Saturday, December 29

Back from Brasil

Bom Dia! Wish I had learned a little more Portuguese before the trip. I felt like my kids when I talk to them. Waiting for the few words they understand. Blah, blah, blah, treat, blah, blah, blah, walk... Luckily, my Brazilian coworkers spoke English.
I started at a meeting in Salvador, Bahia in northeast Brazil. Went from cold and dreary at home to the sun beating down at 5 am. On the last night of the meeting, they had a little party. This is a local woman who was making a very traditional Bahian dish called acaraje. It’s deep fried manioc containing shrimp and hot peppers. Darn good. After some caipirinhas (the Brazilian national cocktail), I was actually out on the dance floor doing some samba.

In Sao Paulo (pronounced San Paulo), we ate at churrascaria. Not only do they come around with the meat on skewers, they have a full fledge buffet with everything from salad to sushi. When the guys came around, I tried the chicken hearts and Brahma cow hump meat. Yummy on both counts.
Sao Paulo traffic. What can I say. Just scary. The rain didn’t help. I’m not used to the guys on motorcycles just weaving in and out of traffic.

Traffic is bad pretty much all the time. A city of 11 million people. There is a policy where depending on whether your license plate starts with an even or odd number, you can’t drive from 7-10am and 5-8pm on alternating days.

Jody found out an old high school friend he hadn’t seen in 10 years was going to be in town. Small world. We had dinner with him, and our marketing manager and his wife joined us too. We ate at ‘Badejo’ in the Moema section of town. We had ‘Bobo’ which is a Bahian-style seafood dish. Yummy!

Here is Jody with our Brazilian counterparts. Clockwise left to right is Michele, Roberta, Renata, and Carla. We had to get used to ‘R’s sounding like ‘H’s, so it was ‘Hoberta’ and ‘Henata’.
I spent the weekend in Rio de Janeiro before returning to Sao Paulo. Jody stayed in Rio for the week. We visited the two major tourist attractions: Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) and Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain). It was a very foggy day on Corcovado mountain, so this was the best shot I could get.

A shot of Sugarloaf from the nearby beach.
As impressive at the statue is, I think it gives more perspective to see it from the other side of Rio from Sugarloaf.
Another shot from Sugarloaf. If you enlarge the picture, you can see Cristo in the top right corner.

We headed off to the beaches. Couldn’t go to Rio without at least going to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Having a beer at one of the stands on the beach is a great way to wind down the day.

The Samba band which played at the restaurant where we had dinner that night was led by a colorful character. Jody referred to him as ‘Huggy Bear’ (from Starsky and Hutch). After a few beers, Jody felt the need to have a picture with him.
Unlike the States, Brazil has payphones on every block. ‘Oi’ is slang for ‘Hi’.
We loved the little mom and pop beer shops that lined the streets. Catch up with friends over a beer and watch the world go by. I could definitely become a regular. We tried some Brazilian brews: Skol, Itaipava, Brahma. And I quickly learned that 'chopp' means 'draft'. My first time in the Southern Hemisphere. Would definitely visit again. The people are very nice and the food is fabulous. Practicing my Portuguese. Australia is on my list of Southern Hemisphere countries to visit. Don't even have to learn a new language :)


  1. welcome back! looks like you had an amazing trip! you were a good choice for the trip...all those hearts and odd body parts didn't go to waste. =)

  2. What a beautiful place. Everything looks so bright and colorful( even the phone booths). The Cristo Redentor, Sugarloaf Mountain, ocean water....amazing. I could do without the Chicken hearts : )
    Glad you made it back home safe and sound!!! Happy New Years...Deb

  3. Welcome back! The pictures are awesome! Chicken hearts? I think I'll pass. =) I am sure Kristen, the hounds, Parker and the cats were all very happy to see you!
    Happy New Year!

  4. Hey Kristen & Gyeong, Hope ya'll are well. Cool pics of Brasil. We have a blog now too. Check it out.

  5. wow, tht looked great. how slobbered on were you when you came back? and did the dogs welcome you back with monster smooches, too?

    were you humoured by the warm december? i never gte used to it. i'm a january baby and now my birthday is in the hot months. go figure.

    glad you're back. now post those hounds!

  6. Great pics! I have had chicken hearts..I didn't like them so much..too chewy! See you tomorrow!!!!!!

  7. Oh you had better come to Australia where we can show you how to BBQ properly!! In Aussie style!