Arrived in Sao Paulo earlier today around 7am local time (5am NYC time). After an hour in line waiting to go through customs, a nice gentleman helped me find my checked baggage (Me: “How did you know this was mine?” Him: “I guessed from the name listed on the tag..”). I wandered around outside the airport for a while until I figured out where the hell the damn shuttle service was to our hotel. Passed out on the bus, asked the lady next to me (in terrible Portuguese) if she knew when my stop would be. Around 11am, I finally arrived at the Landmark Hotel, where our orientation is being held.
THANK GOD. Thank god for air conditioning, for couches, for a toilet, and for wireless internet.
After a shower and a good deal of putzing, I made plans to meet up with the daughter of an old Portuguese language professor who happened to be in Sao Paulo as well. Gabi met me at my hotel (so nice! I was not yet feeling up to leaving my comfortable air-conditioning for the cruel non-English speaking world outside) and we wandered around. She introduced me to ‘coxinhas’ (cooked chicken stuffed into little dough balls that are then deep-fried) and some ‘suco fresco’ (fresh fruit juice) at a mediocre little deli-type store. I say mediocre not disparagingly, but because it really was just your average coxinha-and-suco-selling establishment.
Discovered that all consumer goods are as expensive as a Times Square hooker. Okay, maybe more. $70.00 for some fucking Cetaphil face lotion. Fuck.
Then we found the mall. Nothing special here. Just like in the American suburbs. Move along now.
We made our way back to the hotel, tired and sweaty from all the walking. Discovered that the water from the tap is indeed drinkable, but that this is not common. WUT.
Met up with some fellow researchers who had since arrived at the airport, and had some dinner.
I’m pooped. There are so many errands I must run. Brain. Hurts. Sleeping. Now.
Sao Paulo: 1. Rayray: 0. Zzzzzz.