Full Transcript - Episode 22
Cosmetic death, incitement to eat, happy hippos and when NOT to trust your mom.
PLUS Lucio Vargas describes some of the challenges of starting a new business in the competitive world of online finance, and discusses some of the complexities Brazilians face when dealing with foreigners.
J: Have you ever gotten drunk with the Chinese?
L: Lots of times! Because they don’t make...they don’t do business with you if you don’t get...get drunk!
L: If you don’t get drunk with them, they won’t...they don’t sign the contract.
G: Do they start singing when the get drunk?
G: Good afternoon...good morning? Good afternoon, São Paulo!
J: São Paulo, Brazil!
G: Brazil. All the way from South America, coming to you in South America.
J: And, actually, we do have some listeners in Senegal, I would like to point out. So, if you are listening to us from Senegal, you have a big hello from us here at Samba Buzz. We know who you are!
G: Do you know where it is?
J: No, I don’t know exactly, but please write to us and let us know.
G: So, we...we must get some news from Senegal to include.
J: Yes, we get...we...we...we got, actually, listeners in Belgium, North America, other African countries. It’s...we’re growing.
G: Er, yes. Good! I don’t want to grow too much more, actually. I’ve grown too much during the COVID, as it is.
J: Well, that’s from all the wine you’re drinking.
G: That’s true. So, how are you today? Are we...’Are we having a Carnival this year?’ is my question.
J: I...I understand that Carnival has been cancelled.
G: But are we having a Carnival holiday or is everybody expected to work?
J: Well, er, my wife works in public health and she said they’re not going to give her the...the carnival holidays because there’s no carnival! It’s been cancelled, so why would you give carnival holidays if there’s no carnival?
G: Well, it’s not obligatory to go to the Carnival during the carnival holiday, is it? It’s, um...
J: Well, nevertheless, for it’s been cancelled, so...
G: That sounds really mean, actually. I...I would have thought, with the COVID, they would want to shut things down for a couple of days, but I guess not.
J: I...I don’t know how it works but, anyway, I...I...I think the...the mayor is just trying to get out of paying people extra money or...I don’t know.
G: What have we got today?
J: Well, today we have our...our guest – Lucio Vargas. He’s gonna come in shortly, and we’ll give him a quiz.
G: Lucio Vargas is...?
J: He is a...he’s an entrepreneur. He’s...he’s started up a new business and he’s going to tell us all about it.
G: Great. Alright, let’s get going.
J: Let’s go.
J: So, Brazil is famous for many things. You know Brazil is one the...is probably the biggest country in the world as far as cosmetic surgery – and relatively cheap cosmetic surgery.
J: Right? So, er, that started a while ago in...in Rio. I don’t know exactly who started it. Rumor has it that the...the doctor that started this trend was Ivo Pitanguy, from Rio.
J: Ivo, yeah. Not, Evel, Ivo...Ivo.
G: Is he related to Evel Knievel?
J: I don’t know about that. Er, he also trained Dr. Raul Gonzalez. You might have heard about him because he had is...er... own television show?
G: Erm, I...I...I don’t remember the names. I do remember there was an infamous doctor who...um...did some very tragic things with a lot of women in Rio, actually.
J: Yeah, I don’t know about that.
G: And I think he might have gone to jail. I’m not sure.
J: Yeah, but there was a guy in...in São Paulo that did that as well. He was...
G: He was...he was a very famous because he had rich and famous clients.
J: Yes, and he was basically raping the clients.
G: And he was...er...basically that’s what was happening. I recall that now.
J: Yeah. That wasn’t Rio. That was São Paulo.
G: That was São Paulo, was it? Ok. Right here.
J: Yeah, I actually met the guy once. Ugh, I don’t wanna talk about it.
G: You’re serious? Oh dear.
J: Yeah. He didn’t rape me though.
G: Well, you...you don’t know. You would never know, would you?
G: Cos, the victims, they wake up!
J: Anyway, any...anyway if you look at global trends, the...this particular surgery is up 75% globally...globally, not just in Brazil – globally. It’s called – affectionately called – the Brazil...it’s called the BBL, for those that know.
G: BBL? What’s the BBL?
J: Yeah, that’s the Brazilian Bubble-Butt surgery.
G: Oh, ok.
G: That should be the BBLB, shouldn’t it?
J: It is called the BBL in, let’s say, the...the cosmetic surgeon terms. Er, and what it is, is – for...for anybody that’s not familiar with this – is they basically suction up some of your own fat from around your waist and your legs and thighs, or wherever, and they inject that directly into your butt.
J: So, basically, it’s...it’s your own fat that they’re recycling and just re...replacing in a different pos-position in your body. And I give you some...some...
G: Well, I guess it would be more comfortable to sit down, wouldn’t it?
G: You’d never need a cushion, would you?
J: I don’t think they use it for sitting, but anyway. Erm, some famous actors that you might actually know that have had this done. Er, Jennifer Lopes.
G: Yes, I can believe that.
