Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Golden Pet...

But not a retriever. This lion lives in Sao Paulo and from what I gather... as a pet. Its a bit of a confusing article in that it doesn't get into how Ms. Borges acquired the lion and whether or not its possible to have a lion as a pet in your apartment here? All I know is this guy is pretty cute and it brought back teary memories of ole Christian the Lion. If you aren't one of the 5 million plus animal lovers that have watched this... well here you go...

Just a thought.... its probably a tad easier to keep him in a city apartment paralyzed no?  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Now thats more like it...

CNN posted this article 

and I am like wait, whaaaaa t? Where is Sao Paulo or Rio on this list? I was in Shanghai in 2007 and while that was a few years ago I know I never felt that rush of expensive steam there quite the same way I did here. So then I was relieved to see this article in Bloomberg which, when it comes to this subject, I trust over CNN (even though they spelled Sao Paulo wrong... we'll just let that one slide...oppsies).

How is it that two mainstream articles are written within days of each other and ohh so different? I was shell shocked to see Brazil not even mentioned in the first article. Am I crazy? Is it normal to see $40 salmon dishes and $50 steaks at most of the restaurants nearby? Sure, there are exceptions and they are basing a lot of this off the cost of items like bread or cigarettes which are still very reasonable in Sao Paulo (actually not sure about cigarettes) but EVERYTHING else isn't! Jim wrote a great article that gets to the bottom of it, purchasing power. Economies are all very different but the most important factor wherever you are is how much does it cost to maintain your standard of living.

Take for instance the other day at the mall, I spy the EXACT same George Foreman grill for sale for a whopping 400R ($250)! I had literally just bought that same grill at Target in the US for $35... thats a 700% markup! Now I understand a markup on imported goods but I am sorry, you have to be a CEO to 'college kid' cook your chicken? I told a cab driver about it, he knew all about George Foreman grills, put it on the same level as acquiring a Louis Vuitton bag!  In the US you get a forman grill for your dorm room because you dont have a place to cook your food. Its cheap and probably embarrassing that I just bought one and was super excited to use it (less dishes when you have to handwash everything)! But c'mon!?! Even my old space heater I had at my desk at work in Chicago was $18.99 ....and $75 at the Sao Paulo Wal-Mart! Forget how you cook your chicken, freezing in this winter weather for that price just isn't fair!

So yea, how many times can I say it, its expensive here!  From $7 ice cream cones to $70,000 mini coopers... we feel it all around us and I am glad that Bloomberg finally legitimized it. Now... about those beaches.....

Cheapest Greatest Thing in Sao Paulo

A Sinfonia...

It was our first anniversary and since I am married to the most wonderful old soul in a young body, he suprised me with a trip to the Sao Paulo Symphony. I was almost dissappointed to find out our balcony second row tickets were only... yes... wait for it... 10 Reals a ticket!!!!!! Thats six US dollars and 31 cents! Cheaper than valet parking at the pizza parlor, or anywhere for that matter. After enjoying such talent, that is the last thing I wish was the greatest cheapest thing I have found here. They deserved to be 50R or much much more... but I´ll take it! It was stunning inside, a well done modern updo to a beautifully ornate classic style building. Please, don´t walk, run to see and support it!

pic from my phone...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Need your advice!

Rose, my wonderful faxineira (once a week cleaner) is getting married in November. I started thinking about her wedding and while my Portuguese limits our ability to really talk about how happy and excited she must be, I would like to do something for her special day. My first thought was of course various gift ideas but then I wondered if she had a photographer. I don't want to sound snotty, but they are so expensive I doubt that would be a luxury she could afford. So I thought I could offer to take pictures for her. I am totally amateur but I really enjoy it and hope to someday take pictures more professionally. To do that, I need practice and diversity of occasions. So I could take her pictures for free, give her a CD and use them as portfolio pieces if they turn out well. Do you think thats fair for her though? I don't want to ask her without understanding better a few dynamics of brazilians and their maids.

Is it crossing the line? Would she feel obligated once I asked thinking that turning down my offer might hurt her job? Might she be uncomfortable showing me her lifestyle? Would she even have access to a computer to use the CD of pictures? I don't want to assume she wouldn't have someone already taking pictures, or would she even care to have them at all? But the big question is, am I overstepping a boundary here?

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Welcome to the modern world!

Its like the 80s and I am finally getting a colored TV! I got a kindle from my MIL as a anniversary gift (1 year = paper = books = welcome to the modern world) and its literally all I do. Its on the bus with me, at work with me... dull moment? I'm prepared... think I am scared to go to the Policia Federal and wait three days for my resident fingerprinting?  Nope bring it on, I've got my kindle!

I protested against this technology because I love the feeling of books, underlining the pages of my favorite lines and passing them along for others to do the same, lining my book shelves by subject and dreaming of a one day room with a moving ladder and a big leather chair!  But unfortunately when I want a new book amazon sometimes takes months and depending on the title it may not even hit the big bookstores here. I haven't sold out to my inky white paged leather friends but our dates together are few and farther between.

These days wherever my day takes me, my kindle is there.  I'm not pushing it on you, just saying my blog life is a little less consistent these days. I'll find my stride again sometime soon...