I had to go into town today to get my worker's book. While we were there, we were to pick up Tat's account cards, which she couldn't get last time, as she only had a copy of her identity and not the original. We try not to carry originals, as they're well nigh impossible to replace if stolen.
The day started out well. We were halfway down the road to the bus stop when Tat saw the bus coming and flagged him down. We were thrilled when he actually stopped. That is so rare. Aside from me grouching because there were old folk standing and teens sitting in the reserved seats, the trip in was uneventful with Tat and I discussing elder respect in various cultures.
Our first stop of the morning, just beyond the gypsies (they camp out and pounce on you on the bridge to the right in the photo), was Shopping Light, one of São Paulo's weirder shopping centers. I wanted to pay clothing accounts and Tat would collect her cards at the same time. She ended up not getting the cards today, as she didn't have her proof of address and proof of income with her. It's always a paperwork song and dance, it seems.
Shopping Light used to be the head offices of the electricity department and was called the São Paulo Light and Tramway company (or something to that effect). The structure is a square 'doughnut'. There is no courtyard or anything in the center... there is nothing, actually. On two levels, the escalators go across this 'nothing' area, which isn't even done up. It looks like the back of the building. It's odd, to say the least. We decided on our way out to smile at everyone to see what reaction we get. Thus far... odd stares ; )
We went on to the Dept of Labour (or whatever it is called). The glare off the sidewalks was prohibitive. We hid our smiles behind screwed-up eyes. The process of collecting the book went smoothly, in spite of the fact that the poor guy working there looked a little lost.
The sun was baking down. We were hot and sweaty and looking forward to getting into some shade. Around us, many were wearing jackets and jerseys. These Brazilians are crazy.
On our way back to the bus stop, we were again crossing the bridge where the gypsies are and I spotted a person walking ahead of us with what appeared to be a dead cat over her shoulder. I dragged Tat forward. From the front, it looked like one of those fox fur stoles... surely a dead cat... a dead ginger cat. The cat was lying like this. Yes, really. Except it was just draped over one shoulder.
Ah... Felipe sent us the photo!
It was sleeping. The woman was eager to talk to us and tell us all about her cat. We were joined by a chap called Felipe, who took a photo of the cat. He promised to send the photo on to us when he uploads it. The woman is apparently with a writer. All the poetry this guy writes is apparently inspired by this cat. He has his book online here. I won't be rushing out to buy the book, but the cat was amazing. We stood there for ages and only once did the cat lift his head to peer at us before going back to sleep. The cat had apparently been walking (it has a collar and leash), but it got cranky and started swiping at passers by, so the woman picked it up and it went to sleep. That was about the oddest thing I have seen in a long time. Odd, even for São Paulo where I firmly believe absolutely anything is possible.
Further on, we were still talking and laughing about the cat story and participating in our favourite hobby of people watching, when a small person.... I think it was a woman... started yelling at us from behind her mask. It was one of those masks that dentists wear to stop them breathing germs over you... or breathing in your germs. She admonished us to stop laughing at her. She knew we were laughing at her and we shouldn't laugh at her because we'll die too and on and on and on. My confused look didn't have much effect on her. She carried on with her yelling until we escaped into a clothing shop. I think she waited, though, because we had her yelling at us virtually all the way to our bus stop, a good 4 very long blocks away. I suspect she has AIDS, which would explain her obsession with death and the mask... anything to lessen the chance of getting a passing virus. I don't know... it's just a theory of mine.
We were finally on the bus heading home. Tat kept glaring at a guy who was playing his rather weird music out loud. There are signs on the buses prohibiting radios and such. I eventually suggested that we plug into our mp3 players, so we could try to tune him out. Tat sat folding an origami box out of a street-side flier. The guy started asking around for a pen. Next thing, I saw him folding paper and nudged Tat. Oh cute... he was doing origami too. Not long after, he tossed into her lap a paper aeroplane!! I grabbed it when I saw it had writing and packed up laughing. It read: Tom *insert telephone number* Gata. 'Gata' is what the guys call girls here... much the way English guys will refer to a 'chick'. 'Gata' is a female cat. Weirrd... and Tat was blushing and the more she blushed, the more I laughed. And no, Tat is not going to be calling him. He is not... uh... her type ; ) Strange encounters of the romantic kind? *laughing*
Oh... and Kippy... my first birthday present arrived today. I can't wait to get reading *grins*