Friday, May 8, 2009

In search of Gisele...

Last year when I told all my friends I was moving to Brazil, they all thought I was crazy. I think they thought I would be dancing around doing the samba, wearing Havianas, exposing my bum in a revealing bikini!

The fact is that most of us think that that is what Brazil is like.

Not that it has 10 of the world's best companies or that it's the world's third largest emerging economy or that there are more natural resources here that humans need to survive than in any other country on the planet and most of those haven't even been tapped yet.

I love spending time with my friends here having a Churrasco (Brazilian bbq, see pic) at the weekends but no matter what we talk about, if there is a new guest, the inevitable question comes up. 'What did you think Brazil was like before you got here?'

I have to admit that I was one of those people. I mean of course I have read The Alchemist and I've got Bebel Gilberto's album, except she's not famous in Brazil - you'd be better off swatting up on Marisa Monte or Jotta Quest if you are trying to impress a Brazilian.

The fact is that when I arrived in Brazil, and got to the small town of Maringa, Parana, (pop. 331, 412) I half expected to see Gisele, Adriana and Alessandra there to greet me. I was of course quite relieved to see that Brazil is full of ordinary looking women as well as very beautiful ones.

My Brazil has been a breath of fresh air. It's been about funny stories of me confusing Portuguese words, it's been about learning a new culture, and about getting to know my new family.

Brazilians have, in my opinion, an unrivaled sense of hospitality. They are incredibly warm and inviting and have the purest of party spirits. The whole way of life here is about food and family and family and food. Hardly a day goes by that I don't get invited to some one's house to just hang out and have some delicious food and talk about anything you want.

After four months here, I am starting to find out that we still have a lot to learn about Brazil.


  1. Que fofa!! agora você tem que contar sobre as suas "aventuras" por aqui! beijinhos

  2. Hello,

    I was reading "Blondie in Brazil" when I saw a link for your blog.

    I'm Brazilian, living in Maringá since I was a kid. I'm almost 30 now, married and father of the most beautifull little girl on Earth! :D

    I'll be reading your posts so I can practice my english, because I really need to improve it! LOL

    It will be great to find out what you think about us, our culture, problems and way of life.

    Welcome to Brazil and Maringá. You will love this town and in no time you will consider yourself an "almost Brazilian person"... :D