Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ride from Sao Paulo to Curitiba

This is as we were leaving the airport. Notice how green it is.
Free Image Hosting at
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFavellas in São Paulo.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usBig mountain on the way to Curitiba. The bus from São Paulo to Curitiba took seven hours. My flight from Dallas to São Paulo only took 9 1/2 hours. You do the math.
Free Image Hosting at

Those are all of the pictures I took on the way. I actually had to sleep on the bus, and believe me, after having only about two hours of sleep in 48 hours, it felt good. Here's what I wrote when I got to Curitiba:
There is a lot to update now. I’ve been in Brasil for quite a while now (actually, only two full days. However, yesterday was spent traveling or sitting in an airport or bus station.
Yesterday at the airport I met up with Caio and he gave me some fresh Brazilian cachaça, bananada, doce de leite, and some type of peanut candy. Him and Daniella were very nice and they showed me all around the airport, translated some stuff for me, showed me where the internet café was, where to change my money to reais; all sorts of stuff. Incredibly cool people, and they invited me to come to São Paulo anytime I wanted and I could stay with them. He offered to show me around the entire city which is awesome because there are 17 million people in São Paulo and the drivers there seem to be the worst drivers in the world. Horrible stuff, and I thought some drivers in NC were terrible. But they have an amusement park, lots of museums, Liberdade, and all sorts of things there. I really can’t put it into words yet, so once I get pictures when I go there I will post tons of pictures. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll get to go to the São Paulo F1 Grand Prix. They told me it’s about R$200 for the “cheapest” seats and that it’s probably already sold out.

But, I will get to go to a million soccer games, as Curitiba, as I have just found out they have a big futebol stadium and their own soccer club. After waiting in the airport for a few hours, we finally got on a bus and rode to another bus station. We got on the “Golden” Itapemirim bus, which had TVs and reclining seats, air conditioning, water and coffee, all sorts of things. I slept for about 4 hours on the bus to Curitiba. They played a Portuguese-dubbed version of that old kids movie with the St. Bernard dog. I can’t remember the name but it doesn’t matter cause I didn’t watch it. The view of the mountains and everything on the way to Curitiba was amazing. The mountains through the clouds, the banana trees, they even had what looked like wild horses roaming around, which was pretty amazing because I have never seen horses that looked like that. The cows also looked very different. I think this is because the hills are very steep and they use a lot of different muscles for climbing the hills. I’m not a big fan of bananas, but I would love to try some fresh farm-grown bananas. I’ve also drank some fresh-squeezed Brazilian orange juice which is pretty great tasting stuff.

The bus ride to Curitiba was about two hours short of matching the time I spent on the plane. I did get to sleep though, and the sights were beautiful and I got to talk some more to the people who came from Ohio State. There are five students here from Ohio State University who will be studying for 10 weeks at CELIN (the language institute at UFPR, which I will have the actual name for, soon.) I don’t remember all of their names right now, but I’m sure I will soon enough. There is Matt, Chrishon, Caryn, Stacy and Laura from OSU, David, from Korea, and Onoki from Japan. Tiphane and Candace got here on Sunday night, so it was a nice surprise seeing them arrive. I thought they were both going to get here on Monday.

January 8th was my birthday and I was greeted with quite the celebrations. At the churrasco (Brazilian barbecue), I was surprised with a nice cake and they all sang (which I have a video of, hopefully I can find a place to post it). Brazilians seem to like alcohol, so I tried some Skol, Brahma and some Antarctica, all Brazilian beers. I liked Skol the best. We also, later in the evening, had some cachaça, which when drunk straight-up is some pretty heavy-hitting stuff. 42% alcohol and it made my throat feel like it was on fire. Good stuff though.

The churrasco was very fun though. The food was incredibly good as they cooked it in a pit right beside us. We had sausage, chicken legs, pork ribs, beef ribs, and steak. It, much like Leblon, was some of the best food I’ve had. So the churrasco was a nice birthday thing, because we met all of our professors, all of the host families and their families, and the food and drink was nice, as well.

That same night, we had a second party for my birthday. All of the students from the FIPSE exchange and also the students from OSU came. Miriam (my host mother) bought three cakes and two large things of ice cream; Napolitano (strawberry, chocolate, vanilla), and abacaxi com vinho (pineapple with red wine). Both were very good and both were made with all-natural ingredients from a neighbor who makes ice cream and sells it all over Curitiba. After the party, we all went to a Pizzaria and had three different kinds of pizza, cinco quiejo, marguerita, and com abacaxi (pineapple pizza.) We all got a caipirinha com pinga (with cachaça) instead of with vodka.

No comments: