Last Monday I flew down to Sao Paulo to meet with one of my customers for a couple of weeks. I had concerns when I caught the bug that so many people in Utah have about a six days before my flight. Fortunately, a long ride at 32,000 feet did wonders for my sinuses. I think the humidity here in Sao Paulo has helped, too.
Coming to Brasil, to be entirely honest, has been a great experience for me because on my first trip here in 2000, I became pretty ill. And I don't me "ill" or "sic" in a good way. This has been akin to getting back up into the saddle after falling off the horse. I also had concerns about the potential muggings but I think the key is to follow the sage advice of experienced travelers and things have been quite fine.
One piece of advice was to avoid carrying a digital SLR openly as you can attract the wrong kind of attention, e.g., muggers. So I left the Nikon at home and trusted instead in the handy little camera built into my mobile phone. This little machine sports a solid one megapixel sensor and an unspecified amount of memory. But despite those not-so-impressive specs, I've had some fun taking a few shots.
First is a shot out of the 9th floor window where I've been working. The weather has been mostly cloudy with some good summer rain storms as you can see here.
Our hotel happens to be about five blocks from an enormous city park which we visited on Saturday and Sunday. We stopped at a little convenience store en route for a some agua (but not the "con gas" kind.) We also saw a few rather charming homes along the way.
The park was simply incredible for a number of reasons. First, you suddenly felt like you weren't in one of the biggest cities in the world which is pretty impressive for a city that boasts a population of about 20 million in the metro area.
I haven't been in a place where I could capture a good photo of the city's skyline but I did find one over at wikipedia that allows me to post the photo if I promise to cite them (see here.) This gives you a sense for the vastness of the city.
Secondly, the park itself is incredibly beautiful. And the Sao Paulistos (is that the right thing to call the people of Sao Paulo?) really take advantage of their parks. I'm pretty certain that at least 10% of Sao Paulo made a visit to the park today.
I believe that Sao Paulo is far enough south that it does not technically fall within the tropical zone* but it is definitely more humid than home. The park even had several flowering and "jungle" looking trees that I had not seen before.
The food has been great as well. Last night we visited a churrasceria. If you like meat, lots and lots of red, red meat, a churrasceria is the place for you. For some reason that I have not been able to nail down, we decided it would be a good idea to go for churrasco two nights in a row. Tonight we're going vegetarian--to an indian place that hopefully offers beef-free dishes.
* I am no expert on climate and am willing to stand corrected on this statement.
PS--episode three of CJ3's podcast "Dingy Room in a Nowhere Town" is up at http://blog.caryjudd.com. We conducted this interview via Skype between Idaho and Brazil. Isn't technology pretty neat?