Brazilians Abroad - Toronto
Full Transcript - Episode 11
A footballer takes a dive, a werewolf takes to the sky, a road takes a wrong turn, and a hyena accepts an unusual job.
G: Hello, and welcome to...
J: The Samba Buzz!
G: That’s ‘buzz’ with two zeds.
J: Or two...zey...or whatever...two...
G: Haha! Gotcha!
J: Yeah. Ooh...ok...
J: So, Gee, how do you...how do you feel today?
G: I...I feel great.
G: I feel all the better for the doctor telling me I am fighting fit – like a cock.
J: What? You’re a fighting cock?
G: I’m a fighting cock, yes! So he says.
J: Er...well, I...I dunno. I’m... I’m kind of feeling a little bit blue today.
G: A bit blue?
J: Yeah, I...
G: Not in a Brazilian sense, I take it?
J: No, not in a Brazilian sense. I...I’m a little bit down because I was watching...this week I’ve been watching a lot of the American Idol videos, you know, the...the...the X-factor and all these wonderful singers, you know? It’s interesting because sometimes you get these guys and you look at them and the...you think ‘this guy can’t sing’...
J: ...and this wonderful voice comes out.
J: No, it’s...really, it brings tears to your eyes.
G: I’m sure it does, yes. I mean...I...watching that program would bring tears to my eyes actually.
J: And then...but the only thing...is what brings even brings even more tears to my eyes is my own voice because it’s...it’s...that brings tears to my eyes for a different reason! Because...
G: Yes, I...
J: I...I have no singing talent!
G: Well I...I didn’t like to comment last week but...um...no, it’s always good to practice!
J: Yes. If you...if you botch ‘Happy Birthday’, that’s just...that’s just not a good thing!
G: Practice makes perfect! And you got another eight months to practice until my actual birthday, so...
J: Well, ok, I’ll do my best.
G: And what have we got lined up today?
J: Well today...
G: What’s in our show? Shall I call it a show? Is it a show?
J: It’s a show.
G: Ok. It’s a show.
J: Not your typical thing, but...it’s...we’ve got an interview lined up today.
G: Who’s coming in?
J: Vinicius from Canada!
G: Nice! He’s coming all the way from Canada!
J: Yes, he’s a...he’s a Brazilian. Er...he was working in Marketing in São Paulo and he just decided to get a different job and a different life in Canada.
G: So, we will find out how he is doing in Canada.
J: We will find out everything about him.
G: That will be interesting.
J: So, we have that. Then we also have a little bit of...er...of guru lined up.
G: And a bit of ‘What Caught My Eye’ which we’ll start with...
J: ..and a bit of ‘What Caught My Eye’.
G: And let’s go!
J: So Gee, I’m interested if you have any good stories for me.
G: Well actually, I am going to test your knowledge of what you Americans call soccer. Are you very much into soccer?
J: Erm, not really. A little bit.
G: Cristiano Ronaldo – do you know...do you know him?
J: Yeah, he’s a...he scores goals.
G: He scores lots of goals. What about ‘Ronaldo Fenômeno’? Do you know him?
J: He scored lots of goals. He doesn’t score them anymore.
G: That’s true. So, I’m going to try you with a third Ronaldo. Do you know Ronaldinho Gaucho?
J: I’ve, yeah, I’ve heard of him. He also scored goals in the past. Er, at the moment, I don1t know what he’s doing.
G: Well I’ll tell you a bit more about what’s he’s doing.
J: I’m very curious.
G: He was actually...um...a famous, famous footballer because he won the Ballon D’or, as they call it in French.
J: The Ballon D’or. What is...what is that in English?
G: The golden ball.
J: Ah, the golden ball.
G: Which basically you get when you are the top footballer in Europe, each year.
G: And he also scored, I believe, the winning goal against England in the World Cup in 2002, I think it was...
G: ...which was a bit of a fluke, actually.
J: But he scored it.
G: But he scored it, anyway. So he got...
J: But, way...way...way...wait a minute. You mean it was a bit of a fluke that England was kicked out of a World Cup? Or a bit of a fluke that he scored the goal?
G: Well, let’s put it this way. He scored from the halfway line, which is quite unusual in soccer.
J: That’s...that’s a long goal!
