My first-first and second main destionation in Brazil (the second city I spent some time in, after Floripa)
The conference was over, and I took the flight back to Sao Paolo, to get bus from there to Rio, where I was meeting Lele.
After a long waiting in the airport for my luggage, I finally managed to take a taxi and to go to the flat where Johanna lived. Knowing that it’s not the center of Sao Paolo (which is a huge city as I’ve discovered! it is very right considered to be the second (or third?) biggest city in the world), I was expecting to see some usual house. But the place were the taxi arrived, was much more! It was an “elite house” how it would be called in Moscow, new, with a swimming pool, small garden, gym, and a pond with alive fish! This last detail was the last drop to unleash my excitement 🙂 The flat was on 16th floor, and the first thing that I saw in the dark room when I entered – was an amazing view of Sao Paolo at night…
How much I love cities at night time! When they seem to be so different and more misterious I’d say…
It was no one at home, as guys left for a party that evening.
I spend nearly half an hour, standing at the balcony, looking around, breezing that warm air and thinking – “My god, I look over night Sao Paolo!!!” beautiful moment of realizing that life is full and keeps more promises and good things than we can ever guess 🙂
As it turned out to be, Johanna lived with Rita (SSGN ER) and David (alumni from Venezuela, who was CC at IC 2003 and whom I aparently remebered – one more proof that world is so small and we might meet with people again when we don’t expect that at all 🙂
We met in the morning, when I was awake after my travels and flights and midnight reflections. I worked a bit, looked out to see Sao Paolo during day time.
I should admit, this city is the first one I saw in my life that I can call true stone jungles in all meaning of that word! Skyscrapers, skyscrapers and skyscrapers all over horizon, as long as your eye can see. I can’t imagine how people spend their life here, seeing plant mainly in their internal yards around swimming pools? And trafic, oh my god… Remember, that it’s the second world city in terms of population, and Moscow traffic will be a quiet heaven for you! 🙂
I was planning to go to the national conference of AIESEC in Brazil, but didn’t at the end. No transport was available to go directly to the place, I didn’t speak Portugeese, and everything inside me was telling not to go there – so after a long hezitation and having no connection with the aiesecers I decided not to go to the conference. How right decisions that was! As later time in Sao Paolo proved that 🙂
Actually I stayed in Sao Paolo only for 2 days, before moving to Rio. It was the first day of our AI Christmas vacations, so I decided to have finally my time!!! Had some work to do, but left that for sunday, next day. So we went to the swimming pool with Johanna, and I couldn’t stop smiling while swimming forth and back in the pool – it was bright Brazilian sun, Saturday, and the whole week of holdays ahead :))) What a life, what a life!
What surprised me (in a good way) was that Sao Paolo is a very developed city. Highways, modern buildings, huge supermarkets, business districts…However on the other side of the road you can find those famous favellas, where people count every real they have and live in the other world of impossible living conditions. In that sense actually Brazil reminded somehow India – India could look like that in about 30 years. Palm trees and hot, rich and poor, tradition and development… Interesting feeling.
But I definitely got much better feeling of Brazil’s development than I had before. The country is actually better than we usually think of it (for example, the bus I took from SP to Rio was the most comfortable bus ever, better than my KLM flight for sure). However probably it was because I was in 3 most developed spots of Brazil, big cities. On the north as people say it’s quite different.
Why actually my time in Sao Paolo was so cool: Johanna, David and Rita had a party with their international friends (UN community as they call them) for Christmas celebration, The holday itself was a week after, but people were leaving from the city, so everyone gathered at that week-end. There were people from Peru, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Portugal, Romania, Germany, Netherlands (yes, that girl was even from Rotterdam! she was on a traineehsip in SP).
It was lots of fun – we came together in a house of a guy who just married not so long time ago (crazy love story I should say :), everyone was cooking their national dish. We had even turkey cooked! and tons of other things of course 🙂
UN community was exchanging their Christmas gifts, they had to guess who presented to whom. Someone got a book, someone got wine, someone a pack for caperinia, someone underwear, someone a painting… It was all very nice and joyfull, people were open and friendly, and all together it made one of the best parties I’ve ever been at 🙂
We danced, AIESEC dances included, but mostly Latino dances; drunk wine, listened music, chatted, ate, made wishes…
It was a new year tree there! Decorated with wishes ribbons, one of which I have till now and which I will have ti seems at least for one more year, if I want all my wishes come true 🙂 it should break apart by itself, destroyed with time, so it seems I had to make a veeeery long-term wishes 🙂
I remember we were going back by car, it was raining. And driving along night streets of Sao Paolo, washed with rain, I was thinking, that that day was one of those memories that come unexpectedly and that you keep for a long time, smiling every time it comes to your mind. Thank you guys that you made it happening for me!
Johanna, I did enjoy Sao Paolo :)))