Flip Flop Flying

Saint Paul

with 3 comments

Not written much about São Paulo so far. It’s a good place. Several people that I’ve met half-apologetically tell me it’s an ugly city, and to a certain extent it’s true; but, on the whole, the massive amount of tall buildings that seem to dominate the city are interesting for me. It’s not a New York-style organised mass of skyscrapers; more a mess of skyscrapers, but I like it. Again, as I’ve said before, it’s small details that are the most interesting. It’s the rain shower coming over the city, turning the distinct skyscapers to a watercolour grey skyline that looks – through squinting eyes – like an old British castle. It’s the dart-player style shirts of the costermongers, each with embroidered words and images on the back and chest. It’s the smile and one-word question, “Jägermeister?” from a barman who’d watched me get drunk on the stuff the previous night, wondering if I wanted to repeat the experience. It’s the beautiful, beautiful, really beautiful women. It’s meeting an Englishman and chatting about Peter Cook half a world away. It’s not getting mugged. It’s eating the most delicious cheesy bread roll things called pao de queijo (any British or German cheese/bread combination will never be enough in future). It’s over-flowing drains streaming down streets during a storm, making them look potentially quite kayakable. It’s giggling like a foolish child at naked statues in museums. It’s a fifty-something-year-old guy in front of me in the queue in a coffee shop saying something to me; and me telling him that I don’t speak Portuguese, and him replying that I should go in front of him, because he’s… meditating. It’s the lack of billboards (not only are the posters gone, but the billboards themselves have gone now). It’s the good cinemas with a refeshing lack of guff before the film itself starts. It’s finally understanding why people like sushi so much after years of shrugging ambivalence. It’s laughing a lot. It’s hearing “Cars” by Gary Numan in a bar and enjoying it more than I’ve ever done before. It’s eating tiny baked potatoes filled with gorgonzola. It’s thinking seriously – for the first time in my life – about maybe getting a tattoo and not knowing why this subconscious thought has grown out of nothing inside my brain into a proper consideration. It’s not taking many photos ’cause the person that stole my cell phone out of my backpack at Panama City airport was an idiot and stole my camera battery charger not the cell phone charger, and I’ve not found a shop that sells a replacement. It’s shoving my clothes back into my backpack and, in an hour or so, going to the airport to fly to Brasilia to see what a city on the moon might look like.

Written by Craig

February 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Saint Paul'

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  1. Hi!
    I lived in Brasilia all my life, and the reaction to the city allways amuses me. Most of times, people loves or hates it. I’m very curious about what you have to say…
    (By the way, the best ‘pao de queijo’ here you can find in Casa do Biscoito Mineiro’ :D)

    Solange

    26 Feb 08 at 4:15 am

  2. : ))))

    that was lovely..!

    ju

    27 Feb 08 at 4:03 am

  3. Brasilia! Always wanted to see that city…Please borrow a camera, donĀ“t go there without one! x

    Laura

    27 Feb 08 at 4:30 pm

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