Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Save the date! Our Christmas Shopping Bazaar on Friday 12th December, @hubb4i

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

5 minute post!

I've been neglecting my blog for too long and literally have 5 minutes to dedicate to typing furiously fast about my new cafe space  (yes!) and the elections; the two things that have held front line in my life (after children and husband of course).

1 October I started running Sophie & Theo's Cafe based in Escola São Paulo ** come find us from 8am - 10pm at Rua Augusta 2239, Jardins. It's a haven from the crazy Augusta and there is internet and coffee, and of course our famous cupcakes. Since it's opened I've been tearing around São Paulo trying to find reliable and cheap suppliers, pulling giant trolleys through Atacadão and Makro (bulk buy stores), dealing with bureaucracy (trying to rent a coffee machine has taken literally the entire month) but we are slowly getting there. I will continue my posts on setting up a business here and hiring staff in the next few weeks when things start to come into shape.

Elections... so we went to watch the election results with our Brazilian friends who voted PT. They are educated, middle class Brazilians who I have alot of respect for but I couldnt' bring myself to cheer with them when we turned on the TV. The very nature of what my husband does (bring foreign investment into Brazil) was 100% reliant on a PSDB win. Now we will have to see what the next 1-2 years brings for us or we will be looking for our next home (country). 

Next 5 minute blog will be my 2 cents on the Election. In the meantime read this re: Bolsa Familia 


Come and visit the café!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

SP Night Market - Birthday Edition

We have SP Night Market next Saturday 20th at Escola São Paulo, Rua Augusta 2239, from 12pm to 9pm.

If you haven't been before it's a great place to meet new friends, business contacts, do a little shopping, have your caricature done by our featured artist,  eat some great food (we have our favourite Indian food in town, plus Paella, French pastries and of course Cupcakes and free cocktail for every-adult-one courtesy of the fantastic Del Cocktail!

Our lineup for entertainment includes a networking talk by Cassia Verginia de Resende, a talk about healthy eating by Chef Tatiana Cardoso, one of the leaders in gluten-free here in São Paulo (she is really amazing!) and to top it all off a private evening gig on the rooftop by the one-and-only Camille Miller!

This is a great review we got from Yelp

"I've found that what I seek when I go somewhere in São Paulo is to be treated as a person, (and not an anonymous "customer"), and interact with other people, which is exactly what I found at SP Night Market. Besides finding goods for sale that I wasn't even expecting to come across there, I had to chance to have actual conversations with vendors, exchanging ideas and experiences with vendors. I even socialized a little around the foosball table. I can't wait for the next edition!" Jonathan D


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Starting a business in São Paulo : To register or not to register?

Today was the last day for one of my first official employees. Sonia started off being our fantastic helper at home, she helped me with daily chores, cooking and looking after my children.

As she watched my cupcake business grow (she recommended her step-daughter who was my first official hire), she voiced her interest in helping me more with that side rather than the house. She even tried to quit so she could follow her dream of baking and selling from home herself, which was put on hold when some heavy rain damaged their house and they are in the middle of renovations (which means she needs a regular salary). So she officially moved over to the cupcake business earlier this year. Unfortunately it has not worked out for numerous reasons and I have had to let her go.

If you hire on an ad-hoc basis you can pay under the table. If you hire part-time on a weekly basis (i.e. semi-permanent) you need to register your hire, as well as full time. There is an official trial period of up to 3 months and I highly recommend that you write in their work book 'Carteira de Trabalho' that they have 3 months (you can elect for a shorter trial period). If you fire them within the 3 months you are liable to fines 'multas' but you can fire them on the 90th day of their trial without any fines. After this trial period has expired it's a whole different ball game which I've gone through, luckily with the help of my accountant so I can't give you a step by step guide here but can advise his services (see his details below).

By law, employees are guaranteed a pay increase every September (** will check the rate) but because I am firing Sonia within a month of this guaranteed pay increase there is a fine I have to pay out, which in reality is one extra month. There are different rates / fines if you dismiss them and pay out the notice (i.e. they leave the same day) or if you dismiss them with advance notice (30 days) so they work out their notice. They also have the right to leave work 2 hours early each workday during their notice or leave 7 days earlier - to give them the opportunity to look for another job.

Against advice, Sonia worked out her notice and she only missed 2 days of work surprisingly! She is / was obviously a big part of our family (since our second daughter was 2 months old) so we have left on friendly terms. The main point I want to make is to follow the rules and make sure everything is paid out, and signed for because every ex-employee has the right to sue within 2 years of being fired!

