Sunday, February 08, 2004

Sao Paulo, Brazil--Day 9

Today got off to a late start. I got up and ended up doing work until about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the got ready and decided to go find an electronics store in Sao Paulo to pick up some cds onto which I could record the hippo photographs. So I went downstairs, inquired at the front desk and soon was in a taxi headed for a store nearby.

When I got to the store, it didn’t really look like a store, just a big sign and an escalator going down. So I followed the crowd down the escalator and was pleasantly surprised to fine that the store sold both computer equipment and books. So while I picked up some cds, I was also able to find a large selection of travel guides and books in English. Thank goodness. I didn’t have room to pack either of these and so I was able to get a few guides and two books to read for my upcoming plane rides.

I spent about two hours in the store, eating lunch at the café inside. I then walked around a few blocks near the store and then finally got a taxi back to the hotel. The weather outside was just gorgeous and I had a nice time walking down a new part of Sao Paulo. Back at the hotel I read for a while outside near the pool and then by this time it was 7:30 pm so I went back downstairs to find a place to eat for dinner.

The woman at the hotel desk directed me to a “churrascaria” and said that I would really enjoy it. She made a phone call and about ten minutes later a van came to pick me up and take me to the restaurant.

When I arrived, I was immediately greeted by several people, all of which were men except for one woman who was dressed in this bright blue flowing dress. All of the men were wearing sort of traditional outfits that (for lack of better description) kind of looked like pirates. Anyways, I was ushered to my seat and found myself surrounded by men, one taking off my coat, one pulling out my chair, one taking away the extra place settings, and one asking me what I wanted to drink and explaining the menu to me. On my table was a circular card with one side colored red and the other green. I was told to turn the card over when I didn’t want anymore meat. There was also a sort of brochure that was pointing out the best parts of cow to eat. Hmmm…sounded easy enough! The man pointed me in the direction of the self serve buffet. I went and got some food and as I sat back down I was immediately surrounded by men again, but this time they were all carrying different types of meat. Every minute or so a waiter would come and offer me different types of meat (this was definitely not a vegetarian place!) and even though my plate was totally full, they just kept coming. Never have I had to turn away so many men at once (I could get used to this!) but finally I turned my card over to the red side. I thought it was funny how easily I could attract attention solely with my little card--if only it was that easy in real life! J

In no time I was completely full, and was presented with dessert (who could resist?) and handed a very strong alcoholic drink (of which I thought was included in the meal- however soon afterwards a waiter came up and apologized for sending the drink to the wrong table). I paid and was immediately helped to put on my jacket and to get out of the door. It was raining outside and I grabbed a taxi and headed back to the hotel. As you can see, not much of an eventful day but it was really nice to find the book/computer store. Finding something to read and the travel guides was really a highlight because I’ve found that I would rather read something than watch American Idol re-runs!

Tomorrow its my last day in Sao Paulo and then its off to Buenos Aires, Argentina! Unfortunately all of the museums are CLOSED on Mondays (of course, just my luck) and so I’ll have to figure out something to do tomorrow. Until then…

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.