Blog it Forward – Guilherme Lage Bertschinger
I was quite surprised with this BIF initiative, and even more surprised by receiving this from Marco Furlanetto, I didn’t know he had such excellent writing skills 😛
Well, he asked me the following question: “What is your favorite place in the world”?
Although I have traveled to so many places I couldn’t expect even on my best dreams, it is a difficult question. I always look into new locations as open minded as possible, and everywhere I had very nice experiences. I considered three aspects to evaluate this question: location, food and people.
As I’m more a metropolitan person, I was always impressed about big cities. First is New York, where I enjoyed from my very first time – out of three times. Whenever I go to US, if I get close to NY I always find a way to spend few days there. Fun, shows, culture, movement, nice people, mobility; and, for Brazilians, a big shopping mall. Perfect.
I cannot leave out Paris, for the culture, lights and charm – and, of course, food. I also enjoyed very much the region of Toscana, in Italy.
But, now, add wonderful landscapes, ocean, sun, day and night city into the plate, then Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is THE PLACE. A must go, I love this place! If you come to Brazil, DO NOT miss it! Come in the World Cup 2014 or Olympics 2016!
In 2005 I spent three months in Toulouse, France. That’s when I felled in love by the French cuisine, even with difficulties by only speaking English in that time. As I was there for business reasons, I didn’t save money on my every day dinners from the simplest to the nicest restaurants of Toulouse, enjoying the menus, plat du jour, and the absolutely fantastic desserts. The pizzas, the variety of breads, pâtisseries, coffees, salmon carpaccio, magret de canard, yummy! Ah, the wines!!! Bon appétit!
I came back to France other times and enjoyed food in several cities – from the smallest as Menton and Eze Village, to bigger ones as Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux.
I cannot forget the ceviche in Peru, pizzas and ice creams in Toscana.
Well, I found nice people all over the places. I was quite impressed with kindness and receptiveness of India people. Barbados people always very smiling and happy. In Barcelona their openness and willing to help you all the time. The organization, education and formalities of London people was great to see. The laud and funny Italians. The diversity of people in Canada!
And I happened to have an easier life in France after I learned French 🙂
I always think home – Porto Alegre, Brazil – is my favorite place in the world. Well, adding “home” to these three dimensions – location, food, people – where did I felt home? (see below Porto Alegre in the latest 7 days constant storms).
Not an easy answer, however, my gut feeling always points me to Montreal, Canada. There is something around this place that makes me feel home: metropolitan place, very nice people, different places, and, of course, French cuisine all over the place! The city is a real charm and having two official languages make it more attractive to me. And I experienced two completely different cities: one in the winter, another in the spring.
And speaking on home, the best way to feel at home when in another country, always try to experience having lunch or dinner with a local citizen, in their home. I experienced that with my dear friends Michael Lemashov (in Philadelphia, US), Sebastian Rettelbach (in Heidelberg, Germany) and Leonardo De Araujo (Montreal, Canada). Wonderful experiences I can say: deep dive in local culture, food and people!
I’m now wondering, when Marco Furlanetto will invite me to have an Australian meal at his home? I challenge him to also reply the question below!
“Describe your best experience in a typical Brazilian meal as, for example, Churrasco (Brazilian barbecue)?”
Kind regards and thanks for the opportunity!
Guilherme Lage Bertschinger