Beach Ball

BLM in Brazil

Full Transcript - Episode 24

 

Lula is freed, the non-news feed, a rare Mars deed, and the world's deadliest cheese!

PLUS - Shawn Moss joins us all the way from Washington D.C. to talk about doing business in Brazil, the BLM movement, and being a black gringo in Brazil.

S: I will just say this. The end of the story ended with this guy...he sobbed. He...he was crying uncontrollably on my shoulder! That’s...that’s the way the story ended and I’m not going to tell you how he got there! He apologized!

G: Yeah. Yeah, I think you picked the wrong guy there!


************************************

G: Hello, and Happy Easter, São Paulo!

J: Happy Easter, everybody!

G: I don’t know how to make the noise of Easter, but let’s make it anyway!

J: Well, it’s an Easter bunny. I don’t know wh...wha...what sound does a bunny make?

G: Um...I don’t know what a sound a bunny makes, actually. Maybe it’s a...if it’s a Playboy bunny it might be different? I don’t know.

J: That makes a different sound.

G: But Feliz Pascoa todo mun...everybody.

J: Ok. Happy Easter!

G: So, how are you today, Jay?

J: I’m...I’m doing well. Today, it’s...it’s a beautiful day. My...the schools have reopened, at least for my daughter it’s reopened. So, that’s great.

G: Ah, huzzah! You can get her out from under your feet finally?

J: Yeah, well, she wasn’t actually under my feet but it makes it a little bit difficult to work from home if you got a six-year-old kid running around.

G: It’s true and she’s not exactly...er...lacking in energy, is she?

J: That’s true. So, um, well, what do we have for today, Gee?

G: That’s a good question, actually. I think we’re gonna start with some news - the What Caught My Eye, and then we’re gonna have an interview of...

J: Ok, an interview of a special guest, who’s coming in.

G: A special guest, which we will talk about later.

J: Can’t divulge too much information right off the top.

G: And maybe a little bit of guru at the end.

J: And guru at the end, and lots of good fun.

G: Lots of fun. So, let’s crack on.

J: Let’s go! 


************************************


J: Well, I think the...the...the biggest news...well, I don’t know if it’s the biggest news, but important news is that Lula has been declared free by the Supreme Court!

G: This is true. I saw that.

J: I think now there’s probably a lot of people out there that don’t know exactly who Lula is. I’m talking here about Lula Inácio...oh, no, no...his name is, sorry, er – Luis Inácio Lula da Silva!

G: There’s a reason they call him Lula, you know!

J: Yeah, his complete name. Er...Lula for those of you that...that don’t know translates into ‘octopus’, I believe.

G: Um, it’s squid actually.

J: Or squid, yeah.

G: Squid, yes.

J: So, squid. He used to be the president of Brazil.

G: President Squid.

J: He was jailed on corruption charges. So, he is now free and he can be re-tried in a court in Brasilia if it comes to that. I...I don’t know if they will actually try to re-try him again but that’s a possibility. 

G: Well, it’s a lot more complicated now, of course, because the guy who was responsible for convicting him, er, Sergio Moro, then became involved in the government, so he’s no longer a judge and then, of course, the implica...the implications are – or at least the allegations are – that he was politically motivated and now it’s become a lot more complicated to re-try Lula, hasn’t it?

J: And the big question is – because the...the car wash, which was the, let’s say, the all-encompassing...er...judicial process that...that captured him...

G: the anti-corruption.

J: ...the anti-corruption probe – that jailed more than a hundred people, I believe.

G: Yeah. Way more. Yeah.

J: So, now that...that opens the door for the pot...potential...for all of these other people to become vindicated, as well.

G: Yes!

J: Or not!

G: All the Gremlins will be out of the box again!

J: Yeah. Or not. We don’t know. So, the thing is, not a lot of...I mean...the people that are protesting, let’s say, or protested the fact that Lula went to jail were angry because they felt that the process was not correct. Nobody’s actually saying that he didn’t do it.

G: Yes.

J: Because everybody knows he stole lo...lots of money.

G: Allegedly.

J: Allegedly, yeah, of course, I can’t say that, but ok.

G: Everybody allegedly knows...!

J: Well, I mean, you have...you have, let’s say, you have a public money and then suddenly it disappears. Well, the money doesn’t disappear. It has to go somewhere!