G: So, he was lucky that the goalkeeper was out taking a leak, actually.
J: Was this...was this David Seaman?
G: It was! You do know your soccer!
J: I remember that guy! Yes and David Seaman, he was...he was supposed to be this great, fantastic keeper and then he runs out to...I dunno what he was doing out there!
G: He was, I dunno, signing autographs or something, but anyway. So, back to Ronaldinho!
G: You have a guy who plays for Barcelona, one of the top clubs.
G: He’s got a net worth estimated to be $70 million.
J: 70 million. So, he...he’s doing ok!
G: And he’s got about sixty properties.
G: Yes. So what could possibly go wrong?
J: Er, his wife wants to...to divorce him?
G: Er, well actually, things started to go wrong fairly soon after. I mean, after he won his Ballon D’or he struggled with fitness. He wasn’t maintaining the same level and slowly, over time, his career kind of diminished. And then things really started to go wrong because first, um, he lost his passport because he didn’t pay his taxes.
J: But, his Brazilian passport?
G: Well, his French passport, because he has more than one.
J: How many passports can one guy have?
G: Well, he had two.
G: And, unfortunately, he lost his second one too.
J: But wait a minute. You said he was playing for Barcelona. How di he get the French passport?
G: Um, he was also playing for Paris Saint Germain, I believe, so...
G: So, anyhow, then he’s prosecuted in Brazil over an environmental crime – he and his brother.
J: What...what did he do against the environment?
G: It’s...it’s something about building a pier in Porto Alegre. They didn’t have permission for deforestation and all this sort of stuff going on.
J: It’s not just a house – it’s whole bloody pier that he built!
G: So, anyway, he was fined something like two million dollars for that – and he didn’t pay his fine.
J: That’s a serious deal!
G: So they seized his Brazilian passport at this point.
J: Hah, so now he’s got...he’s missing two passports now.
G: So he’s missing two passports. He was accused of bigamy because he was supposed to be marrying two girls at the same time, so then he had to deny that he was doing the bigamous thing and then he had all his assets seized because of his unpaid taxes, and unpaid fines.
J: Oh, they went after him hard.
G: They took all 57 of his properties.
J: In Brazil?
G: Around the world, I’m guessing.
J: Oh my. Oh my goodness.
G: So suddenly, the guy’s taken a bit of a downturn.
J: I...well...y-you could say that. It reminds me of OJ Simpson, but that’s a different story.
G: So, anyway, you asked what he is doing these days. So, I will tell you what he is doing these days. These days he’s in jail in Paraguay.
J: Er, ok, now this...this goes completely nuts. How does he go from losing all of his properties in Brazil to Paraguay?
G: Um, well, basically his new girlfriend – I don’t know if it is one of the two original ones – I don’t think it is, but anyway she is very close to the former president of Paraguay...
G: And she represents a foundation called ‘The Angelic...Angelic Fraternity Foundation’.
J: What the devil is this?
G: And they...they help, um, unfortunate children, apparently.
J: Er, ok.
G: So Ronaldinho and his brother were invited to Paraguay to...
J: ...to participate in the foundation?
G: ...participate in the foundation...and also to open a casino.
G: Um, the problem is, he doesn’t have a passport, does he? So, he managed to get a Paraguayan passport.
J: Well, I hear they are kind of cheap nowadays. Sure. Why not?
G: So, um, unfortunately he got caught with his Paraguayan passport as he tries to leave the country.
J: And...and so he’s in Paraguay, trying to leave Paraguay, and he can’t even get out of the country because he’s got the false passport!
G: Um, well, his defense was he didn’t realize it was false, of course! He tried to negotiate a deal where he was going to make a donation to charity, and that seemed to be fine and then a judge says – “Hang on a second, um, I don’t agree with that!” And then that turns sour, and then they put him in jail and they sent a young, hotshot, prosecutor after him to investigate him for money laundering.
J: Interesting. So he’s in Paraguay, on...in jail, waiting on trial for money-laundering in Paraguay?
G: Yes. And this could take six months, this investigation, apparently.
J: Good grief!
G: And he applied for house arrest. He wanted to serve his time in a nice house – in the million dollar house his friend owns.
G: But that was denied, so apparently he’s staying in the jail – and it’s a maximum security jail so...
