Yes, the "Brazilian way" is an almost fixed expression (there is even thesis in English about it.) to refer to the workaround ways to fix things and survive in Brazil. It´s a bit of the European Portuguese legacy, many people say.
Fact is, many people have said "Brazil is not for amateurs", but then, no country is, he he.
Indeed, it´s necessary to have friends and people in the know, in Brazil to navigate the culture. Yet, as in any other country in the word. After a while, one adjusts and never will be the same as s/he was.
Indeed it´s a matter of perspective, or lack of it. Other times, it´s a matter of personal agenda. But this is another can of worms altogheter.http://www.gringoes.com/articles.asp?ID_Noticia=2628http://www.gringoes.com/articles.asp?ID_Noticia=2645
On the other hand, many times people talk about Brazilian ways of doing things, then they call it "Brazilian creativity" on handling situations at work etc, even when things gets hairy.