G: Well, there were some assets that – that’s the thing, isn’t it? I think his sons, too, certainly accumulated assets then without any logical explanation as to where those assets came from, and that’s...

J: Yeah...yeah, they didn’t work and then suddenly they had these fantastic houses worth more than 5 and 6 hundred million reais. I mean, that’s not possible.

G: Of course the big question now is – “Is he gonna run in the election next year?” Are we going to see the showdown between Bolsonaro and Lula as the run-off for the presidential election 2022?

J: Yeah that’s...that’s a big possibility. Because you have th..the hard right and the hard left.

G: Yes.

J: And there’s noth...n...nobody in the middle because as...the political climate right now in Brazil is similar to the US, and that’s very extreme – very...very polarized.

G: It’s less...less of a platform and more of a skateboard, really, the center, isn’t it?

J: Yes, it’s...it’s difficult right now.

G: But, er, yes, I...I’ve said for a while now, I think we need a passionate moderate in the center.

J: Yeah, but just don’t tell a Brazilian woman that you’re...you’re...you’re...you’re moderately passionate about her! Alright, so, Gee...what...what do you have for us?

G: Well, I...I been looking at the news and I was actually struck by how much ‘non-news’ there is in...in the news these days. Um, I mean, there’s some of these things you see in the news, they’re just...how...how can they possibly be considered news? I mean, lemme...let me give you some examples, here, and see if you agree with me.

J: Ok.

G: These are all on international news sites like the BBC, CNN etc. Um, the first one is that the Swiss army are changing their uniforms to allow...um...women who are in the Swiss army to have more comfortable underwear, because apparently they had been wearing male underwear until that point.

J: Well...

G: So, do you think that is actually newsworthy of international attention, or not?

J: Er...no! And, I’ll tell you why. It’s definitely not newsworthy because have you ever actually seen a...a Swiss female? [Swiss music] ...don’t shave their legs... [Swiss music] ...don’t even shave their armpits... [Swiss music]...had a moustache.

G: Hm.

J: Yeah, I don’t know...

G: You’re very reliant on not having any listeners in Switzerland right now, aren’t you? But the point is, you know, just because the requisitions department of the Swiss army changes its supplier or its...or its order, I mean, why...why does everybody internationally need to know about that? I mean, surely it is only of...of interest if you are planning to enter the Swiss army, which I assume you’re not?

J: No, at this moment, definitely not.

G: No, so, there we go. Now let me give...let me give you another example.

J: Ok. Let’s go.

G: Um...Apple is no longer making a female voice the default option on Siri.

J: What? Really, so...so it’s a male voice? Or it’s...it’s a...

G: Well, you...you...you got a choice, it just doesn’t automatically default to the woman is the point.

J: Oh, ok. Ok. So...?

G: Is that news?

J: No.

G: Do we need to know this?

J: No.

G: It must...it must surely be a slow news day if they’re giving you this?

J: I think the pandemic has affected the journalists’ brains a little bit, because that’s...that’s not news at all. That’s just gossip.

G: It’s...that’s...I...I dunno...I dunno who could possibly be interested in that. I mean, I don’t know. Alright, I’ll give you another one.

J: Ok.

G: Asian men’s hairlines are receding faster than they used to.

J: Also not news.

G: Again, it’s because of lifestyle and blah...but I don’t know. I...I mean...

J: I mean...er...I rarely interest myself with stories about Asian men. So, yeah, that’s not gonna do it for me.

G: A New Zealand rugby commentator apologizes for mimicking a Japanese player’s accent. This is international news.

J: Now that’s funny but it’s not necessarily news.

G: I mean...I mean...

J: Now, come on, yeah.

G: Guys say silly stuff all the time, you know? Maybe the news is that he actually apologized? I don’t know, but...

J: Kind of a locker...a locker room humor, type thing.

G: Yeah, it’s kind of...you know...local. We don’t even know this guy. Do you know any New Zealand commentators? Is he relevant in your life? Do you need to know about this?

J: No.

G: So that...for me this is non-news. I mean, most non-news is usually about...um...minor celebrities like the Kardashians or someone like that.

J: Yeah.

