14 Bis flight, which is being celebrated in many ways and events across Brazil. Lula Inacio da Silva, Brazil's president, launched the events in October, along with some rather pompous indignation that anyone else could be considered the inventor of the airplane. Some of the celebrations include a special coin and stamp dedicated to Santos-Dumont. A film produced by the Globo TV network, simply called 14 Bis, was also commissioned and shown at the São Paulo 30th International Film Festival. Several flights of a reconstructed 14 Bis around Brazil are scheduled, including one in Brasilia. Already mentioned in last week's São Paulo Entertainment Guide is an exhibition at FIESP, of 60 drawings by the legendary Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa, that tell the history of Alberto. To accompany the drawings is a reconstruction of the 14 Bis, which you can view from Av. Paulista (the exhibition finishes November 24th, and is located at FIESP. Av. Paulista, 1.313). More on the various celebrations can be viewed at this site (in Portuguese).
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Around Brazil: An Introduction to Curitiba

By Simon Steele
"A cross between former Eastern Europe and the United States" is how a friend of mine described Curitiba after his first visit. Rather apt I thought!
The ecological capital of Latin America, the city prides itself on offering one of the best standards of living in Brazil. With a population of approximately 1.7 million and growing rapidly, the city tends to be forgotten on the tourist trail, as it lays 'somewhere' between Rio de Janeiro and Florianopolis. Admittedly there is not a great deal for tourists to do here, but I feel it does warrant at least a couple of days stay. Let me tell you a little about the city.
The Curitibanos are mainly of European descent, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Italian and very proud of the fact they are too. Ask any Curitibano if they are Brazilian, they say "yes" swiftly followed by "but my grand-parents/great grandparents were from xxxxxxxxx" The Curitibanos have a reputation of being cold, and after having lived here for just over four years, I have to agree. From my Brazilian friends, none of them are from here, all mainly from São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul or other parts of Paraná.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Around Brazil: Buzios

By Rodrigo Matos
Just 105 miles from Rio de Janeiro, a pleasant 2-hour trip takes you to the peninsula of Búzios, with more than 20 magnificent beaches and crystal-clear water.
Elected one of the 10 most beautiful areas in the world it´s famous for the unique combination of rustic charm, architectural harmony, incredible beauty and sophisticated boutiques and restaurants.
This is a video of one of the most famous streets in Buzios, called Rua Das Pedras, plus there´s a song by Chico Buarque playing along the video.
Buzios is a great place to go for nightlife. There are tons of bars, clubs, and restaurants that stay open well into the early morning hours. Another great thing about the city is that there are tons of visitors all the time, so there is always something going on. Some of the bars and clubs face the ocean, and they give a beautiful view.
There is also tons of live entertainment. Of course, there are far too many bars and clubs to list, but they are all pretty good, even though some are better than others. On any given night, however, some bars will just be more packed than others. It could depend on drink specials, live entertainment, or who is in that bar.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Understanding Brazil: The CPF

By Volker Ruther
This is one in a series of helpful articles by Volker which are a collection of information and experiences about how and where to get documents and permissions, or how to resolve bureaucratic subjects and matters in Brazil as a foreigner.
Note that although the best efforts have been made to ensure the information is valid, we cannot guarantee that it is 100% correct, as the article is based on a mixture of personal experiences and information that has been collected from various sources like Internet sites, official documents and an exchange of experiences with other foreigners in Brazil. Also even Brazilian law is subject to change, and often difficult to interpret.
Always check your own situation via a suitable source e.g. consulate or appropriately qualified lawyer, before proceeding.
A document that is used for various things in Brazil, from joining a video club through to your individual tax registration, is the CPF, Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (Registration of a Physical Person).
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: Google Maps Gets an Upgrade

