Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday in Sao Paulo

It’s Valentine’s weekend in Brazil and I came back to my room at the Intercontiental to find roses waiting for me. Lovely, right?

The best thing about the Intercon, besides the comfortable bed and pillows is L’Occitane’s Verbena line of toiletries. My favourite scent! I’ve tucked away the little bottles every night before going to bed and when I come back to my room the next evening, there are new bottles waiting for me.

Anyway – this trip to SP has been muito otimo (very awesome), despite the usual intensity of traveling with senior execs because I’ve a colleague, J, from Toronto who’s here part-time that I’ve really bonded with. The execs left yesterday afternoon and I’m now able to get down to the work I was meant to do on this trip. I spent the day in the office and we called it a night around 7pm and spent the next 4 hours at a local pub for “happy hour.” I ordered a caipirhinia followed by a couple caipirsakes which are far smoother then the former. A Caipirsake is apparently unique to Sao Paulo and is a caipirhinia with the cachaca swapped out for sake which results in a drink that taste like limeade. YUM!

We ordered a fantastic carpaccio pizza and stewed beef 2 ways – one flavoured with gorgonzola and the other with mustard – and had a fantastic time. There was a lot of talk about work, but also about life.

J has raved about how generous and open all the Brazilians have been towards her – from our partners here and how open they’ve been in taking care and seeing that she’s felt welcome to the cab drivers who’ve given her a discount on her fare because her ride took longer than it should have because of construction which is clearly beyond their control. After tonight, I can attest to kindness of the cabbies myself. I don’t know any Portuguese so it was a very silent ride but my cabbie was attentive enough to notice my interest in all the furniture and home décor shops on the street we were driving down so he turned on the light when I pulled out a pen and paper to write down the street name. He said something to me in Portuguese – I didn’t understand precisely, but I know it was a comment on the concentration of shops, so when he wrote out my receipt for me, he turned it over and added something extra, and the something extra was “Gabriel Monteiro da Silva, Lojas,” the street name. How sweet is that? I left the cab smiling.

Meanwhile I’m crazy-itchy. Mosquitoes have feasted on me – my left side in particular since I’ve a bite on my elbow and not one, not two but THREE bites on my the lower half of my leg. Plus I’m allergic so they’re super-swollen. UGH!

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