Sao Paulo's madness

Trip Start Feb 26, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Saturday, March 2, 2013

Act I : Suburbia

When I got to Paulo's apartment, I immediately noticed the view : he lives on the 25th floor and has a great balcony overlooking the whole area. I was impressed, it was night time, quite late (around 11pm), all those lights, still much traffic, a vibrant city. With all those skyscrapers around, I really felt I was in the heart of it.

- Wow Paulo, what an impressive view of Sao Paulo ! This city is huge !!

- Hahaha ! Nadege ! What you see here is not even the beginning of Sao Paulo, we're in the southern suburb…

- … Oh. Right. Damn. And I left Paris because it was too big for me…

Act II : Going downtown

On Sundays there is a great initiative for which we need to thank all bicycle lobbyists around here : some major streets are closed to cars and buses and are only open to pedestrians and cyclists. Paulo decided to take me there, seeing this as a good opportunity to show me downtown. Since he has three bikes, it was perfect : we left sunday morning, Paulo, Carol (his girlfriend) and I.

We had to take one metro, one train and another metro to get downtown. It took us 90 minutes (and 2 hours on the way back… Peak hour, yes, on Sunday). Paris, sweet Paris, where are you ? :-)

Act III : going to a business meeting

My brother Ludo had virtually introduced me to a friend of his and we decided to meet. He invited me to visit him at his office, which is not even downtown, strictly speaking. On the map, it really didn't look that bad at all. Paulo suggested I took the bus as no metro line was nearby my destination. I decided to leave well ahead : my meeting was at 4 pm and I left Paulo's place at 1:30. It would give me time to have a drink somewhere and "cool off" in my business clothes. Well, by the time I got there it was 3 (reaching the bus station, asking which bus I should take, wait for the bus… and the bus ride !). The meeting lasted half an hour. As I spent around an hour or so in a bar nearby (with free wifi !) after the meeting, I only took the bus back home at 5:30. Mistake. Peak hour. It took me 2 hours to get back, standing in the bus as it was full. Ouch. I left at 1:30 and got back home at 7:30 for a half hour meeting (but worth it !) and an hour in a bar !

Act IV : catching a (not that early) flight

I managed (after pulling out most of my hair out of rage and despair) to buy a plane ticket to Porto Seguro. My plane was leaving at 10 am from Guarulhos (spelling ?) International Airport. I had to be there at 9, as it was only a domestic flight.

Well, let's not throw stones at Sao Paulo : Paris is pretty much the same. Who can tell me, if you live around Versailles or similar Parisian suburbs, how to get, by car or bus, to Paris (not even downtown) at 9:00 am ? It's impossible. You're either going to get there at 8:00 or at 10:00. And in order not to be late, don't miss the window of opportunity. It happened to me when I was younger : should I leave at 7:10, I would be there at 8:00 ; should I leave at 7:15, I would be there at 10:00. Recommendation : don't forget anything home and if you do, DO NOT TURN AROUND TO GET IT.

Well, Sao Paulo is pretty much the same. In order to reach the airport at 9:00… I ended up being there at 8:00. Which actually meant taking a cab at 6:00.

Paulo told me that's why he's only leaving home at around 10:00 in the morning… because he can afford it with his job. His girlfriend though, HAS TO be there at 9:00 (like the vast majority of Paulistas) and therefore… rides a motorbike.

Sao Paulo, thanks for the reminder : this is not for me. I don't want to waste my life in traffic. Thanks. But no thanks. If I have to live in Sao Paulo, which might actually happen, I'll do like I did last time I lived in Paris : first find my job and second find a place to live that is no further than 20 minutes away. Even if this means a higher rent. My daily saved hours of life are worth a higher rent. Thank you very much.
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mom on

ville trop inhospitalière pour moi , et pourtant ,rien que le mot "brésil" me fait vibrer . je te fais confiance pour trouver , et le travail , et la vie sympa qui va avec , la mer ....bleue .. la musique surtout .. et cette ambiance surnaturelle que seul le nom apporte au simple péquin ,qui rêve ... et qui rêve .. encore et encore.
Avec toute mon affection

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