Thursday, 19 December 2013

Cupcakes in São Paulo

A little propaganda for cupcakes: essential purchase if you are here in São Paulo for Christmas week (or really anytime of the year)... and check out the new website too!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

“Gringo Moments” in Brazil - Competition

We would like to hear about your best/funniest "Gringo moment” in Brazil. The best entry will win an Apple iPad mini (16GB, Wi-Fi, White). Deadline for entries is Dec. 24 and winner will be announced Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2013). Prize must be collected in Sao Paulo. Runner up stories will be published on the website and also in a book planned for next year.

You can see full details and application form at the following link:

Read some of our best entries so far at the following links:

Thanks, Team

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Mish-mash tips for São Paulo

I always have my blog in the back of my mind, thinking of things I need to write down and share. If only I could send these telepathically to my blog, and have them write themselves. But instead I find myself procrastinating from work and writing a mish-mash of subjects for this post....

Must-have apps for living in São Paulo

99 Taxis, Easy Taxi
I've already blogged about these taxi apps as they have been a life changer for me. I've always been a taxi girl - living in big cities meant that getting a license was just an unnecessary challenge. It allows you to send out a message to all the taxi drivers closeby that you are in need, and within 30 seconds or less, one will confirm that they are on their way to pick you up. It cuts out any language problems (having to repeat your address in portuguese is now a thing of the past), and you can track them as they come on their way. For those of you who are security conscious (99.9% of us), you don't have to trawl the streets looking for one - it will turn up at your front door, plus you have the driver's license plate and phone number.

Now that I live in the (relative) "suburbs" of Sao Paulo with 2 children and a cupcake delivery business I need to drive. I blogged about getting my license and my traumatic first week of driving (slight bump to a police car outside my house). But other than accidents the other major concern of driving (and living happily) in São Paulo is the traffic. I do everything I can to avoid but now Waze helps me through 9/10 of these journeys. It's a community based navigation app so other users can share how fast they are moving, accidents, police, blitzs (not that these should be avoided since drinking and driving just makes you a bloody idiot!!)... but it takes you through the best possible route, using shortcuts, backroads. Life changer.

Lulu vs Tubby
Relationships here in Brazil could not be more passionate and exciting. Lulu is an app where women can rate men (the app uses Facebook profiles). It's a platform for women to share this information outside of just their friendship group. As you can imagine, it's caused a few relationship issues and even one Brazilian guy is suing Lulu for invasion of privacy! But it didn't take long for the the fake version called Tubby to come out for men to rate women...The inventors of this fake app said they were trying teach women a lesson "People are not objects, and the intimacy of a relationship, bad as it may have been, should not be exposed in this form".

FIFA World Cup 2014

The Schedule
The draw took place on Friday and people finally know what teams are playing in the matches they got tickets for, if you managed to be one of the lucky ticket-buyer winners. They still have yet to confirm officially that match days are public holidays, but unofficially it's a given.

I've heard that most of the hotels are booked up already. The Hyatt it taking in FIFA and Coca-Cola, I heard that the Fasano sold it's last room (minimum stay one month) back in May for R400,000... so if you are looking for somewhere to stay  in São Paulo aside from friends, for reasonable prices, check out Sampa Housing or Airbnb, and I know a few expats who are leaving town for the World Cup and have empty apartments for rent.

Favourite foods

Indian food in São Paulo
Deepali and Vijay opened Samosa & Co a year ago. We just went to their one year anniversary and ate curry and naan for free - yes, in São Paulo!! If you are desperate for a curry it is worth the journey over to Vila Mariana (note they also deliver). They are the one indian restaurant which stays true to Indian food, and those fresh naans are as good as one being baked off the street in Mumbai.

Sichuan food in São Paulo
My friend is going to kill me for publishing this secret. Are you a fan of those tongue-numbing peppercorns from Sichuan? Dinastia Ritz, Rua Galvão Bueno 560. Helpful if you have a Mandarin-speaking chinese friend to order.

Chef Tatiana Cardoso
Chef Tatiana is famous for her vegetarian restaurant Moinho de Pedra but it's little known that she caters one Sunday a month from her house in Embu. The space is beautiful, and you really feel like you are out of São Paulo. Natural com Arte. R120 + tax includes 3 course meal and drinks. You need to book in advance.

Mallory Ferland Gastronomy & Photography
Chef, photographer and blogger, Mallory is catering private dinners here with food that you can't find in town - beautiful cakes, cakepops and toffee apples, Vietnamese canapés (she catered our SP Night Connect: Indochine edition at Tofiq House) -  basically she can do anything you feel "saudades" for. Look at this beautiful cake!!

Useful Facebook pages

2nd Hand Sale : Majority expat members selling second-hand goods.

Saving in Sao Paulo : Sharing tips on how to save in São Paulo

SP Household Help WANTED: Recommended empregadas, babas, drivers and also advice.

Foreigners in Brazil : How to get what and where in Brazil

SP Mummies Club : for pregnant ladies and mummies in São Paulo

Brazil Bloggers: a forum for bloggers who blog about Brazil