Critical Section

from São Paulo

Monday,  11/10/08  05:14 PM

This is coming to you from São Paulo, Brazil, where I must tell you I am running a sleep deprivation experiment; I left my house on at noon Sunday, flew to São Paulo via Dallas, arrived Monday morning (there is a six hour time difference from L.A., up from the usual five because Brazil is on their daylight savings time, as it is late Spring here), gave a presentation / demo for customers and prospects at Diagnostika, a Brazilian reference lab, and then went out for a fabulous dinner at a Brazilian steak house.  And am now blogging.

Sao Paulo - a mix of old and new
São Paulo - a mix of old and new and BIG

First impression - São Paulo feels much like a European city, perhaps in Spain somewhere, although it is huge, bigger than Madrid, bigger than you could even imagine (well, certainly bigger than I had imagined).  I am told 10M people live here.  Wow.  That is way bigger than Los Angeles, even including all the environs.  Another impression: I'd always thought I never really got anything out of having studied Spanish in high school, based on my trips to Spain, but now I realize it truly did help, because here, where everyone speaks Portuguese, I know nothing at all.  Not even yes (sim) or no (não).  Not even hello (olá) or thanks (obrigado) or please (por favor).  Or sorry (descuple).  I had to learn all this today, on the fly :)

Sao Paulo - Diagnostika, a reference lab and Aperio customer
Diagnostika - a reference lab and Aperio customer - in an old Turkish home

I made a presentation (in English) along with Aperio's South American channel manager, who is/was Brazilian, and who translated where necessary, and it went great, and then we did some demos, and they went greater; it is always fun to see pathologists and lab managers socks flying when they see digital pathology in action :)  We had over thirty people attend, nearly twice what we'd expected, and overall it was a big success.

Sao Paulo - a Brazilian steak house
A Brazilian steak house - they slice joists of meat right at the table

Wrapping up we had dinner at a Brazilian steak house, a fixture in the South apparently, where they bring a continuous stream of joists of meat right to your table, and slice them to order.  Really amazing, accompanied by a delightful Chilean Cabernet.  I believe I will have to ride for a week to compensate.

And so ends day one!  Tomorrow I move on to Rio de Janeiro, stay tuned...


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