Uptown Mosaic Magazine

An Uncommon Mind

Brazilian Travelogue – Day 6

Today was a quiet day for us in São Paulo.  Instead of bouncing around the city we stayed close to our hotel and did some shopping.

We wandered around the large mall trying to find representative trinkets so our families would remember our trip.  My brother and I both have young children so coming back empty-handed is out of the question.  Also, our wives both displayed varying degrees of acceptance toward this trip so we have to get them something nice too.

Before we went shopping we headed to the local lunch spot to eat and watch the day’s match.  São Paulo is dotted with little cafes that serve lunch.  Paulistas gather to eat and watch futebol.  At least that’s what they’re watching this month.

I haven’t spoken about the food here in Brazil.  It’s very good.  I could probably go on for days about the savory steaks and the variety barbequed meats that are prepared here. If you ever make it to São Paulo you have to have steak.  The only down side to steak here is they don’t trim the meat which can look unappetizing at first.  No plate is complete without a side of rice, a bowl of what we know as salsa and french fries.  Paulistas love their french fries.  All in all very enjoyable.

While shopping we shared with some Paulistas how much we enjoyed our stay in São Paulo.  They were happy to hear that their city made a positive impression.  When we told them how great we thought the subway system they looked at us as if they suddenly couldn’t understand English.  Apparently the subway is significantly improved for The World Cup and by the fact kids aren’t in school at the moment.  They fully expect the subway to resume being a mess which was a kind of sad thought. If that’s the case it’s an example of how the promise of The World Cup hasn’t met the needs ordinary Brazilian lives.

The last full day in Sao Paulo was a bittersweet reminder that this wonderful journey is almost over.

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One Comment

  1. SparksJul 4, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I forgot to mention my fruitless attempt to get a sim card and international minutes. This was probably the only area of the trip that I didn’t plan well for. I just didn’t think about not having cell phone service. Being unconnected is disconcerting. I’ve grown so used to checking my phone and looking things up as I need to that being without the internet was like losing a limb. Whenever I found wifi service I was so excited and relived. Luckily not having google maps wasn’t too bad because I used this app call Mapswithme. It’s basically a downloaded map that uses your phone’s GPS. So if you know how to read a map and you have battery life you can get around. Having google translate would’ve been helpful too, but we managed do without the internet.

    Also, the women here are BEAUTIFUL. Amazing in all shapes. I don’t think I’ve been in a place where there were so many beautiful women in one place since college.

    One other note about Sao Paulo that O raised earlier is the level of economic disparity in the city. There is obviously a segment of the city that is well off. The mall we went to had all of the material trappings of the U.S. Gucci, Tom Ford etc. But at the stadium the Paulistas were clearly of a lower socioeconomic status. Reading about the run up to Brazil I know that the people around the stadiums were basically forced out to build cathedrals that will do nothing to improve the basic lives of the people who live in the immediate vicinity. It’s unfortunately very similar to the gentrification that is occurring in D.C.