Friday, February 11, 2011

Playing a tourist...


BB and I are now in a town called Paraty which could be described as the polar opposite of Sao Paulo, instead of the 360° view of highrises there is a 360° view of mountains and not a highrise in sight! Also the national car of paraty is not a´s a beetle - so everything is downsized here!

Our last few days in Sao Paulo were much more touristy. We headed into Luz, the ´old centre´ of the city with Tassia and one of her friends who played guide for us. The first place they took us was the law university they had both attended, which puts even UQ to shame with how fancy it is. It was the first university started in Sao Paulo (possibly Brazil.... i don´t remember) and has a very interesting history to it, most of which due to the behaviour of the students whom have attended. One of the stories they told us was regarding a statue out the front of the uni. We were told that one of them was originally made for the uni but the uni decided to donate it to the council to put in a nearby park. Years later the statue wasn´t being maintained so the students asked the council if they could have it back, the council refused. After attempting to get the statue back legally several times the (law) students decided to take matters into their own hands. So they went to the park in the middle of the night with a ute and several people, STOLE the statue and put it back in front of the uni!! Where it still stands today. (pics to come so you can imagine the epic scale of this. We were also told a story about how when the rest of the university was built at another campus, they decided to make a building for the law faculty on the new campus then move them there. The students didn´t want to move out of their amazing building so every night they would go to the construction site and knock down any progress that had been made. This continued until the uni gave up and let them keep their building! Students in Aus are definitely better behaved!

After the uni we went up a highrise (to about the 38th floor) to check out the view and really comprehend just how big the city of Sao Paulo is.......and it´s massive!!! Only then could we comprehend how you fit 20million people in one city. There were highrises are far as the eye could see in every direction (once again pics coming), very epic.

As mentioned above we are now in a tiny historic town called Paraty. We´re satying in a hostel that is right on the beach and everything moves a bit slower. The roads are still paved with random stones and rocks and some people are still using horse and carriages! The room we´re in isn´t the best - 9 people in one TINY room with one fan that doesn´t actually provide any air for 3 of the beds and a light that just dimly lights the room. But its cheap and on a beach - so its a good compromise i guess. There are lots of friendly dogs on the beach - the funniest thing i saw yesterday was a dog running straight over (and falling over) a sunbaking mans face - and the man didn´t even flinch!

Today we just spent exploring the town (which is incredibly cute and feels like we´ve stepped back a century) and trying to organise our rio accomodation - which is becoming the biggest mission ever!! Tomorrow we´re going to play pirate and explore the seas on the `´Buccaneer II´` - sounds like my kind of boat!

During the last week we have really felt like we´re the only people who don´t know portuguese. While this is annoying it definitely makes for some hillarious sign language conversations to try and get our point across - not always with good results. Definitely planning on learning more spanish when we head to argentina and beyond. Especially as it would be nice to be able to talk with locals and others for reasons other than trying to buy goods and services - which is all we can do at the moment on the most part. In saying that many people have come up and talked to us because we were speaking English and they wanted to be friendly - so i guess it works both ways.

Will add some pics when i have a better internet connection. You guys should email me and tell me whats happening back at home.

beautiful Parati town

This is the statue from the story....

lecture theatre from inside the law uni

Sao Paulo - The monster
Imagine this in every direction!

The 9 bed dorm of doom!! There was literally not enough room for all of our bags to be stored, let alone accessing the things inside them

The hostel containing the 9 bed dorm of doom.... at least it was next to a beach!

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