G: And, you know, most people couldn’t care less about that either but I...I...I just...I just look at the news sometimes and I think...um...“My goodness, wha...wha...what is news these days?”

J: Erm, my news is actually from...well, it’s kind of a combination of Earth and Mars together.

G: Ok.

J: Because, I...I think that...that, at the moment there are six countries that have launched either, let’s say, probes or missions to Mars.

G: This is true.

J: And what’s fantastic about that for me is that now, for the first time ever, we will have a helicopter on Mars. Or we have a helicopter on Mars. And it’s set to launch within a couple of days. It’s...it’s been deployed. It’s out there. It’s sun powered. So, it’s solar-powered. So, it’s...it’s absorbing a bit of energy for the batteries now, and within a day or two we are going to have lift-off. The first-ever interstellar flight!

G: Very nice.

J: I think that...

G: This...this is a helicopter landing on Mars?

J: Yeah.

G: Unmanned?

J: Yeah, i...It’s fantastic. And of course, the...the...the interest for science is that it opens up the possibility to study much more of Mars than by Rover. Rover, it would be the land-based vehicles. So, now you can fly and photograph many more things than you would be able to from the ground.

G: Just imagine the science behind that, though, in calculating exactly the velocity needed to carry a weight in a different atmosphere to the Earth’s atmosphere, with different gravity.

J: I mean, it’s...it’s...it’s a fantasy...its...for me it’s fantastic. I think it’s very, very interesting.

G: So, have they launched this? Does it fly?

J: It flies. There...the first test flight is...like I said...is...is scheduled for a couple of days. The first test flight...test flight will only be about 15 seconds.

G: Ah.

J: But that’s enough to get it off the ground and make sure it lands softly. And then, what I have on top of that is, let’s say, the whole Space X...er...movement. Well, the whole Space X...er...everything they are doing with rockets. Because, Elon Musk has it up his sleeve to put a colony on Mars within the next 3 or 4 years. And that’s also very interesting but what he has done that NASA was not able to do...first of all to create a more powerful liquid-based engine to...

G: Ok.

J: ...to go into space. And they have created the Space X Starship SN10. That’s significant because it can carry a crew of 100 people, and a payload of something like 8 or 10 elephants.

G: Wow. Well, you’re gonna need elephants up there!

J: Well, you’re gonna need something very...something very substantial if you wanna put people on Mars. So, you have to carry equipment. You know, ferry that back and forth. And the starship SN10 is significant because it’s completely, 100%, reusable.

G: Ok.

J: And NASA was not able to do that.

G: So it’s...it’s recyclable?

J: It’s recyclable, yeah.

G: Hm.

J: So, that...that...I think that...that’s really, incredibly interesting.

G: Wow. So, this is to get...for getting to Mars?

J: For getting to Mars and then for coming back home to Earth.

G: So, if...if you’re gonna transport one hundred people...because it takes about 3 months to get to Mars, doesn’t it? So, I’m just wondering where they all sleep, and eat, and...

J: I think a minimum is something like six months.

G: So it must be a huge thing?

J: No, it’s enormous! It...it’s really enormous.

G: Are you gonna get that in the air, out of...out of the atmosphere?

J: They...they’ve already done test flights with this thing from their...from their port in Boca Chica in Texas.

G: Wow.

J: Very, very interesting.

G: Well, that sounds amazing. So, the future is here!

J: Yeah. So, i...it’s possible in...in our lifetime that we will take, let’s say, a weekend to the Moon.

G: Interesting. Well, that is interesting! Mars is definitely the topic of the month.

J: Yeah. So, that...that...that’s what else caught my eye. And what about you?

G: Um, I actually saw a little story about some cheese, actually. Do you like cheese?

J: Cheese?

G: Yeah, are you a cheese fiend?

J: Yeah, I like... I love cheese.

G: What’s your...what’s your favorite type of cheese?

J: Erm. I dunno. I like...er...I like the Dutch cheeses because I lived there for a while.

G: So, you like the creamy cheeses, then, yeah? What about...what about strong flavored cheeses like the gorgonzola.

J: Oh, definitely. Usually, the stronger, the better.

G: Well, you...you’ll like this cheese, in that case.

J: Ok.

G: Um, this cheese is actually officially the world’s most dangerous cheese.

