Monday, 24 June 2013

Specifically about transport

A friend that use to live here, is an avid transport geek... She has been following the protests keenly from overseas. Her blog focuses on public transport in sp, what she use to work with here.

I am currently travelling and it has been interesting to follow from the outside, the news that is available, what other people think - that I'm escaping the violence with my family - and I have to explain otherwise. I know that it sounds so naive, but it really is amazing to see what the 'power of the people' can do. In a country, (and many others, if not everywhere, is the same) where it is all about what family you were born into, what school you went to, who you know, what job you have, where you live.... To be able to cancel that all out by being just a mass of people who are staying strong in their beliefs, and being persistent, voting with (literally) their feet and getting a chance to speak and negotiate with the higher echelons of this government is amazing.What fairer election is there?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Not just about 20 centavos

*the bus tariff has been dropped back down to R3

I'm sad and excited for this adopted country of mine. I'm excited that people have been propelled into action, calling for the right to be heard. I can hear helicopters circling - almost like a normal day - but I know that thousands of people have joined together to march this evening.  I'm sad because some Brazilians still don't understand. I was speaking to someone on the street today and she said that the protests are ridiculous, it's only 20 centavos and all these people want to do is to cause problems and fight. It's not just about 20 centavos.

I'm sad for myself because I live in such a happy little bubble. The first that I knew something was happening last week is because my maid couldn't come into work. This week I'm sitting here blogging and talking about my feelings.  These are not new issues. They are issues we have discussed many times over dinner tables (with both Braziilans and expats) and the consensus has always been, "It's just the way life is here, it's Brazilian culture, there is no way to change anything...." Well I'm wrong again, this is all about to change.  #changebrazil

This is going on right now! Over 30,000 people are on Faria Lima.

An emotional post on facebook: Moro proximo a Rebouças e Rua Teodoro Sampaio e encontrei centenas de jovens descendo em direção ao Largo da Batata muitos com flores nas mã emocionei..senti orgulho...isto aí Jovens voces tem todo o meu apoio o Futuro pertence a voces...APOIO TOTALMENTE!

In English, I live close to Rebouças and Teodoro sampaio and saw 100's of teenagers descending in the direction of Largo da Batata with lots of flowers in their hands - made me emotional, felt proud - these are the young that have all my support and the future is all yours - totally support!

Check out this for a summary of what's going on here:

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Apartment available for rent

A friend is looking to rent out his apartment in Itaim.

Details here
Email Karl directly here

20 centavos

Posted by a fb friend today and she's covered pretty much what I wanted to say, plus she's a public transport expert...

At last an article that touches upon the actual issue of how poor public transport is in much of São Paulo, rather than just sensationalising some of the violence seen in protests against the 20 centavo fare increase. 

20 centavos may not seem like much, but this is a city where many of the poorest residents already spend more than a third of their scarce income on public transport - for the privilege of standing up for hours on buses which are poor quality, unreliable and way overfull.

Research by the LSE Urban Age showed that the combination of São Paulo's low quality public transport and peripheralisation of poor communities compounds existing economic and social exclusion, even worse than cities with comparable income inequalities. If the city is going to increase the fares, it needs to radically rethink the services it is offering.

And meantime, the brutalised culture of the riot police also needs to be 2011 I watched riot police storm, teargas and shoot at a small peaceful protest on SP's Avenida Paulista...a violent response to this kind of oppression of democracy is not surprising, but sadly distorts the messages we get from the media about the real issues at stake.

And some more reading on CNN and on Folha de São Paulo and a fellow blogger here.

And another protest this afternoon organised on Facebook. Even if you can't join, you can show your support by putting a white towel in your window. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Speeding tickets in Sao Paulo

It took us 2 years to get our driving license sorted and when we finally did my husband found out that he had negative driving points. We thought that our speeding fines were just disappearing into thin air (we paid the fine but didn't realise we were losing points). It was all linked to my husband's CPF ...

So even though the roads are badly planned here, I'm sure they go out of their way to plan their speed traps. You don't even know you have a speeding ticket until you receive the notice in the post. It usually takes about a month as they have people that sit and watch videos of Sao Paulo streets all day long. If I had unlimited wine I could potentially do that... Watch out for speed cameras especially on the way to Guaraju. We've even be ticketed on our quiet street on a Sunday for parking infront of our house. 

If you want to keep track you need to go to and create a log in and you will see how many points you have. When you get a speeding ticket you have a finite period of time to transfer these points to someone else. On the first notice you receive you need to fill out the details of the person taking on the points, find a DETRAN office (you will see these dotted around the city). These are the guys that process any DETRAN documents, send a motoboy and return it to you. It cost me R20 at our local DETRAN / motoboy office. 

How to get a driving license in Sao Paulo

More exciting paperwork. We've been holding out on doing our driving licenses until we really, really had to (which was about 18 months ago, 6 months after entering Brazil with our work visas). I considered doing it myself but I've now got to a time in my life where spending unnecessary time in Policia Federal (or now Detran) is not worth it!

Paperwork required

- original driving license from your own country. This must be translated into Portuguese by a certified translator. Please check with your own Consulate to get their list of approved translators.
- original passport
- original RNE protocol
- original sincre
- original proof of residence under your name(kindly note that Detran only accepts as proof of residence bills of water, gas, IPTU or telephone issued up to 90 days before the date we are going to Detran) 
- Simple copy of the proof of residence above
- CPF 
- Simple copy of the CPFs above

Fill out the form here, and make an appointment with Detran and take all the documents listed above with you. Go upstairs to the first floor and you will find a window for Estrangeiros. When we arrived the lady would not accept my UK driving license because I had my new NZ passport which did not have my UK visa in. For a split second I almost cried (the last time was probably at Federal Police), but our agent decided to ignore it. She said that the person upstairs had no way of communicating with the people downstairs (and outside) who processed all your documents, so she just took off the note and threw it away and we continued the process. I would suggest you take all your passports, old and new, if you are in a similar situation.

After you process all your documents, have your photo taken, and your fingerprints you need to go and have your medical and psychological test done. You might think they would want to test your driving. The doctor will check your general health, that you can see, have arms and legs etc, all those essential things for driving. The psychological test  - just do it - don't complain. There are several companies around that do it without needing an appointment. 

It takes a week to process and you can pick up at Detran again. Make certified photocopies to carry around with you, it's not worth losing it!!

I really recommend Renata Laterza who has handled all our paperwork (after we finished our own work visas ourselves...). A good agent is worth every single penny!

RENATA LATERZA Consultancy & Relocation
Rua Texas, 886 - sala 2 - Brooklin
São Paulo - SP - CEP: 04557-001

Tel / Fax: +55 11 2691-8991 (São Paulo)
Cel: +55 11 9 8652-3000

Tel / Fax: +55 19 3397-9750 (Campinas)