Day 4 in Sao Paulo

My second trip to SP! It’s winter here but the winters are more like a socal winter, where it only gets cold for a few days.

Interesting observations:
-The FIFA cup ended on Sunday, the day we arrived. When watching the sports news, they’ll show how the country reacts to the teams that come back home. Teams like Uruguay and Argentina have tons of fans waiting for them at the airport greeting them like heroes. In Brazil, this didn’t happen. What I gathered from the Paulistas is that the coach sucked. The coach played soccer years ago and did not have experience as a coach. Therefore the team would’ve been lucky if they won. Such a stark opinion from the US opinion, where Brazil was considered one of the highly favored teams! The coach was fired.

-The presidential campaign is under way. Lula, Brazil’s president since 2003, has someone that’s worked for him for many years running as a candidate. The Paulistas that I’ve met hope that whoever is president will spend time investing more in the country. As in, the country needs to update its communications channels…whether by train, airplane, or car. You see, traffic in SP is horrendous. It’s worse than any traffic I’ve ever been in the states (the worst traffic I’ve ever dealt with was trying to go home at 3:30pm the day before Thanksgiving!). Brazil grew so fast that its highway system did not catch up. Considering that the FIFA cup will be in Brazil in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016, I hope things will improve for the better. It would be great to see how much Brazil advances from now until 2014!

-The language barrier is a bit frustrating. Since SP is not a touristy city, not a lot of locals speak English. I know enough Spanish to get around and I use it frequently. Paulistas understand ME but they communicate back to me in Portuguese. I can’t understand THEM! 😦 Luckily Portuguese and Spanish are of Latin origin, so there are similar words, i.e. Good morning is “buenos días” in Spanish, and “bom dia” in Portuguese. Likewise, I learned some Italian and know it’s “buongiorno” in Italian!

Food facts:
-Feijoada is made on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Different parts of the pig are cooked with beans slowly for a long time, so they only make it twice a week!

-Paulistas favor drinking beer, aka “chop,” over other alcohol.

-Pao do queijo, is EVERYWHERE

Brazil and Argentina are definitely my favorite countries in South America, hands down!!!

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