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.
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 :)
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.
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...