J: My goodness!
G: He will need all of his tricks to get out of that one.
J: I guess they think he’s just going to run away.
G: That’s basically the idea. They think he’s a flight risk, yes.
J: Er, makes sense.
G: So, um, there you go! One minute you’ve got $75 million and the world at your feet and the next minute you are in a Paraguayan jail not knowing how long you are going to be there!
J: My goodness! Tha-that’s a tough life! I mean...I mean you go from Heaven to Hell. I mean, one minute you’re scoring against David Seaman, the renowned goalie, and the next minute you are laying next to...er...Barbazito in the middle of the jail and you don’t know where to put your head!
G: Yes, some other sort of sea...
J: Gee, if you are flying from A to B and somebody bites a member of the crew...
G: Oh my goodness, it’s another flying story!
J: Another flying story – do you have right to monetary compensation for being delayed?
G: So one of the other passengers, one the fellow passengers...
G: ...has turned into a werewolf and attacked one of the crew, and bitten them on the ear, like Mike Tyson? Is this what you are saying?
J: Yes, basically that’s the situa... It seems that there was a...some kind of a fight or altercation on that fight, a passenger bit a member of the crew and started fighting with the crew members, and then what happened was the pilot had to turn the flight around.
G: Which flight was this? Where are we flying to and from? Where is ‘A’ and where is ‘B’?
J: This was...was Air TAP, so the Portuguese carrier.
J: They were flying from Fortaleza to Norway.
J: I think to Oslo. And there was a passenger on board. I do not know if it was a Brazilian passenger or a Norwegian passenger or a Portuguese passenger...er...but he bit a member of the crew and the pilot was forced to fly back to Fortaleza, land the plane and then disembark the passenger because, they don’t want werewolves on flights, basically!
G: Wow. That sounds quite scary, actually. But, um, so, as a fellow passenger, would I be suing the airline for the delay, is your question?
J: So...so the question is. You did not bite anybody but your flight was delayed and you missed your connecting flights.
J: Right? So, do you have right to monetary compensation because your flight was delayed, because there was a werewolf on the plane?
G: Well, I would say, if I was a judge, which I’m not, obviously, I would probably not...um...award against the airline in this case, no.
J: Ok. There’s a special advocate general, and he’s advising the European courts...um...to not award the passenger his 600 Euros, which he’s claiming as a right for being delayed.
G: Ok. So, I should be one of these judges, then, by the sound of it?
J: It sounds like you...
G: I could have a new career.
J: Yes. You just never know what to expect on the flights anymore, do you?
G: Ok, my...um...second item this week...um...is local. Um, you know the ring road, yes, the rodoanel?
G: Do you know the plans? Probably you may have forgotten by now but...but the actual plan is that the...the ring road will actually become an entire ring around the city at some point.
J: Correct. There...there was some problems with the contractors, with financing...
J: ...many different problems, but it’s not completed yet.
G: So, the, um, the section they are trying to complete is the...the north section, which goes from Dutra and links Dutra with Gar...Garulhos Airport and links that on to the Rodovia Bandeirantes.
G: Um, and it was begun in 2013 and it has been behind schedule ever since. Then in December 2018, Governor Marcia França*, she put a stop to the works completely.
G: And she ripped up the contract of the three contractors responsible, and also at that time, it had cost R$6.3bn and was 50% over budget, the government had paid. So, since December 2018, there’s been no work on this north section.
G: And the new governor, João Dória, has decided that he wants to kick-start again this project – ‘Let’s get this rodoanel built.’ Um, but before he...he sort of gave the go-ahead, um, he thought it would be a good idea to do a survey on the work that’s been done so far to see what condition everything is in because...
J: Which would be...and...and that’s normal procedure in engineering type projects of this sort. It’s normal.
G: Yes, because a lot of it has been sitting around for four, five years or more, you know.
G: Anyhow, the report came back and they identified 1,291 failures, of which 5% are serious.
J: Serious failures.
G: Which makes it 65, and some of these serious infal...failures include bridges with twisted columns, erosion of the banks under the road, accumulation of water, that’s going to need pumping out...um...things like that, which are obviously going to be critical to the project.
