Impressions of Brazil

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I am recently back from Brazil – I  gave a talk in Maceió and then spent a lovely few days in Sao Paulo with a friend. So I thought I would write down some impressions whilst they are fresh in my mind. Brazil is an amazing country – love it. This was my second trip. So here, in no particular order, is a list of things I noticed:

  • Little electronic devices on tables in restaurants, which you can use to summon the waitress with.
  • It’s a large country! Was a three-hour flight from Sao Paulo to Marceió.
  • There seems to be a culture of not drinking wine and it’s practically impossible to just get a glass of wine.
  • Beauty salons are big out there! I didn’t see a single woman without perfect designer eyebrows! Waxing, manicures and pedicures are a must.
  • No one even thinks of going out in Sao Paulo until midnight.
  • Riots across the country. Started because of a proposed increase in bus fairs, then spread to lots of other things people were unhappy with.
  • Similarity of Portuguese to Spanish. Very few people speak English, managed to get by with my Spanish – had some good chats to taxi drivers 😉
  • Tapioca – fried with ham and cheese is a must for breakfast. Cheese balls also popular.
  • The food is wonderful!
  • Coffee at the beach? Forget it!
  • They have day beach resorts with swimming pools and restaurants that you can book into.
  • Maceió has a wonderful market – where you can get lovely gifts, like crochet goods and beach bags.
  • There are electronic devices in hotel rooms to indicate you want your room made up.
  • The Samba music is to die for.  Saw a great band called ‘ocerta – pra sempre’.
  • When you have a pedicure you need to take flip flops 😉
  • There are different plug sockets across the country – very confusing.
  • There is an amazing book shop/liberaria in the centre of Sao Paulo with a great coffee shop.
  • There are restaurants where you pay for the food by weight.
  • At clubs you get issued a card, which you then use to get drinks with and simply pay at the end of the evening.
  • The juices/sucos are to die for, as are the exotic fruits.
  • You see lots of roadside stalls selling fruit and would you believe it cooked lobster!
  • Caipirinha – wonderful drink.
  • I got a love book about Brazilian food and culture, which I will enjoy making recipes from.
  • Saw some cats with very unusual markings.
  • The beaches in the North East are wonderful.
  • Maceió beach road is closed on Sundays so kids can play.
  • The conference dinner had a cocktail bar.
  • Santander bank has serious security controls but is lovely inside and you can get free fresh coffee.
  • All the woman have huge handbags!
  • There is a car parking service at a lot of restaurants and bars.
  • The Santo Grao coffee house is the best I have ever been to.
  • There is a nice museum in downtown Sao Paulo.
  • Street music is everywhere.
  • The food market in Sao Paulo is wonderful.

So just a few thoughts – was a great trip.

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By gconole Posted in Travel

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