Welcome back to Uptown Mosaic’s An Uncommon Mind, dear reader and blog enthusiast! It’s been a long time since we spoke (a really long time). I’ve been here and there and everywhere but not here. Life has been mostly good. I’m excited to back in the blog saddle. Hopefully you’re excited to read it.
This week is all about the World Cup, specifically my stay in Brazil. A few years ago when I realized the year of my 40th birthday coincided with 2014 The World Cup I decided I had to go to Brazil. The wife, like most wives with husbands expressing interest in traveling to Brazil without them, didn’t agree. My passion for soccer (or as I’ve committed to pretentiously calling the sport while in Brazil, futebol) is deep so I wasn’t letting go. Eventually she accepted that resistance was pointless. It was supposed to be a group trip but it ended up just being me and my older brother. On Saturday we boarded a plane for a 9 hour flight for a seven day stay in São Paulo, Brazil.
So far this has been an interesting trip. São Paulo is a massive city. Imagine New York, DC, Chicago, and Atlanta crunched into one super city. That was my impression of São Paulo as we drove into the city from the airport. High rise buildings shot up on either side of the highway and off in the distance favelas blended into the mountains. São Paulo is a city of some 22 million people. For perspective my brother pointed out the entire population of Brazil’s neighbor Uruguay is 3 million.
The first thing I learned in São Paulo is that very few people speak English. I didn’t expect the general population to speak English but I assumed hotel workers would be conversational in English. Not so much. The attitude here is basically “fuck your English we speak Portuguese here”. We went to a restaurant said hello to the hostesses, they giggled and immediately seated us in the section with the one waiter in the whole restaurant who spoke functional English. To avoid the ugly american stereotype I plan on becoming fluent in Portuguese before I leave here.
The next thing we learned is don’t expect to shop before 2 pm on a Sunday because nothing is open. Matter of fact many stores, restaurants and cafes don’t open at all on Sunday. As we searched for bars to watch futebol we were greeted by, “closed on Sunday” time after time.
Anyway day one has been eye opening fun. We’ll see what rest of the week holds. Until next time, boa noite!