Tag Archives: britain

Brazil: Don’t step outside or you might be robbed!

The other day I met a British visitor here in São Paulo. It was her third day in the city and she was travelling with a government-arranged party, visiting various cities over a two-week visit.

During those three days she had only seen the inside of the hotel, offices, or a chauffer-driven car between the two. She was not in back-to-back meetings, so there was spare time available, but her [UK-based British government] hosts had advised her to not go out alone.

Her hotel was on Alameda Santos. For anyone who knows São Paulo, that’s one block away from Avenida Paulista, one of the biggest, busiest streets in the city – a place always full of life and excitement.

I know that any new place can be intimidating. I remember my first ever visit to Mumbai and despite my initial terror at the incessant activity all around, I still managed to take a walk around the Gateway of India and a few other obligatory sights. When I spent a lot of time working in Singapore I would regularly hang out in Serangoon on Sunday afternoons watching Bollywood films on a makeshift screen in a car park – I was almost always the only white face there, but always felt welcome.

In São Paulo there is the language difficulty for visitors, there is also the sheer size of the place… the city is enormous with the greater area having a population three times the size of London. It’s also a place without the touristic features of Rio – the obvious destinations that appear on postcards home.

But some cursory research would have shown that this hotel was in one of the safest places in the city and just a block or two from the art museum – hardly the mean streets of gangland.

She was immensely grateful as I not only guided her around the city centre, but also took her on the public transport system, and to an edgier neighbourhood to try the local draft beer. It humanised the city for her.

I am going to contact the Consulate about this – maybe I can help them to produce some more up-to-date information for visiting business leaders. It’s a shame for visitors to have the ‘dangerous Brazil’ myth thrust at them even by official advisors. Sure, there has been a wave of murders here recently, but it’s gangs against cops – nothing the ordinary person sees.

I’ve never felt any sense of threat at all while living here, but maybe that’s just from following the same rules anyone should follow in a major city – especially when unfamiliar with the neighbourhood. Don’t stand out too much (Versace suit when everyone else is wearing Vans), don’t hold your iPad at arms length placing a video call as you walk down the street, and if you are out after dark then just make sure you have an idea of what the neighbourhoods are like if you are wandering around a new place.

But then, this might just as equally apply to a Brit arriving in New York for the first time, or a Brazilian arriving in London. Be sensible and you can enjoy a visit to São Paulo just like any other place!

Sao Paulo

British Festival in São Paulo on 29/09

It’s 50 years since The Beatles released “Love Me Do” – their very first record – so me and Angelica have arranged a Beatles themed British party at a local bar in São Paulo.

There will be live music from 17:00 with a local guitarist and singer warming up the event with Brazilian classics then from 19:00 Daniel Malozzi will be singing classic Beatles – and other British – songs. Check out this video of Daniel singing Eleanor Rigby…

There will be British food such as Cottage pie and bangers & mash, plus British beers, including London Pride and Honeydew.

Between 20:00-21:00 there will be several prize events (Daniel will return to sing again after the prizes):

1. The best three British fancy dress costumes will get original 1962 copies of Love Me Do… worth several hundred R$ each if you can even find a copy in Brazil.

2. Anyone who has registered their name on Facebook will go automatically into a prize draw for Beatles goodies – umbrella, mug etc

3. Anyone who buys food at the event gets a raffle ticket – the raffle winner gets some Beatles goodies

4. The British quiz at 20:00 will cost R$10 per person to enter – the winner takes all the entry money. Last time we did this at the same bar the winner got over R$400.

It’s going to be fun and it’s all British! The singer is great and we have some more surprises for the event too so make sure you come along!

You can find more details and register on the Facebook page for the event here… and why not become a friend of the bar while you are there?

Beatles 7"

How do you see the United Kingdom?

I wrote something recently on Huffington Post about how British people need to consider that the eyes of the world are on them for the Olympics. Nobody likes wall-to-wall brands, road closures, and all the other inconveniences of the Olympic games, but if the British want to behave so negatively that the world wonders why we ever bothered bidding for the games then it will affect investment into the UK for at least the next 30 years.

