A Brazilian Jungle—Made of Concrete
Even though I’ve been to some big cities during this trip—Chicago, Toronto, and Mexico City are all huge—São Paulo is different. In Chicago and Toronto, it’s the lakes that give you a feeling of space. In Mexico City, it’s the fact that buildings are in general not that tall, and that you can always spot a park or some trees. In São Paulo, wherever you are (or at least wherever I’ve been so far), your view is blocked by tall buildings. Even from the 15th floor of my hotel, I couldn’t see very far. It’s a true concrete jungle.
Amanda Gottardi, Marketing Coordinator at Metrohm Brasil, is showing me around in Brazil. I’ve met Amanda several times at our yearly MarCom Meetings in Herisau, but never in her natural environment. When she picked me up on Monday morning, I had to blink before I realized that the super tanned person standing in front of me was Amanda—after a weekend at the beach.
The Local Food Hotspot
São Paulo’s neighborhoods differ a lot from each other. Around the Metrohm offices, the streets are very clean and quiet, but on my first day, Amanda decided to take me to one of the livelier areas to show me the Municipal Market of São Paulo, which is a popular spot for shopping for food and eating, mainly pasteis, fried pastries with different kinds of fillings, and sky-high pastrami sandwiches (I haven’t tasted of the two; the days are just to short to try all the local specialties!).
You’ll find pretty much any kind of food here. There’s a huge selection of fish, meat, and cheeses (Brazilians seem to love cheese—you could almost think you’re in Switzerland), but also all kinds of fruits, many of which I’d never seen before.
A Déjà Vu at Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive is one of Metrohm’s most important customers all over Latin America. After visiting their plants in Mexico and Guatemala, I got to see their São Paulo site too. We met with Luciana Pavan, who’s the Analytical Service Manager. «I really wanted to take you here,» Amanda told me in the car, «because Luciana is so nice.» I already knew Luciana from her picture: She was one of the customers who contributed birthday wishes to our anniversary magazine (if you haven’t read the magazine yet, you might receive it by mail soon—or you can look it up online. Even though my office days seem far away at the moment, it’s just over a month ago that I was editing the magazine at my desk in Herisau. And so, when Luciana stood in front of me, I immediately recognized her face and recalled the nice words she had written about working with Metrohm.
At the Analytical Development Laboratory, where Luciana works, new products and formulas for oral care are analyzed and aging tests are performed. «We have a great relationship with Metrohm», Luciana told me, «and we try to work as much as possible with Metrohm instruments.»
Off to the Beach
With Metrohm Brasil’s Sales Meeting scheduled to take place from Wednesday to Friday at the beach of São Sebastião, we left São Paulo on Tuesday afternoon to get there in time for the final preparations. Just before leaving, I got a glimpse of what I would have been in for the next few days had we stayed in the city: rainfalls so heavy that the streets turned into rivers in a matter of minutes.
There’s some rain at the beach too, but when you go for a swim, you get wet anyway, so it’s not all that bad! I can’t wait to tell you about the Sales Meeting in my next post—this meeting is a little different than the meetings most of you are probably used to!