By Mark Taylor
Those of you keeping a weather eye on Google Maps may well have spotted in the last few weeks that road data has been added, for the entire country! (Technically the road data was added at the end of September according to the Google Maps API Blog)
Unfortunately, and unlike the "competition" such as and, there's currently no facility to search for roads, just the ability to search for major cities e.g. São Paulo. So this makes it still a step away from any real practical use. It seems that Apontador may well be sensing the competition as their site has also recently undergone a revamp, and their map system has become easier to use.
Even so, the combination of the satellite photos and road data (the "hybrid" view) at Googel Maps is interesting, particularly for those areas that have high resolution satellite data. It can be fun to play "spot my home"! Hopefully Google have plans to add road searching, as well as adding the road data and searching to the excellent Google Earth.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Article Writers

Are you a "Gringo" (foreigner) living in or travelling around Brazil with experiences you would like to write about, or with advice to offer? Are you a Brazilian who would like to explain about Brazil to foreigners, and help give advice on what to do, and where to go? Perhaps you just write a frequent blog about Brazil, and would be interested in publishing some of this on our site. If you are interested in writing an article, or series of articles, or posting your blog content on we are interested in hearing from you! Don't be shy! All we ask is that the articles are focused on Brazil, will be of interest to foreigners either travelling or living here, and are written in English.
We are particularly interested in hearing from people who want to write about areas other than São Paulo, specifically Rio de Janeiro and the Northeast, although other areas as well. If you are unsure about a topic then drop us an email or a draft article. Send your articles or any questions to with "articles" in the subject.


Thanks to those who responded to our request for interviews. We're building up the queue of interviews, but can always do with more, so if you would like to be in our Brazil Through Foreign Eyes, or Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series please send us an email. As you can see it doesn't matter if you're a foreigner to Brazil, or Brazilian, we're still interested to hear from you. The interview series is a fascinating look at how real people are enjoying Brazil, and equally how Brazilians really see foreigners. They also give various tips on what to see in Brazil, and how to survive here.
The interview itself is a set of around 15 easy-to-answer questions, and ideally we like a digital photo of you as well we can place with the interview.
So if you're interested, don't be shy, send a blank email to with "Interview" in the subject. We will then send you the questions, and instructions on how to complete. We'd love to hear from you!

A gentle reminder to those who have been sent questions. Please don't forget to complete and return them!

Book Donations

If you are leaving Brazil and/or have any unwanted books, and are happy to donate them, then would be glad to receive them! We are considering setting up a book club for readers if we can get sufficient interest. For details of how to donate your books then please contact with "Book Donation" in the subject.
A special request: we've had an offer of around 200 books from a reader in Belo Horizonte, but we are unable to get the books to our office in São Paulo. If any readers are travelling between São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, and are able to help with transport, then please contact us at

Gringoes Poll

Unfortunately there's no change in the poll this week until we can resolve if there is an issue with the database system.

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Earn your Executive MBA degree with the University of Pittsburgh in São Paulo

Ranked 17th among US-programs and 35th in the world by the Financial Times, the University of Pittsburgh offers an Executive MBA Worldwide Program in Brazil. With 10 modules of study in São Paulo, one in Europe and one in the U.S., the program helps professionals advance their careers, enhance their network of important high-level contacts, and develop their managerial competencies. For more information, please email or call (011) 5180-3639. Website:

Weekly Quiz

Last week's quiz question, from David Long was: the first automobiles assembled in Brazil were VWs. Few Brazilians could afford the full price and bank financing was non-existant. So, how were the cars purchased? Congratulations to Jacques Allain who was the first with the correct answer as follows: The financing of cars (and later other high-priced items, as well as homes) was managed through the ‘consórcio’ system, by which a small monthly payment of 1/50th. or 1/100th of the total price was deposited, and each month a lottery among equal number of participants was made to determine the winner, who would get his car that month. Later a first down-payment was allowed, through which a participant could anticipate his chances to win earlier. Jaime Street also had an addtitional historical factlet as well: I think VW's were not the first cars assembled here. I believe Brasmotor assembled Dodge's Plymouth's and Chryslers here in a plant which Simca (of Jangada and Chambord fame) later purchased (and Chrysler then acquired in the sixties!) before the VW plant went up. I think GM and Ford, among others, also assembled kits in the old plants in Ipiranga and the ABC. Though that probably does not count.
This week's quiz question, comes from Bill Hays (thanks Bill!) and is: can you find the connection between 007 James Bond and Col Percy Fawcett, the British Explorer who disappeared in Mato Grosso in 1925? Send your answers to with ‘Weekly Quiz’ in the subject line. Thanks to all those who've been sending quiz questions, we've built up our reserves a little but more are always welcome! Do you think you can stump the readers, then please send them to with ‘Weekly Quiz Ideas’ in the subject line. Don't forget to send the answer to the question also! Remember it needs to be relatively difficult, and not something that can be found from a simple Internet search.

