Once it was light, a bus-ride away, I found myself staring at a dull grey sky, a penetrating drizzle just missing the overhang where we were waiting for the metro to pull up.
The metro was crowded, as it always is at that hour of the morning. I was pressed up against the door, my favourite spot - aside from the actual seats, the door is the best place for purposes of being able to breathe. This photo was taken with my camera hoisted over everyone's heads. It is the reflection in the glass of the door.
I got off the metro at a stop I don't usually use. Now tell me, if you were a foreigner and only knew that 'saida' means 'exit', would you be able to find the exit using this sign? It amused me.
I took the bus to the British Cultural institute, a place that is rather familiar to Tat and I. It is the only English library in the city (pity it's so far) and the location of our favourite pub *grins* I wasn't there for social purposes though, but to do a test.
There were a bunch of us. I didn't count, but I would guess around 10. My little chair/desk thing squeaked every time I wrote something and sounded exactly like Specs' squeak. The test was meant to take 2 hours. It took me one hour. It was, for me, easy and for once, it involved some interesting vocabulary. For the written part, I had to develop a lesson plan, then write an essay justifying my choices. When I left, there were three types of expressions on the faces of those remaining: those who were still at the start and struggling, those who thought I had nothing to write and therefore surely failed and those who guessed I was a foreigner and found the paper easy - they were less than happy. I hope the moderators got my paper after all that. We had to leave the paper on the desk and go home and the moderator was nowhere to be seen.
The fancy Institute premises is a tiny hop away from some less 'chic' roadside...
Luckily, it wasn't too far from the brand spanking new Faria Lima metro station, which, in itself, isn't all that fancy, but the metro itself... ??
The new metro is almost beautiful. The seats are padded (ok, the padding is pure imagination, but still) and the whole lot is sparkly new. The yellow was a site for sore eyes too. I could get used to this. Oh and no separate carriages!
The metro line lies between the series of glass doors, which slide open to allow one onto the carriage. A nice security man asked me if I was lost when I was taking this photo *laugh* I appeared appropriately flustered and moved on ; )
Two metros later, I got off at another new station. This one is about 2km away (about a 20 minute walk depending on pace) from home. I promptly got lost. This station is way above ground, as you can see. There were familiar landmarks on both sides. The info guy sent me in the wrong direction. 10 minutes later, I had my bearings in place and went walking...
The area is heavily industrial, but offered some intriguing sites : )
I got home in time to snag some lunch and head out to young Maria Fernanda. My other classes had all been cancelled for the day in honour of the 'big test'. Maria Fernanda decided she was going to be teacher for the day and wanted to teach her red monkey to speak English. Too cute.