Life is not that serious

Life is not that serious

Life is not that serious When this Greek guy named Tassos came to take lessons with me, he already spoke a little Portuguese, but he wanted to be a carioca. Our classes were on Saturday morning. I always amazed by how he put into practice all the things he learned, until he started teaching me about Rio. He always worked hard, but I never saw him stressed. He said that people took life very seriously and life was not meant to be like that. Being professional does not mean that life needs to be so serious. I followed his results at work and his progress with his goal of being a carioca. But even still, I could not understand what he meant by “not taking life so seriously.” On the eve of the Olympic Games, some pre-events had media coverage. He was working at the water arena and, during the event, there was a lack of light. The audience was crowded and all the athletes and staff were there. They could expect all manner of technical problem, but lacking light, something so basic, really? The next day I imagined he had been tense about it, but again he surprised me with a huge smile. He said: “You always tried to explain to me what it’s like to be a carioca, and now more than ever it makes sense to me. There was no light yesterday. What do you expect from a director’s attitude in this case? The director was Brazilian and in a very good mood, he made the whole team feel calm so that everyone could give their...
The family and the bank

The family and the bank

The family and the bank “The bank manager asked about my family!!! What?!? Why?!?” I heard this at a conference for entrepreneurs from all over the world held in Lithuania. The speaker was Simon, an American who is currently one of the world’s largest agricultural producers. He has business in Chile and works with people globally. The audience was made up of many different nationalities and all were really surprised that the bank manager asked Simon such a personal and seemingly irrelevant question when he was just trying to open a bank account. Yet for me, this was not in the least bit strange or out of place, because you’d get the same kind of questioning in Brazil. In the United States it is no longer common to have a bank manager; the whole banking system is online, people are not used to going to the bank in person anymore. In Brazil, I insisted on having a manager for my account, both for my personal and business accounts. When I’m abroad, I often have problems that the call center cannot solve, so I talk to my manager on WhatsApp and he sorts it out for me. My boyfriend is American. When he saw me doing this he couldn’t believe it! When I lived in Australia, I was able to open a bank account in just two weeks. In Brazil, I have students who have been trying for 2 years. I have other students who tried to open a legal account for their company and didn’t succeed. They then open one in their own name only to have it blocked...
Cross-cultural education Workshop at Fala Brasil

Cross-cultural education Workshop at Fala Brasil

Cross Cultural Education Workshop   “Interculturalism refers to support for cross-cultural dialogue and challenging self-segregation tendencies within cultures.” After 7 years at Fala Brasil School, and hundreds of stories from several students, we realized that the greatest difficulty for people arriving in Brazil is in the cultural struggle and not the Portuguese language. With that in mind, we organized a workshop focused on cross-cultural education, at Fala Brasil, in partnership with the NGO TellUs whcih has spent the last 8 years experiencing cross-cultural experiences. Marine Gicqueau, the director of TellUs, has led many dynamic workshops with people of diverse nationalities including Brazilian, French and Chilean. Initially, TellUs selected 7 examples of cultural conflicts experienced by several people. Participants were invited to read each one of them. One of the examples described a tribe in Panama where very young children are free to dive into the river without adult supervision. When questioned, one of them replied that, “They have to learn how to swim in the river.” Another story described the astonishment of a French woman regarding the size of the parties held for very small children here in Brazil. In a third example, they explained the toys in Sweden, in which the “father of the family” doll appears in the kitchen while the woman is cooking on the barbecue grill. A reversal of the roles that are normally seen in many other countries. There was also an example of a Haitian who, when explaining that he was having difficulties in the chemistry classes at the university in Brazil because of the language, the teacher asked “But aren’t you from...
10 reasons why Fala Brasil house is the perfect coworking space you were looking for!

10 reasons why Fala Brasil house is the perfect coworking space you were looking for!

10 reasons why Fala Brasil house is the perfect coworking space you were looking for! We are located in Vila Do Largo one of the most charming vilas of Rio, in Laranjeiras (Rio de Janeiro’s Zona Sul). A space full of studios, nice cafes and interesting people. We are a cute and cozy house, full of space and structure to receive you and to be sure you will feel comfortable all the time. Fala Brasil is a school of portuguese for foreigners, which means that if you desire, you’ll be able to have a cultural exchange experience by meeting and sharing with people from all around the world. If you are a foreigner and desire to have portuguese classes, you can just contact us to have a free trial class. Now imagine working and learning portuguese at the same place?! We do events all the time. No, don’t worry, it is not aaaaall the time and it will never disturb your work. But we mostly do it every 2 weeks, and it is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, nice initiatives and maybe, drink some good beer 😉 We are almost a family. Although we are plenty of space, we’ll never have more than 5 people working together at the office in order to respect each other’s space. We have a coffee machine. I think that’s is enough, but, if it doesn’t sound that awesome for you, we are right next to Café Secreto, and believe me, it is considered the best coffee in town. We have a lot of books. You can take any of them anytime...
Cross-cultural Ponctuality

Cross-cultural Ponctuality

Punctuality It was a Monday morning when British expat John, or João as he likes to be called, came to class extremely angry with Brazil, which was a surprise to me. He worked for the Olympic Committee, which was building the Olympic City to host the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In his daily work he had frequent problems with lack of structure, bureaucracies and lack of attention to deadlines, but he always understood that this is how things are here, and because he was very fond of Brazil and Brazilians, he was always in good spirits. He told me, outraged, that they were receiving the English delegation, and the entire national and international team were due to meet in Niteroi on Saturday morning. The Brits, who were the directors, arrived on time and the Brazilians arrived almost an hour late. For João, operating this way in Brazil with Brazilians was bearable, accepted, understood, but when it involved the English team, it became a serious problem. Niterói is a city close to Rio, which can be reached by ferry or by a bridge that is known for its traffic jams. Cariocas rarely go to this city and, despite being neighbours, they have the impression that it’s a long way away. I asked him if the Brazilian team knew they needed to be on time in Niteroi Saturday morning. He looked at me with a look of astonishment and asked, “Sure. Why are you asking me that?” I asked if he had verbalized to the team the importance of punctuality. He said, “Of course not. It should be obvious, it does...
Niteroi Cultural Immersion Experience

Niteroi Cultural Immersion Experience

Niteroi  Cultural Immersion Experience Today was a day to develop Portuguese skills, get to know the charms of Niteroi and to have a cultural exchange between Brazillian teachers and our American and Indian students. The challenge: to go to a new city being guided only by a language that you’re still learning. The students rented a car and drove over the bridge to the city, where their only guidance was in Portuguese. At first they were a little afraid, but in addition to arriving easily in Niteroi, they discovered how Brazilians are patient and attentive when giving information to lost visitors. It’s amazing how liberating it is to be able to drive and ask directions! The first stop: MAC – the entire museum is incredible. Inside, outside, and from top to bottom. We stopped the car at Boa Viagem beach and walked to the museum. The view is incredible. I know that a lot of Cariocas and Niteroienses don’t like to hear this, but I have to say that the best view of Rio is without a doubt the one from Niteroi. We had a coffee in the café beneath the museum, where the view made up for the terrible service! Inside, the museum is small, but the whole concept is beautiful. It’s possible to admire the scenery of the bay and Rio de Janeiro, at the same time as interacting with works of art that can be played, touched, read and admired. Next stop: a suggestion by the locals In the museum, we asked locals for suggestions of places to visit. We chose the ocean beaches. It’s autumn...