My advice if you are going to hire full time staff make sure you register formally and do everything by the book. Yes. the taxes are high but the end cost will be the same and less of a headache. You will be liable for "vale transporte" and "vale refeição" = travel and lunch money, and together this will be a minimum of R25 per employee.  Below is a sample salary slip for one of my staff. And here is the contact of our fabulous accountant who helped with registering the company, employees, other taxes and available for any documentations we have.

Tel: 11-2281-96-99

TIM: 11-98652-00-06

Monday, 14 July 2014

Starting a business in São Paulo : To register or not to register?

In a scale that ranks economies based on ease of doing business, Brazil is ranked 116 out of 189 (1). If you are going to set up a business here you need to be prepared for the weeks, months or years that something simple (yes, like opening a bank account) can take, or firing a registered employee (which I'm currently going through) or getting paid by a client or just getting some business cards made here (that don't cost an arm and a leg)!!! Patience is not one of my top virtues but it is such an essential one that I have been learning in my time here in Brazil.

If you are passionate about your amazing business idea, have lots of patience, keen to learn and adapt yourself to the culture here (I was very quick to learn that things were never going to happen the way I wanted them to happen) then this roller-coaster ride of setting up and running business here in São Paulo is just the thing for you.

My first start up business was registered in London (that took 1 day to register, 1 week to set up a bank account); I've registered my Cupcake business here in São Paulo (that took 4 months before I got my CNPJ / tax number, and 2 months to set up a bank account) ; I've run events (SP Night Market, Social, Connect) unregistered but any corporate accounts can be run through our accountants CNPJ. But for this blog I'll be focused on my Cupcake business which I registered over 1.5 years ago here in São Paulo,  set up a bank account, hired and registered staff and now in the process of firing one.

To register or not to register
The bureaucracy of registering your company is something that you want to put off a long as possible. Until you know that your business is on the up and up, and you need to hire officially and issue nota fiscals I would hold off on registering your business.

If you do want to register your start up business - say, it's a service like photography or consultancy - and you need to issue invoices (nota fiscals) then your best bet is to register your company as a Microempreendedor. It's similar to being self-employed where you do not need to register all your receipts; you agree that your expenses will having a ceiling of X (will check this figure and get back to you). You can register via the site here or you can even go in person to Sebrae which is a great source of information particularly if you need to know about legalities, paperwork, laws that might affect your particular business - essential to speak Portuguese. You do not need to make an appointment. The monthly fee for registering as a Micro-empreendedor is R $36,20 per month and taxable earnings are limited to R$60k and you can only hire 1 employee.

From my experience I have learnt that paid advice is worth it - as long as you're getting good advice! We tried to do our visas ourselves with cheaper agent and it was a nightmare, crying after each visit to the Policia Federal so after 4 years here in Brazil I am very happy to pay our accountant for sound, legit advice. I hired him to help me set up my Limited company here - I didn't want to be limited to R$60k per year, and just 1 employee - so I can't give you the how-to-set-up list myself as he did everything but at minimum you must have Permanent Residency (which we got through having a baby here, or you can also get through marrying a Brazilian), and recent proof of address. Be prepared to have a million copies of everything made, and cartorised. I highly recommend first going to get your signature registered at a local cartorio and if you need to get your documents authenticated take a baby / small child with you to skip the queue - or if you have no access to one, take your Portuguese homework to do while you wait in queue.

Another option, as a non-Brazilian is to set up your company and enter the country on an investor visa which was our first visa. I can highly recommend agents and lawyers to help you through this process. I believe the investment fee is still a minimum of $R$150,000, and the business must employ   more than 10 Brazilians within 5 years of being operational (2).

I'll cover a few more topics in my blog over the next month:

To hire or not to hire

Banking: Opening an account

Website & Marketing


Co-working spaces/ Coffee shops for working

1. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IC.BUS.EASE.XQ
2. Will confirm this numbers shortly with agent

Monday, 9 June 2014

"FIFA and Bribery go together like peanut butter + jelly"

Welcome to Brazil Gringos!

A great welcome article to Brazil em Porto-Ingles! Muito good!!!

A chance for you to practice your portuguese...

Pardon anything.

Thursday, 5 June 2014


It's now a week out from the first match. I've had dozens of conversations (most of them anti-World Cup) with English friends who have only seen the most negative of the negative news about Brazil; and with Brazilian friends, who are so embarrassed for their country and others who are excited. I've seen a little bit of build up but it still seems pretty calm a week out in São Paulo compared to the last World Cup. Even if people want to show their support for their national team, they probably feel embarrassed because so may people are so vocally anti. Lots of "vergonha" in Brazil right now.

