Within the last three months:
- Brother-in-Law had a gun put in his face in front of this gym at 0630 hrs. Stole his car.
- Niece had her IPhone stolen at gun point while sitting inside her car with her kids sitting next to her in front of her Mother-in-Laws on a Saturday morning.
- Two elderly women going to gym up the street had their cars stolen early in the morning on main avenue.
- The pharmacy across from where the elderly ladies had their cars stolen, was robbed at night.
Going to the supermarket here is always a bit of an adventure.
I walked up to the local Extra Hipermercado this morning to pick up a few items.
I saw that my wine was on sale so I picked up 3 bottles.
At the check-out stand, I informed the young lady “This wine is on sale.” Why did I say that? Because the sale price and the electronic price at checkout many times will not match and the mis-match is always in favor of the supermarket. Today was just such a day.
When she totaled up the items, the sale price for wine price did appear. The checker hit the button that calls the “price-checker-on-shakes” person. We waited and waited and waited. Nada! The checker ask me “Could you go over and get the price tag for the sale price?” !!!! It told her it was a large sign, not a sticker. I gave up on waiting for the price checker and told the her I’ll pay my bill as is. I then inserted my credit card, entered the password and waited and waited and waited. I gave up on paying by credit card and paid in cash.
There were 4 others waiting in line. I apologized to them and they were very understanding. Actually this is part of daily life here and not unusual occurrence.
For the hell of it, I headed over to the complaint department. There was one young lady there who was making pretty packages for an elderly woman. Obviously gifts. I could see this was going to be another wait and wait so grabbed my stuff and headed back home.
Fortunately, we have an online supermarket here that delivers. So far it works well. I find myself using it more and more. It cost a bit more, but at least I don’t have to go through an obstacle course to shop. I will be using it more and more.
After prices being stable for several years, inflation has returned combined with a serious downturn in the economy. The official rate is around 8%. Interest rates on credit cards have also moved up to 12,14% PER MONTH!! or 295,48% PER YEAR!
UPDATE: 27 May 15: Interest rate on credit cards now at 347,50% p/yr.
These are two options for Americans interested in investing in the Brazilian stock market or companies.
Founder and CEO, BRIC Language Systems
My last piece was the beginning of a series on the difficulties inherent in starting up an international business. Building anything out of nothing is difficult, doing so on the international stage is just that much harder. In order to succeed in foreign countries a startup needs to know the language and the culture of the country they operate in or they’re doomed to failure. This week I’m going to tell you how I failed my way to success in Brazil.
There is a lot of media hype here in Brazil about China’s investing in Brazil. Don’t get too excited. China has been saying they will invest in Brazil’s infrastructure for several years now. I am not aware of any project that has actually been implemented. Maybe this time will be different, but I doubt it. Even if the TransPacific Railroad project moves forward it will be years and years before it will be completed.
China’s lifting of their embargo on Brazilian beef is perhaps the most positive and immediate benefit of Keqiang visit.
Before the World Cup, this was one of the best banks for using an International Debit card to withdraw money. However, about 6 months before the beginning of the World Cup they began to have problems along with Banco do Brasil.
The situation appeared to be returning to normal, but again has turned into a novella.
Bradesco now charging R$20 reais to make a withdraw; max R$800. My HSBC is now back to working. You can withdraw up to R1,000.