Monday, May 12, 2014

Sao Paulo: first impressions

Olá, Brasil! Arriving in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a trailing spouse to Greggles provided the excitement of adding another continent to the list, and for me the first time I've been below the equator in 16 years. 

I've been reading up on this sprawling city (3,090 square miles!) with 20 million residents, and the major thread running through it all is ... crime. Oh well - you just cannot openly carry anything of value and you should be okay. And avoid motorcycles, especially those with two riders.

My impressions from our first few hours here ... 

Lots of serious poverty - we're talking desperately poor.

Graffiti everywhere, even in posh neighborhoods.

Traffic. All the time. What do you expect with 20 million residents plus visitors?

Amazing, amazing espresso - thank goodness for our access to the executive lounge at the hotel, with constant access. Coffee helped create this city.

Very meaty culture ... everything is about meat and I'm guessing that vegetarians have to look for options. Churrasco flavored potato chips, even. And what's up with the abundance of white bread? Weird...

And we really need to figure out a few words of Portuguese ... even with the World Cup coming here in a few weeks, signage is not in multiple languages and English is not something you hear a lot.

Portuguese is an interesting language - it sounds like what happens when you put Spanish, Japanese and French in a blender.

We will be venturing out a bit tomorrow, so I look forward to exploring more of local culture and maybe finding a good caipirinha!

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