Sao Paulo is a fascinating city. I am amazed at how comfortable I feel here already. Not being able to speak Portuguese yet makes things a little tricky, but I am lucky to be here with many expats who are willing to navigate the city and order food for me as we get acquainted with our new home. Speaking of food, they really do speak my language here: meat. So much meat. My first meal here consisted of two different cuts of steak, a pork chop, a piece of sausage, and some chicken, shared between the table, and we helped ourselves to a cold salad bar. I was so full from that meal that all I had was a small sandwich I made from the contents of my well-stocked fridge and pantry at my apartment in Moema.
An apple and granola bar kept me satiated the next morning while we stopped by the doctor’s office for the required physical exam for work. Then, omelets and sandwiches from a local bakery, paired with fresh juice, hit the spot.
Last night, I had my first caipirinha–delicious and strong!–feiojada–a pureed bean soup served with parsley and bacon– and picanha do juarez fatiada, which is a raw steak seasoned with salt and garlic–thinly sliced–which you cook at your table on a hot griddle.
This is served with sort of a pico do galo, coleslaw, and farofa, which is described as a “dressing” but most closely reminds me of breadcrumbs. Altogether=Amazing!
This morning, the ladies I’ll be working with who live in my apartment building came over to use the wifi since I’m the only one of us who has it so far. I made my new friends hashbrowns and eggs, then we toured the surrounding area for about six hours or so! Parque Ibiapuera is a luscious, tropical respite from the towering city surrounding it. Kids playing soccer, families with their dogs, vendors selling fresh coconut water, swans and geese swimming in the lake in the middle of it all….it all made me so happy. We live about a mile from it, so I will be going there often!
One other thing that I really love so far is the street art. Yes, there is some graffiti that doesn’t look so nice, but there is some really cool art on walls and bridges and buildings around the city.