Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is it Monday, or Thursday? Either way, I just had the best meal ever, twice.

Today began rather early for me as I was up at 6am Brazil time (5am Eastern) so that I could get to work early for the monthly management meeting. It was another rainy day here in Sao Paulo and I still do not have an umbrella, so thankfully I am taking taxi's almost everywhere. Traffic is a lot lighter at 7am than it is at 8am so my commute was rather smooth. I was even able to see a few people get a "taxi" splash as they walked down the sidewalk and the taxi hit large puddles of water.. After having the day off for a Brazilian national holiday yesterday, this had the feeling of a "Monday". Except one minor detail, that tomorrow is not Tuesday, but Friday! I am all for proposing that the U.S. move to a M,Tu,Th,F work week, thus giving workers more time to connect with their "families"(maybe it would help the divorce rate and juvenile crime). Employers may not approve but I have a suspicion that we could pass that on a general election ballot! Thankfully I am one of the fortunate that like their job.

As mentioned, today was the monthly results meeting for my company. After meeting up in the office we headed to an off-site meeting location. The meeting room had all of the furnishings a meeting back home would have including the Microsoft PowerPoint slide deck, coffee, water, juice, notebooks and blackberrys laying in front of each person. However, this meeting had the Brazilian touch as there was a fresh tray of Pao de Quiejo. Prior to heading to Brazil, I was warned by a lot of people that meetings in Latin America are often times not as structured or as well organized as meetings often are in the United States (I think even that is up for debate). However, this meeting had a very good outline/agenda and it flowed very well with the financial results, operational results, and improvement areas.

The meeting started off with the Founder and CEO introducing the meeting and the new tall American in the room. He talked for a few minutes describing who I was and what I my purpose was for the two months I would be at the company. At least I think, because I really only understood the words "Tyler", "Ernst & Young", "Endeavor", as well as mentioning that my chair was now famous for making the newspaper (In case you missed it, read this post 15 Seconds of Brazilian Fame). I guess I forgot to previously mention the meeting would be entirely in Portuguese. To my surprise, I was able to follow the meeting for the most part, because despite my lack of knowledge in Portuguese, I do speak charts and numbers!

After four hours of Portuguese and numbers, my brain had enough, (of course four hours of English and numbers I would have said the same) and it was off to Juca Alemao for lunch. I had eaten there before and it was a great place to eat so I was looking forward to trying something different. Today, I had the "File Parmeggiana" which was perhaps the best meal I've had since coming to Brazil. So if you are ever in Sao Paulo, head to the Brooklin suburb and eat the File Parmeggiana at Juca Alemao's.

It was back to the office to continue working on a few things, which was actually about 6-7 hours of work until dinner but I wont bore you with the details (and its under the client-accountant confidentiality laws). At 8pm, the Entrepreneur invited me to join he and his son for a true Brazilian feast, at Fogo De Chao. That's right, the one and only, original "Brazilian Steakhouse" known to us Gringos. Yes I know, you have all been to it too, at one of the convenient 16 locations in the United States. Only difference is, I am actually in Brazil, hence the name Brazilian Steakhouse, and hence why it was going to be better.

Meat. (no further caption needed)
This was a meal that would make my good friend Brett Nobles bow down to the Meat Gods. And besides, everything just tastes better here. The meal blew the previous title holder (earned just a few hours earlier) of "Best Meal Since I've been here" out of the water.  In addition, the two "Chopps", Brazil's version of the draft beer, were able to offset the sodium in the food just nicely. It was like a ballet of waiters, holding the most delicious cuts of meat, dancing around our table in perfect unison. Of course, I made the rookie mistake of getting too much salad but I was able to power through to finish in a tie for second place (which was also last) at the table. The CEO and I were no match for his son (and his 19 year old metabolism) as he waited for the perfect last piece to finish his meal.

Thnk that was the end of my fantatic day? Nope, I even had another brush of Brazilian fame tonight running into Valesca Popozuda. I of course, had no idea who she was, but I was alerted to her "reality television star status" as we stood outside waiting for the car. She is most recently famous for finishing in the top five on the Brazilian version of the reality television show "The Farm", called "A Fazenda" . However, according to an internet search, she is known for her oversized butt and is a Brazilian singer and dancer. She is currently lead singer of the funk popozuda Cage. I would normally link her blog to this mention of her as it is one of the most visited blogs in Brazil, however there is some material that I would not want associated with my blog, if you get my drift. How does this fit into my blog posts and my trip? Well, I guess you could say she is a great example of being an entrepreneur and capitalizing on her opportunities (large butt and above average voice)! Kids, do not try this at home.

It was definitely a Thursday, now bring on Friday.

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