J: Ok. Nicki Minaj.
G: I don’t know who she is.
J: She’s a rapper.
J: Kim Kardashian.
G: Er, I’ve vaguely heard of her.
J: Oh, you have to know, then you...you...you don’t know Insta because she destroyed Instagram...er...with this...with this...with her figure, let’s say.
G: Oh, right! Ok. Intriguing.
J: With her proportions.
G: More intriguing, yes.
J: Yeah. So, actually, there was a study...er...that was done, and this seems to be a very dangerous surgery. It’s also the most deadly cosmetic surgery that’s performed. Er, basically, if you go and do it, you have about – or, they estimate that you have about a one in 3000 chance of dying from the surgery. And in the last few years, in South Florida alone, they estimate that 15 people have died from...er...a wrong BBL.
G: So, why did they die?
J: Well, it...it seems that it’s...it’s a technical thing. Er, the risk is about the quantity of fat that they suck out but also about how they insert the fat.
J: And the...the fat. And the biggest problem is if the fat goes into your bloodstream, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, and then you die.
G: Basically, it gives you a heart-attack, yeah?
J: Gives you a heart-attack, or it can go into your heart or your head, or you can...
J: So, it’s actually very serious, you know.
J: It’s not just a simple 1-2-3...er...chupa-chupa and...it’s complicated.
G: Well, I...I think...think cosmetic surgery in general is fraught with danger, actually. I saw another article this week about a famous Chinese model who decided to have...who decided to have her nose shortened – did you see about her?
G: She’s already, you know, a young girl, very pretty, very perfect features and she had surgery on her nose to remove the tip, I guess, to make it smaller, and then her nose died, basically.
J: Her nose died?
G: Yeah, the tip of her nose died and went black!
J: Well, what did they try...did...did...did they try to cut it off and then just...just shorten it and then put it back on?
G: I guess that’s what they were attempting – just to shorten the length of the tip, or something like that and then glue the tip back on, and then I guess...anyway it didn’t...and, of course, now she’s got pictures of this lovely face with a big black...
J: With a big black dot in the middle.
G: ...black dot on the end of her nose, yes.
J: Oh my goodness.
G: So, yes, it can go wrong.
J: Yeah, I...I don’t know...er...sounds...sounds dangerous.
G: It sounds extreme in the extreme, I must say, to need to increase your bum just to be more comfortable to sit down.
J: Well, and it’s actually evolved in, kind of, a like a vacation destination, as well.
J: If you figure that in the United States that the costs are up to 10 or 15 grand...thousand per surgery. And in England, they’re running right around 8000...er...pounds – that’s quite a lot of money!
J: And, that’s...that’s kind of led to... There’s one particular place in Turkey that’s on Instagram. Everybody can check. Let me give you the...the name of this place is Comfort Zone. Comfort Zone. It’s a...it’s a...it’s a Turkish spa where you can go and have your bum-bum modified. So, you go...it’s like a...
G: I will not be going there! I can promise you that.
J: Well, they do about 200 surgeries a month. So, it’s quite popular.
G: No Turk is messing with my bum-bum!
G: Have you ever bought anything from a member of your family? Have you ever bought anything off your mother, for example?
J: No, my mother never sold me any brownies, brownie cookies or...no.
G: Cos it’s...it’s always kind of a...bit of a dangerous game to be dealing with money with family and owing money and buying things. I mean, I...I...I actually, er...well, yes, I have some personal experience of selling within the family and it doesn’t always go well, actually. Erm...
J: Is there something you would like to say?
G: But no, I’m going to move on rapidly, actually, to...um...to an incident in Itaipu.
J: In what?
G: Itaipu. You’ve heard of Itaipu, in Brazil?
J: No, is that a shoe?
G: It’s...um...it’s a location. Um...I’m not sure where it is, actually. Somewhere down south? I’m not sure.
G: Anyway, a guy...um...was talking to his mother and she had this new cell phone.
G: And she said, oh, “it’s...it’s...you know...it’s very nice this cell phone. But I...I’ve actually got two. Would you like to...would you like this one? I’ll sell it to you, if you like”, she says.
G: And the guy says, “Ok, I’ll...but, you know, it looks nice. How much do you want for it?” And she says, “Um – R$1000.” And he thought, ‘Hum. That...that’s...that’s pretty good.’ “Ok, Mom, I’ll...I’ll by that off you.”
J: Ok. And it was stolen!
G: And then next couple of days later he gets arrested for handling stolen goods. Indeed! Erm, because...um...the value of the cell phone is actually R$6000.
G: So, he should have...should have wondered why she was passing it on to him quite so cheap. But she...she’s your mom. You trust your mom, don’t you? I mean, why wouldn’t you?
J: So, the mom’s a scammer in the whole thing, is she?
G: So, basically, what seems to have happened is she works as a diarista – she works in somebody’s house, cleaning, and...um...she seems to have...um...
J: ...helped herself.
G: ...found herself...um...acquiring this cell phone and selling it to her son for R$1000, and the poor guy got arrested for handling stolen goods.