J: Most dangerous?

G: It is. It’s in the Guinness Book of Records.

J: I don’t know if I like dangerous cheeses!

G: Well, um, let me explain. It’s made on s...an island called Sardinia, which is...um...just off Italy.

J: And it tastes like sardines?

G: And it doesn’t taste like sardines. Actually, it does have quite a strong flavor.

J: Ok.

G: And basically it is made from sheep’s milk, usually around June...the...er...coming up to when they...um...give birth of whatever. The milk’s ripe for making this cheese. And what they do is they take the cheese and they, presumably, go through the usual process of putting rennet or whatever, and then what happens is the Skipper fly comes and lays its eggs in the cracks of the cheese. And then as the maggots are formed from the fly...

J: Ah, no. This is disgusting! Oh my god.

G: No, this...this...this is what happens. The maggots hatch and then the...the larvae, or whatever, they eat the cheese, and it turns into this sort of soft creamy...um...

J: Gooey stuff.

G: ...cheese – gooey cheese, after about three months it’s ready to eat.

J: But after...but...wa...wait a minute. But haven’t the maggots eaten everything?

G: Well, they’re...they’re...they’re kind of processing this cheese. They are taking it from being a hard cheese, probably more like a parmesan and turning into more like a cream cheese. And then...

J: So their excrement basically turns it into a cream cheese?

G: Well, I don’t know if maggots do excrete, do they? I don’t know.

J: I don’t...I don’t know.

G: I don’t thi... I don’t think.

J: This sounds disgusting.

G: Anyway, what they do then is they...they cut the top off, and then all the maggots start writhing...

J: Eugh!

G: You’ve got different ways of eating this cheese, actually. You can...um...some people, some of the locals, they take the...the cheese and the maggots and they put it in a blender and they liquify it, and then they...they eat the whole thing.

J: Ergh, it makes my stomach churn just thinking about it!

G: Others just eat the cheese and the maggots as they are. And, you know, they just scoop them up and eat them down. And...and they say that the flavor is amazing.

J: But who is the guy that found this process out? That’s what I want to know.

G: Well, apparently it goes back to the Romans. The Romans were...um...in Sardinia a long time ago and they’ve used it ever since.

J: It...it sounds...it sounds...you know what it sounds like. It sounds like there’s...there’s this poor soldier out there. He had absolutely no food and he started eating maggot-infested cheese just to survive! And then he decided it was good and gave it to some of his buddies. I don’t know. It’s...aw...

G: They...they say the aftertaste lasts for hours. So...um...

J: I imagine. Yeah.

G: But anyway, it’s been illegal to sell this cheese since 1962.

J: Why?

G: There is a fifty ther...sorry, €50,000 fine for selling it, so...

J: You can give it away but you can’t sell it?

G: The...the...they do say, actually that the trend of eating grubs in general is on the rise in Europe, actually.

J: Hm.

G: You know, in places like Scandinavia and a lot of these, sort of, fancy chefs. You know, they...they’ve taken... They all think they’re Gordon Ramsay these days and they all want to create...

J: Grubs!

G: ...something new and they’re using grubs and eating grubs and... So, this cheese could make a comeback. Anyway, it’s called Casu Marzu, if you’re interested.

J: Wow.

G: And...

J: I...I don’t even know what to say about that.

G: ...I think that is actually Latin, which is why it comes from the Romans, etc. So, er, yes, there you go. Next time you are in Italy, look it up and go and have some maggot!

J: Bah. Ugh.


                                                                                                           End of Part One

************************************

 

J: Today here with The Samba Buzz we have Shawn Moss who’s joining us all the way from Washington DC.

G: Welcome Shawn!

S: Thanks for having me here.

G: Thanks for coming on. It’s great to see you.

J: Shawn worked...er...many years in investment banking, I think. I...I think he still works in investment banking, and he’s here to tell us a little bit about some of his business adventures in Brazil and also a little bit about...er...his perspective on the BLM movement, the black lives movement...Black Lives Matters (sic) movement in the United States. So, erm, Shawn, tell us...er...a little bit about yourself. Er, how did you even get to Brazil?