My background is in sports; I use to organise football tournaments in Asia for the Asian Football Confederation. Not quite World Cup scale though. I think the World Cup is a fantastic event (FIFA aside) and  passionately believe that sport brings people together in the same way that music, love, religion and politics does.

Courtesy of The Guardian

The World Cup should happen. It's not just an amazing spectacle and experience but an almighty useful platform for putting out your message to the world.  Just recently it was the Sochi Winter Olympics which was and will always be connected now to gay rights movement, thank you very much Russia! (favourite video to come out from that is here). So I say, YES! go ahead and protest (nicely) on the streets of all the host cities, get infront of those televisions, talk to people visiting, streak across that football pitch and get the message heard (and enjoy some of the football too).

People are obsessed and disgusted by the obscene amount of money that has been spent (squirreled away into someones pocket) in the name of football but I think they are fooling themselves to think that if the World Cup didn't happen, then they would all of a sudden have 80 billion to spend on hospitals, schooling and infrastructure. 12 stadiums instead of the required 8 was silly; as well as building extra stadiums when they had perfectly decent ones; and the politicians receiving a daily allowance when they travel to games; and .... the list goes on. Brazil definitely does not get the prize for best organised event.

But instead what I see is a nation that is buoyed and excited* to have a united voice and having faith in something else because all they've had before is God and/or a corrupt government. That something else is irrelevant;  faith and beliefs are essential societal traits and if a group of people can band together and decide that the World Cup should not come to Brazil then Hallelujah! Since the first big manifestations last June there have been non-stop protests for everything you can think of. Whether this actually has had political impact up until this point, I don't know, but  generally speaking the social mindset is that of change. Life is being lived.

*when I say excited here I don't mean to be happily excited, but excited because they are motivated and gaining momentum

Check out the new Beats ad too!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Brazil World Cup tips

On a little side project we worked on some travel tips with the fabulous Messina sisters from All Type Translations to come up with local, secret tips for the Brazil World Cup, Sao Paulo and Rio

You can purchase or trial jam.travel.brazil.world.cup on Amazon Kindle app. The idea is that you don't get just your general touristy tips but little secrets that show you a side of this country that we love!!! Obviously there are more than 101 things to say or do but we've picked some of our favourite sayings, essential words, and best experiences so you can make the most of your visit here!


Here are some sample cards from the jam.travel.brazil.world.cup edition!



My new favourite word in Portuguese. It's the name for the cut of meat that is from between the ribs. It's super fatty, melt-in-your--mouth, straight off the churrasco and now available from the new gourmet butchers in Itaim, Feed. Everything there is pre-packaged so I would argue that it's not a true butchers / "acougue" (pronounced "ah-sore-gee", like "A Sore Knee" - how I like to remember brazilian words I struggle with...) but with over 70 different cuts, named after their dishes and a

You can find them on Rua Doutor Mário Ferraz, 54 and they also deliver. Call them on 5627-4700.

Source : http://www.beefpoint.com.br/cadeia-produtiva/marketing-da-carne/conheca-o-acougue-feed-novo-espaco-para-carne-bovina-premium-em-sp/

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Is GRU the worst airport?

Earlier this year this webpage listed the 10 worst airports surprise, surprise Brazil wins! For a relativey international airport, yes its bad. I've grown up in Hong Kong and lived in Singapore - two of what I would consider, the best airports (and airlines) in the world. JFK and Newark definitely deserve their places on that list too but I question GRU being no.1 on their list. 

On Thursday afternoon I flew from GRU Terminal 1 with my 2 girls (4 year old + 2 year old), + 2 pieces of luggage and a buggy. I gave myself some buffer time to get to the airport since it was the start of the Easter holiday weekend. * We got to the airport in 50 minutes, we unloaded right outside the entrance and walked 50 steps to the BA counter (100 mini steps for sleepy little girls). From there, one of the BA staff asked me what flight I was travelling on and took my baggage trolley from me and pushed me through to the Prioridade line. I was checked in in 10 minutes (yes, i know the general queue was probably more of an hour wait but surely everyone appreciated not having to stand in queue alongside some hyperactive toddlers!). 

At the entrance to security I was directed to the front of the queue again, and at immigration I was only held up another 5 minutes as they checked my documentation for Olivia, who is Brazilian born. If your child is Brazilian born they must travel out on their Brazilian passport (we actually once did get out on her UK passport as the Brazilian passport had expired, first one is only valid for 1 year, second one is for 2 years etc), and as I was travelling out on my own with her I needed a document from my husband authorising the travel. You can download the document here and the signatures must be cartorised.** By law it is required for any Brazilian child travelling out of Brazil with one parent but just to be safe I prepare two copies for both children (even if my oldest is not Brazilian), and both me and my husband sign it to give me approval to travel with them. As I've learnt over time here in Brazil, it does not hurt to be overly-prepared when it comes to official documentation : )

I was surprised as there are some new cafés and little restaurants in GRU that didn't exist before. It's slowly getting better.  Check out this new pizza place - though we didn't try it so I can't tell you if it's any good... 

