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

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Vinte cinco de Março

Today, we made the trip into town to visit Vinte cinco de Março. There are many roads here named as dates. I have no idea what the significance of that date is, but to any Paulistano (a resident of São Paulo), Vinte cinco de Março is... well... a shopping essential, though Tat says it is definitely not essential. It's not our favourite place to go. It's crowded. The kind of crowd that picks you up and carries you along. It's fairly hazardous as well. I'd say, if it is a shopping mecca, it falls in that category for the pickpockets. Vinte cinco is where locals get their carnival trimmings, fantasy costumes, beadwork, jewelry... and let's not forget that its a haven for anything 'generic'. This is also where the 'dollar stores' buy their bits and bobs in bulk. We took the bus to Liberdade, which is São Paulo's version of Chinatown, except that it's Japanese. We popped into a stationery and bookstore, so that Tat could stock up on origami paper. We then went down into the underground metro to go to Est. São Bento, named after the huge church resting on the lip of it's gaping entrance. There, we stopped for a bite to eat, as it was lunch time and also to gear ourselves up for the descent into the madhouse that is Vinte cinco.

The road going down into Vinte cinco is steep. Everyone has their own way of coping with the angle ; ) The road going down is Ladera Porto Geral. 'Ladera' is 'hill'... rather an understatement. The horrible part of going down that hill is knowing we have to go back up at the end of the day when we're exhausted from shopping.

We were grateful, though, that the area was quiet today, not the usual crowds. Saturday morning will be a different story entirely... the road becomes totally impassable.

I'm so pleased I got this photo. The gypsies here fascinate me and I'm always trying to snap photos of them while they're not looking, as they can be rather... persistant once you get their attention.

Ah... finally... carnival gear! I needed to get some feather boas for a friend. The carnival trimmings aren't looking that great right now. The professional costume makers for carnival have long since bought what they need and the regular folk only go into carnival mode after Christmas. I struggled to get the little I did get.

Carnival was being usurped by Santa!

Whew! Walking space! Many of the bead shops were in little interior alleyways and many flights of stairs up, so we were really footsore by this part of the shopping trip.

The threat of rain cleared a lot of the hawkers, but the mimes were still going strong. That hill doesn't look so bad from here, but try walking it with shopping in tow and aching feet.

Back at Liberdade, I caught another gypsy. This one is a strange lady. She can usually be found with a cigar thicker than my arm decorating her lips. Ok, that was a gross exaggeration, but even Jorge commented on how fat the cigar was.

Finished! Uh... no comments please. I needed the sustenance for the trip home. My energy levels were really low. Yes, I know there are a thousand healthier things that would also have given me energy, but..... ; )

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