I have to sit down. It’s warm, nearly hitting the 30°C mark and I’ve just arrived into Sao Paulo airport. Four flights and three days of travel. I’m shot. But I’m back in South America. Hello Brazil!
A woman with a bit of a beard takes a pew near to me. In a rubbish attempt at Portuguese, I ask her to take a photo of me. She replies in English. And she is in fact a he. Oops. Blame the tiredness.
I don’t want to insult people so I try again in Portuguese and finally manage to sort out a taxi to take me into the city. I’m really hoping my non-traveller friend will reimburse me as promised. I would have taken a bus but he insisted on a taxi. At R$130 (£45.17) it is way out of my traveller budget.
If I really wanted to travel Sao Paulo in style it would be via helicopter. The roads are so congested that the rich and famous tend to prefer the sky. Nice.
So my Sao Paulo stay starts in a clean airport and takes me along five lane roads past a landscape dotted with trees, industrial buildings, concrete, grafittied walls and skinny high rises dotted into the far distance. Traffic is polite, lacking the chaos of other South American cities that I’ve visited. Pretty standard in terms of what I expect of a city and not really somewhere I’d quickly fall in love with.
But I’m excited to be back in Latin America, back out of my comfort zone. It feels good.
I crash out at the hotel for a few hours. This is luxury. No backpackers hostel for me this time. What a treat.
And then on to O Bar BarO in the lively Vila Olímpia part of the city. I’ve forgotten my ID (no, I don’t look underage, it’s just in case you disappear off without paying). Luckily we blag it and I’m in with my drinks card, partying with Paulistanos and expats and drinking away my fatigue and jetlag. And dancing, but not enough dancing, and then suddenly I’m back at the hotel and the comfort of the bed claims me.
As does the hangover the next morning. And now I’m really out of my comfort zone.