October 15th 2015, Sao Paolo, Brazil
In Sao Paolo, by the pool I listen to some Spanish speaking crew’s discussion about couple, love, family, fortification of the couple, distance relationships, psychologists…
I am waiting for my friends L., a local, whom I met 10 years ago while we were both studying in US. At the time we even went in a New York trip together and of the group we used to hang out together the most. Finding each other on the internet after a decade and myself being in the situation to get a Sao Paolo flight right the month after makes an interesting story.
He picks me up from the hotel where I’m staying in Guarulhos and while I’m changing my uniform I’m trying some Guarana, a delicious local soft drink.
During the long drive to the city we have plenty of time to catch up, recollect memories and I listen his broad knowledge of Brazilian and generally South American history. It’s really a pleasure to spend time with someone like this. We talk about the struggles of the country and the similarities with Romania. Well Latins normally get along well especially when they have the same passions – travel and history.
We are in the city and L. tells me Sao Paolo is a melting pot of Italian, Japanese, Syrian and Lebanese. The street art is at home here and the city is called the capital of street art. There is graffiti everywhere and the street style is beautiful. The streets of Sao Paolo speak stories of poverty, homeless, street life.
L. is a doctor and we go to see his work place, a beautiful historical hospital, with a small church in the interior yard. He says it used to be a 24hour hospital until last month, but due to fund cuts, it became day time only. The story of all medical systems and this is how we’re playing with the lives of human beings.
We are making jokes about the female president and the recent corruption scandal.
I am tired after a 16 hours flight, but the excitement of a new place and good destination keeps me awake. Then, we drive to Edificio Italia, the third tallest building in Brazil, where there is an observation deck and a restaurant. The view is very glitzy and colorful at night and it’s my kind of place.
Here we are, on the Avenida Paulista, one of the busiest in Sao Paolo, home of financial and cultural institutions and press trusts, but also of bars and restaurants.
Walking down the Paulista Avenue it is impossible to miss the street art, which seem to be everywhere, but of course I want to stop in the bookshop I see – Livraria Martins Fontes. I choose two Henry Kissinger “Ordem mundial”, in Portugese.
Probably the most impressive building on the central street is the Gazeta Building, looking like a smaller Eiffel Tower, all lighted up at night, but the Santa Catarina Hospital or the Edificio Paulista 500 catch visitors’ attention.
We walk a little more in the heat of the night and then stop for a local steak and a Chopp for him and a glass of wine for me.
October 16th 2015, 7 AM, Sao Paolo
There’s a new pattern of thought in me and I’m growing every day. I read extensively and I’m not having an easy time, not at all, but I want to heal. Probably it’s normal that other things came out along with this great opening.
My writing shifted from travel to personal growth and evolution. In fact, I said from the beginning that this was not a travel blog. Yet, to protect some people, the posts are censored.
I’m at the pool reading of the book I just bought yesterday night from the Paulista Avenue book shop and I’m thinking how lucky I am. Soon I’m off to Buenos Aires, but we should get back by midnight. By the pool only pilots and flight attendants – Turkish Airlines, us and some South American airlines. One captain advices me for my upcoming Buenos Aires holiday and I barely leave the poolside to go for flight.
After around 12 hours we’re back and we order some drinks in the room of one of my colleague and speak about relationships and the ways of people. It’s almost 5 AM and at this time my friend L. is still on night duty. It always fascinated me what different people are doing at the same time. Where was one while the other was going through grief, through greatest success, through rough times or sickness or fame.
October 17th 2015, 11:32 by the pool in Sao Paolo, Brazil
To be able to start from 0, that’s what I want. Here I write a draft of the presentation of my future book: “A book written on the way to major cities of the world, while discovering the beauty of life and of the world through the eyes of a lawyer who decided there is more to life than work and became flight attendant.”
My thoughts are as the wing beats of an agonizing butterfly.
L. is back to Guarulhos and while I look at the city by day he says: “In Brazil there’s always a street of something”. Now we’re on the street of motorcycles, there’s one of electronics, one of weddings.
While we are driving on the narrow streets of Sao Paolo I see an interesting way of street advertising: while the traffic light is red, two men carry a banner and hold it in front of the line of cars.
I hear there is a bigger community of Lebanese people than the population of Lebanon itself and that they roam around the March 25th Street (Rua 25 de Marco), where the first store was opened by a Lebanese national.
The cars of the city are mainly Chevrolets and Peugeots. A visit in Brazil makes you want to exercise, they all seem to have perfect bodies.
To talk about Brazil and its history without mentioning the Tupis and the Guarani is almost impossible, as they were the indigenous people when the Portuguese reached the Brazilian shores. With a similar history as the Native Americans in North America, they have left an overwhelming influence on the language, names and culture of Brazil. Pedro Alvaris Cabral is considered to be the first to arrive in Brazil sometime around 1500.
The city architecture, street names and attractions of Sao Paolo are strongly influenced by the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932/Paulista War/1932 Civil War. The Obelisk of Sao Paolo, symbol of the revolution is one of the most important attractions reminding of the Revolution.
Ibirapuera Park is one of the most extensive and beautiful parks I’ve seen and many world cities and capitals would die to have such a green pearl downtown. It is one of the biggest parks in South America and it is often compared with Central Park in New York. It has gymnasiums and museums, lakes and stores, sculptures, bridges and exotic plants.
My favorite is the Monument of Bandeiras, outside the entrance no. 9 to the park. It is impressive in representation and dimension, right across the Legislative Assembly of Sao Paolo.
It’s almost dusk and we are at the most famous intersection in Sao Paolo, Sao Joao and Ipiranga, where there is a famous samba bar, Bar Brahma – Esquina da MPB. MPB – Musica Popular Brasileira. The place looks different than the bars I’ve been too and the band has not yet started singing so it seems a little strange that all these people stand to drink beer or just walk around the place.
Yet, once the band Naninha E Banda started singing, a whole show was put together, everyone standing and dancing, drinking, singing along. All the sons are sung in samba rhythm and they sound lively and are so danceable. Once you are at your table the waiter gives you a piece of paper with 32 squares. What do they mean? Every time you drink a beer they tick one box. I guess this is a heavy drinking place…but I have a 16 hours flight back to Doha tomorrow so, we’re off on the highway.
Sao Paolo is not my kind of city, but I’d love to go back and explore more.
October 19th 2015, almost midnight, arriving from Sao Paolo
My life happens in entangled sections, like the sections of a book or like a movie in scenes from different time intervals. Coming back to Anna Karenina on my night stand, looking in the mirror at my tan from Sao Paolo on top of the one in Zanzibar, my new furniture display of the place I call home in Doha, my heart shattered into pieces in all the places I’m going to.
The travels, the readings, the struggles, the evolution, the happy times followed by higher struggles and evolution again is what represents me.
This month finds me more obsessed than ever with energies, frequencies, numbers and what they mean – numerology, divine signs, him, the sacred union, my mission in life, stages of twin flame love.
I might be evolving or might be going crazy – there’s no in between.