At the gate (which surprisingly did not change, but we were late to board and they hadn't bothered to advise anyone), the ground staff came up to tell us personally that we could board first with the children. 

Then we landed 11 hours later in Heathrow Terminal 5. As the girls have British passports we could take that immigration queue instead which was pretty fast (thankfully as Sophie had a poo emergency) but there is definitely no priority queue. I had one trolley with our luggage; no option here to ask or even pay someone to help you so I had the 4 year old push the buggy with the 2 year old. It then took us 40 bl**dy minutes to transfer to get our car rental and then another hour to haggle as they had no more cars left in our category, to only pay more money to get a smaller car. Husband insists it's much nicer but it can't fit our 256kg allowance that we will return to Brazil with... I've just realised that he's done this to limit my shopping... 

*Check out the traffic a friend sat in for 4.5 hours and travelled just over 80km this weekend!
**To register your signature at your local cartorio check out an old post here

Brazilian Kids Parties

So we actually haven't started the whole circle of Brazilian kids parties. Our girls go to a little local escolinha which is very low key (why we like it) as well as just being around the corner  from where we live. We've done parties at home the last few years which have been chaotic but lots of fun and cheaper than a Buffet which can set you back R4.000k for the bare minimum i.e. just space rental not including the food, drinks and entertainment you want to add on the top of it. In practical terms it makes sense, Brazilian families are generally large and it is custom to invite everyone you know and potentially know and not everyone's apartments / houses can accommodate.

Yesterday we had our first Brazilian event "A Perfect day for Babies" hosted by some local celebs and Sophie & Theo's Cupcakes was "tropicalizad* and it was beautiful! Some of the tables were just incredible - not like any 5 year olds party I've ever been too!

Just google "Buffet Infantil" to find what's available in your neighbourhood.

Photos from Facebook page "A Perfect Day for Babies"

*Brazilian-ified, something that is made to suit Brazilian customs, tastes, lifestyle

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Killer Caterpillars

We've had an invasion in the garden - this beautiful fluffy red caterpillars are hiding in our garden and are super poisonous. My empregada bought one to show me as we have to make sure we get rid of them with kids running around the house. I thought she was telling me a poisonous flower and so we went out into the garden to find more, where I watched her drop the "flower" to the ground and crush it under her foot. Gross. 

I've just had to google what they are... It's a Megalopyge albicollis caterpillar. They have poisonous spines underneath all that fluff which can cause an extreme allergic reaction which includes rashes, blisters, inflammation and breathing difficulty. 

Photograph by Leonardo Tavares Castro, Your Shot


Source: http://www.thefeaturedcreature.com/2013/08/the-most-dangerous-piece-of-ginger-fluff-youll-ever-meet-probably.html

Monday, 31 March 2014

SP Night Market - 11th Edition

SP Night Market is back this Saturday 5th April at Escola São Paulo. A great place to meet new friends, discover local chefs, enjoy some music and shop! The Facebook event page has more details

Children and coffee

Things that make you think

Last week my empregada told me that she was watching a report and the journalist said that children should drink one cup of coffee with milk (café com leite) every day. I couldn't think of anything worse to give to you kids on a daily basis (talking about legal substances here people!). A week later I'm now doubting myself - my initial reaction is that coffee is bad, it has too much caffeine so why would you want to give your kid something to make them more hyper! My empregada was arguing that it makes a child more alert and is good for brain development.

When I started to research it so I could give her facts I found alot of arguments for and against... and I want to follow my own sensible (?) reasoning but at the same time I've very wary to not sound like a condescending, egotistical, know-it-all gringa... and maybe it's me that's been the one brainwashed all my life?

Coffee is bad link

"In an interesting finding from Brazil, kids who drink coffee with milk are less likely to have depression than other children."Source

- - - - - - 

My assistant today was telling me how her sister-in-law is beaten by her boyfriend on a regular basis, and she isn't allowed to work and have any friends. He's jealous and over-controlling. But it's okay because she loves him.

- - - - - - -

Research has shown that 65.1% of Brazilians believe that if a woman dresses in revealing clothes she deserves to be raped. 65-f**king-percent?!?! This includes women who think other women deserve to be raped! Where am I living and in what day and age??! Read about this journalist's campaign here.