Photo of the Week

The photo of the week is Different Ways to Fly and was taken by Andrea Molnar Szego at Costa Verde Tabatinga. Click here to see the photo.
We're running out of photos for our "Photo of the Week", so if you have a funny or unusual photo depicting life in Brazil please send it to with ‘Photo of the Week’ in the subject line. Ideally we are after photos that are of something a little different, not normal shots such as beaches and sunsets. Try to send relatively high resolution images (0.5 Megapixel / 640 x 480 or bigger), and let us know where you took the photo and if you have a title for it.

Tip of the Week

Unfortunately we've run out of tips for this week, so please keep them coming!
Is there something you wish you had known while travelling, or something that makes life easier while living here in Brazil? Then share it, and let our readers know. Don't worry about the subject, it can be either a big or small piece of useful information. Send your tips to with ‘Tip of the Week’ in the subject line.

Brazil: A Lie-In in Downtown São Paulo?

By Ricky Skelton
The main problem with house-sitting downtown in The House of Horror (and I mean proper downtown) is not the traffic or the violence or the pollution, it‘s the noise. Every type of noise conspires to keep me from sleep. When you live in an area populated by hookers and homeless people, skatekids and transvestites, and with multilane highways in view, you wouldn‘t expect it to be quiet. But none of these things causes me a moment of bother.
The biggest cause by far is the school next door. It has a siren so loud that ships at sea wonder where the fog has gone. Pupils living out of town can hear the first siren at 7am if they‘ve overslept. As São Paulo isn‘t overburdened with schools, or the space for them, our school works in shifts of five hours each for kids of different age groups. The siren sounds every fifty minutes until 11pm. I have no chance of oversleeping. The church clock is regular as clockwork between these times too. It tells me when the kids will be coming out into the schoolyard for their daily screaming competition. Factor in regular helicopters, the police station next door, the election rallies, the background noise of the constant traffic, and you can forget sleep during the day. The homeless people sleep through the lot though, even on concrete. I should ask them what their secret is.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: John Pizzarelli - the Boy from Ipanema

By John Fitzpatrick
Just before Christmas I was surfing the local TV stations and had a pleasant surprise - a program which was actually worth watching. Amidst the usual imbecilic soap operas and moronic chat shows appeared an arts program called "Metropolis" on TV Cultura which featured an American musician called John Pizzarelli. It was a refreshing change from the standard video package the studios issue to publicize a singer‘s latest album. Unoriginal and dishonest TV stations all over the world then present the material as a genuine program although it is just free advertising.
Pizzarelli, a jazz guitarist, was interviewed about the great influence Brazilian music has had on his career and excerpts were shown from a concert he gave in São Paulo recently. Pizzarelli´s enthusiasm was engaging but at times he was rather inarticulate and we were treated to an awful lot of "ohs", "ahs" and "wows" to describe the effect particular pieces of music had had on him. Despite this, he came over as an impressive professional with a genuine interest in Brazilian music.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 1

