Another morning on a bus. Its like everywhere is a night ride here. I don’t really realise where in Sao Paulo at all, til we hit the bus terminal. Its early in the morning like 5-6am. And its heaving with people already. Its ridiculous. The ride on the metro with backpack and dayback was an interesting mission considering the numerous changes that had to be done. Not to mention it was peak hour!
Welcome to the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere – Sao Paulo. A city that has a population not far off Australias total population. A heaving mass of people and different cultures. Its sort of a melting pot of Brasil and South America.
I book my self into Gol Backpackers (its close to Avenida Paulista) and settle in. Breakfast is still going, so I tuck into a bit of that and get myself all cleaned up.
I head on up to buy a phone (mine’s decided to die mid-flight over the pacific ocean) and a sim card. Both are easy to buy here (even with being a foreigner. Its just registering the sim card, thats the problem. And a need for the CPF to be used once again. So I wait til I see Fernanda to sort that out.
I end up walking up and down Paulista Avenue (the main street of Sao Paulo). Its not a business hub, but its got plenty of stores and things to see. But I don’t really do a great deal.
I do investigate the tranquil Parque Trianon (or Parque Tenente Siqueira Campos). Its not a fancy park, and its nothing ‘special’. But its a good piece of greenery in the hustle and bustle of the skyscrapers nearby.
Later on that night, I head off to meet Fernanda (a friendly brasileira I met in Germany in 2010). She’s taking me out on the town. Well, we’re catching up. We meet at the Shopping Paulista. A huge shopping mall at the southern end of Paulista Avenue.
We catch up for a little bit, and sort out my phone. And then head off. Fe is taking me to my first Caipirinha bar called Veloso Bar. Its out in Vila Mariana, a short metro ride away.
Oh the metro in Sao Paulo, is so efficient. Fe actually sorts out a Bilhete Unico. Its the cities version of the Oyster card. And you just need to keep it topped up.
The bar itself, is quite small and cozy. Its so small, that the large throng of people who are here, are standing out in the streets. Something I still cannot get my head around. There are waiters coming around serving beer in flute glasses (another thing that does my head in) and also a tasty little treat called Coxinha.
The waiters actually give you a piece that is kind of your bar tab. You take a beer, and they tick a beer off. You take a coxinha, and they tick a coxinha off. They add the various types of caipirinha’s to the list as well. And at the end you pay for it.
The Caipirinha’s in this place were amazing. I’m not an entirely big fan of cocktails, but this little concoction has won me over. Easy to drink and smooth. And the varieties were incredible. It was a great enjoying a few of these while catching up with Fernanda. It wasn’t a rollicking big party (we caught the last train home) but it was just a fun and sociable evening.