S: Yeah, you know, so that’s a very interesting story. Erm, once upon a time, I worked for JP Morgan, and I worked in investment banking there, large finance. And I provided assistance to the Latin America group, um, as well as our private equity group and fund...and automotive. And, so I worked...um... for a couple of years on projects in Brazil and Argentina.

J: Right.

S: And I worked with the Latinos in our [sound unclear], and I got really sold on South America, particularly Brazil, as a sort of up and coming region of the world, high growth and...er...a place with a lot of opportunity.

J: After...after you came here, originally, then...er...you started working. I believe you started working for yourself then, at that time, right?

S: Yeah, so, around 2008, I wrote a business plan for an M&A advisor consulting firm, er, to basically help private equity firms expand into Brazil. Because one of the things that I noticed as a 5, was that as a percentage of...um...PIB, or GDP, private equity was very much under-represented in Brazil, particularly for a country of its size. And so, as a 5, I predicted that a lot of private equity firms would rush in and...er...expand into Brazil, um, but they would need advisory and also too, understanding private equity, because I worked in the sector for 5 years. Er, their deal teams would need to help to fill the pipeline.

J: Right.

S: And so I set upon a strategy to meet a lot of small and midsize companies and families and started introducing them to private equity firms.

J: Right, so, then you...you were successful with a couple of projects. You had...you had some sev...several successful launches while you were here?

S: Yeah, so, I closed...um...one “big” transaction – big, right, in...in...in quotations, big for Brazil. At the time it was the largest chemical transaction in M&A in Brazil – about R$200 million, at the time. Um, so I provided full-scale advisory, introduced that company into Clayton Dubiliere & Rice, and they thought it was a good fit with one of their portfolio companies – a $2 billion revenue company called Linus. I was able to close that in 2015...um....which was a...um...very precipitous here. I mean the FX fell 40%, the capital gains rate...um...um...fell, as a...incr...was set to increase as well. And...um, there was (sic) a lot of reasons why that deal probably shouldn’t have closed, but I was able to get both sides through the transaction.

J: So, so, in...in...in your view, after – because of your experience – what would you say are some of the main differences between...between doing business here and in...in the United States, or doing business in Brazil?

S: A lot of...a lot of differences. I don’t wanna be too nitpicky. Um...but...er...the level of...er...commitment between Americans and Brazilians is very, very different, and so it’s very difficult to keep meetings on the calendar. Um, I would, kind of, budget for a meeting to be rescheduled at least 3 times...

J: Right.

S: ...in Brazil...um...you know, just to meet with someone. And over that three times, you know, easily three months could pass. So, the velocity of business is...er...much faster in the United States. Er, you could send an email in Brazil and not get an answer for 2 weeks!

J: Right.

G: In terms of doing...er...business, i...imagine there were somebody similar to you who was Brazilian who works in the financial markets, maybe works in mergers and acquisitions here, and they either get an offer to move to the US, maybe in New York, or they would like the opportunity to move to the US...er...what sort of advice would you give somebody in terms of how things operate differently in the US, and how they should prepare for that?

S: Well, the first thing they will get hit with is productivity. So, just be prepared to work probably ten-times harder in the United States than in Brazil. That’s not to say Brazilians don’t work hard...um...but the...the type of work...um...you know, that you will be doing in the United States, in terms of how quickly he has to respond to emails, or how quickly he has to turn around a deliverable within the company that may depend on others in Brazil...um...those sort of things, those sort of productivity issues, you know he has to sort of watch out for. But in terms of knowing...um...I know quite a few Brazilians that worked in finance in Brazil and moved to the United States. I find that they made the transition pretty smoothly...um...and, you know, I don’t think anyone, somehow – I don’t think anyone really in Brazil, you know, likes to move at a pace of business, at...at a snail’s pace. I just don’t think, you know, it’s just the culture. It just happens ands I think people sort of take advantage of it. It’s like, “great, there’s more beach time” or more bar time, or whatever.

G: Interesting. Well, I guess if you’ve got the profile to work in investment banking in the first place then probably you can do it anywhere, pretty much, no?

S: Probably.

J: So...so, what do you...so now you...since you’ve been in Brazil you’ve moved back to the United States. What do you...what do you miss about Brazil, being in the United States?

