Finally out of Campinas for a couple days!

Trip Start May 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 11, 2009

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On Friday, Mayra and I left for São Paulo around 12:30. We stopped by her apartment before taking a taxi to the bus station (Rodoviaria). At her apartment, I was introduced to a very interesting apparatus in the bathroom...a bidet!Bidet I think I heard of it during French class in high school, but I have never seen one and was quite surprised!!

We arrived at the Rodoviaria and bought a ticket to SP. Campinas RodoviariaThe buses run at aleast every 15 minutes and the trip should only take 1 hour. On the bus to Sao PauloWe took the escalator down to the platforms and boarded our bus. The bus had a funny smell though not unbearable. One very strange thing on our way was that on the highway the bus stopped to pick up passengers! There are bus stops right on the highway! We arrived in SP in about 1 hour as the pollution could be seen in the distance and favelas in sight.  Then the traffic jam began! We sat in traffic for about 2 hours just to get to the Rodoviaria! I saw people on the side of the highway and at the median with their carts selling things to the drivers! I guess if you are sitting in traffic you do get hungry.SP
Pedro picked us up from the Rodoviaria StationFesta Juninaand we went to a mall for dinner, since he had to work the night shift (both he and Mayra are doctors doing their residencies). Pedro forgot the GPS so we stopped a couple times just find the best toute to this area. At the mall (which is known for being a place where gay couples feel comfortable being open), we ate Arabian food, and then Mayra and I walked around a little. I bought a Portuguese-English dictionary and we left for the apartment. On the way we stopped at a supermarket (these things are seems like every 100 yards is a grocery store in Brazil) to get food for breakfast. Mayra and I settled in at the apartment and watched television before going to sleep.

The next morning, Saturday, we awoke and walked to Avenida Paulista for the subway. We rode two trains to get to Rua São Caetano...the bridal street. Bridal street I was amazed at how few subway lines there were (only 5 in this massive city)! SPI was unimpressed with the dresses although the experience was interesting. At every store front salespeople would ask "vestido de noiva?" There were even places to rent the vehicleCars and other accessories for the wedding.
After that we walked to another street and looked in some storesA store before walking a LONG way to the Mercado.
The Mercado was absolutely wondrful! It's a beautiful, old building where people sell fruit, FRUIT!!!other food items, and MEAT.  Lovely foodMEAT everywhere! There were restaurant Restaurantupstairs and we ate carne seca with arroz and mandioquinha. Yummy!We then left the market and walked to the subway. However, before the subway we headed down Rua 25 de Março.  WOW! There were sooooo many people on this street where they illegally sell imported items without paying taxes to the government. At one point I noticed some people packing their things and asked Mayra about it. She said that a police officer was probably nearby...and sure enough there was!
Crazy!! We stopped at a chocolate store and both bought wonderful chocolate and ok cookies.

After returning to the apartment we watched Monsters V. Aliens and Changeling. After, Pedro came home from a course, we went to dinner at a Pizza restaurant.Mayra and Pedro We had the Portuguesa and the São Paulo. MeThe Portuguesa was the best pizza I have ever eaten!! I could taste the freshness in the tomatoes, and I loved the egg, onion...mmmm!

Sunday morning we ate breakfast while listening to Seu Jorge, a Samba Rock artist who was homeless before being discovered on the streets of Rio. Really good music. Then we drove around a little, passing Ibirapuera Park and stopping at ShoppingBeautiful mall HigienopoShoppinglis before heading back to Campinas. What a great weekend!

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Where I stayed
Mayra's fiancé (Pedro's) apartment
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