Another country to add to my list and one that I have wanted to visit for a long time.
When you arrive in another country you almost always see a sign that looks like this:
I think there is a universal experience that international travelers have – the walk for the airplane to customs is always long. Maybe it is the fact that you have been on an airplane for a long time (in this case for 9.5 hours) but that walk through closed hallways (for control and security purposes) to customs seems to take forever. And then you have to stand in line waiting to be checked through customs. The wait really was not that long here in Sao Paulo but …
Sao Paulo itself is a bustling, modern city. It is the financial and economic center of Brazil. It is a large city by any standards with about 20 million in population. As you can see from the photo from my hotel, it looks like most other modern large cities.
I admit to being comfortable and impressed with the city. While the traffic can be as bad as New York or Washington DC, the roadways seem well constructed and laid out. Public transportation is important for a city as large and densely populated as Sao Paulo. In addition to major interstate-type highways, the city has public bus and subway service.
I am also impressed with the cleanliness of the city. I admit that I have not gone walking through the poorer areas, but what you see from the streets leaves you with the impression that Sao Paulo is a clean city.
What really impresses me is the fact that there does not seem to be any serious air pollution. For a city emerging from the “developing nation” status the lack of pollution surprises me.
And the people here are very courteous and pleasant. The language is Portuguese. And while I do not speak it, it was the language in my grandparents home. As as result I picked up the knack of following conversations without really understanding the language itself. So I do not find it difficult to understand or be understood which takes some of the stress out of being somewhere very different.
Ciaio for now. More later.