In mid-March, an opportunity arose, thanks to the recession, because of giant corporate law firms, for me and Scott to go anywhere in the world, do anything we wanted for a year, partially subsidized.  It’s the adventure I was craving, the escape from New York.  We settled on Rio de Janeiro.  With it’s sugar lump mountains diving into the glistening sea, water everywhere, the most fascinating mix of urban hip, glamour, and astounding poverty, we were smitten.

We’re here now, we both found jobs in Rio, we have an apartment in Leblon and our address is Rua Dias Ferreira 199. After weeks of our Rosetta Stone headsets perpetually ready on our coffee table, and practicing our toddler-esque Portuguese, we have to put it to practice now to get around, to buy things, to make conversation with anyone.

Menina na Rio is grammatically wrong.  When I started this blog (and even now we’re a bit clueless) I didn’t know that it should be Menina do Rio, or Menina no Rio, or even who would be reading it, but now that Brazilians have taken a look, I would like to maybe project this error in a charming light, as a mistake that represents our confused beginning in this gorgeous city, this fascinating country, and how much we have to learn for me to truly be a girl slipping through the streets of Brazil.

Update, January 1, 2010:  After spending the last six months in Rio, learning Portuguese, and Brazil, trying to integrate ourselves into this incredible country, we’ve moved to São Paulo. In a way it feels like re-entering the world, leaving behind Rio’s beauty, its samba clubs and juice bars and beaches.  It’s a place to continue our exploration.

Update, December 16, 2011: I got back from Brazil more than a year ago. I live in New York now, and I’m half way through my second year at Columbia University, where I’m pursuing a masters degree in international affairs. I’m trying to translate the wonderment I found living in a new place to a place that I know so well. We’ll see what happens next. New York winters do make me miss those Brazilian beaches…

Update, March 17, 2014: And now I live in San Francisco. I moved here just after finishing graduate school and life has moved in a different direction. I’ve embraced my love of delicious food and bringing people together more than ever, worked at Delfina Restaurant for over a year and a half and now am on to the next thing, although that’s still a little tbd.

Pipa

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16 Responses to “About”

  1. Flavio said

    Hi.

    My name is Flavio Filho, Brazilian. Flash and Web Designer at News International in London.

    Loved your blog, and the passion you talk about my country.
    I’m living in London 2 years now. And my plans include go to LA to study filmmaking and be US$ 200 poor. 😀

    Hope you and Scott love more and more Brazil and it’s beautiful people everyday.

    As you Blog made me remember good times in Rio, here’s my tip for you:

    You guys probably have been to PARATY (260 km from Rio). Anyway, I have a friend there that has an AMAZING place that she rents for events, Quinta do Tie (http://www.eco-paraty.com/quintadotie/en.htm)in the middle of the PARATY-CUNHA road, where I lived with my wife 3 years ago.
    It’s a MUST SEE place, a historical paradise in the middle of the Serra da Barriga in Rio. Her name is Silvia Salzmann. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, of course… So communication would not be a problem.
    And there is LOADS of places around to visit and AMAZING waterfalls, beaches, food. You can meet Juan Carlos in his atelier. He’s a talented painter that was a father for us when we lived there.

    They are amazing people, and would be really pleased to talk to you about this paradise, and give you precious tips about having fun around.

    If you go, please send a big hug from Flavio and Melissa. We really miss them.

    All the best, and God bless (as God is Brazilian I’m sure you are in good hands where you are).

    Flavio

    • meninanorio said

      Hi,

      Thanks for this comment. As you can tell, we love Brazil and Rio especially. We haven’t made it to Paraty yet, but I will be sure to check out your friends’ place when we do–it sounds wonderful. And I have to ask, since you work for News International, is there someone there that I can pitch travel stories to? A travel editor for The Times, or the Sunday Times, etc?

      Hope all is well, I was born in London and love it there as well.

      Brooke

  2. Brooke-
    Just found your blog and so excited to read it. I have one last final on Friday and then a month off from school in which I will indulge in your adventures. Miss you and hope you are well. Send me your address. I want to send you a Christmas card.
    Love, Lauren

  3. Jennifer said

    I have read your blogs and they are simply amazing. I am actually going to Rio in 3 wks and will be staying in Leblon and other parts. Maybe we can all get a drink or two together.

    Ciao!!

  4. gabriela fernandez said

    Hi,

    I have been reading your blog and cannot leave it_

    my question may surprise you…

    I am Argentinian and have been living in Europe for 9 years, 6 of them in Brussels where I am currently working as a press officer in an international organisation. But I am planning to go back to the South, Latin America has a tradition of economic crises however I heard that Brazil’s employment situation is going up…
    I am looking forward to settle down in Brazil in order to be closer to Buenos Aires but I have no clear vision of the job market there…

    Could you help me by telling me what you think about it?

    Thanks a lot for your answer and keep writing your stories…

    gabriela.

  5. Hi Brooke,

    I’m so glad to have (somehow) stumbled across your website. I don’t know how I came here, but I’m glad I did. I’m going to spend many hours reading your archives!

    You seem to have done EVERYTHING I am doing or want to do… I’ve booked flights to São Paulo for next January, bought Pimsleur audio lessons and levels 1-3 of Rosetta Stone. I speak zero Portuguese so that’s my goal for this year.

    I’ve moved countries many times before, but this time, I’m going to spend at least a year in Brazil… without a job, without knowing anyone, without speaking the local tongue (I’m hoping that will change over the next 6 months). But how can I not go? After spending 7 weeks in Brazil last year (in the Pantanal, Paraty, Ilha Grande and Rio) this country has captured my heart 🙂

    So thank you for your blog entries. You’ve brought a smile to my face 🙂 and reassured me that I must move to Brazil!

    Take care,

    Ayden Fabien Férdeline

  6. Nora said

    “Hey my name is Nora. I’m writing my bachelorthesis about going abroad and dealing with culture shocks and other difficult cultural situations.
    I would like to know if writing a blog about your stay helped to cope with your experiences and maybe difficult situations.
    Did you feel supported by the response of your friends and family and was it helpfull to write down your feelings?
    What was the reason you started the blog?
    It would be really great if you would participate.
    Thx
    Nora”

    Link to the survey:
    http://doodle.com/gbv8y8min4qpwnms

  7. edsiegle said

    Hi there, just discovered your blog, and have enjoyed the feel of what I’ve read so far. I’m a Braziloholic myself and used to live in Rio and Sao Paulo, but am sadly back in the UK now. Anyway, will read on with interest and envy…

  8. Hey are you still in SP?

  9. Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to
    assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds or
    even I achievement you get admission to constantly fast.

  10. Hi, how are you?
    We have found your blog and think that it is really interesting!
    You know that FITUR 2014, the International Tourism Trade Fair, has launched its “TRAVEL BLOGGER 2014” Competition, which this year will extend its search for the best bloggers from amongst candidates on the American Continent and throughout the European Union.
    Those who are interested in taking part in the Competition can enter their candidacy between 4th and 26th November through the app integrated into the FITUR page, http://travelblogger.es/en/2014/ . In order to be able to pass through to the following stage, the blogger must obtain at least 50 votes through Facebook or Twitter throughout the same period.
    In order to take part, contestants simply need to be of adult age and possess legal residence in any country throughout the American Continent or the European Union (except for Spain, given that another series of initiatives has been reserved for Spanish bloggers that the trade fair will be announcing shortly).
    We are waiting for you!
    Have a nice day and smile more! 😉

  11. Joyce said

    Dear meninanario,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Brazil, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

  12. […] Menina moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from America because of recession. 99. Karen decided to live in […]

  13. Joyce said

    Hi

    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

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