I’m not kidding. Wall-to-wall images of the UK week after week all over the world can influence where people go on holiday and where companies invest. If the London Olympics is a roaring success then the money spent on it – even though more than expected – will seem like peanuts as holiday-makers flock to the UK and businesses invest cash.

As an example, national TV here in Brazil was showing interviews with Londoners today who almost all said they hated the games, did not want them in London, and the comment from the Brazilian broadcaster was that the British are very miserable people. Is that how the rest of the world now sees the UK?

So I want to hear from you, so I can do a follow-up to the Olympic article that led to so many people posting negative comments. Send me your opinion on what you immediately think of when someone asks you what you think of the United Kingdom:

  1. As a place to take a vacation.
  2. As a place to do business.
  3. In general, music, culture, art.

You don’t need to write a long essay – I will only quote the best bits in the article anyway, but I appreciate anything you can send – especially if you are not from the UK. And do let me know if you want to remain anonymous, or give me the correct name, title to use when quoting you.

You can send your thoughts to me here: mail AT markhillary.com

London 2012 Gold Medal

June 1 2012: British Pub Quiz at the Queens Head in São Paulo

***VEJA ABAIXO PARA VERSAO EM PORTUGUÊS***
The “pub quiz” is a tradition of British pubs. Over 22,000 different pub quiz events take place every week in the UK making it a common way to enjoy a pint – and possibly win a prize.
http://j.mp/pub-quiz… Mark and Tim are both British, both are married to Brazilian girls (the best, right?) and both live in São Paulo – and love a pub quiz! So they would like to invite you to come along to test your knowledge of the UK, win some great prizes and have some British style fun at the Queens Head pub in Pinheiros.The quiz takes place on the eve of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (60 years as Queen), a few months after the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, and just a month before the London Olympic Games – there is a lot for the UK to celebrate in 2012!The quiz will include six rounds, each one focused on a specialist area, with ten questions in each round. You enter the quiz as a team (maximum 6) and stay in the same team all evening – you can win prizes for coming first in a round as well as winning the grand prize for the best total team score of all rounds together.

The tradition of British pub quizzes is that your team name is amusing, so think carefully about what you want to call your team – there might be a special prize for the best name on the night!

Each team can play one round during the evening as their “joker” round – meaning your points for this round will be doubled. You must announce in advance of the questions that this will be your joker round, so pick the round you expect to do best on!

The rounds will focus on these topics:
. Movies
. Books
. Music
. Sport
. God Save the Queen (Royal Family)
. UK in Brazil

The quiz will start at 20:00 with the first three rounds, then there will be a break for 20-30 mins followed by the next three rounds – it should be complete by 22:00. You can enter even if you miss a round, but it will affect your chances of winning the grand prize.

During each round there may also be a question using London ‘cockney” slang with a link to the round topic:
http://j.mp/cockneyslang

Points to remember:

1. No cheating. This is fun, remember? Any team using Google on their phone or calling a friend to get answers will be disqualified and asked to go to the boteco over the road. There is no need to cheat and you won’t go to Heaven if you do.

2. The questions will be inclusive and reflect the British culture that many Brazilians will be familiar with – so you don’t need to be a professor of British history to come and enjoy this quiz!

3. The questions will be asked by Mark and Tim in both English and Portuguese – you can answer in either language. So even if your English is not fluent, you can still enjoy the quiz.

We look forward to seeing you. Please indicate on this event that you plan to come, please pass on the invitation to your friends, and if you already know who will be in your team then please post your team details on the wall here! See you at the Queen’s Head!

