Friday, 15 August 2008

Sao Paulo - Pre Congress

So I somehow managed to reach Sao Paulo after being in the air for about 29 hours and having very little food (they don't have veg food on board :P). My first impression of Sao Paulo was that its so much like India. And so it is-India in the mild winters at this moment.

All the buildings here are very different - different in the sense of architecture, the times they were built in, the material used etc etc. Most of them have the Portugal architecture, reminding me of the little of Europe I saw last year in Turkey. The roads remind you of the old Roman times as they are made of stones. One weird yet interesting fact is that they name their streets on dates 15 De Novembro, 3 de Dezember, 25 de Maio (May), etc etc. There are quite a lot of open squares in the place where u can easily spot fat (and really fat) pigeons. There was a road which reminded so much of Mussourie. I just couldn't get over the fact. The markets were bustling with people and samba songs. I even heard the song which inspired (for not wanting to show disrespect to Indian music directors) the music of Aap Jaisa Koi (Qurbani)

The people here are quite tall and sturdy. I won't be considered tall over here. Even the females are quite tall and sturdy. People, on the whole, are very friendly, sometimes too friendly to raise my suspicions. However, their sexual instincts get high after 4 pm, or so it seemed to us while walking. People were giving weird signs and it was no longer safe to walk on the streets even in a big group as ours. But we reckon that we went to the wrong place without knowing ;). Oh, and a interesting fact is that people think I am Portuguese and that is what I call truly exotic.

Language is a big barrier here. No one speaks English (Policemen to sales person in super markets or even the staff at the tourist places). But it is somehow a blessing in disguise. I have learnt more Portuguese in 1 day than I have learnt Chinese in 2 years.

As far as Tourism is concerned, Sao Paulo doesn't have a lot to offer. There's the Cathedral, Banco De Estado (the building from where I got to see the entire city of Sao Paulo) and the place where Sao Paulo was founded. These are pretty much the tourist spots. However, I would say that the city's normal life is a treat in itself to be savoured.

I kind of like the Brazilian food even though its very difficult to make people understand that I am vegetarian and there is very little vegetarian food. However, the fruits and milk are really good here and for someone who likes them a lot, Sao Paulo can be a paradise.

And now I am all excited to go to Rio de Janeiro in a couple of hours. :D