We made it to Brazil. And despite being technologically challenged I`ve managed to connect my ipad to the hotel wifi, connect it to the bluetooth keyboard, and figure out how to use open office (sort of), all in merely a week, without calling the husband for support. Of course this isn`t all I`ve been doing, I`ve spent this time learning a few things about Sao Paulo, that I`m going to kindly share with you, should you decide to pop over for a visit sometime.
First and foremost, Sao Paulo is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, there`s some truly gorgeous areas (and sadly, some horrifying ones), there are fantastic restaurants and beautiful shops. But I`m not a travel guide, so I`ll leave that information to lonely planet and co. Today we`re going to talk about some of the more evident, shall we call them "curiosities" of the city.
Each building is responsible for its own sidewalk. Why would one care, you may be wondering, well because you get stuff like this:
That is one of the nicer streets of Sao Paulo and every building has a different sidewalk in front of it, the only unifying factor is the state of disrepair. If you`re walking around with a stroller you`ll want to kill yourself after half a block.In fact today the wheel of my absolute favorite travel stroller in the world broke clean off (the Sit`n`stroll five in one stroller car seat by Lilly Gold), and I`m not just a little upset about it.
If you meet a nice pregnant girl, and she tells you there`s a great park near your hotel that she always takes her daughter to and then her driver proceeds to give you directions, assume the nice pregnant girl has never once actually walked there. The park, was in fact no more than four blocks away, but up a hill so steep that it made the himalaya look like a molehill. The kids loved the playground, it took me 45 minutes to get my heartbeat back down to normal.
Restaurants are always surprisingly over-staffed, but you still need to lay down on the floor and flail around with your tongue hanging out to get a glass of water. It`s amazing how many waiters work in any given restaurant, and navigating the hierarchy of the waitstaff is more complicated than nuclear fission. There`s the guy that seats you, the guy that takes your drink order, the guy that takes your food order, the guy that brings you your alcoholic drinks and the guy that brings your soft drinks, then there`s the guy that brings your food plus the guy that helps him out by holding the tray or handing him dishes but he isn`t up the ladder enough to actually set the food on the table, there`s the guy that takes away the dirty plates, and of course the guy for the dirty glasses, there`s also the guy that supervises all the other guys, but don`t ask him for anything cause that`s simply not his job. So let me offer a word of advice, memorize the drinks order guy`s face, cause you`re going to need a lot of capirinhas as you wait for the waitstaff to stop wandering aimlessly around and actually bring you stuff.
Driving is the poor man`s therapy. Well, actually it`s everybody`s therapy. Neapolitans and New Yorkers think they`re badass in the car. They`re not. In Sao Paulo, people are generally really nice and polite on "terra firma" shall we say, but once they become motorized everyone turns into Mr Hyde, even the meekest little lambs. All I can say to you is if you`re on the pedestrian crossing and your light is green... well look around a few times and then say a quick prayer before hauling ass to the other side of the street as fast as the wind beneath your nike`s will take you.
This is what I`ve learned this week, and now I`m off to buy a stroller. Sigh.