Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Proud to be Brazilian

Yes, I know, at times, we can have a lot going against us, hey, who doesn't! But, in the end, we always manage to pull through, one way of another, we make it work.
This makes me think about the "Jeitinho Brasileiro", (which in my opinion is not a way to go around the rules or law but rather a creative way to solve challenges), so here we go, to all the naysayers, it looks like the preparations for the Soccer World Cup are turning out just fine, ports, subways, new bus corridors and train systems, 30 Airports being expanded and remodeled, widening of highways and bridges, and 12 new soccer stadiums are being completed as promised, maybe it won't be air tight perfect, but Brazil will definitely be ready to host the World Cup in 2014.
I just spoke with a personal friend from childhood who is one of the lead engineers on the reconstruction of the Maracana Stadium in Rio, he is actually not even from Rio originally, he was brought in from Belo Horizonte, apparently all the other civil engineers in Rio were busy in other projects, he is happy and making a lot of money, plus he loves Rio.
He also told me the Maracana project is moving ahead full force and they will be done on time, and most likely will even finish ahead of schedule, he really likes the way things are progressing.
My friend pointed me towards this video and I thought it is really cool and it showed me a side of Brazil I didn't know, a lot of progress, a lot of work, hope you enjoy it.
I have to say this video made me even more proud to be Brazilian!!!
What a beautiful country!!! (Can't wait to get back!!)   ;)
Brazilians are working hard and I am confident the country will be able to show the world a great World Cup!!!

Abracos a todos



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brazilian Automotive History

The Brazilian Automotive history started in the early years of the 1900's, however, most cars were assembled in Sao Paulo and Rio with imported parts, Ford was one of the first car factories in Brazil in the beginning of the 20th century, mostly with imported parts.
Until the 1940's when the first 100% National Parts Car Factories popped up around Brazil.
One in Rio de Janeiro, the Fabrica Nacional de Motores, a subsidiary of the Italian Alfa-Romeo, and then Wyllis Overland (Jeep) and Mercedes-Benz, both in my hometown of Sao Bernardo do Campo, right on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.
It amazed to learn on the versatility of the JEEP, it was used for everything, I love their SUV of the day, they were used for all sorts of Agricultural applications, Ambulance, Police, you name it.
The video is only about 10 minutes long, and it's narrated by a Brazilian who speaks English very well, however, you can tell his Brazilian accent.
The Jeep had a fundamental part in the vast interiors or Brazil, it was a versatile 4 Wheel Drive, with 100% Brazilian made and very affordable parts and also of easy maintenance.
The Brazilian automotive industry today has come a long way, cars made in Brazil have, by law, to have 70% of parts MADE IN BRAZIL, or they have to pay imported car tax, and the government is looking to raising that limit to 90% in the next few years.
Brazil today already has the largest number of car factories anywhere in the world. Ford has it's largest and most modern car factory in the world at the state of Bahia, with it's own harbor and has a great capacity to produce and ship cars all over the world, economically and efficiently.
It is also very profitable to produce cars in Brazil, the highest profit margins of any country, a paradise for business people, not so fun for the consumer, who ends up paying a ridiculous price for small (crappy if you ask me) cars. Taxes are also a good portion of the high price of cars in Brazil, but the manufactures profit margin is also abusive.
There are pressures from the people to adequate the car prices to a more realistic level.
I personally think it will take a few years for the industry to actually lower their prices in Brazil, if they do it at all. Let's hope for the best
Meanwhile, enjoy this short movie in English and learn a little bit more about Brazil.

PS: There is also Video's number 1 and 2 on the Brazilian Automotive History, but they are both in Portuguese, hence my choice the number 3 video of this series (#3 is in English).



Friday, January 18, 2013

Weather in Brazil

Ok, so it's sunny in Rhode Island again, after a couple days of snow and snowed in, we are cheerful and happy and decided to share with you a joke about cold weather in Brazil and how Brazilians from each state react to it.
In case you are not 100% on your Portuguese yet, ( Alex not you, you are a Portuguese speaking hipster, creating new words in Portuguese and luring innocent Brazilian mulatas into marriage to get your Brazilian Green Card)  the states made fun of in the video are Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul.
The humorist describes how people from each of these states react to a certain weather forecast and temperature. It's not accurate, and it was created to make you laugh.
I almost had a small aneurysm from laughing so hard.
Hope you enjoy it!!  :)


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anthony Bourdain-Layover-Sao Paulo

I really loved this show! REALLY!! :D
First and foremost, the great MERCADO MUNICIPAL where dear friend "Born Again Brazilian" and I had the classic Paulistano Mortadela Sandwich on my last trip to the city, I will tell you more about that later.
Now, if you want/need a crash course on Sao Paulo, this is the best 47 minutes you will spend learning about the city.
Gil and I have been watching the entire "Layover" series and this is our absolute favorite, hands down.
A few things to note from the video, they confirm what I have been telling you fine folks for a while, PIZZA is for DINNER only, PERIOD!!!!!! Remember our "Word's Best Pizza" post? :)
I love UNIQUE Hotel and stayed there a couple of years ago and highly recommend it. If you don't want to spend R$1800,00 per night, at least go there for a drink or dinner and make sure to ask for CHURROS com DOCE DE LEITE, the best I have ever tried. They bring you a tray with baby churros and a little pot with delicious doce de leite do dip in, you will have a great Sao Paulo experience.
Mocoto Restaurant at Vila Medeiros sounds awesome, my mouth was watering the entire time Anthony Bordain was eating there, I have never tried "Northeastern" Brazilian food, but it sounds like a great opportunity to try and learn more about it, after all, so many Northern Brazilians have migrated to Sao Paulo since the 1970's, they are a part of the city now and it looks like they are in for good.
Sao Paulo was formed mostly by ITALIANS, JAPANESE, PORTUGUESE and GERMANS, but saw immigrants from all sorts of countries such as Spain, Lithuania, Greece, Ukraine, Austria, Danish, England, Russia, Poland, you name it.
Sao Paulo had more immigrants speaking several different European languages in the beginning of the last century than Portuguese, yeah, Portuguese speakers were a minority in the 1920's, we truly are a city of immigrants.
Ok, I will say no more, the show is really informative, a great summary of Sao Paulo.