Nelly Fujiko Obara is an administrative assistant at the Barueri branch office of Mitsubishi Electric do Brasil Comércio e Serviços Ltda. Her main job is to help its expatriates settle into their new corporate culture and feel comfortable working there.
Nelly prefers leaving the office for lunch rather than using a food delivery service or packing her lunchbox every day. She says it gives her an opportunity to enjoy chatting with her colleagues over lunch outside the office.
“There aren’t very many lunch spots near the office”, says Nelly. “So we usually drive to the nearby shopping centre or fast-food restaurants”. But today, Nelly and her HR and Compliance colleagues chose to go on foot instead. After a short ten-minute walk, they arrived at their destination — a restaurant where you put as much food as you want on your plate and then pay for it based on its total weight.
This buffet-style lunchtime service called “self-service” or “por kilo” is very common in Brazil. “I love it”, explains Nelly. “You can enjoy a wide variety of foods in a single meal”. Her choices were: churrasco (Brazilian-style BBQ meat), potato salad, quiche, salami, cheese, Brazilian pastel (the country’s popular deep-fried pastry snack) and French fries. “My lunch today wasn’t very healthy, but it was really yummy!” she says.
The branch office of Mitsubishi Electric do Brasil is located in the city of Barueri, in São Paulo state, about two kilometres away from Dom José Municipal Park. With an area of about 90,000 square metres, the park provides a lot of leisure options for visitors, such as a lake with paddle boats, a mini-town with a sandpit and dolls’ houses, 20 grills, a skate park, an events centre, a football pitch and multi-sport courts for basketball, tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball and futsal (a game like football played on a hard court). In the park, which attracts up to 2,000 visitors each day, people of all ages can also enjoy various types of physical activity — tennis, karate, football and volleyball (“Sports Schools”) for children and teenagers and Tai Chi Chuan, yoga and gymnastics for adults.