For further reading on the topc :We are 34.9%, and proud

- - - - - - -

Monday, 10 March 2014

Burger King in São Paulo

Don't eat there. The most popular Sao Paulo video this week has caught staff from Burger King on Faria Lima bathing in the water tanks... gross! Watch the video here

4 years in Brazil!!!! Feels like a lifetime ago x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sound Gallery @Absolut Inn

Another SPNS networking night at Absolut Inn (Cartel011) in partnership with Yelp and Sound Gallery! An exhibition by Daniel Guarda, music by Sound Gallery

From 7pm to midnight, Rua Artur de Azevedo 517. Free Entry, first 80 "Yelpers" receive a free cocktail!

Indian Curry in São Paulo

Aside from Japanese food, good Asian cuisine is sorely lacking in this country. We have 2-3 good Chinese restaurants in Liberdade, one Korean restaurant in Vila Mariana and also our favourite favourite Samosa & Co. *They have a Dosa festival this Sunday night, 9 March

For most of my life I've lived in cities that have everything. Even though I'm Chinese I never had to learn to make fried rice or spring rolls.. until Sao Paulo, I had access to all my favourite foods literally within a one block radius. I have to say, London's selection of sushi though is appalling - maybe it's improved since the 4 years I've been away so São Paulo wins on the Japanese food.

Since living in São Paulo I have learnt to make all my favourite dishes, some of them even dishes I was forced to eat as a child and never even ate in New York or London, but suddenly have the desire because I can't get it here. Last night I made Indian food from scratch. Here's my adapted recipe from Mamta for Butter Dal if you need a break from brazilian beans. You can find Indian rice in most supermarkets, or I just use Raris 7 Grain.


  • 500g lentils
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (erva doce)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (or I use cumin / cominho)
Ingredients for tarka / tempering
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or powder)
  • 3 fresh chillies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finally chopped 
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala (I bought mine in but you can buy from speciality supermarkets or from Bombay Spice in Sao paulo)
  • 1 cup of thick yoghurt (for me only the greek yoghurt from Delicari does the job!)
  • Chopped coriander leaves

1. Wash and soak the lentils for 1-2 hours, or even in the morning before you cook that night.
2. Put the lentils and cover with double amoung of water, ground fennel and turmeric into a pressure cooker (every Brazilian household has one!) and cook under full pressure for 20-30 minutes (depends on how long you have coked your dal for. Let cool and add salt to taste.
3. While the lentils are cooking you can prepare the tarka. Heat oil in a wok, add cumin seeds and it will start to splutter.
4. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add onions and fry until light brown. Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and garam masala and stir fry until you see the oil on top.
6. Add it to the cooked lentils and simmer for another 5 minutes

For serving add the yoghurt, and garnish with coriander leaves

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Where to run in São Paulo

I wanted to title this post "Where to run and cycle in São Paulo" but I've never cycled in my life* so I can't really be any expert in that field but on the odd occasion I do run. I even ran from home to Vila Nova the other morning for a coffee with friends; I did get a few strange looks as everyone else was on their way to work. I saw one other guy running with his backpack, must've been another Kiwi! If you've just arrived in the city it's a great way to find your way around. Carry enough money for an agua de coco in the park, and a taxi home if needed.

There are several parks you can run in this city. As usual the weekday early morning is best but if you don't have that option

  • Parque Ibirapuera - great for practicing dodging skills (children, dogs, elderly) during the weekend. 
  • Parque Vila Lobos in Alto de Pinheiros
  • Parque de Povo - little shade in a smaller park but convenient if you live in the neighbourhood (Itaim, Vila Olimpia)

You can also run down the middle of a busy road where they have set up bike and running lanes. If you don't mind breathing in a few fumes from the 3 lane roads on either side, try Av Sumare and Av Pedroso de Morais (which leads up to Parque Vila Lobos).

USP (Univeristy Sao Paulo) is next to where I live so I get to run in there on the weekends. It is filled with cycling and running groups, as well as rowers (the water is separate to the Tiête..). If you are not a student or professor you can run and cycle in there until 2pm on Saturday and Sundays. It's my favourite place to run on the weekend. If you don't live closeby you can drive into USP, park and run / cycle.

On Sundays, the Ciclofaixa is on! One lane along the main roads in the city are closed down for cyclists and runners. It's very well used as there is little other option to ride in this city outside of Sunday unless you have a death wish. My husband was fond of cycling to work in London but São Paulo is deadly business. The routes for the Ciclofaixa are here. Google "bicicletas alugar sao paulo" for where to rent bicycles. Itau "BikeSampa" also has bicycle stands dotted around the city where you can rent and return.  For the cyclists in you, if you don't mind fumes and smelly water then check out the newly formed bike lane CicloVia along the Tiête too.

