X salada, por favor

Hi all, Often I’ll meet a Brazilian who claims to know not a word of English. I always challenge him. English is so prevalent (one could say intrusive) around the world that it’s virtually impossible not to pick up a few words. But sometimes English has a way of slipping in disguised and unnoticed. For […]

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What Americans think about Brazil

Hi all, I’ve been visiting Brazil for 21 years, and living here for six. Generally I visit back in the U.S. once a year. When I do and people find out that I live in Brazil, occasionally it starts some interesting conversation. More often, it’s a conversation killer. Why? It’s not that people don’t like […]

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Mate makings: erva-mate, cuia, and bomba


Hi all, I recently moved to the South of Brazil, which is considerably different from Rio – or the Northeast, or even from South Paulo. This region has much in common with neighboring Uruguay and Argentina. For instance, the folks here love their erva-mate usually just referred to as mate (and yerba mate in Spanish). Mate, in Portuguese […]

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Texting in Brazil

Hi all, I’m old school (hell, I’m old) and of the generation that prefers to talk rather than text. However, since I moved to Brazil I’ve learned to love texts. In part this is because they are generally cheaper than calls. Also, often hard to hear on street or in metro, so text is best. […]

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zumbi dos palmares

Black Consciousness Day repost

Hi readers! Today is a holiday in much of Brazil, Black Consciousness Day. You can learn about it in this repost…   Hi all, I hope that you are having a good week. My readers in the US will be gearing up for Thanksgiving, in many cases fortifying themselves for an early start on Black […]

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Gay pride parade in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Attitudes toward gays in Brazil

Hi all, Sunday, the 19th annual Gay Pride parade was held in Rio, along Copacabana Beach. I don’t believe I’ve ever written about attitudes towards gays and lesbians in Brazil, and thought this a topic worth writing about, because perceptions may not match reality. I’ll say up front that I’m straight and not really in […]

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The caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil

The Caipirinha

Hello all, Does your country have a national drink? Brazil’s would have to be the caipirinha. The BBC agrees. If you’ve been to Brazil, odds are you’ve tried one – or possibly several! The active ingredient in a caipirinha is cachaça. Cachaça is also known in some parts of Brazil as pinga. It’s also sometimes […]

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Republic day

Hi all, November 15th is Proclamation of the Republic Day here in Brazil. Brazil has a rather interesting history, quite different from that of the U.S., although they were “discovered” at about the same time. Here is a quick primer: The first colony in Brazil was founded on April 22nd, 1500, in what is today the […]

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Iguacu Falls from the Brazil side

Iguaçu Falls

Hi everyone! Hope that you had a good weekend. The website AFAR, which bills itself as “The Experiential Travel Guide”, has posted a list of 29 must-see UNESCO World Heritage sites. One on the list is Iguaçu Falls.As someone who’s visited the Falls three times, I wholeheartedly concur with this selection. Here’s the link to AFAR’s […]

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President Dilma Rousseff is re-elected

Hello all! I’m back! Lots to tell you about soon. For one thing, I’ve moved to the South of Brazil. But all that can wait just a bit. Today I want to talk about Brazil’s presidential elections, which were concluded yesterday. Yesterday actually was the second and final round of voting. The first round of […]

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