Please sign up soon – there are only 75 seats available so we need to know the numbers of people and teams planning to come – thanks! The quiz will end at 2200 and live music will start at 2230 until late : )

Click here for the Facebook event page so you can sign up…

Mark Hillary, CEO, IT Decisions
http://www.itdecs.com/

Tim Lucas, CEO, The Listening Agency
http://www.thelisteningagency.com/

——-

O “pub quiz” é uma tradição dos pubs britânicos. Há mais de 22.000 eventos desse tipo todas as semanas no Reino Unido – é uma boa desculpa para se desfrutar uma cerveja – e, possivelmente, ganhar um prêmio. (http://j.mp/pub-quiz)

Mark e Tim são ambos britânicos, casados com mulheres brasileiras e vivem em São Paulo – e adoram um pub quiz! Agora os dois estão convidando vocês para testar o seu conhecimento da cultura popular da Inglaterra e do Brasil, concorrer a prêmios bem bacanas e se divertir à moda britânica no pub Queen’s Head em Pinheiros.

O quiz acontecerá às vésperas do aniversario da Rainha Elizabeth II de 60 anos no poder, poucos meses após o 200º aniversário de Charles Dickens, e apenas um mês antes do Jogos Olímpicos em Londres – há tantas coisas para o Reino Unido comemorar em 2012!

O quiz incluirá seis rodadas, cada uma focada em uma área especializada, com dez questões cada. Você pode participar como uma equipe (máximo 6 pessoas) ou simplesmente aparecer no pub e a gente acha um time para você. Haverão prêmios para a equipe que ganhar cada rodada e um prêmio maior para a equipe com a melhor pontuação de todas as rodadas.

A tradição do pub quiz britânico inclui escolher um nome engraçado para sua equipe, então comece a bolar um nome legal para a sua equipe – você e seus amigos podem ganhar um prêmio especial para o melhor nome da noite!

Cada equipe pode jogar uma rodada durante a noite como a sua rodada ‘especial’ (o “joker” ) – ou seja, os seus pontos para essa rodada vale o dobro. Você deve anunciar antecipadamente qual será a sua rodada escolhida.

As rodadas serão sobre os seguintes temas:

. Filmes
. Livros
. Música
. Esporte
. God Save the Queen (Família Real)
. Reino Unido no Brasil

O quiz começará às 20:00h com as três primeiras rodadas. Em seguida, haverá uma pausa de 20-30 minutos, seguida das três últimas rodadas – precisamos terminar às 22:00h.

Lembrando que você pode entrar depois do inicio do quiz, mas isso vai afetar suas chances de ganhar o grande prêmio.

Durante cada rodada pode haver também uma pergunta usando “gírias” inglesas vinculadas ao tópico da rodada: http://j.mp/cockneyslang

Pontos para lembrar:

1. Jogue Limpo! Isso é só diversão, lembra? Qualquer equipe que for flagrada usando o Google ou o celular para obter respostas será desclassificada.

2. Não precisa ser um expert sobre a cultura britânica. As perguntas
refletem a cultura britânica que muitos brasileiros conhecem – você
não precisa ser um professor de história da Inglaterra para entrar e
se divertir neste quiz!

3. As perguntas serão feitas por Mark e Tim em Inglês e Português –
você pode responder em qualquer idioma. Assim, mesmo se o seu Inglês não for fluente, você ainda pode participar do quiz.

Queremos ver vocês lá! Por favor, nos diga se você gostaria de
participar e, por favor, repasse o convite para os seus amigos. Se
você já sabe quem vai fazer parte de sua equipe, por favor poste os
detalhes aqui. See you in the Queen’s Head.

Reserve seu lugar! Há apenas 75 lugares disponíveis e precisamos também saber quantas pessoas/times estão planejando vir. O quiz terminará às 22.00 e a música ao vivo começará às 22.30 até tarde : )

Clique aqui para a página do Facebook

Mark Hillary, CEO, IT Decisions
http://www.itdecs.com/

Tim Lucas, CEO, The Listening Agency
http://www.thelisteningagency.com/

Rose & Crown pub

B of the BRICs in London

I was in London last week and I arranged an event in partnership with Intellect and UKTI (thank you to Nitin Dahad for doing most of the work in London) at the embassy of Brazil.