If you are looking for races in São Paulo, here are some of the more popular ones

Bertioga-Maresias: 75km along the Litoral Norte can be run individually or up to team of 8 members. We did it last year and it was great fun! There are 2 stages: 31 May and 18 October 2014
Pão de Açucar Marthon 2014: The São Paulo edition is on the 21st September 2014. Applications are still not open.
Pão de Açucar for kids 2014 on 17th May. We took Sophie when she was 2 years old and she loved the whole experience. The actual race was a intimidating as she was one of the youngest in the race but one parent gets to run alongside them. Applications are not open yet.

Here are more races in Sao Paulo this year too if you are really keen.

*I'm guessing 3 times doesn't count: on a tricycle when I was 4, a Sonoma wine cycle tour when I was 33, and on a spinning bike in December at the new and amazing Velocity spinning studio in Itaim.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Clocks change this Saturday night

Just a reminder that the clocks are going back one hour this Saturday!!

ref: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/clockchange.html?n=233

Yellow Fever Vaccine when traveling from Brazil

Don't get caught out! I had a friend who missed her holiday last year because she didn't have the vaccine. There are over 120 countries that require an international certificate of vaccination for Yellow Fever if you are travelling FROM Brazil. You may be used to travelling to the same country from, say the US or UK but it's not the same if you are travelling from here.

You must have the vaccine 10 days from your date of travel. Here are list of Postos de Saude where you can get your free vaccination. Bring along your RNE, RG or passport and if your children are getting them, their vaccination cards.

If you have a yellow vaccination card that is Brazilian and not an International Card (make sure you ask for one when you get your vaccine) you will have to take it to the ANVISA office in the airport to get them to stamp the card before they issue your boarding pass.

Here is my original post on the yellow fever vaccine

Países que exigem o certificado internacional de vacinação contra febre amarela:
• Afeganistão
• África do Sul
• Albânia
• Angola
• Antígua e Barbuda
• Antilhas Holandesas
• Arábia Saudita
• Argélia
• Austrália
• Bahamas
• Bangladesh
• Barbados
• Guadalupe
• Guatemala
• Guiana
• Guiana Francesa
• Guiné
• Guiné-Bissau
• Guiné Equatorial
• Haiti
• Honduras
• Iêmen
• Ilha de Pitcairn
• Ilhas Salomão
• Omã
• Panamá
• Papua-Nova Guiné
• Paquistão
• Paraguai
• Peru
• Polinésia Francesa
• Palau
• Portugal
• Quênia
• República Centro-Africana
• Reunião • Belize
• Benin
• Bolívia
• Brasil
• Brunei
• Burkina Fasso
• Burundi
• Butão
• Cabo Verde
• Camarões
• Camboja
• Cazaquistão
• Chade
• China
• Cingapura
• Colômbia
• Congo
• Djibuti
• Dominica
• Egito
• El Salvador
• Equador
• Eritréia
• Etiópia
• Fiji
• Filipinas
• Gabão
• Gâmbia
• Gana
• Granada
• Grécia
• Índia
• Indonésia
• Iraque
• Jamaica
• Jordânia
• Kiribati
• Kuait
• Laos
• Lesoto
• Líbano
• Libéria
• Líbia
• Madagascar
• Malásia
• Malaui
• Maldivas
• Mali
• Malta
• Maurício
• Mauritânia
• México
• Moçambique
• Myanma
• Namíbia
• Nauru
• Nepal
• Nicarágua
• Níger
• Nigéria
• Niue
• Nova Caledônia
• Ruanda
• Samoa Americana
• Samoa Ocidental
• Santa Helena
• Santa Lúcia
• São Cristóvão e Névis
• São Tomé e Príncipe
• São Vicente e Granadinas
• Senegal
• Serra Leoa
• Seychelles
• Síria
• Somália
• Sri Lanka
• Suazilândia
• Sudão
• Suriname
• Tailândia
• Tanzânia
• Togo
• Tonga
• Trinidad e Tobago
• Uganda
• Venezuela
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Friday, 7 February 2014

Women's Closet Sale

*The Closet Sale Continues!! If you missed out on the Sale yesterday there will be an extra day of selling tomorrow, Tuesday 11th Feb from 10am - 2pm. Please send an email to rsvp@spnightmarket.com to confirm your presence, and receive the address. 

As a gringa, I do very little shopping here in Sao Paulo. There are some great things but the prices can be absurd, especially imported things that you know cost only a fraction of the price back home. My favourite shop is Oslken, being a local brand and innovative in their design but their shop is actually cheaper in New York than here in São Paulo!