G: And, then even the minor failures are things where the project wasn’t protected adequately against the sun and the rain and they’re gonna need to be touched up and things like that. And there’s been complaints from the locals about the way things have been left because there’s garbage everywhere, which has accumulated, as you...
G: ...as you can imagine. It’s...um...it’s gonna take quite some effort to, er...
J: So, how much is this going to cost to fix? What’s the new budget?
G: Well, I don’t think anybody knows at this point.
G: But I think the next step is it’s going to go out to tender again with some new companies and somebody brave will have to take on the task of fixing all these errors and getting the project back on track. So...
J: If I were to bet, I would suspect that a Chinese company will come, and that they will take it and do it faster and under budget. And if you remember, we have discussed that the...the government is, for these public tenders, they have reduced the bureaucracy.
G: That’s true.
J: But it wouldn’t surprise me if a foreign competitor com...competitor from China or some other country would come and...er...do it in time and under budget.
J: Gee, do you believe in alternative treatments for psychological problems?
G: Um, I’m not actually sure what the regular treatments are but I’m all ears!
J: Well, in Somalia, they have kind of a unique way to treat depression.
J: And some psychiatric problems.
J: Er, they believe that the...the psychiatric problems are ki...kind of caused if some Jinns, which are those evil spirits...
G: Ah, we’re not talking elephant gin again, are we?
J: No, no, we’re not talking elephant gin. The...the...these are the jinns. J-I-N-N, not G-I-N.
G: Ah, ok.
J: But...but the jinns kind of come into you, and they...you need to chase away these bad spirits. So they have some unique treatments to help people who suffer from depression. And there’s one that’s actually...there’s a guy there...he’s 70 years old... His name is Aiden Igal – I hope I pronounced that correctly – but locally he’s known as Doctor Hyena.
G: Nice. Good reputation.
J: Yes, er...you might ask me – ‘what does Doctor Hyena do?’
G: What does Doctor Hyena do, Jay?
J: Well, thank you for asking! Doctor Hyena, he treats patients with these...er...psychiatric problems, with a hyena in a cage. So, basically what...what happens is the person comes there, he’s...he’s suffering, he’s not feeling well. He sits down in front of this cage. There’s a hyena inside and the hyena growls a little bit, and they believe that these hyena growls will scare away the jinns, which are affecting this guy.
G: Or the patient arrives and he looks at the doctor with his hyena in a cage and suddenly realizes that he’s got less problems than the doctor! S-so how is the hyena supposed to drive out the demons, for goodness sake?
J: It’s actually a traditional treatment. In the past, it was a little bit different, because a guy was just set in a room full of hyenas and there was no cage.
G: Ok! That would definitely drive something out of you, that’s for sure!
J: Yeah, that was a little bit dangerous because the hyenas might actually start eating the guy, or turn on him but, I mean, that was the risk that you took if you had depression.
G: Well, hyenas are always associated with laughter, aren’t they? So, maybe the idea is that the laughter of the hyenas lifts you out of your depression?
J: I don’t know. What they believe is that...that...er...the hyenas can actually devour these jinns.
G: Ah, ok.
J: So the hyenas can eat these bad spirits that are causing...er...these mental illnesses.
G: Hm. Like, jelly-babies, no?
J: I...I guess. I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s in Mogadishu.
G: Ok. Mogadishu, right. That...that’s Somalia, isn’t it?
J: That’s Somalia. In Somalia, how many trained psychiatrists – so medically trained psychiatrists do you actually think there are?
G: Probably not that many, I’m guessing.
J: No, they...they say there’s less than five, at the moment.
G: Yes, and they’re looking to get air tickets.
J: Anyway, the...the guys that locally are actually trained – er, there’s one psychiatric nurse called Doctor Habib.
J: And he says he always encourages people to get clinical, rather than traditional treatment, but for the people that actually go there. They say they have little chance...they have little (sic) options because medical treatments are very expensive – they don’t have enough money. Er, they can go to Doctor Hyena, that will cost them about ten dollars...
G: So, wh-what does he do if people are not consumed by Jinn and they have got other psychological problems? Does he use the hyenas for those too, or...
G: Is it like a catch-all ointment that cures all psychological problems?
J: It doesn’t say. I’m not sure about that. I...I’m not sure if there’s other properties that hyenas can do.
