Category Archives: Brazil

How to Not Be an Obvious Gringo in Brazil

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Don’t be misled by the title — I’m actually still very much in Japan. In fact, I feel like I’m the only one I know who’s not going to Brazil anytime soon! Edu is set to travel back home early next year for a family event, and I recently found out that two friends are planning separate trips to visit Brazil for the first time this month.

Everyone is traveling to Brazil without me! (; ̄д ̄)

Anyway, one of the aforementioned friends asked me if I had any tips for her first trip. As a fellow gringa, my most valuable advice is essentially to try not to look like one.

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Chopp Talk

As much as I appreciate wine (a.k.a. my saviour during crunch), my not-so-secret love is beer.

As it so happens, German brewing techniques, combined with plentiful natural water sources, and growing number of microbreweries throughout the country make Brazil a great place to explore beer.

The must-try beer in Brazil is chopp. Often compared to draught beer found in other parts of the world, Brazilian chopp is a lightly carbonated, very smooth beer, with perfectly creamy foam.  Since chopp is unpasteurized and produced without any preservatives, it has a very short shelf life and must be consumed immediately after opening a barrel. Because of this, it cannot be exported, and it is virtually impossible to find true Brazilian chopp outside of Brazil.

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TLoU in Brazil

I took a quick break from my vacation to do press in São Paulo. Sony Brasil had organized a sales event, and The Last of Us was to be the focus of the Playstation booth with several kiosks set up with demos of the game. Because I have family and friends in Brazil — a lot of whom are gamers — I was pretty eager to work at the event. It was also my first time doing press, so it was great having Jacob, our Lead Game Designer, at the event as well, since he’s had plenty of experience speaking with journalists.

The three-day event was pretty long and exhausting, and there were a lot of unexpected bumps along the way. For instance, there weren’t any interpreters on hand, so I ended up having to use my Portuguese a lot more than I expected those three days, playing translator a lot of the time and, at Jacob’s encouragement, even doing an on-camera interview entirely in Portuguese. (I’m pretty proud of this actually, considering the fact that two years ago, the only things I could manage to spit out in the language were a few key obscenities, of which Brazilian Portuguese has a lot. You could probably fill an entire dictionary with rude words and expressions commonly used in Brazil, but this is a topic for another day.)

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. My favourite part was actually talking to game journalists. It’s so easy to forget that there are people who actually enjoy what you’re creating when you’re so deep in production and spending practically every waking hour at work, so it was really great to watch gamers try their hand at the Lincoln/Pittsburgh demo and enjoy it, and it was humbling to get the chance to talk to gamers who were actually really looking forward to playing the game (Thankfully, they let me do these interviews in English.)

I could only track down one of the interviews that I took part in, but I’ll post more if I come across them.

Kotaku BrasilTwo Quick Interviews with The Last of Us Team [in Portuguese]

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This is what a hot dog looks like in Brazil.

This is what a hot dog looks like in Brazil:

Correction: this is only HALF a hot dog.

Correction: this is only HALF a hot dog.

1.5 kg (3.3 lbs.) of mashed potatoes, corn, three types of cheese, chicken, pulled pork, peas, olives, onions, tomato sauce, potato chips, sausage, mayo, ketchup, and mustard.

Oh, and of course, hot dogs and the bun.

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Ilhabela, SP, Brasil

Ilhabela, SP, Brazil

This year’s trip to Brazil was more of a family visit rather than a sightseeing one. The only touristy activity I was determined to do was to spend several days at the beach.

I first had the chance to visit Ilhabela three years ago, and it immediately became one of my favourite places in the world. An island town off the coast of the state of São Paulo, the only way to reach it is by taking a ferry from the nearby town of São Sebastião, as there are no roads or bridges that connect it to continental Brazil.

View from the balsa en route to Ilhabela.

View from the balsa en route to Ilhabela.

Growing up, my concept of a beach was the rocky sands and ice-cold waters of English Bay, so for me, Ilhabela — with its 41 tropical beaches — is nothing short of paradise.

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