By Mark Taylor
When you tell someone that you're going to Fernando de Noronha, at least to someone who knows roughly what and where it is, it's often greeted with a "wow" or some similar exclamation. The reason being that Fernando de Noronha, for right or wrong, is widely believed to be one of the most wonderful places to visit in Brazil. It was thanks to air miles and a cheap pousada (essentially a bed and breakfast) I finally got a chance to visit!
Fernando de Noronha is technically an archipelago of 21 islands, situated about 350km (220 miles) from Brazil's coast, near Recife and Natal (perhaps someone ought to remind the Brazilian F1 race car driver Rubens Barachello of this, as he recently commented "if you‘re talking about a proper extended stay, then I‘d catch a plane to Rio and spend a few days on an island called Fernando de Noronha").
The word "archipelago" tends to conjure up an image of islands of similar size, but in this case there is one very large island which the archipelago gets its name from, and where you can actually stay. The rest range from significantly smaller secondary islands all the way down to what are essentially large rocks that protrude from the sea. The main island is about 10km (6 miles) long, by 4km (2 miles) wide. The archipelago itself is actually a volcanic formation, which rises up from around 750m (2480 feet) below the sea. Although there's some evidence of this from the rocks around the island, the volcanic activity is long gone so the beaches for example are still powdery white sand.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil Through Foreign Eyes

Meet Jim Jones, from the USA, who will be moving to Rio de Janeiro next year. Read the following interview where he tells us about his most memorable experiences from Brazil and gives some useful advice to newcomers.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.?
I am 42 years old and live in Weston (Ft Lauderdale), Florida, with my Carioca wife of 6 years and our son. I am in the south Florida Real Estate business.
2. When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?
We will be moving to Rio de Janeiro in Jan/Feb ?. We want to be closer to my wife's family there. The Brazilian people are the best! They have a way of making you feel at home, a part of the family.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Two Brazilian Charmers Part 5

By Joe Lopes
Here is part 5 of Joe's article about two famous personalities from Brazil, Bidu Sayão and Carmen Miranda. To read the previous parts click the relevant links at the end of the article.
While the jury may still be out on Elvis, it was an unfair indictment in the case of Carmen Miranda. In the first place, she was neither poor nor uneducated, nor was she a "pale" imitator of a prevailing ethnic trend; in the second, the growth of chorinho, marcha, maxixe and modinha, and especially samba, had already spurred many of Brazil‘s native-born songwriters to write down and interpret these myriad musical forms as far back as 1915, most strikingly by composers Ernesto Nazaré, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Pixinguinha, and Heitor Villa-Lobos, to name a few, and still later by the likes of Noel Rosa, Ary Barroso, João de Barro, and Dorival Caymmi.
Carmen‘s particular genius was in taking the basic raw material found in this multitude of musical styles and thoroughly reinvigorating the form, by applying to it her own unique blend of crystal-clear vocalism, rapid-fire verbal patter, and razor-sharp rhythm. This would ultimately lead to her creation of a black-white composite of the streetwise baiana figure, an endearing (and somewhat idealized) cultural by-product of Northeastern Brazil accessible to even the most sophisticated of theater-going audiences.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 1

By Mark Taylor
Ask a North American or European who Santos-Dumont is and you‘re likely to get the response of "who?". Ask a Brazilian who the Wright Brothers are and you‘re likely to get the same response. A line from George Orwell‘s 1984 seems rather apt at this point, that is: "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". Although who is doing the controlling is an interesting question, more on that later.
Santos-Dumont, for those who don‘t know, that is Alberto Santos-Dumont was one of the pioneer aviators. He was born in Cabangu, a village in Minas Gerais, in 1873 (Cabangu has since been renamed Santos-Dumont, as has Rio de Janeiro‘s airport, and typically a street in every town and city across Brazil). He grew up on a coffee plantation owned by his family, in the state of São Paulo. His French father was already an Engineer, and used many of the latest "labour saving" inventions on his plantation, which earned him the nickname "Coffee King of Brazil" due to the productivity increase.
…click here to read the rest of the article>>

Discussion Forum

If you've not had a chance yet then pop over to our web forum, register, and start joining in the discussion about Brazil. There are many forum areas such as Living in Brazil, Teaching English, Visas and Documentation, and even a place to Vent Your Frustrations! There's also a forum which allows you to comment on, either with your views about past articles, areas of the site, or to make suggestions for future articles and content.
Each week in the newsletter we will choose a Post of the Week to give you some idea of what's happening in the forum, and a good thread to visit and read. This week we recommend the post "Disney coming to Brzil?" started by the user sean patrick in our "Living in Brazil" forum. The post is discussing the issue of whether Disney are planning to setup a theme park here in Brazil.
If you have a recommendation for the best Post of the Week then send an email to with "Post of the Week" in the subject.
On a serious note, foul language and abusive posts made in the forum will not be tolerated. The forum is intended to be a constructive and lighthearted place for discussion about Brazil.


