Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Monday, 22 May 2006

Now you see it, now you don't

First, let me assure you all that São Paulo has returned to normality, or about as normal as it can get here. I think even the criminals are aware that World Cup football is about to start!

Yesterday, we went into town. See... we need an excuse to go to town, so we puzzled and planned and fretted till we found one. We desperately needed a clamp for our second hose pipe. So off we tootled into town.

We took the bus to Liberdade, as it has some interesting goings on regardless of when you walk through there. Just seeing McDonalds written up in Japanese, along with our bank and Pão de Queijo is interesting enough.

Strolling along, I spotted an interesting sight. It was an outdoor hairdresser. This chap had set up his trade in a square, surrounded by the bustle of downtown traffic. His client, a lady streetsweeper. I would like to bet she felt every bit as pampered as I do when going to the hairdresser.

As we walked further, we spotted the black and white flags with red ribbons fluttering above the streets. This was something new. They were putting up bandstands in various locations. São Paulo is apparently having a combination of a cultural weekend and protests at government corruption. An interesting combination to be sure. There was a distinct air of rushing among the shoppers. For a start, shops close downtown at 1pm and the festivities were due to start at 1:30pm.

Our walk eventually took us down to Florenço de Abril, the road that sells hardware for the DIY handyman and everything else they can jam onto that stretch of road. The sidewalks are too full to hold all the hawkers, so they spill over onto the tarmac. There is little room to move among the DVD and CD sellers, razorblade sellers, pirated power tool sellers, refurbished powertool sellers, sweet sellers, cochinha-maker sellers... the list goes on. I managed to take a photo at the less busy end. I must say though, compared to previous visits, Florenço de Abril was reasonably quiet.

Well, we bought the silly fitting we travelled into town to get and then went to Shopping Light. Shopping Light is a shopping center that use to house the electricity department; thus the reference to Light. It is a beautiful old building. My only complaint is that you have to go up 5 stories to get to the eating mall. We got our lunch at Jorge's favourite haunt, Coração Mineiro, a restaurant that serves food from Minas, one of the interior states of Brazil. It is what we call a kilo grill. You pay for your food by weight, which is great because you only pay for what you eat (good for kids and dieters). The food is pretty good and fairly reasonable. I got wrapped over the knuckles by a very polite security guard for taking this photo. I gather no photos are allowed of the restaurants. Guess I looked like I was planning a heist ;) Oh... on the far left of the photo, in the dark, is Jorge. I told the well-meaning security guard that I was just taking a photo of my husband as a lembrança (souvenir). Well, it was half true!

It was drizzling lightly as we left the shopping center, but not for long. We wandered around a while before heading home. The trip home was uneventful. For that matter, so was the whole day, but at least I took some photos, right?

Today was a day for darning and cleaning. You don't want photos of that :)


  1. Anonymous5:42 AM

    I love the photos and seeing some of Brazil! Hey, that lady in the second to last photo does not look to happy that you are taking her picture...! And getting "wrapped over the knuckles"-- what sacrifices you go through to entertain the rest of humanity! We appreciate you! :)

  2. melissa2:07 PM

    It's so interesting to read about the culture in Brazil.. Thanks for all the wonderful stories you share with us!! xoxo


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