Sao Paulo

Trip Start Aug 31, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, September 9, 2007

We arrived in Sao Paulo on Friday in the afternoon & had a crazy taxi ride to our hotel! Lane markings mean nothing & there is obviously no speed limit either!

Sao Paulo is a huge city of between 19-24 million people ... they donīt know the exact figure as they donīt do censuses & there are many homeless & people living in shanty towns (favelas). Our hotel was in the gay quarter, so it was a very lively & interesting place to be!

On our first night our tour guide took us for a walk of the historical quarter. There is a beautiful cathedral (which was only built this century, but looks a bit like Notre Dame) and other interesting buildings & parks. Such a big city has a lot of history! After the walk we had dinner (another MASSIVE plate of various meats), then went for a drink near our hotel. It was one of the girlīs birthday on the saturday, so after midnight, we tried to order some shots to celebrate. They donīt seem to understand the concept of shots & gave us nearly a full glass of chaįasa ... an evil liquid made from sugar cane that is about 55% alcohol. Never, ever try to drink it straight!!!

Chrisso had an interesting experience at the gay bar ... he went to the bathroom to find the mens room locked. He asked the guy next to him if he spoke english, which he didnīt, so he pointed at the mens & ladies toilets & the man just shrugged & went into the ladies. Not knowing what else to do, chrisso barged into the menīs toilet, only to find the lights off and two men having an ... um ... intimate moment! After quite a few beers, the only word in portugese that sprang into his mind was Obrigado, which means thank you ... and was not particularly appropriate for the situation! Needless to say, he used the ladies instead.

I woke up on saturday feeling quite ill with chaįassa poisoning ... no more caipiriniahs for me for a while! Every one was feeling a bit rough around the edges, so we had a slow day. Sao Paulo is massive, but so we caught the metro & then walked a little to MASP, the art museum. When we arrived, some of our fellow tour people advised that half of the museum was closed due to renovations so it wasnīt worth going in. We went for a long work to Ipiburpuera Park, found ourselves a shady spot amongst the millions of locals who were also there & had a well earnt rest!

As it was Janaiīs birthday, in the evening we went to the bar on the 42nd floor of the Edificio Italia, the tallest building in Sao Paulo. It was a bit of a fancy bar, we didnīt feel like backpackers at all! The view was amazing, the city is enormous and stretched out to the horizon in every direction.

After a few drinks and 2 birthday cakes (Brazilians love cake! Especially for breakfast!), we all split up to get a bit of dinner, then went out to the Carioca Club at 11pm. It was awesome! The crowd was full of great dancers, everyone was salsaīng! There were two bands, with some dancers on stage in between (3 guys & 2 girls)... you would never see something like them in a club in australia (not the ones I went to, anyway!), they werenīt wearing much and shook their booty & everything else they had in a very suggestive way! Brazilians are not shy! We made some friends with some people who were excellent dancers ... the guys spun us girls around the dance floor a few times, and showed the guys how to bump & grind ... even Chrisso was out there shaking his booty! We still canīt believe that none of us took our cameraīs ... it was such a fun night!
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