J: Oh my.
G: So, that wasn’t a very...very happy outcome there.
J: So, the mom didn’t really help him out very much, there, did she?
G: She probably, yes...I don’t think you’d buy anything else from her, probably, after that.
J: But, do...does the mom still have a job, at the moment?
G: I think she got...yeah, I think she got fired.
G: I don’t...it doesn’t say here if she’s going to be prosecuted or not but...um...I don’t think she works at that house anymore, no.
J: Probably not.
G: So, the...the second...second story, locally that caught my eye was somebody else has been arrested, actually. Um, there’s a guy who runs a restaurant in Vila Mariana, not too far from here.
J: Ok. That’s close by.
G: And he obviously wasn’t very happy about the recent shutdowns that have been going on at the week-ends, with the pandemic and everything. We’ve been on ‘red’.
G: And he decided – ‘Right, I’m going to offer...” and he’s got this big sign outside his restaurant...“one year’s worth of free churrasco” – free barbecue – “to whoever kills João Doria.”
G: Yes. So, of course, you know, he probably meant it as a joke but it’s...um...it’s actually a crime to incite violence.
J: Yeah, unlike in the United States, where they just do it openly and then...then they...then they say that nothing happened.
J: They say it is all free speech.
G: Exactly. I mean, this...this is actually quite relevant to Mr Trump, isn’t it, really?
G: I mean because what did he incite and what didn’t he, and what...who will hold him accountable for that is another thing. But...erm...anyway, this chap, he was arrested by the police and he faces, potentially, 3-6 months in jail for this. Erm, or a fine. Although, opinion is that the judge may look at some alternative punishment like community service...
G: ...because, at the end of the day, is it serious? Is somebody really going to kill João Doria for a...for a year’s worth of free barbecue? Probably...probably not but you never know, really, with Bolsonaro supporters. Anything could happen, couldn’t it?
G: So, what...what do you have – other than...er...what you already had?
J: Well, my next story is about hippos.
J: Yes. Er...and Pablo Escobar.
G: Wow, that’s a connection.
J: Yeah, the, some people, like, locally in Colombia, they are known as the cocaine hippos!
G: Ah, ok! Now I understand.
J: Well, yeah.
G: We’re talking mules here, aren’t we?
J: No, we’re actually...we’re actually talking hippopotamus. Erm, Pablo Escobar was killed in 1993. And when he died the government took over...over his hacienda... over his...his...his fazenda...his farm. And on his farm he had lots of different wild animals. Most of the wild animals were shipped away to zoos or sent away somewhere else, except for the hippos, because they’re very, very large and very, very expensive to move.
G: Where did he get ‘em from?
J: He brought them in from Africa.
G: Wow, that’s...
J: I mean, tha...that’s how much money the guy. He ju...he...he decided, one day, “Oh, I want some hippos!” And he brought them in. He flew them all the way in from Africa and then had them on his farm.
G: Imagine the shipping bill for that. That’s incredible.
J: Yeah. Well, if you’ve got money to burn, you know. And, anyway, when the government took over, there were four hippos. At the moment there are, in...they don’t really know exactly how many hippos there are but there are around a hundred.
G: Good lord!
J: And so the hippos...
G: All in the same family?
J: The hippos have grown exponentia...have grown exponentially and the wildlife conservationists don’t really know what to do with them.
G: I imagine not, no.
J: They don’t know, so there’s actually a debate on...on, let’s say, the...with the scientific community if they should kill them or if they sh...should just let them go.
G: They should ship them back again.
J: Well, they’re quite expensive. The...the last hippo that they did try to replace cost the government 15 million pesos.
G: That’s amazing. This isn’t another one of your fake news, is it?
J: No, this actually real news!
G: Real news. Good lord.
J: I don’t do fake news very often but this is actually real news. So, i...inside the scientific community, the...the...the question is – ‘Do we let the hippos stay? Are they good for the ecosystem? Or are they going to kill off the native species?’ And scientists can’t agree. They don’t really know. Anyway, the...the positive-negative, or...or, let’s say, the possible negative things are that perhaps they’re killing the fish and they might be dangerous for the rest of the...the community but nobody’s been able to prove anything either way. So, it’s just a big question mark.
G: But, I imagine, his hacienda was fairly remote, anyway, so...
J: Yeah, so...
G: ...he’s probably tucked away somewhere where the hippos aren’t going to disturb anybody.
J: Well, and one of the arguments for the hippos is that South America used to have a...a lot more natural large scale herbivores. And those have been killed through the...through the times. So, maybe re-introducing these large herbivores is going to help South America.
G: Maybe we’ll see some hippo gin coming out of...coming out of Colombia soon?
J: It’s possible. Well, actually they do raise... A lot of tourists do want to see the hippos, so they are bringing in some money. It’s good for the economy.
G: And you get to see the hacienda at the same time.
J: There you go.
G: Very nice. Nice story. I like that.
End of part 1