Titled ‘The B of the BRICs’ it was a chance for some experts – including me – to explore the two-way opportunities for business between the UK and Brazil in the hi-tech sector. We had speakers from UKTI, Intellect, and a case study from BT who are hiring extensively in Brazil.

The room at the embassy could take 80 and they ended up turning people away so it was a big success. I was really pleased to see some familiar faces – there were several people there that I have had meetings with in São Paulo – as well as some new people.

You can still view the speaker list and agenda here and I have attached some information below, including the PowerPoint slides that I used on the day for my own discussion… if you were there or if you are interested in the topic then please do connect to me on LinkedIn and let’s talk about Brazil!

B of the BRICs with UKTI and Intellect at the embassy of Brazil in London

Identity headaches in Brazil

I had an appointment at the federal police office in Lapa recently. It’s the big building in São Paulo where foreigners need to sort out their papers and Brazilians get their passports…

I was due to collect my RNE – my permanent ID number that effectively gives me an identity in Brazil. I have a social security number already, which has allowed me to at least open a bank account and get a phone contract, but the RNE is needed for anything more complex.

When I went to collect it they told me they can’t issue it because none of my papers show my mother’s name. My passport, driving licence, marriage certificate, birth certificate… nothing shows the name of my mother. I offered to write it down for them, but they wanted some kind of proof – not just trust in me that I would give them the correct name.

I had to leave empty-handed. None of my documents show the name of my parents, so I wondered what I could do. Eventually I found that the British Consulate General issues certificates of identity, which seemed like the answer so I paid them a visit today.

They refused to give me an identity certificate because I could not prove the name of my mother… but they did at least show me how I can make a request for a new birth certificate to be sent from the UK with my parent’s names on it.

So I now need to apply for a new birth certificate, so I can then get some consular ID, so I can then get my RNE, so I can then get my Brazilian driver’s licence… each document appears to be waiting for another one to be approved.

Welcome to Brazil, where a passport and original birth certificate are entirely useless if you can’t tell someone the name of your mother!
Brazil Presidential Election in London

Retirement is a concept of the past

Opponents to the UK public sector strikes today are arguing that the public-sector workers all have fairly safe and secure jobs and get gold-plated pensions far higher than anything anyone in the private sector can expect. I heard on the radio this morning someone arguing that a teacher on £30k can expect a pension pot of over half a million pounds.

Supporters of the strike argue that there is a vast difference between the pension agreements of MPs and Whitehall mandarins and a frontline worker in a Job Centre. Also, they find it unfair that they signed up to a contract – that includes an agreed pension – and it is now being changed so they need to pay in more and work longer before seeing a penny. Public sector workers often argue that their pension is ‘deferred pay’ – they earn less in the present because they can get a greater pension.

There are examples supporting both arguments. It seems that never the twain shall meet. If you argue for reform, you are uncaring and not supporting the right of the public sector to expect the nice retirement they deserve for years of toil. If you support the public sector workers, you just fail to see the need for reform.

But isn’t the reality that retirement is no longer an option. It’s a dated concept. It’s something planned back in the post Second-World War era.

A male born in the UK in 1945 had a life expectancy of 63 years. A male born in 2001 had a life expectancy of 75. A male or female born today has a life expectancy of over 80 years (World Bank and UK Statistics Agency figures.)

With a retirement age of 65 in the UK, the state pension was designed to pay out a couple of years *after* the average male would have already died. Disregarding any tinkering with the retirement age and assuming it remains at 65 means the *average* person will have a couple of decades on state pension before they die.

If the state pension age had risen in line with life expectancy, people would not be able to claim a state pension until they are about 82 years old.

The unions don’t like this, and the employers (especially public sector) can’t face up to it either. The bottom line is that the post-war concept of retirement is not sustainable using the same methods to pay for it that worked 50 years ago. The entire system needs a top-to-bottom revision in both the public and private sector.

So the teachers can go on strike, and the government can hector them about needing to do something to help the reform, but the real reform is to wake up to the fact that we will all need to be working until later in life – unless you get rich early on and invest your wealth in paying for a future of leisure…
Car dumped in cemetery