* Sincere apologies to Marcio França, governor of São Paulo until January 2019, for the unwarranted gender change.
End of Part 1
J: So we are here with The Samba Buzz, and we have Vinicius with us!
G: First, can I just say welcome and thanks for joining us today! It’s great to see you.
J: Ah, yes.
V: Yeah, thank you for the invitation. Really happy to be here.
J: Er, Vinicius, what is the temperature today, right now?
V: Today is minus 5.
J: Minus 5. And what was the temperature yesterday?
V: Er, last week was minus 27? Something like that.
J: M-minus 27 Fahrenheit or Celsius?
J: Ooh, that’s cold!
J: That’s definitely not Brazil!
V: Not even close!
J: So, then...er...can you....can you tell everybody where you are at, right now?
V: So, I’m living in Toronto, Canada. It’s been one year and three months now...four months almost.
J: Four months.
V: Yeah, I moved here December 2018.
J: Why did you move to cold, freezing Toronto?
V: Yeah, er, to be honest, I ask myself this question almost every day! But...er...it’s my second time here. I came here, like, the first time in 2015, to study English for 5 months, and I kind of, like, enjoy the city and I wanted to, like, see how, it was to build a life here in Canada, and then I came back to Brazil, saved a lot of money and now, here I am here.
G: So what were you doing in Brazil before you went?
V: So, I’m working...I work with advertising. So, I was working with an advertising agency back in Brazil. And then I decided to come here. I’m almost done with my post-grad. Ah...and I’m working in advertising here as well. So, I just got into my field here too. I...I work with media planning – both offline media, TV, radio...er...magazines and digital media.
J: And w-would you say that...that working in Canada, it’s...it’s a very different environment in...in this particular field?
V: Er, it’s completely different. Er, I think the work...the pace is different. Back in Brazil it’s...er...a lot of work...er...fewer people to a lot of work, so it gets really busy sometimes. Here it’s more...er...it’s more calm – more like a regular job, because working in advertising in Brazil, it’s...it’s a crazy...crazy industry to work in. So, I used to work, like, overnight, work during the week-ends...and here it’s 9 to 5 – ‘that’s it, go home.’
J: Five o’clock you go home. Bu...but don’t they have a lot of pressure with special projects that you have to do, or certain campaigns that just have to get done?
V: I’m kind of used to that because it’s part of the job. But here, I’m feeling there...there is less pressure than Brazil. There is less pressure for creativity, I would say. So, we do the basics and clients are happy with the basics and the agency is happy with the basics, and that’s it!
J: And that’s it. W-would you say you have a better quality of life? Or, I mean, le...less pay, more pay? How would you compare the...that kind of thing?
V: So, my pay here. It’s not the same as Brazil. It’s a little less, because I’m still in school. So, I’m only working part-time – like, twenty hours weekly.
V: So, I’m making half of the money I should be making, right now. But...er...definitely more quality of life. It took me...it took me, like thirty-five minutes to get to work everyday by public transportation and...er...the pay, it’s good. It’s way more than the minimum. And even with the minimum here, like, you can have a...you can have a pretty decent life, pay your bills and have some leisure, which is...er...really different from Brazil. I think that’s the main difference.
G: Would you say the...um...you say the lifestyle – sorry, the work in Brazil was much more pressured. Was that because you had a different client portfolio, or was it different type of client or are you working with the same types of companies there in Canada?
V: Er...back in Brazil, like, I worked with advertising for 8 years in Brazil, so I...I worked with a lot of different clients...different agencies and I...I can say that it’s all the same. It’s part of the culture, er, back home. But here, like...er...looking to the backside...er... I was to...I was used to (sic) have way more fun while working, back in Brazil. Er...people talked more. I had...I made some great friends in work. Here it’s kind of different. It’s more, like – “take care of your own work” – have lunch on your table and then go home by five, and that’s it.
G: Wow, going home by five can’t be bad!
V: So, it’s kind of different.
J: It...it’s kind of different. So, is...is it...er...for example...in Brazil, it seems like...th...the culture is kind of to combine work and friends. Y...your work friends become the p...people you also go out and socialize with. Is it the same...is it the same in Canada or is it different?
