Trip Start Jun 23, 2011
27Trip End Aug 30, 2011
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Sao Paulo is one of the five largest cities in the world, and it has a wide range of restaurants and cultural offerings. However, we didn't really try many of those things. When we travel our favorite parts are generally not the big cities - we get all we need of that at home. We usually like cool smaller towns, places with beaches or other great natural features to explore
We walked around the neighborhood, Jardins, a bit. We went to an Irish pub in the area to watch the opening game of the Copa America - the soccer tournament for the championship of South America. It is in Argentina and it started on Friday. The opening game was a 1-1 tie between Argentina and Bolivia. The bar was kind of a scene, and we may have been the most interested of anyone there in the match. Our interest was held by a soccer drinking game that we developed during our last vacation, which was in Europe during the Euro in 2008. Basically, each player chooses one of the teams and you drink when ever anything happens - foul on your team? Drink. Corner kick for the other team? Drink. Yellow card for your team? Take three drinks. They show your team's coach on TV? Drink. And so on. The rules have been refined over the years, and it's a pretty entertaining way to watch a game.
The next day we met up with my friend Catliane, who lives here but started a secondment in Zurich the same day I did. She took us to Sao Paulo's most famous churrascuria, Fogo de Chao
In case you don’t know, a churrascuria is a Brazilian barbecue where they bring around a huge variety of meat on skewers and serve you at your seat as long as you have your little placard turned to the green side. When you are done or if you just need a break, you turn it to the red side and they stop bringing the meats to your table.
They also have a pretty spectacular salad bar, so K was able to get her fill. And, because of peer pressure from me and not to be awkward since Catliane took us to a steakhouse, she ate a very small (like two bites) piece of filet mignon, and a whole (very thin) slice off the skewer of the picanha, which is my favorite thing at a churascurria. I was extremely impressed. She said she liked the filet better, though, which just goes to show that her meat tastes are not yet very refined.
The meal was great – the food, catching up with Catliane and remembering old times in Zurich like the first day there, our trips to IKEA, seeing Shakira, and other stuff. It was a fun afternoon and the most fun we had in Sao Paulo. On Sunday we go to the Iguacu falls – one of the largest waterfalls in the world (according to the Rough Guide, it makes Niagara look like "a ripple". We shall soon see.)