Thursday, January 20, 2011

I’ll do you if you’ll do me

Working as a team we expats can fill just about every gap. We have the knowledge and experience we’ve brought with us from our countries/cities of origin, and we have a broad reach across a diverse cross section of Brazil (with notable exceptions).

Among the bloggers I read are photographers, writers, bakers, teachers, naturalists, activists, physical fitness enthusiasts, parents, students, quilters, world travelers, philosophers, romantics and beach bums (uh, I think I resemble that remark!)

In our new home Brazil we now live in the mountains, by the sea, in urban areas and rural. Some of us walk to the grocery store, others drive, some take the subway, and some call for delivery. Some of us can get fresh fish, others fresh cheese and sausage.

By leaning on each other a bit we help each other through the down times and applaud each others’ achievements when things go our way. We even came up with an online virtual lending library to swap books written in English (which you are still invited to join if you like).

Here’s what I’m getting at. I want to thank you for helping me out when I get stuck around something (even when you don’t know it). And I will continue to try and be helpful in return.


Thanks for the items brought back from the States for Luiz and I (especially great soaps and corn tortillas!) Thanks for the tips on where to buy great shoes for less, or domestic airline tickets during a sale. Thanks for the cooking ideas and restaurant referrals.  Thanks for all the good humor.

The online expat community of which I am delighted to be a member (and which continues to expand) has been critical to my finding my way here in Brazil.

Be sure to let me know when and how I can return the favor.

(Oh, and does anyone know where I can buy rennet to make some goat cheese, or where I can buy a tofu maker? Thanks.)

19 comments:

Rachel said...

With a title like that, you got me a little disappointed ;p

Jim said...

Got you to look.

Double ;p

Danielle said...

Awww, the warm fuzzies!! <3 <3

Rachel said...

I always look! Would you like me to post about this on my blog too? See if we get more expats?

GingerV said...

Oh Jim your a HOOT!
I was wondering which of these bloggers I was. but I hope the thought brings a positive response.
Tofu - no thx yu. I had (she has now left) a chinese friend that had found a store in centro that had all kinds of things....that she used to cook authentic... don't know tofu (Japan?), but will ask her husband. to make it fresh...????

Chris said...

I think it's important that we keep in touch like this with other expats. I'm just a greenhorn here in Brazil compared to some of you (practically) natives. I have a lot to learn and the blogs are a great way for me to not feel so "isolated" from the outside. Being surrounded by non-English speakers, having to constantly "experiment" the local cuisine, getting accustomed to driving here, etc. can all be a bit overwhelming at times. Thanks to a bunch of great people such as yourselves, I don't feel so alone.

-Chris
www.floridaguyinbrazil.com

Jana @ Paper plains said...

To be honest Jim, I sometimes don't know where I'd be without this sort of blogger support and advice group. I first found you, which led me to many other wonderful people and here I am telling stories from the blogs I read referring to you guys as my friends even though I have never met any of you. Its a wonderful community you guys have created and for newbies like myself a tremendous welcome mat. So thank YOU! And thanks for the advice on where to go in Rio =) I only hope I can be as useful to others as you all have been for me!

Big blogger hug!

Stephanie said...

The size of your heart and depths of your character continue to impress. Geeze, when I first moved here, I don't remember finding any blogs, there was just some message board on a site about Brazil that was mostly trolls and guys scamming...really, nothing like this wonderful community that has sprouted over the past several years. There are all types of expats here, some of us for the long haul, others just temporarily, and it's something like a family of friends who likely don't even know one another but have tons in common. It's really cool. kudos.

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

I will find rennet for you. I am sure my mother must know where to find it, my aunt and her have made cheese at home for years...
I am sure you will find a TOFU maker at the 25 de Marco Street in Sao Paulo and also in many specialty Japanese stores in Liberdade.
I will take you to both places when you come for my grandmother's "Expat Brazilian Christmas Cookies Bonanza Get Together Party"... We already started the planning.
It will be a chance to get us all together and meet face to face and exchange even more Brazil info and learn how to make Brazilian Christmas cookies :)
I love your blog!

