After a long hiatus, here’s the second set of vignettes from the trip, dug out from a rapidly fading memory. I thought it might be worth it to just capture the places I visited and the food and drinks encountered during the week in Brazil. As a non-alcoholic vegetarian, commentary on food and drinks has to be more hearsay I guess than what was actually imbibed by me. So this post will be about the few days in Sao Paulo.
The most memorable group experience at Sao Paulo outside of the company visits was the visit to the Sao Paulo Jockey Club on the first day of our visit there. Between several appetizers and drinks of various ingredients, the class tried to figure out how the betting scene worked in a new country and a new language (those with Jared and other Portuguese speakers nearby had an edge of course) and placed bets on horses that we thought would win. I was bang on target – if I had only listened to the Costanza rule of doing the opposite of what I think. The horse that I picked decided to throw a fit and not even run in that race .. so much for gambling intuition. On Sunday, some of us visited the Mercadao Municipal Paulistano, the Municipal market and were greeted with a dizzying array of tropical fruits and other delicacies, not to mention a wide array of fruit juice cocktails. After sufficiently filling ourselves with the fruits and juices, we headed to the Villa Madalena area of Sao Paulo and had dinner at an amazing restaurant called Pé de Manga. It was a beautifully designed indoor/outdoor seating restaurant/bar with two big mango trees that people could sit around that gave it its name. Even that early in the evening the place was bustling with activity as young couples as well as large families talked away happily as the sun began to set slowly. I got a few insights into how cold beer is made in Brazil vs. the US from my beer aficionado friends, as well as got to hear several rounds of praises for the Cachaças and Caipirinhas being served by the dozens to my group. This brought back memories of the Bodhi Tree Cafe in Phnom Penh and the natural setting in that place. We followed this extravaganza with a nice walk through tree-lined neighborhoods with big luxury condo complexes surrounded by ten-foot concrete walls and security guards on watch inside as we headed towards Por Do Sol, an amazing perch to view the city as the sun sets over it. After spending some time there with a motley crowd of other folks we caught cabs and found our way back to our hotel. Monday night was spent by many exploring the Jardins area itself, looking at restaurants and pubs in the Jardim Paulista area where we stayed. Many of us flew out to Rio Tuesday evening, so we could party an extra day in Rio ;).
Rio updates to come in a different post. Need to keep these bite-sized so I can get them out quicker ..