Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil

We arrived in Sao Paulo nice and early and right in the middle of rush hour. The cars arriving at the metro stop beneath the bus station were packed and we had to wait 3 or 4 trains until we could squeeze our bulky selves onto one. Off the metro y caminando around, it took the usual three tries to find a hotel that wasn´t abandoned or wicked expensive. Our hotel for $25.00 each for 2 nights was on the corner of pedestrianized streets and had 3 corner windows for us to lean out and people watch on the streets below. Our first day of sightseeing consisted of walking through a beautiful plaza, checking out the few remaining historic buildings the city holds, checking out a 360* view of the lego land looking city from the top of a skyscraper and walking passed many smelly homeless encampments to one of the biggest markets I have ever seen. Just as Tony (Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations!) had ventured before, we too ventured to the busiest vendor for the ginormous y local favorite Mortadella Sandwich (yes, I capitalized it.) Previous visual encounters of mortadella made me anticipate passing on this experience until I saw sandwich after greasy sandwich pass by as we fought our way to the front to place our order. Stuffed between a baguette with cheddar, shredded lettuce y bacon is 2.5inches of thinly sliced, delicious Mortadella. We stood shoulder to shoulder at the bar to eat and sadly could only finish half. We waddled out of the market passed stalls of fruit, dried cod, cheese wheels, suckling pigs hanging by their feet, ears y testicles and spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost. We walked around the crowded streets in the hot, hot sun looking for the immigrant museum we never found. Exhausted and hot we ate dinner at a sidewalk meat stand, places we would eat at for 4 meals during our 2 day stay due in part to how delicious and inexpensive they were (2 for $1.50US!) Pork y peppers are thickly layered and stabbed to cook slowly all day on a vertical spit as the chef spins it round and shaves off a little from each side with each customer. Shoved into a crispy roll and topped with a fresh salsa of tomato y onion, he hands it over for you to add the condiments. Mayo, salt y salsa picante are your first choice but after one bite you learn all that´s required is the homemade hot sauce. Unbelievably hot, worth the burn. To bed we went after some spying and muted Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Just as we begin to snooze a band strikes up below our window. Tired, we fall asleep anyway listening to the singer belt out his off key tunes.

I awake bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00AM after 11 hours of needed rest. Grumpy here soon follows suit and I let him ease into his day while I opt for a cold shower. Ready for the day at 7:30 we forget about previous days rush hour and obliviously head straight back in. This go around is much worse as we get on where 2 lines cross. It´s ridiculous and we hold the line up ever more snapping photos of the sea of people. Being crammed turns into being shoved up against the people in front of us as the train approaches and a wave of pressure swells up from the back. This happens over and over until you´re finally near the doors where people press firmly against the train to avoid being shoved to where there is no room or onto the track. Alive after that experience we walk down Ave Paulista which isn´t all it´s cracked up to be but does house a thick, tropical jungle park to hide out in, wander around some more, eat more sandwiches and by noon find ourselves done way to early. We opt to journey in search of the immigrant museum once more and success awaits us this go around. After, we wander some more, hide out at a tenador libre while the sky turns black yellow and pours down rain, and go to bed - but not before listening to the neighborhood band jam out another night.

No comments:

Post a Comment