Ray

Chris said...

Damn Ray, that sounds cool! If you do throw an expat get-together, count me in!

Jim,

Ray had a good idea on where to get the tofu maker you need. If you give me some more info on it, I can check for it in Sao Paulo.

Ate,
Chris

Nina said...

Well thanks for your information on Rio, today. You help me a lot, I am really green in a lot of ways still.

OMG tofu maker! I can buy one??? Awesome! I am so going to Sao Paulo just for that!

Gil and Ray said...

Chris,

We will definetely let you know and include you in our Ex pat get together.
I think you will have a better luck at Liberdade than 25 de marco street with the Tofu maker.


Ray

Corinne said...

Jim,

Thanks for the warm fuzzies. I love being tied into this community (although I don't have my own blog) and have been fortunate to meet some of you in the real as opposed to virtual world. I have enjoyed learning about everyone's experiences from different corners of Brazil. All the best!

Jim said...

Chris -- I'm putting you on the case. See if you can find tofu makers for Nina and I. We'll deal with shipping when the time comes.

Good luck sir!

Jim said...

Ray -- find a room (or floor space) in your house for us. We are DEFINITELY coming to the grandma Christmas Cookie-making gathering.

Looking forward to it.

J

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

I asked my mother and RENNET is "Coalho" in Portuguese. She said you should be able to find it at your local grocery store in the refrigerated section right next to the "Milk", somewhere close to fresh Ricotta and what not...
She said if you need the liquid version, you can find it in specialty cheese shops, they are called "Casa de Frios".


Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

On our "Brazilian Christmas Cookies Party", we have two options:

-My parents building has an awesome "Salao de Festas", but they live out in the suburbs where there is no subway. Let's find out who is going, if most of us are driving, my parents place is better because it is right off a major Highway and there is easy parking on the street.

-My brother's building also has an awesome "Salao de Festas", plus a Pizza oven by the pool, we could maked Pizzas after the cookies, which is a HUGE Paulista thing to do...My brother's place is easier if most of us are taking the subway. He lives a short walking distance to Paulista Avenue which is closer to downtown Sao Paulo. The few people who drive could try to find parking on his street which is very hard or just park at the Mall next door to his building which is paid parking but not expensive.

So when we get closer, we can define which option is better depending on who confirms attendance.


Ray

Jim said...

Thanks Ray - I have enjoyed "Coalhada" many times, as a flavorful yogurt-like dairy product. Same stuff? Nect time I go to the market I'll look for coalho in particular.

I've yet to locate a specialty cheese store in Niterói, but surely one exists in Rio. I'll follow up on that as well. THANKS! And thank your mother for me as well.

I look forward to continued planning of the grandma-cookies gathering. Luiz is looking forward to meeting you and Gil.

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

Coalho is the actual "rennet", the stuff they is used to make coalhada.
Is what makes the milk "coagulate" "coagular" and harden into cheese sort of speak.
Keep in mind their is also "queijo coalho" which is not the same thing, queijo coalho is that cheese they sell sometimes in little skewers to be grilled over a barbecue pit, the same they serve on churrascarias.
Ask Luiz if Niteroi has any tradional "Casa de Frios" "Cold cuts house", they usually should have coalho or a least will be able to tell you where to get it...
My mother told me it is harder to find nowadays because most people don't make cheese at home anymore...
A downtown Mercado Municipal should have it too, you guys might have one in Niteroi...
An interesting piece of information is that Nova Friburgo is the birth place of cheese making in Brazil due to their Swiss colonization about 150 years ago. The Swiss were one of the first group of immigrants to move to Brazil during the colonial period and the "Regiao Serrana" of Rio was the place they went... first before moving into Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo states...
Yes, I will thank my mother, please let me know when you have things like those that you can't find, my mother is the Brazilian version of Martha Stewart, she makes everything at home and know where to find everything you can imagine.
Hey, tell Luiz we are also looking forward to meetin you guys.

Forte abraco

Ray