Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sao Paulo, NYC

Six weeks in and homesickness is a feeling I've yet to experience. Since we arrived in Sao Paulo it never truly felt like I left home. More like I sat on a plane for 12 hours and when I woke up they just changed the main language to Portuguese. We still had to sit through heavy traffic and reckless driving to get to our house. The buses are never on time, especially when you're in a rush. There's a Starbucks on almost every corner and dolce de leite frappucinos are not to be slept on. Love yourself and get one.  I'm just waiting on the news that Ibirapuera Park has been overrun by Pokemon Go players.

Sao Paulo has managed to one up New York in two places though. The food, if you missed that from my last two blog posts, is just as abundant in options but excels us easily in quality. The creamy texture of cheese in each bite of your bacon and brie burger, the tender but almost overwhelming flavor of a churrasco sandwich with bacon and egg that could only be enhanced by their homemade hot sauce (because hot sauce makes everything better) and the light fluffy crunch of a few coxinhas after a lot of drinking. Sao Paulo has my stomach under lock and key and I can't say I'm ever going to be ready to leave.

As much as I've enjoyed the food here I must give credit where credit is due. The people I've met so far have shaped this experience into something truly unforgettable. They are thoughtful, friendly and always ready to have a good time.  Lizzy's coworkers invite us to bars, parks, festivals and even to their friends houses to make sure we feel welcome and that we get to enjoy all that Brazil has to offer.  Just last weekend Lizzy and I spent Sunday with our coworker Guido and his friend, Silvia, cooking and eating an array of Brazilian dishes before heading to a Festa Junina party across town but not before stopping for milkshakes. We tried to order two small milkshakes but the guy told us to just order a single large and he would split it into two cups for us. The night before we went on a bar hopping adventure to find some fried mandioca (think upgraded french fries). A few places we went to didn't have it and when we found one that did the waiter was honest and told us that their mandioca wasn't that good today and pointed us to a place that might have some better stuff. Something like that wouldn't happen in NYC, not on a Saturday night, not a chance.

Brazilians try to make every moment of life enjoyable and their efforts to share that mindset with us have not gone unnoticed. You start to take the small victories and value them more. Bus came on time today? Beleza, now your day is gonna be great. Taking time to yourself and appreciating life is a concept I think New York could take a few notes on.

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