Despite a peak on Monday the US dollar has dropped off to remain unchanged over the week, at R$2.15. The Euro has shown the same trend, although is up a fraction at R$2.75, compared to R$2.74 a week ago. There's been a similar trend with the British Pound, although it's down a little at R$4.06, against R$4.09 a week ago.


Moving Sale
The following items are for sale; home theater system (R$1,900), printer-fax-copier-scanner (R$930), mini-system (R$500), fridge (R$455), Outdoor Lounge (R$100), Drill (R$100) and Fan (R$50). All items are heavily discounted and pictures are available here. Contact Rebecca via email or cell phone (11) 8229 9840.

Juquehy Ocean View Beach Home for Sale
Completely furnished 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom beachfront home. Beautiful churrasco terrace overlooking ocean, extensive garden with fruit trees. Double lot. Creek runs behind the home, serene environment. See photos 1, 2. Contact: Anna Laurita, or the local realtor, Leandro Faustino at Engimoveis in Juquehy. Office:12-3863-1114, Cel: 12-9146-6063 or email at:

Beautiful Pousada Salvador
Exquisite colonial house near Farol da Barra beach. Easy access to Historic Centre. Great location for Carnaval. Very reasonable rates.

Sea Front Apartment For Rent In Joao Pessoa
Luxury sea front apartment available for rental in December and January in beautiful Joao Pessoa. Three bedrooms all en-suite, large living room and balcony overlooking the beach.

Moving Sale
We must sell everything by December 4th. Furniture, Mtn Bike, Volkswagen Golf, TV, kitchen items, printer and more! Download PDF file with photos and prices: Kristin 8346-7973

Duplex For Rent in Sao Paulo
For rent in Jardins, 1 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathroom, beautiful view, partially furnished, A/C, fully equipped kitchen, balcony, ready for cable/internet, parking (1 car). Only 1 block to Trianon-Masp subway station. Pool and gym in the building. R$ 1500 rent (plus utilities, condominium fee and taxes). Available January 1, 2007. Please send email.

For Sale
Master Franchise for Brazil of English Language Course. Consists of text books, grammar guide in Portuguese and Audio CD‘s 10 hours (British English). Ideal for Direct Sales or through subfranchising to private teachers.

Job wanted!
Seeking reasonable paying full or part time work, either in Engineering, IT, Science, or an interesting field, within São Paulo city. Civil Engineering graduate with 3 years experience in Military Engineering and 1 year in Environmental Engineering, 10 years wide ranging professional experience in IT (Microsoft and Autodesk related, Hardware and more), and 2 years experience as a Journalist/Editor. Hard working and versatile individual, with Brazilian Permanency Visa. Native English and Portuguese speaking. CV on request. Email

Seeking Programmer and Designer are looking for a skilled web programmer to make some short term repairs to the site (need to have good knowledge of databases and ASP) and also to work on a longer term remodeling project. We are also looking for a talented designer to come up with a new logo and look for the site. Please send applications, citing experience and examples of work, to

Computer Support & Consultancy
Problems with your home computer? Need computer support or consultancy for your business? I can help with IT strategy, hardware selection, install and upgrades, wireless/wired networking, computer crashes, broadband, virus/spyware removal, email problems, ongoing maintenance and more. No call out fee - competitive rates - confidentiality respected - no job too small - no fix no fee. 11 years professional experience. English and Portuguese speaking. Within São Paulo city. Tel. 8505 6428. Email

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