Thursday, 20 August 2015

2015 LAOTN - A Tourist in Sao Paulo

I had been to Brazil before when I worked for Fujitsu and spent most of the time in the Japanese Quarter which is the 2nd biggest Japanese community outside of Tokyo.

When I told people I was looking for something to do in Sao Paulo everyone laughed at me. Go to Rio for the day was the best offer of help I got.

There was only Tim and I and we chose to go 10 - 2 to avoid the traffic, good plan because later in the day Francisco and Alex Gorbachev spent almost 3 hours in traffic to go just a few miles.

Our first stop was at the main market Mercado which I loved, full of colours and wonderful food. Apparently it is not normally open on a friday but as Sunday was Fathers' Day it was open, although i like to think it was opened just for us.

The market is famous for its enormous sandwiches which you buy by the inch, not for us but great to see. 

I also learnt a lot about food I didn't know. Did you know that cashew nuts have flowers like a pepper? or that the brazil nuts we get at christmas in a shell that looks like an orange segment is exactly that, a segment in a round fruit as hard as the segment shell. Amazing.

 We weren't the only visitors to the market that day, this man seemed to have lots of fans ( a bit like Tim at conferences) and he was being filmed as well. Turns out he is star of their version of Crime Watch (I can't remember his name). Although the next day another presenter was shot dead live on his radio show and a previous presenter of a similar show was found to be murdering people to keep the ratings up.

What I loved about Sao Paulo was the graffiti, normally I hate graffiti but here it was beautiful.

 Then we visited the Our Lady of Brazil Church which is very popular for high class weddings. I loved the paintings on the ceiling and the very portuguese tiling.

Also in the shopping centre opposite our hotel where we had lunch the first day there was an exhibition of the top 50 National Geographic Photographs so I took the opportunity to go see them when I wasn't presenting.

So the people who told us there was nothing to see in Brazil were wrong.

After the event the AROUG took us to a very traditional restaurant for another wonderful meal.

Next Stop Santiago

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