Friday, 30 August 2013

SP Lovers ❤

At our last networking event I met a whole bunch of new people (new to me). Some had lived here for over 10 years, others barely 10 days and not all of them were "SP Lovers" but there were a few and I love when I make that connect. One of the newly arrived stood between two "SP Lovers", and he said at the end of our conversation* that he was so excited to meet us because he was already an "SP Lover" but had only met a handful of "SP Haters" so far. I know, I know, I'm being a little divisive and that really everyone exists on a spectrum here.. some days are great in this city, some are not so great. I'm a 99.9% SP Lover.

So most of you living in the city will be have discovered the 99Taxis app. It's available on your smartphone and you don't have to talk to anyone to get a taxi. It sends a message to taxistas in the area, and one of them will accept your request and you can follow their route until they arrive. It's the most popular as it's free for taxistas as well so all of them are on it, and you have get a much faster response. I imagine it will be one of the most popular apps for "no-speak-português tourists during the World Cup. Another one of my favourites, especially when my Portuguese was not so great on the phone, is Rádio Táxi Vermelho e Branco where you can actually type in your reservation online (Faça sua reseva). I'm using it right now to book a taxi for tomorrow morning!!

BTW, put Saturday 21st September in your diary. SP Lovers will be celebrating the first anniversary of SP Night Market at Escola São Paulo and showcasing some of the favourite and best in this city! (and it's going to be FREE entry!)

*We were talking about how much we love to use the metro here, seriously! I like taxi's and the metro - whatever is going to get me somewhere fastest!! 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Perspective = Happiness + Gratefulness

A friend sent this "Happiness" talk as I'm an avid TED viewer and I think it's a lovely talk for putting "happiness" in perspective. I write this sitting in hospital with my 1.5 year old who had surgery yesterday. She had a splinter in her finger which got infected, and as we were getting read to come to the hospital yesterday morning split a cup of hot coffee on her foot. Thankfully that was just secondary but since we had a plastic surgeon (everyone has to have one here in Brazil) he multi-tasked while she went under. We are here for a week (I joke about Brazilians being excessive in everything, including medication but when it comes to your own child it's hard to argue) while she goes through her course of antibiotics.

With perspective I'm also very grateful. I have good friends here in Sao Paulo; who are bringing me lunch and wine!;  I have a fantastic empregada who is packing and cooking for the week and helping my husband look after my other daughter; the Brazilian doctors are over-cautious and protective but when it comes to my child I'm not complaining either!

I have to say the one thing I was happy for was the level of my portuguese. Being able to communicate with the doctors, nurses and know what exactly was going on gave me some peace of mind. I didn't have to rely on calling a Brazilian friend (which I would've had to do in my first year here in Brazil). If you need any motivation to learn Portuguese, this is it!!

That's her finger wrapped in bottom corner

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Having a few beers with in Sao Paulo

If you moved to Brazil 3 years ago, or even 10 years ago or just started to be a "ƒã" of the idea of moving to this country, would've been the first site to check out. We used it extensively to find out information about moving here, visas, tips etc as most of the contributors on the discussion board were old timers and super helpful. In 2013, there are so many companies and blogs that provide similar services but we (SP Night Market) wanted to pay homage to the first of them all! Next Wednesday will be having a few beers at Cervejaria Nacional, a time to meet new friends, put faces to familiar names and share experiences about Brazil, which the majority of now call home!

THE official HAPPY HOUR with!

Wednesday 21st August, 19h
R10 RSVP/ R20 Door 
*includes 'welcome' beer courtesy of Cervejaria Nacional
Sign up on FB event page or email is Brazil‘s longest running portal for the foreign community, set up back in January 2000.

Traveling to, or living in, a new country can be a big challenge. What you’ll need most is reliable information, and in Brazil’s case, lots of it. was created to provide a one-stop source of information for foreigners in Brazil. Through our very active Discussion Forums you can exchange tips, share gripes, find friends and hopefully make your time in Brazil more pleasurable.

We have devoted a lot of time and effort to the site, so we hope you enjoy it and keep coming back. Above all, we hope you make the most of your time in Brazil.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Lost in translation

I have Bill Murray moments on a daily basis here. My Portuguese is relatively good now. I can hold an entire dinner conversation, talk on the phone, deal with bureaucracy, watch novelas and joke around with my Brazilian friends for the most part. 

Last week I was getting my manicure done with another friend, and they offered us a coffee and asked how I wanted it. So I said "Preto e forte como meu homem", and then it was just awkward because I had to explain (only after I remembered I'm supposed to say "Negro" and not "Preto" / stop with the direct translation!!). My friend almost died laughing watching the looks on their faces which I was trying to explain that I like my coffee like my man, though my husband is more "Branco e fraco"... still no laughter. 

Today it was trying to explain what a "guilty pleasure" is. I have just taught my Brazilian assistant that it's a "prazer" to be "culpada". Does this only happen to me??

Monday, 5 August 2013

Looking for a vet in Sao Paulo?

I want to highly recommend George (our labrador's) vet here in São Paulo. Luciana makes home visits (R150) for any issues you have. She's been to do general visits for George, vaccines, leg and joint problems etc. She also can prescribe holistic medicine for animals so if you are interested she can also give you a holistic prescription or a "normal" one, or both.

Luciana Leite Ribeiro dos Santos
Vet For Pet- Atendimento Veterinário Domiciliar

It's a vicious circle!

I believe in being positive, and that creating positive energy brings you good things in life and when you put out negative energy into the universe, it comes straight back at you.

I hired an Assistant for my cupcake business a few months ago who I like alot and is really clued-on. I think she has great energy and is also very keen to learn. Today she didn't turn up for work, and after several missed phone calls from me, texted me back 2 hours later to tell me she had to go to a "Forum" as she had a problem with a cheque she had been issued. I was so mad, and it's a Monday morning as well, so I spent all morning formulating in Portuguese what I was going to say. I'm a pretty confrontational person (I found out after I left Asia my ex-colleagues use to call me Chairman Mao... ) but it's hard to be angry in Portuguese: all the words I know are happy ones! Otímo! Incrivél! Que bom! Que coisa! Adorei!!

I think she was pretty horrified (Are Brazilians ever angry in the office?). I told her I was her boss, not her friend. She should run her errands outside of work hours. I hate last minute changes, and I really hate being angry. I just don't understand why she would decide to tell me 2 hours after the fact rather than last Friday afternoon when she found out. She doesn't know either.

SO a giant cockroach paid me a visit tonight. I've posted before how much I hate them, they bring me to tears (and a pack of cigarettes.....). My two daughters watched me disintegrate, crying, this evening as I ran after this cockroach and emptied an entire can of spray. They laughed and clapped with glee as it curled up and died. Nice.