S: Ooh, definitely the weather! That’s a big reason why I moved to Brazil in the first place. I hate cold weather. Um, and we’re sitting here and it’s April in the DC area...er...it’s still pretty cold. And Brazil, of course, the beaches, you know it’s...it’s always ten minutes or an hour away, depending if you are in Rio or in São Paulo. That’s why I say I have to miss...I have to miss that. Erm...you know, very much so – just being able to book a ticket and be in...er...Rio in one hour, or Copacabana or Ipanema.

J: Right. Now...now I’d like...I’d like to shift our conversation just a little bit. Erm, because, at the moment, I think there are some things happening in the United States that many Brazilians, they look at and they see on the news but I think that they don’t really understand...er...let’s say, the...the...the scope of...of the scale of...of what’s going on. So...so, let’s say, on a personal level, have you ever experienced what you’d say was discrimination?

S: Well, yeah – of course! Um, you know, I think it’s just discriminatory on its face to be the only black executive in a company of, say, 100 people.

J: Right.

S: Er...there’s something, you know, going on there and I think just, you know, my sector of finance...erm... African Americans have always been under-rep...under-represented. Especially...um...black men. Um, you know, so, but the discrimination in the United States, you know, is...is very subtle, um, because people just, you know, aren’t stupid. There’s not going to be, you know, very discriminatory, racist in your face. Um, you know, so it’s just very, very subtle in terms of what happens. Um, I would call it ‘soft racism’ or ‘diet racism’.

J: Ok. So...

S: It’s more subtle. For instance, on a corporate level...um...certain employees would get invited to the boss’s house but you would never get invited to the boss’s house or you would never get invited to golf.

J: Ok. Right. So, I...I think for...for...can you describe for anybody, let’s say, Brazilians don’t really understand the BLM movement or the Derek Chauvin trial. What...what don’t they understand about it that...that you think’s important?

S: Well, I think those are two very...um...separate things. In terms of the Derek Chauvin trial...um...I believe that...you know...they kind of don’t understand that it’s the beginning of a process of reforming police or policing in the United States. Um, this is just, sort of...um...one step towards that direction because there’s something that’s very systemic in the way...um...that policing occurs in the United States. And in many ways there’s two United Stateses. There’s two US justice systems. There’s two US policing systems. Um, two...two very different countries within each other and I think this is a part of a process to try to...um...bring up, or even merge...er...black America with white America.

J: Ok. Ok, so, let’s say, you...you personally, if you go out and you contact the police and you see the police there – would you feel...er...threatened or protected by the police?

S: Well, I think most African Americans’ interactions with the police is actually traffic stops.

J: Right.

S: Um...

J: I know...I know I...I’ve been pulled over!

S: Erm, so, you know that fear’s there because you never know the real motive while you are being pulled over. You never know what’s in the mind of the...the person. I mean one of the reasons why I moved to Brazil was because I came to a point in New York City where I was getting stopped, like, twice a month! I was getting stopped all the time.

J: Just randomly?

S: Whether I was driving my car. Whether I was walking through a park. My wife was getting stopped. She was getting cat-called by police.

J: Right.

S: She was getting, yeah, basically harassed, and she was getting patted down by police. I mean it’s...the police state in the United States is pretty ridiculous but I think in New York it is three times more ridiculous than anywhere else.

J: Right. Right, because I...I never had that situation at all. Thank God the police don’t want to pat me down!

S: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, like I was riding my BMW in Manhattan, and I was stopped, and the police says, “Is...” – he asked me – “Is this your car?” And I said, “Yeah.” And he was like, “Well, I saw the Wharton sticker on your car, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t your car.”

J: Oh my god.

S: “And...um...and by the way, drug-dealers drive this type of car.” It was a BMW.

J: Yeah. That’s crazy.

S: Yeah, so...um...yeah, I showed them my license and registration, you know, but, if it were, you know, someone else with a different personality, you know, that conversation could have go in a different way. It could have become hostile.

J: Right. Right.

G: What about when you were here in Brazil? Did you find people treated you differently because of your skin color, or no?

