No Thanks!

One of my favorite holidays in the United States is Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because I was born around this time or maybe it just all the yummy food and family; I don’t know but I love it. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is slowly being dissolved by the retail industry and a little thing known as Black Friday.

Black Friday started out as just a day of shopping after Thanksgiving day because people were already off and Christmas was just around the corner. The term “Black” is from the stores turning a profit and being in the black. It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that Black Friday has become what it is today…maddness. And it wasn’t until last year that stores like Walmart were opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving day. This year they are opening at 8pm, so the creeping has begun and soon Thanksgiving day, a day of being “Thankful” (not greedy) will be a distant memory.

Well I thought at least living in Brazil I would get a reprieve from all of the consumer hoopla, but unfortunately Black Friday has followed me here! You may be asking yourself, does Brazil have Thanksgiving? Well no, but because of the retail success of Black Friday in America, there is a movement in Brazil to adopt this day. The date of Black Friday is still based on the landing of the American holiday Thanksgiving or Ação de Graças but without the hassle of having a Thanksgiving holiday. Also Black Friday in Brazil is not called Sexta Preta as literally translated, it’s called Back Friday in English.

I guess there is no getting away from the consumerism of the world. I can’t say that I am surprised though, with Brazil’s booming economy and Brazilian’s love for shopping the malls are already packed. For more information about Black Friday in Brazil (in portuguese) go to www.blackfriday.com.br.

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What do Brazilians eat on their waffles?

What do Brazilians eat on their waffles? This is a serious question, no really I would really like to know…

I love waffles and for the first four months of living here I have made my own waffles at home with a waffle iron we got for our wedding. The problem is that this is not a daily morning breakfast thing but more of a once a week on the weekends routine. So you can appreciate my excitement when my husband and I found frozen waffles in the grocery store the other day. The only problem was that at home I put blueberries in my waffles and eat them with butter, but these waffles were plain. So my husband and I decided to look for syrup. We tracked it down in the baking aisle and the only brand they had was maple syrup imported from Canada for the reasonable price of R$57.00. This is about $28.50 dollars. Are they insane? Who would pay almost $30 for maple syrup? And does anyone actually buy this?

Well, we return to the grocery store the next week and randomly, as I was walking by the ice cream aisle (my favorite aisle), I saw another brand of syrup in the topping section. This was a Brazilian brand of syrup and the price was only R$16.00 or $8.00 dollars. Still this seems not right to me, why is syrup (made in Brazil) so expensive. My only guess is that this is a relatively new product and the company wants to ensure a good profit margin.

So back to my original question…If Brazilians buy R$5.00 frozen waffles, what do they put on them? Or do they eat them plain? I guess I am going to have to continue to eat strawberries on my waffles and my husband eats cream cheese on his until Brazilians discover the incredibleness of syrup. Because there is no way I am paying R$16.00 for syrup!

Embu das Artes

Saturday my husband took me to Embu das Artes. Embu is town located about 20 minutes outside São Paulo and its history has led it to be a city of artists. The city was founded in 1554 by Jesuits whose objective was to convert the native people to Catholics. Then in 1937 Cassio M’Boy, a religious sculpture, won first prize at the Exposition Internationel d’Arts Techniques du Paris which began the formation of the city of artists.

Today Embu das Artes, is a cute little town with cobble stone streets and about a hundred little shops. These shops sell anything from repurposed furniture, hand craft home décor, specialty foods, wine, cheese, clothing, and jewelry. In-between the shops along the pathway are about a hundred little stands selling all kinds of hand craft items. The entire town is like a very nice street market.

My husband and I are still trying to furnish our apartment and furniture in São Paulo is expensive. We found several nice pieces at Embu das Artes that were very reasonably priced and made of quality wood. We only bought a couple of nightstands this week because that was all that would fit in our car but we are absolutely going back soon. I definitely recommend this place, even to tourists, because it is a lovely day of shopping with several restaurants for lunch but you must have a car to get there.

Macy’s Loves Brazil!

On April 22, 2012 Macy’s is launching limited-edition items inspired and made in Brazil! These items include: jewelry, chocolate, perfumes, candy, coffee, handbags, home accessories, and more. They will debut online and in 300 of their stores, so stop by Macy’s this weekend and you too can experience a taste of Brazil!

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/17/2754402/macys-brings-a-taste-of-brazil.html

I also recently learned that you can shop online at Macys in Brazil!

http://www.macys.com/?cm_mmc=GOOGLE_Trademark_International-_-Macys+Trademark+Brazil+-+G_Macy%27s+Brazil-_-16757972974_Exact-_-macy’s_mkwid_sBBr28Mtr_16757972974%7C-%7CBBr28Mtr