Published: January 22nd 2011January 22nd 2011
The Question: Who would have thought that 5 a.m. on Saturday morning would be the only time I could find in a week to write an entry? The answer: Anyone who has been here.
Besides my necessary mid-afternoon naps while the daily thunder storm passes through, all other moments of my life for the past 8 days have been full to the brim with too many different things to count.
Music. Class. Food. Friends. Beer. Sun. More Class. Bars. Walks. Graffiti. Dancing. Caipirinhas. Buses. Taxis. Trains. CITY. = Awesome.
In what already seems like months, I have had an incredible amount of experiences I can't even begin to describe.. But for the sake of my loyal readership, I can try at least a couple.
The people here are incredible! From my classmates to my new Brazilian friends to the awesome and accommodating staff at the council to the strangers you meet and talk to at the bar, they are what make this trip so great. I have found that although all of the other students and I are incredibly different in many ways, we also have so much in common! These people love life, especially Brazilian life, every day. Living it up with them has been the real blessing of being in Brazil so far.
So, about class:
My schedule will be changing this coming week, but this past week it was as follows:
8:00-11:30ish - Language class at the council with my Professor Sergio
12:20-1:20 - Brazilian Culture and Identity at the PUC(Pontifícia Universidade Católica do São Paulo), pronounced "Pookie"
So far I have loved every minute of what we have learned in both classes, and find them extremely interesting. It turns out, rather randomly, that my very first Portuguese language teacher at IU, Stephaney Wright, was also a student of my current teacher Sergio when she studied here in Sampa! How awesome is that?!? Now he calls me his grandkid.. :)
Next week I start classes later in the morning, thank goodness, but I must say it has been nice being done and free to explore and/or sleep all afternoon.
Typically, the thunderstorms, (which happen every day during the summer here,) come around the same time every day 2:00-4:30. Today's was PARTICULARLY ridiculous. I got home just in time, which has happened the last couple of days really, and was in my room when the loudest thunder crash I've ever heard came rumbling into my ear drums. To the surprisingly soothing sounds of pouring rain on my window, and thunder and lightening terrorizing the thousands of pedestrians still on the street below, I slept for a gorgeous 4+ hours until my momma got home around 7.
At this point, after a long week of working hard for the São Paulo Metropolitan Transit Authority, she decided the best thing to do would be to break open the bottle of Johnny Walker Red she had lying around. We sat and drank our Scotch on the rocks while talking about the different kinds of music that we both love and have in common, and I shared with her a few things she hadn't heard, including an original or two. We decided then that we wanted to learn to sing and play a duet of a song we both like in Português, which we attempted for a bit before giving up and going to have dinner. She made a wonderful sort of Beef Stew, which for those that know me and my typical dislike for soups of any kind, is a quite the compliment.
After a delicious dinner and a couple of drinks, and after saying for several hours to my mom that I had no plans whatsoever to go out and party tonight... my phone began to beep like crazy until Fátima finally said "Brente, voce tem que sair, não é? Tem que aproveitar de todos os momentos possiveis!" or, "Brent, you have to go out, you have to take advantage of every moment!" And so I did. Here I am nearly 8 hours later and an hour before sunrise telling you it was worth it! After some exploration of the city with Toni, Rachael, Androu, Alex, and Shanika, a few of us finally settled on a hoppin' grungy/underground bar called "Zé Presidente" or "Joe President," where an absolutely amazing Brasilian Beatles cover band was playing a show for the ages! When they sang Sgt Peppers LHCB as an encore in nearly perfect beatles form, I was blown away! Afterwards Rachael and I continued dancing like crazy to the eclectic mix of 80's hits and Brazilian favorite anthems until nearly 5, at which point we caught a cab home from our newest friend Paulo the taxi driver. Paulo happened to show at just the right time to take us home, after having dropped us off there several hours earlier, and offered his number and future services whenever we are in need of a reliable ride around sampa. All of this brings me to now, where I am just thinking about how thankful I am to be here.
After days of spending time walking incessantly around this city, I feel I already know it better than I expected. I am comfortable with the people, the layout, the suicidal traffic, and the lifestyle, to a point where I hardly can imagine ever wanting to leave! I will always have a huge part of my heart in San Cristobal, Venezuela; as well as in Indiana, but I will definitely be leaving some more of it here in São Paulo when I leave for Salvador in a bit less than three weeks.
There is so much more to share but really no proper way to share it, so I will leave it open to specific, (or not so specific,) questions if anyone has something they are dying to know!
Now, I must try to sleep, because in less than three hours I will be waking to go with the group to Pinacotecas, one of Brazil's largest and most important Art Museums. After that I will be going to my new friend Kiko's house for soccer and a Churrasco, followed by Lari's birthday party in the evening at Sigalavaca Kareoke! :P
Paz, minha gente!!