2012 Updates

It has been a while! It is now near the end of the year (or end of the world to some). I think it is a good time to post some updates. Perhaps I should first explain why I have not posted for so long. There are a few reasons. Other than the usual ‘busy’ […]

Treated as a Local

Here in São Paulo, I am often treated as a local, and I don’t even need to pretend to be one. I am not sure whether I am ‘mistaken’ or this is just the way they treat foreigners. Other than the people who know me, when I come into contact with a local, I am […]

How Reading Helps in an Immersion Environment

As soon as I stepped out of the plane and into São Paulo for the first time, I was surprised how much Portuguese I could read. This is partially helped by my knowledge in French and Spanish. But I believe the main reason is that before I came, I worked on reading a lot. I […]

We Don’t Speak English Here

At my very first dinner in São Paulo, I asked the waiter if he spoke English. He replied ‘não’ with a cold face, as if I was ordering something off the menu. There was nothing wrong with him, just me. Most people in São Paulo don’t speak English, and they are not ashamed of it. […]

The Importance of Understanding

Without understanding what the other person says, what you say does not matter. There is no conversation. Most people would agree on this point. But yet some people will still think that you should try to converse in a foreign language as early as possible. What they fail to realize, I believe, is that it […]

Brazilian Mission

In about a week time, I will be heading to São Paulo, Brazil to begin my 8-week Brazilian mission. Back in mid-February this year when I was assigned to a Brazilian project at work, I had no prior knowledge of Portuguese and I had no intention to learn the language. I had no friends or […]

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