Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Deep Rio Diving

So yesterday, from around 15-17h, Dan and I went out for a late lunch. We started walking in the general direction of the Scenarium and the Colombo restaurant because those seemed to be awesome areas with interesting, rather old architecture. We walked through these market type souks in the middle of dwtw Rio. The weird thing about them is that they were so makeshift and temporary. It was basically a huge open space covered with a roof that was made out of the cheapest material possible and then about a hundred different little shops squeezed into this space. Streets were filled with shops selling ANYTHING. We found this little place that sold hardware tools, like the equivalent of ace hardware in chicago, but only in rio and in a small shanty town like market. It seemed hugely inefficient. Another thing, while Dan was checking out some badass knives, I was waiting in the street observing some dvd vendors. All of a sudden they picked up all of their dvds and walked away from where they were. I was like wTf? turns out there was a cop on the corner, or something, maybe a police car. I didn't actually see exactly what or who they were afraid of but it was super shady. Conclusion: if anyone wants a pirated dvd, let me know. :-P

So this was really cool. We had never seen something that felt so local before. We are definitely going back to that market place.

Then, on the way back to ibmec, I was telling Dan about how McDonalds had to adapt to local tastes and preferences in order to succeed in foreign markets. In France for example, the McDonald's are much nicer than in the states. In China they're totally diffent they had to teach the Chinese how to wait in line. In Russia, people felt insulted when the cashier would smile at them- no it was the McDonald's way of doing friendly business, in the Philippines Jollybee, a competitor of McDonalds has special sauces with local ingredients and spices that tastes much better to the locals than a regular big mac. Anyway, I though we might want to test this, to see what a Brazilian McDonald's bigmac tastes like, to see if it is any different than an American one. We would also compare it to the local McDonald's equivalent -Big Bob's.
Big Bob's was started in the 60's by to two Brazilian Americans who thought they would import the McDonald's idea to Brazil. It seemed to have worked. I see more BigBob's than McDonald's here.
Anyway, the results of out empirical comparative study of the two will be posted on youtube in video form.
In sum, Brazilian BigMacs taste the same as American BigMacs take only about 30 seconds to produce on the counter next to the cash register.
The Big Bob - the Big Mac equivalent took maybe four minutes to produce- significantly longer but tasted, in my opinion, much better, far worth the extra wait. Dan would say otherwise I think.
I will post the links to these videos as soon as I can upload them to youtube.

We had a small dinner at the kilo place. Then we went to see the new movie Hancock.
This movie was hilariously awesome. Ridiculously funny and creative and witty. Not your typical superhero movie. Hancock is a superhero whose powers are very similar to supermans- the only difference is that Hancock wakes up with a hangover everymorning from having gotten wasted the precedent night. He's kind of the "im just a regula guy" supahero. And when he fights bad guys he gets into all this crazy kind of trouble and destroys stuff in passing. Awesome movie -I laughed a lot.

After that, Dan and I played chess for a bit, sang along to the lyrics of 'Garota de Ipanema' (girl from Ipanema). Went to bed around midnight and failed miserably to wake up at 6h30 to work out like we had planned. The fat cat keeps getting faaaater...

A breakfast Baer asked us to look up info for a talk he was invited to give a talk at some conference organized by the Central Bank of Brazil. We have to look stuff up about the US economy, its general status, economic indicators- pretty easy stuff to find.

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