V: It’s way different! Er...here...er...I think it is...er...a culture of respecting more personal space and personal...er...life. So...er...it’s really...er...people don’t talk too much about...er...their personal lives – if they have kids or not, if they have a girlfriend or boyfriend or anything like that. Er...in Brazil we are way more open about everything. We talk about everything, and we make friends easily. Here, people are more, like...er... alone. They have, like, their friends outside of work. By five, everyone goes home and that’s it.
J: In your experience, h...how easy is it to make friends there, w...with Canadians?
V: I would say that, with Canadians, it’s...it’s more complicated. Er...there are...more...
J: Why is that?
V: ...you have like this deep respect with personal space, which compared to Latin people like us...er...it’s...it’s kind of cold. You know, like, they are not, like, so...warm.
J: So they seem d....so they seem, like, dis...really far away – distant or something like that?
V: Yeah, kind of. They are really nice. They’re so polite...friendly. But...er...it’s...it’s, kind of hard to build, like, a real deep friendship like we have, like, in Brazil. We make friends, like, really fast and easy. Here it’s not so simple.
G: So, what about some war stories? Have you had any...erm...embarrassing situations since you’ve been there, from, maybe, misunderstandings with the language, or something like that?
V: Ah, yeah, it happens a lot! Er...some...some mistakes with words...er...like, er... there was this way...this day that I was in a restaurant and I forgot how to say ‘fork’, and I needed a fork to eat my meal. And I was, like, yeah, ‘I need that thing, you know, that thing that you use to, like – it’s...it’s almost like a knife but it’s...it’s different and the guy was like – ‘Oh, a fork?’ ‘Yeah, yeah – a fork.’ That’s what I need. So, this is...it doesn’t happen really often right now, but at the beginning, like, it was, like, daily. Every day I had a different story.
J: Er....it’s a problem. W...was it hard to adapt to the climate, going to Canada? Because, you know, there it’s quite cold.
V: Was? No, it is! Believe it is.
J: Still is!
V: No, I complain every day, like, I...I keep thinking, like, if I can really handle that for, like, for life, you know? Er...I think that, like, the main reason that give me some, like, second thoughts...thoughts about staying here, like, for...for, like, for real, for life, in, like, in a permanent way...er...because, like, it’s too cold – it’s hard. Er...during the winter, like, the days are short. People don’t go outside. You stay a lot inside places, like, and for a Brazilian, like...this is ...er...really complicated for me.
J: Thinking now about the situation – everything you know about Canada – is there anything you would have done differently?
V: Bring more, like, foods and, like, some things that I like about, like, from Brazilian food.
V: Maybe, like, some Brazilian snacks that we don’t have here, like peanuts. Peanuts with, like...like seasoned peanuts, like, like we have in Brazil. That we have, like, with temper (sic), with lime.
V: ...with a lot of stuff.
J: And there you don’t have?
V: And then we don’t have that here. We only have, like, the regular one, and the salty one. So, it’s...yeah. So, I would bring more snacks, for sure. What I would do differently is get here, like, by the end of the winter, so you have, like, the whole year to get used to it – get prepared to it – and then you...
J: And then you jump into winter? Because otherwise the shock is just too much. It’s just a huge shock.
V: It’s too much. It’s too much. I remember, like, I left São Paulo, it was thirty degrees, and I got here and it was minus ten, so, like, it was terrible!
J: Wow. In order to go to Canada, you had to do some tests, right? W...what kind of language...what kind of language tests did you have to do, or requirements did they have?
V: Yeah, you have to...er...get...er... IELTS certificate. Er....the minimum grade, I think, is six...er...overall. Or you can take the TOEFL test – I don’t remember exactly what is the grade but you...you got to choose...er...one of those. Er...the other option, if you don’t get the grade you need, you can come here and do, like, a preparatory program...
V: ...for English, and then when you are to the grade, you can, like, go to a...a...a...a college like I’m doing right now.
J: Ok, so, like, you go to a language school...
V: So, what I did back in Brazil – I...I...I did an IELTS test and I got the grade I needed, and then I...I could be accepted in a school here.
J: Ok, good.
G: So, thanks very much indeed for...er...talking to us today, Vinicius. It’s been great.
J: Yes, thanks, Vincius. It was great having you here, all the way from Canada.
V: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. And sorry, again, for the delay...er...but, it happens!
End of Part 2