All Posts

How do you flush this thing anyway?

Hi all, You would think that by 2015 designers and engineers around the world would have met and agreed upon the best design for something as basic as the toilet. But of course toilets still exist in a wide variety of styles. You’ll find several here in Brazil. Often toilets in Brazil are quite basic, even […]

The best beach in the world?

Hi all, For the second year in a row, the beach at Baia do Sancho (Sancho’s Bay) in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago tops TripAdvisor’s list of the best beaches in the world. I’m typically skeptical of such lists. Comparing beaches (or whatever) often is a matter of comparing apples and oranges, and also ratings are generally […]

A Brief History of Rio

Hi all, Yesterday marked the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Rio de Janeiro – by the Portuguese. Few people are aware that the first settlement in the area was actually French! Rio was born at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The first settlement, founded in 1555, actually was French and was named “France Antarctique”. […]

Using a cell phone in Brazil

Hi all, I recently replied to a query I saw posted at, which by the way is a very helpful site for expats or travelers. The query was from an American planning to relocate to Brazil soon and was: “Should I purchase a new cell phone in Brazil?” While older U.S. cell phones didn’t work […]

Regions of Brazil

Oi gente, That means “Hi, people.” Just thought I’d mix it up a little for you. Brazil is a huge country – number five in the world in area (behind Russia, Canada, China, and the U.S.). It should therefore be no surprise that pronounced regional differences exist in Brazil. Accents, food, festivals, and customs all […]

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 […]

Brazilians are gaining on the US

Hi all, Brazilians are gaining on the U.S. – on the bathroom scales. I was sitting at my favorite boteco (kind of a neighborhood bar/restaurant) this past weekend. Three men at a neighboring table were setting straight the affairs of the world around a bottle of Antartica beer. Then one of them began to pontificate […]

Huffington Post launches Brazil Post

Hi all, TGIF! I hope that you had a good week. If you are reading this blog, it’s a good bet that you are interested in Brazil. So you might be pleased to learn that the Huffington Post recently launched “Brasil Post”, featuring online news about Brazil. While Brasil Post isn’t Huffiington’s first international edition […]

Crime in Rio

Hi all, Carnival has just wrapped up for another year. They were even more tourists in Rio than usual. As tourists anywhere can become targets of crime, this seems a good time to write about crime in Rio. Would-be visitors to The Marvelous City often worry about safety here. There was, after all, the rape […]

Carnivals around Brazil

Hi all, Is there a person alive who hasn’t seen photos and video of Rio’s Carnival? Honestly, sometimes I think that Carnival is the only thing foreigners know about Brazil at all. But Rio is not the only city in Brazil which celebrates Carnival. Indeed, there are Carnivals around the world. Mardi Gras, Quebec’s Winter Festival, […]