This Sunday is the first ever SPNM Closet Sale, where handpicked sellers have cleared out their wardrobes to sell anonymously. The sale is semi-private, the address will be sent once you have rsvp'd (rsvp@spnightmarket.com). There are lots of fabulous items, alot that are brand new or only worn once, for sale ranging from R10 (our charity box) to R400!

Our nominated charity is Madre Teodoro Casa dos Idosos, in partnership with the Canadian International Society. 

Brazil States in English

The names of Brazilian states directly translated into English!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Brazil Public Holidays 2014

Thank you Angloinfo!
25 January 2014 (Sat)Foundation Day (São Paulo only)Regional
3 March 2014 (Mon)CarnivalNational
4 March 2014 (Tue)CarnivalNational
17 April 2014 (Thu)Bank Holiday (from 13:00)National
18 April 2014 (Fri)Good FridayNational
21 April 2014 (Mon)Tiradentes DayNational
19 June 2014 (Thu)Corpus CristiNational
9 July 2014 (Wed)Sao Paulo State RebellionRegional
27 July 2014 (Sun)optional holidayRegional
25 August 2014 (Mon)Barretos Day (Barretos only)Regional
3 September 2014 (Wed)Ilhabela Day (Ilhabela only)Regional
7 September 2014 (Sun)Independence DayNational
4 October 2014 (Sat)optional holidayRegional
12 October 2014 (Sun)Nossa Senhora da AparecidaNational
27 October 2014 (Mon)Civil Servants holidayNational
2 November 2014 (Sun)Defuncts' Day (All Souls Day)National
15 November 2014 (Sat)Republic DayNational
24 December 2014 (Wed)Christmas Eve (1/2 day)National
25 December 2014 (Thu)Christmas DayNational
31 December 2014 (Wed)New Year's Eve (half day)National

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Contemporary Art Exhibition: Children's Literature

I am in the thick of setting up my first point of sales for my Cupcake business in a Shopping Mall. As you can imagine, surprise last minute documents are required on a daily basis. I will blog about the process later..

So one of the documents I needed was a "Consulta" which after a heated (frustrated) discussion I worked out was a document that said my name was clean of fines, wrongdoings and jailtime. I also needed to get it for my Company. I was frustrated because a "Consulta" to me is a consultation, like one you arrange with your Doctor... not a piece of paper.

The office was downtown Centro, a walk through Praça de Se (alot of the homeless seem to be away on holiday as well), and a short queue. I had to take all my documents (I now know to just take everything - passport, RNE, drivers license, proof of address, CPF - just incase), the queue was short (holiday time) and all the lady at the counter did was put my details in and she just said, your record or clean (or something to that effect) and didn't give me a document because only people with a record get a printed piece of paper. So now I'm going to wait for the Shopping (Shopping is a noun and not a verb in Portuguese) to ask for the Consulta, which IS just a check-in, and not a document.

So after my 5 minutes getting my non-existent Consulta I walked back to the Metro and saw a banner for MACLI: Mostra de Arte Contemporânea em Literatura Infantil in the Caixa Building. Loved. I'm not a Contemporary Art fan... but the curator has bought together some great pieces. So if you are ever hanging out in Praça de Sê (Cathedral Sê) then definitely pop in - it's free entry and on until February 14th.

Some of my favourites:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Airline Azul max R999 for World Cup

There has been much chat about how people are going to get around Brazil to watch all the games. As soon as the draw was announced in December my husband bought all his flight tickets before prices could go up (my christmas present to him was not being mad about all the games he's going to watch..)

The great news is that Azul has just announced they are capping their flights at R999 for the World Cup, and there will be flights cheaper as well.

For International travellers I've also heard that TAM will be opening up more flights each month so be patient. Flying in and out of Brazil, and within Brazil, is NOT cheap so be patient when researching your travel for the World Cup.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

São Paulo Parks

Discovering São Paulo parks one at a time! We checked out another little park near us called Parque Previdencia which has a medium sized field with trees (shade), and play areas for kids (swings in the shade, bonus!).

There is also a little preserved part of the Mata Atlantica which has a trail running through it. We were able to tie our dog up on the inside (but the outside of the green) while the girls played in the park, and take him for a walk on his leash on the shaded trail with our daughters. It was a great little adventure, and you really felt like you were going on a hike far away from the city (unless we found ourselves on a path alongside Raposo with cars zooming by).

If you're looking for something to do with the kids while they are off from school, check out one of the 32 parks in São Paulo - and make the most of travelling around this city this month (with half the cars / traffic!). Note that rodizio starts again this Friday 10th January

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Brazil this year: 2014

Feliz Ano Novo!

