São Paulo novamente
By Bobby Neal Winters
Today a bit after 1pm, I got on the fifth plane that I've been on since Saturday. Ordinarily, I sit silently, trying not to bother my seat-mate. This trip the rule has been that I've sit by talkers. Today followed the rule except that the talker was across the aisle from me. The fellow was originally from Belgium, lived in South Africa for many years, married a Scot, and has moved back to Belgium.
Oh, yeah, and he's executive producer for the World Cup. At least one of them.
Anyway, he kept me entertained on the flight.
Today, I finish the first quarter of my trip and I passed an important milestone I'd set for myself: Getting from the São Paulo airport to the Tryp São Paulo Paulista Hotel alive. I took a cab. I know the taxi Portuguese for this. It is: "Gostaria de ir para Tryp São Paulo Paulista Hotel. However, the problem comes if the drive responds "Onde?" and wants you to give him the address. With this very moment in mind, I got some 3 by 5 cards and wrote the address on one of them.
When I got to the airport, I took 300 reals out of the ATM and walked outside. Much to my delight, I saw a cashiers desk with the word Taxi above it. I went to them, showed them the card, and they directed me to a cab. I showed the card to the cab driver, and he drove me to the hotel with Frank Sinatra playing on his stereo all the way here. It cost 126 reals.
I am in a busy part of town. I am only two blocks off of Paulista street, which is one happening place. There are two nice sandwich shops right next to the hotel. Got supper for 18 reals. File mignon sandwich, batatas fritas, and a coke. There is an ice cream parlor (a big one) across the street and a nice bookstore by it. I bought an ingles Portugues dictionary.
I also did a bit of exploring. I walked over to Boteco, which is my favorite cafe in SP. I will try to hit it before I leave, but you have to cross Paulista street to get there and that is a non trivial undertaking.
I have a long day tomorrow. I will begin rolling to Sorocaba by 7am and have a full day there, getting to renew old aquaintances and create new ones.