Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Chocolate Cupcake Tasting - Friday 1 June, 11am

Thursday, 24 May 2012

boba bubble puba tea

Bubble Tea from Teahouse
picture courtesy of yakisobanao

We've hunted down the real deal... Boba Tea, Bubble Tea or Puba Tea as it's known here can be found at the Tea Station on Rua da Gloria, 283 in Liberdade. It's been open since last July and I must've walked past it hundreds of times..

It's really simple - a bar with a computer and some canisters to make the tea. On the wall there are lots of post it notes from adoring customers and some pictures of Taiwan, home of the Boba Tea.

R7.25 for your simple milk bubble tea, and they have lots of different flavours. So if you're looking for another excuse to head down to Liberdade (aside from dumplings, fresh noodles, peking duck and massages).. here it is!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How far I've come

No, I dont' mean as a human being though I hope there has been some general progress in my lifetime.... I mean since we arrived here over 2 years ago. I had this revelation on Saturday when I had to go to TIM (cellphone company) because I had lost my phone (again).

1. I can speak Portuguese (mais ou menos)
2. I know that I need to bring my passport, RG, CPF and proof of address
3. I got there before lunchtime so there was no queue

These are the 3 vital points that made this visit SO pleasant, particularly when I look back to our very first visit to get some sim cards when we first arrived in Sao Paulo.  Our questions back then were:

1. Why do you need my parent's names?
2. I want a pre-paid sim card, why do you need my address? Of course I don't have one, I only arrived in Sao Paulo yesterday.
3. Why doesn't my passport count as ID? What is an RG? What is a CPF?? F**k, I have to wait until we get all these before I can get a sim card??!!"*

Except my portuguese was so basic back then, all we could ask is

1. "Porque??"
2. "Porque??'
3. "Porque !!$%???"

My visit this time took 20 minutes, thankfully, as I was really hungry and kept telling Deborah that she needed to hurry up : ). She gave me a new sim card (R10) which is why your pre-paid sim card phone number is registered to you, and I also swapped from pre-paid to a post-pay which means I get a contract in the mail every month instead. My blackberry contract comes with pretty much unlimited calls, SMS and data for R110 a month but an iphone contract is R20 less for some reason....

Another thing to take note of is if you have a pre-paid phone you need to recharge it every 3 months (you can do this at newspaper stands, supermarkets, loterias etc) otherwise you will lose my number and with post-pay you need to make sure you use it within 4 months. If you are travelling out of Sao Paulo for a while but want to keep the same phone number, make sure you call them to let them know you still want to keep your number. You can close the number while you are away so you don't have to pay the bill, and then open the line again when you return. My fab TIM agent Deborah gave me all this information at the same time as she was registering my details. Multi-tasking in Brazil.. made me feel like I was back in Hong Kong! Maybe I was just lucky to have sat down with Deborah... hunt her down in the TIM store in Shopping El Dorado.

*We got my pre-paid sim card based on Tim's work visa, using his office address. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Co-working space inauguration

I just stopped by the co-working space this afternoon to drop off cupcakes for the party tonight. It is SUPER cool. If you aren't doing anything tonight then head down there tonight to sample some samosas, listen to some cool tunes from their in-house DJ and of course eat a cupcake!!

Just (don't) say "sim"

600 Chevrolet Cupcakes

884 cupcakes baked this week... 200 for the INC fair, 600 for Chevrolet for the AMSOC Gala dinner, and a few orders in between. All out of my little oven and with the help of some fab mummy friends to put the boxes together, I managed to survive having replaced my travelling husband with my super (overtime-overworked) empregada.

So my Brazilian lesson this week was never to do business in Portuguese on the telephone. It was a good reminder that 50% of the time I have no idea what I'm talking about, or what they are talking about! Hah.  I can laugh about it now. We had pencilled in the Chevrolet order a couple of weeks ago and had been chasing the agency for the logo to go on the cupcake. I really wanted a week to prepare the boxes, cut out logos so I could concentrate on the final 24 hours baking cupcakes.

Day 3 before the event I get a phone call to ask if the boxes will be all complete when they arrive, with stickers. I say "SIM", my favourite word which always gets me in trouble here.. They confirm the order. 10 days after my deadline. I don't why I bothered!

Day 2 before the event.. apparently I have said "SIM" to printing and putting Chevy stickers on all the boxes (we had our logo on all the lembracinha* boxes since we were doing this at a special price for our AMSOC friends), and printing and tying tags. I know now what a tag is... but because I had never heard of the word, my brain obviously just ignored it when he mentioned it on the phone the day before. So now I had 48 hours to print, cut, stick and tie their logo and message to my cupcake boxes as well as bake 600 cupcakes!

24 hours before delivering. 600 logos to cut out, 600 tags to cut, 600 ribbons to cut and tie and 600 cupcakes to bake, frost and put the logo on. Tick, tick, tick! Thanks to some friends and some hired help we got it all done with an hour to spare. The evening was a great success; well done to the AMSOC Board! They raised over R46.000 just through the silent auction, the food was delicious and we had great company on the table. I wasn't sure about their DJ selection though...  it was when I was dancing to Boney M at 1am that I thought it would be a good time to leave! I gave my cupcake to my taxi driver - I hope he appreciated all the hard work that went into that little cake!!

*lembrancinhas are little gifts given to everyone as they leave a party. Brazilians give these away at every function, event, party, wedding, birthday, anniversary, new baby event!