Thursday, April 05, 2007


Today is the first school day off for semana santa (Easter Week), so a lot of people were out last night. Since the two most popular teams in Rio (Flamengo, which is like the Yankees, and Vasco, which is like the Red Sox) were playing, plus another game, it was a big soccer night.

I ended up sitting next to a guy from New York who is half Brazilian and moved here and has been working here for six years. He went to Stuyvesant High School (probably the best or at least most competitve public school in the US), then Colombia University, then did I-Banking in New York, and now is finance manager for the subway system here. Perfect. Interestingly, the subway is run by CitiBank Venture Capital on a public concession, so he works for them. Anyway we talked a bit about that, he blasted Brazilian business culture as being politically oriented rather than results oriented. He was complaining that he deserved a promotion and didn´t get it because it required a 100% vote by stakeholders, and he got only 92%. And since it would have tripled his salary, he was not happy. He also had strong opinions of Brazilian girls (positive ones), but I won´t spare you the details.

We walked home the same way, and apparently I pocket dialed my professor. An angry guy calls up, and then he realizes it´s me and he´s like, ''why don´t we talk on the way to school tomorrow. I´ll drive. How about I pick you up at 8:30." So despite going out drinking and it already being late, I was getting up on a holiday to go to school with my professor. I´m at the university right now. There are a surprising number of people here regardless. Anyway I really like the professor. We´re going to be here all day, and then he´s giving me a ride back. Compared to the hour plus journey on buses, getting a ride with him is well worth waking up early.


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