Brazil is big, maybe as big as the U.S. It has 27 states, and we are visiting two in the Southeast, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo (the city) is Brazil’s economic capitol, teeming with people. Its contrasts are great--from the unemployed and poor workers to the rich industrialists. “Downtowns” are everywhere as groups of tall buildings are everywhere.
Sao Paulo is dangerous. Seth told me not to keep my purse on my lap in the car because someone might smash the car window to grab it at a red light. In fact, after dark, cars are allowed to run red lights to avoid just that.
We spent four days in SP. We saw fabulous neighborhoods like hilly Vila Madalena with its bright orange, red, or purple clothing and craft shops, not to mention the lively bar scene. We saw where the ex-pats live, stunning tall buildings, all double-gated and guarded, including one where an Onassis daughter lives. We also drove through many poor areas of the city.
We went long distances without leaving Sao Paulo. One day we took a long drive to a theatre to see a Broadway-quality production of “The Rebellious Nun” (aka The Sound of Music”) in Portuguese. We loved it.
We ate at top restaurants and with the locals in “kilo” places where you choose from a buffet and pay by weight. We visited a shopping (the Brazilians’ word for mall) in Higienopolis, a wealthy neighborhood walking distance from Seth’s apartment. (That’s pronounced Ee gene op olis”, by the way.)
We went to two museums. We learned to put used toilet paper in a wastebasket because that’s what Brazilians do. We learned that sucos (freshly squeezed fruit juices) are divine, especially watermelon.
We left SP to go along the coast to Parati (pronounced par ah CHEE) and Rio.
Some people like Sao Paulo; some people don’t. If your child lives there, it doesn’t matter.