Two buses went straight past this morning - too full. Squish room only in the third. I decided to take my chances and wait among the crowds for the new metro to open - it doesn't run at useful times - though it would be cutting it fine. The new station is surrounded by its own patch of grass, which makes for a nice start to the day. Burying my uncomfortable feet (I really don't like these sandals) in thick early-morning-cool grass is pure bliss.
Today's "Nossa Bairro" (Our Neighbourhood) newspaper's front page is news about Facebook's plan for email and such. The neighbourhood must be out of regular news. Later, glancing at the Metro News over someone's shoulder showed me an article about Wikileaks... apparently the USA is trying to take over Brazil. Whodathunkit? That should help with Brazil's neurosis over the USA.
Most students are cancelling the rest of December. That should make January 'interesting'. I have inherited at least one new, confirmed student and two others in the pipeline, which will help enormously. Fingers crossed that they confirm.
Our week was marked by overcast, muggy days and afternoons complete with thunderstorms and associated power failures. Night before last, we had a frantic hauling out of towels and sweeping vast quantities of water out the door. Brazilian housing = major leak incidents. In fairness, the rain has been heavy...
This is the river about 200m from our gate. Photo from our local news site.
This is the usual level... though the rains had already started when this photo was taken...
To get an idea of depth, take a look at the trucks and cars along the road on the left.
Thursday... end of my working week - well, kind of. There's still Saturday, but tomorrow is off and its probably a good thing. I have a zillion things to do. Today has, so far, been one of those weird can't-get-going starts. Then I got onto the bus, which felt strange... standing room?! Then I nearly fell out of my chair - oh wait... I was standing. The first clusters of seats are for the aged and infirm. A pretty girl stood and offered her seat to me! *hauls out mirror* Ok, there's grey, a few lines, but over 60??
It always amuses me when we're standing with our faces mashed up against the metro doors during peak hour and the standard recording comes on, "If you're not getting off at the next stop, keep clear of the doorways." I really, really like the new air-conditioned metros, especially in our current super-muggy weather.
My plants are loving the rain. So am I. It's a whole lot cooler with the rain, even if keeping dry is somewhat challenging.
My most recent students are far from me, quite literally on the opposite end of the city. Going to them takes me through Bras. This area is well known to all Paulistanos as being the best place to buy clothes.... literally street after street of clothing shops, both wholesale and retail. Some shops are vast warehouses and others are small. The area also has streets that specialise in outfitting clothing shops. I find the mannequin shops fascinating. This one, I caught in passing. It tickled me that the sales girl was sitting so companionably with her mannequin 'friend'.
Christmas décor is out now, but very sporadic. I was on Av. Paulista, standing waiting to cross to Conjuncto Nacional. They pride themselves on their recycled Christmas décor. Aside from the snowflakes (don't know what those are made of), the rest of the decorations are all recycled cold drink bottles, in this case, more than likely Guaraná bottles.
I snuck a peek down a passage and saw a lady decorating her 'tree'. The tree was more a bush of naked branches, but the effect was pretty. It doesn't show well in this photo though. Ah for a decent zoom...
Then again, if you don't have a garden to decorate, what's the next best thing?