*this post was written last week while I had no internet access for 10 days... I was feverishly sick by Day 9, and then we we drove back hoping for a smooth 11 hour drive home but got stopped for 4 hours on the last hour. 2 days later we're just recovering, Happy 2014!

Praia da Rosa

We are spending our holidays in a little beach town called Ferrugem, less than 2 hours from the infamous Florianopolis. We decided to drive down from São Paulo as we would need a car down here anyhow to travel to each of the beaches. We set off on Sunday afternoon and covered 600km to Joinville, the capital of Santa Catarina. If there is there anywhere in Brazil that you do not have to visit, it’s Joinville. We circled the town center in 5 minutes, in hope of bumping into a padaria but had to resort to the Ibis hotel breakfast buffet spread. My children love cake for breakfast!

We stopped by to look at a property investment in Florianopolis. As we were still days before Christmas the bridge over was relatively quiet but have heard that getting around the island during the peak week (between christmas and new years) can be pretty awful. We stopped at a cute little seafood restaurant called Zé de Cacupé for lunch and had the best pastel de camarão and Bobo de Camarão.

Full tummies, and sleeping children meant our last 1.5 hours to Ferrugem was tranquilo. Roads were clear, sun was out and the holiday house has no internet … * We were joining an English friend and his Brazilian girlfriend, and her parents from Porto Alegre for the week. It’s a cute little holiday house with a beautiful deck looking over the lagoon and the other side towards the sea.

Apparently it’s a good surfing spot - there are other beautiful beaches dotted along this part of the coast filled with surfers. I don’t know if any of the are very good but it sets the scene. Ferrugem has the North End where, this week bus loads of Brazilians, Argentinians and Uruguayans (I want to say young ones, but that makes me feel old) fill the beach and drink, smoke pot and dance around all day (I’m guessing like their version of Spring Break). Not child appropriate but it’s next to Ferrujão one of the pousada/restaurants that has internet access and beer.

At the end of the road is Barrinha which is an inlet that separates Ferrugem South and another beach. You can drive straight onto the beach but watch out for the soft sand. The inlet is wide and shallow and great for kids but there is alot of wind coming in from both beaches. The first evening there we had to spend it huddled behind the boot of the car, just to make sure my English husband felt at home. 

Garopaba is the main beach town 5 minutes away (or an hour in traffic) and has a small historical centre which really can be covered in maximum hour. The beach was absolutely packed and did not look appealing at all. There is a smaller beach past the old church which is sheltered, and is perfect for kids to swim in.

Praia da Rosa was voted one of the top 10 beaches in Brazil. It IS beautiful but even though we managed to get there at 10am it was buuuusssy!! The traffic cops were having a very merry Christmas putting fines on all the cars and even towing one poor sod’s car. We went to the South end which was quieter (…) and had some rock pools for the girls to collect shells in. We went out one night for dinner and to check out an old local bar called Beleza Pura but they had sold their souls and upgraded to a glitzy nightclub with a R100 cover charge (R50 for women) which included nothing. I don't blame any of these restaurants and bars making the most of it - they have 3 months to make as much money as possible and then they can surf for the rest of the year.

Silveira is the beach alongside Garopaba and has not been commercialised. There is one house at the end of North Silveira which makes the biggest pastels ever - the meat one was amazing, and was worth the 20 minute wait. The South side is also just as beautiful but the surf is strong so our girls spent the day jumping waves. Que delicia! E muito simpatico! I heard the girls showering in front of us - What deliciousness! This beach is so friendly! By far the quietest and where I would try and stay for future visits.

Tips for when visiting
  • if you are here during the peak season make sure you come with cash handy. Most places accept cards but for those ice creams and açai cups on the beach you need cash. The one 24-hour atm in Silveira supermarket in Garopaba has either had no cash or hour long queues… 
  • Make sure your phone is set for roaming and know how much you will be charged for using
  • Make sandwiches, bring lots of water to the beach. 
  • You have to bring your own umbrellas to the beach here. As they are not commercialised beaches there are none (or only 1) renting out chairs and umbrellas

Places to eat

Wilsons in Ferrugem and Garopaba - por kilo buffet, v good quality food and perfect for when you have exhausted, hungry, crying children in the car
Mormaai Surf cafe - salads, sandwiches and açai with wifi (not reliable during peak week)
Ferrujão (restaurant and pousada) - Brazilian beach food and beer with internet access
Tigre Asiatico (Rosa) - sushi / thai - the service was below average but I was dying for an asian hit so you lower standards right?

*roaming within Brazil is ridiculously expensive as well, just moving from state to state can cost you X times more to send a text to another Brazilian number. Depending on your operator you might also have to put a code before the number you dial so check with your phone company before you travel.