S: Well, very much so. Unfortunately, Brazil...you know, Brazil it’s funny because Brazil has this international reputation of being this racial democracy, and it’s...it’s anything but that. You know, in Brazil there’s this expression – “Para o inglês ver.” Right? Which means ‘for the English to see’ – and it’s just for appearances. Um, you know, every year during Carnival, Brazil...um...exports these images internationally of...um...you know – the beautiful brown and black women, you know, doing the samba. You know, so, the world kind of thinks – “Wow, Brazil has it together. They kind of have this race thing figured out.” Um, but it’s not really true. Unfortunately, in terms of race and the race discussion the United States sucks all of the air out of the room. And so, there’s no room for conversation about what’s going on throughout the Americas or even through Europe. And so Brazil is, you know, people have said Brazil is actually the most racist country in the world.

G: Hm-mm.

S: Um, and I think that’s probably a fair assessment, and yes, I was treated, you know, very differently. I mean, it was kind of a funny feeling. I would pull together these meetings with twenty people...with sort of twenty people and...um...we would have to start the meeting off, you know, the first ten minutes would be about...um...you know, how I looked African...how I looked like I am from Bahia...how I looked...how I looked like a sambista. You know. People had to get over the fact that I’m black for the first ten minutes of the meeting. Right, that’s...that was always the discussion and I would have to, you know, have it...you know...tongue in cheek, you know, but in a way it was almost like an undressing, because Brazil has a caste system. You know, so, in...in the caste system white is on top. Black or Indian is on the bottom, and...um...those kind of...you know, them trying to level the playing field almost, you know, I don’t know how to describe it. But...um...you know, besides that, you know, as soon as I left the door of my apartment, you know it would start. You know? It...it would be...it either starts with the neighbors, you know, not speaking to the only black guy in the neighborhood of ten thousand, or with the doorman not wanting to let me out or let me in, you know, the building. It was always a place...it was always a sort of a sense of ‘not belonging’.

G: So, that’s doubly bad for you cos you’re out of place to begin with cos you’re...you’re in Brazil and you’re American, so then you got the ‘double-whammy’ there, no?

S: Yeah. Yeah. But it’s also a double-whammy in another perspective. So, in Brazil, black Americans, we have American privilege, and so it’s sort of the opposite thing with the police. I never had a police interaction in Brazil. In ten years. Never.

J: Yeah? Not one?

S: The police never encountered me. Not one. They would see me on the street but because of how I dressed and how I move, they recognize that I’m black American, that I live in the neighborhood, um, they didn’t really bother me. Yeah, but the minor aggressions in Brazil – they are definitely very severe. Um, you know, I have been called the N-word only twice in my life. Once was in the fourth grade, and the other time I was actually with Bryan Wensloff – our good friend Bryan – and...um...at a sort of a bar and out of nowhere, this Brazilian professional just calls you me the N-word!

G: Good lord.

S: You know, just literally. And he just yelled it out. Just one word. This is without context. He just yelled it out. Bryan and I just looked at each other and we looked at the Brazilian guy and he yelled it out again! So, he yelled it out twice!

G: So, did you kill the guy, or what did you do?

S: Ah, well, I will just say this. The end of the story ended with this guy – and he was...he was a pretty massive guy – the guy was, you know, a pretty muscular guy. Um, he was...he sobbed. He was crying uncontrollably on my shoulder. That...that’s the way the story ended. And I’m not going to tell you how he got there! He...he apologized!

G: Yeah. Yeah, I think you picked the wrong guy there!

J: So...so, thanks Shawn. Thanks for coming to...er...The Samba Buzz! I appreciate you taking...taking your time.

G: Much appreciated. Thanks very much!

J: And...er...we appreciate your views on the...on the situations.

S: Thanks for having me on. And...um...I hope that I can come on again. It was really enjoyable.

       

End of part 2   

   

************************************


G: So, Jay, I believe you’re doing guru this week?

J: I...I do. I have the..the guru. I have a list of...erm...mistakes that some students have made.

G: Ok. Let’s go.

J: Ok. So, wha...what I intend to do with this one is, I...I made a compilation of different sentences here and I’m going to read the sentence and you tell me if it’s...er...correct or incorrect.

G: Ok.

J: And then we’ll discuss a little bit about...er...what makes it correct or incorrect.

G: Sounds good.

J: Er...so, first one. She has tried much times to raise a little extra money.

G: That is incorrect.

J: Good. So, she has tried much times. So, what’s wrong with ‘much’ in this case?

