Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sao Paulo Day 6

Work has been brutal this past week, far harder that anything we encountered in Shanghai, so opportunities for wandering around have been few and far between.  I have also been counselled by work colleagues about realities of Sao Paulo life - I've been advised against using the metro/train to get to the office, not to open my rucksack in the street (wait until inside Taxi), carry only a minimum of money with you and don't show off my watch (a battered G-Shock).  Better to be safe that sorry, but I think its a bit extreme nonetheless.

So in the few hours in between work, taxi and sleep I've managed to sample a few Brazilians meals.  Every single one contained meat of some kind, the majority of which were huge chucks of dead cow.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for a hunk a steak now and then, but this is taking it to the extreme.  Where in the UK, the meat portion is smaller than the vegetable portion by quite a lot, hear the opposite is true.  Huge steaks with a spoonful of salad to help you along!

The 'traditional meal' of the Brazilian people is a beef steak (of some sort), rice, black beans and a little salad.  Its pretty good, only problem is:
  1. The meat is also always well-done to the point of being able to bounce it
  2. So much salt is used it burns my lips.

Bangers, mash and onion gravy every time for me I'm afraid!

I have discovered that desserts are not really that common (unless its ice cream) and chicken nuggets (I forget the Portuguese translation) are looked on as some kind of food of the gods (wtf!?!)

I've also tried some new (to me) fruit - Kaka, which looks like a tomato but is almost toffee-like in taste and sweetness, papaya (heard of, but not had before), which I found to be mleh to eat and very bleugh to drink as juice and finally guarana, which is a Brazilian berry sold as a caffeine soft drink (and very nice it is too).

The street sellers can also be seen pushing cart loads of coconuts around as well - these still have their original green husks around them and the sellers just drill a hole and plonk a straw in and your away!

I've been taken out a couple of times by the guys I'm training, which has been fantastic - the first occasion I was forced to try cacha├ža - a cane sugar liquor that tastes and resembles ethanol.  Lets just say that doing the training the next day was very hard work...

Finally, the sun comes out

Today was the first day this week that the sun shone for longer than about 10minutes.  It also didn't rain.  As a result I've done some wandering and managed to fit in a 10k run first thing.  I may have at last earned a steak this evening...
Paulista Avenue used to be lined with Mansions like the this one (apparently), unfortunately now all mostly cleared for ugly tower blocks.  This building is in a sorry state, but is beautiful
What you can't quite see is the 3 metre wide cobweb stretching from the statue to the tree...
I walked over to Paulista Avenue with a view to walking to Paceambu stadium where the museum of football is, but I soon realised that I was never going to make it in time so I ambled back via a couple of secluded urban parks.  Felt a bit perved out as I appeared to have stumbled into a park reserved especially for secret lovers (snogging going on everywhere!), but I think it will be about as close to the amazon rain forest as I'm about to get on this trip.  By far the coolest thing I noticed was the 3 metre wide cobwebs between the trees.  perhaps I should have had that yellow fever jab after all.
Welcome to the Jungle, we've got fun and games...
Hopefully get to the museum of footy tomorrow and then an afternoon of prep for the coming week of training - such fun!

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