05 August, 2009

A few days in São Paulo / Unos días en São Paulo

Rainy rainy São Paulo . . .

Known as "terra da garoa" in Portuguese (land of drizzle), I expected very little from the city. As Brazil's commercial and financial center and the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere with over 11 million in population, negotiating the city's urban jungle was indeed challenging.

Luz Train Station / Estación Luz

When I asked Paulistanos what I must see while in their fair city, many were short on answers. With only three nights and two days in São Paulo, I was content to simply roam aimlessly around the town, stopping at random places to sample Lebanese and Syrian snacks, and to enjoy freshly produced mango, passion fruit, and guava juices.

Moreover, with the largest Japanese community in the world outside of Japan, São Paulo's Liberdade neighborhood satisfied my appetite with some of the best and most affordable sushi and sashimi. Halfway through a meal, I found myself drinking a caipirinha and conversing with a Japanese businessman in a mixture of Spanish and my version of what Portuguese should sound like.

Japanese restaurant in Jardin neighborhood
/ Restaurante Japonés en el barrio Jardin

* * *

São Paulo la ciudad lluviosa . . .

Conocido como "terra da garoa" en Portugués (tierra de llovizna), esperaba muy poco de la ciudad. Como el centro de comercial y financiero de Brasil y la ciudad más grande en el hemisferio sur con más de 11 millones de inhabitantes, efectivamente fue un desfío para conocer el estado salvaje de São Paulo.

Cuando preguntaba a los Paulistanos qué debía conocer mientras estaba en su ciudad, muchos no me podían responder. Con sólo tres noches y dos días en São Paulo, me alegró deembular sin rumbo por la ciudad, deteniéndome al azar para probar unos bocaditos libaneses y sirios, y disfrutar jugos frescos de mango, maracuyá, y guayaba.

Downtown São Paulo / El Centro de São Paulo

Es más, con la comunidad japonesa más grande del mundo afuera de Japón, el barrio Liberdade de São Paulo satisfazo mi apetito con algunos de los mejores y más accesibles tipos de sushi y sashimi. A mitad de la cena, me encontré tomando una caipirinha y conversando con un empresario japonés en una mezcla de castellano y mi versíon de lo que debe sonar, en mi opinion, el portugués.


DaviMack said...

Thanks for the glimpse of the place, T. Glad you're having fun!

Baino said...

Watch your back. It's not the safest metropolis in Brasil either! Love the guy in the station playing piano, could anyone hear him? You're Spanish is coming along . .how goes the Portuguese?

TCL said...

@ DaviMack - Thanks for tuning in. I actually really liked São Paulo.

@ Baino - I am. But I actually felt a lot safer in São Paulo. Right now I'm in Rio de Janeiro and it feels a bit more uncertain here. Spanish is still a work in progress. Portuguese is pretty much nothing. But it's so similar to Spanish I'm picking up things here and there as I speak to people in Brazil. At least I can communicate adequately.

Quickroute said...

Never made it to São Paulo but it seems a lot of people love it. Rio is good fun - beware of the 'HELP' discoteque - more working women than non

TCL said...

@ Quickroute - Had a good time in Rio but frankly like São Paulo better. It's safer and more diverse ethnically and in restaurants. Never saw Help. I heard about it but didn't make it to that end of Copacabana.

Visit Brasil said...

Great post!

Next time don´t miss the market in Liberdade, the japanese district!

Hope you liked it in Brasil and be back soon!

Here some links you might enjoy about sao Paulo and Brazil!