Word of the Day!


Saque (Sake like the drink) = Withdrawal

I went to the ATM with my husband and guess what all the options are in Portuguese! This was an easy lesson, Sake like the drink means I get money for more drinks;)

Click here for pronunciation http://www.forvo.com/search/saque/all/


Cultural or Not?

The morning before my husband and I left for the gym to sign me up I read this article in the NY times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/arts/brazils-leading-arts-financing-group-shares-the-wealth.html?_r=2&ref=americas

My husband had been telling me that he had joined the gym with the union for free and that I could also join for free. As we lay in bed reading the paper I showed him this article about SESC Serviço Social do Comércio (Social Service of Commerce). “That’s where we are going today.” He said. “But it’s not really cultural.”

As we entered the building I totally disagreed with my husband, this place was nothing but cultural. As you enter the main lobby of the modern building you can’t help but notice the furniture that lends interesting architectural additions to the space. For example a long curving wooden bench that resembles a vertebral column winding its way across the floor. When we arrived, there was a line of people waiting for lunch. Two musicians came in and set up in the middle of the lobby and played Jazzy little numbers with their guitar and accordion as the people waited.

In the back section of the lobby there was a placed to sit and read with various books, magazines, and news papers available (All in Portuguese). The sitting area had geometric tables with modern chairs and benches to sit. And against the back wall there is a row of comfy chairs with CD players and head phones to enjoy.

Before lunch I had to sign up and get my ID card first so we went to the third floor to the administration offices. We stood in line next to a red wall with several portraits and a description of the artist that painted them. On the same level of the administrative offices was a gallery of photographs displayed like a museum and again modern artistic furniture that could have been in a museum by itself.

Before heading for lunch we decided to tour the rest of the building. The second floor is where the dining room is and just below it you can see the pool. The fourth floor is the actual gym itself with treadmills, bikes, and weights which was no different from any other gym except that fact this place is so busy that you have to sign up for specific days and times that you can use the equipment, and there is a waiting list. The fifth floor is a soccer court. The sixth floor is the dental office, just in case you need a cleaning inbetween working out and dining. And finally the seventh floor is (no surprise here), a soccer court. Also in the basement they have a theatre to perform plays but this was not included in my tour.

As we headed to lunch I confronted my husband on his observations, “Why don’t you think this place is cultural? It seems very cultural to me.” He really didn’t have an explanation but in the end like the smart man he is he agreed with his wife.

Mercado Municipal

It’s been almost two weeks since I left the United States to come to Sao Paulo, Brazil and I am already feeling like this is my home. But to be completely honest I think anywhere my husband is, is my home.

Arriving here last week I was not feeling well and it took me a good three days to shake this cold or jet lag or both. My husband spent the majority of those days working, while I was at home sleeping. And it wasn’t until the weekend that I had my first taste of São Paulo.

On Saturday my husband and I got up early to go meet a couple of friends of ours from Yale who are visiting São Paulo. We drove to the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo (Municipal Market of Sao Paulo), it is an indoor market full of vendors selling everything from fruit and cheeses, to meats and fish. It was Built in the 1930s, and it is a beautiful old building with skylights and stained-glass windows.  It is located in a part of town called 25 de Março (March 25th) which is named after one of the streets. This area is where you can buy anything you can think of for wholesale and in bulk.

As we reached the Mercado Municipal, after many wrong turns, there were swarms of people gathering. Unfortunately, this is not the nicest part of São Paulo so we also saw many homeless there as well. Walking up to the Mercado Municipal my husband explained that this was what Brazilians use to use as their central grocery at the turn of the century because there were not grocery stores, and today it continues to be the city’s largest food and produce market. As we walked around the market my senses were filled with the vast cornucopia of foods, the produce was fresh and the variety was astounding. The place was packed and it was difficult to walk around but looking around you could telling that people were enjoying themselves. I didn’t buy any fruit or meat because we were planning on visiting for a while and I wasn’t sure if it would keep but I did find some chipotle sauce as well as some tahine sauce to make some homemade Hummus.

For lunch we ate sanduiche de mortadela which was a sandwich overflowing with a salami, covered in cheese and smothered in mustard. Delicious! The sandwiches were so large when we were getting ready to leave a homeless man confessed to us that he drank his breakfast and was hungry so we gave him our leftovers. All in all it was a lovely day.