G: Well, ‘time’ is an interesting word because it’s got two different meanings. One is countable and one is non-countable. So, when you’re talking about a period of time then it is non-countable, and when you are talking about instances of time...

J: Like vezes.

G: A bit like vezes, then it is countable. So, it should be many times.

J: Ok. Great. Him and her never even asked us to lend them the money.

G: That is incorrect.

J: Ok. What’s wrong with this one? Anything with him and her?

G: Well, him and her are normally the objects of the sentence rather than the subjects.

J: Right.

G: So, that’s basically the problem.

J: So, that, then, it would be much better to say something like, ‘he and she’.

G: Exactly.

J: Ok. She told him about her decision and he expressed your dissatisfaction with it.

G: Well, your would be incorrect.

J: Yes.

G: Cos it’s not my dissatisfaction, no.

J: Exactly. It’s not your dissatisfaction.

G: Well, it could be, I suppose, in the context, but yes..

J: Yes, but it’s probably his dissatisfaction.

G: Probably, yes.

J: Few issues have raised so many problems.

G: Few issues have raised so many problems? That would be correct.

J: Ok. He...here you wouldn’t say ‘little issues’, right?

G: Not in that context, no.

J: Ok. I have numerous questions about the situation, and I hope you can answer it.

G: Well, ‘it’ would be incorrect because it’s referring back to questions, which is plural.

J: Right.

G: So, then the plural of ‘it’ is...?

J: Them.

G: ...them.

J: In this case.

G: There we go.

J: And that...that...that’s one tricky thing, let’s say, for English, because ‘them’ can be the plural for people as well as for things.

G: This is true, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that.

J: Yes. You and I should not open this package because it was not given to you and I.

G: Well, ok, yes, it would be a bit of an unnecessary repetition there. Not given to us would be...er...

J: Yes. There you go.

G: ...more natural.

J: Many students have tried for perfect grades but little of them have succeeded.

G: That would be incorrect, because ‘little’ is for non-countable and students is countable.

J: Right. So, it should be few of them.

G: Exactly. Few of them.

J: Ok. And the last one. Our friends are coming to visit us after they visit your parents.

G: That would work if they know your parents.

J: Right. But it’s probably their – they’re visiting their parents.

G: Probably...probably visiting their parents, yes.

J: And...and I...I think I made that one, let’s say, a couple of times because that issue...that mistake about sua or ‘your’, actually I do hear that quite frequently. So, that’s kind of why I included that multiple times.

G: Well, ee...even in Portuguese it causes confusion sometimes, because...um...if you say...er...um...Ele entrou no seu carro...

J: Yes, he entered in my car.

G: Is it my car or his car? So, to be clear, you’d have to say o carro dele, no?

J: Yeah. Exactly.

G: So, then even in Portuguese you get that confusion.


***************************************************

J: I think that pretty much wraps up another pod, Gee.

G: That wraps up episode 24, I believe.

J: Yep, episode 24. So, the next one will be our semi-anniversary.

G: Well, it’s the 25th episode, so maybe we’ll do something a little bit different or a bit special or get somebody in who’s going to be a bit different from the other people we’ve brought in.

J: Ok. We can do that. Somebody different.

G: Somebody different. Um, I won’t tell you who he is yet but...

J: Oh. Ok. Good. Don’t do that. Erm, probably because we don’t even know who it is!

G: Well, he hasn’t confirmed yet, but yes.

J: Oh ok. So, as always, if you wish to reach out to us, feel free to contact us.

G: ...at mailbox@thesambabuzz.com

J: Yes, please write to us. Give us your suggestions or complaints.

G: Or if you wish to come on the pod, and be a guest.

J: Right. Or if you have any great ideas about what we can talk about.

G: Or any doubts about guru.

J: Right.

G: Things you’d like to clear up.

J: Yes.

G: We are here.

J: So...

G: We’ll see you next time.

J: We’ll see you next time. Au revoir.

G: Um, goodbye, and stay safe!

J: Goodbye. Stay safe. Take care. And what else do they say in Japan...er...when they say goodbye?

G: I don’t know. Probably goodbye.

J: Er. I don’t know. Ok. Bye-bye.

G: Bye-bye.

Voice: Sayonara!




                                             THE END