21 nov 2009
We had a lovely breakfast at the hostel,
I felt like compared to the other hostels it was a well rounded breakfast (well the Pousada Natureza takes the cake but...) they had lots of fruit, protein in the ham and other deli meats, granola, good swiss cheese. They also had some fresh juice like pineapple, (no soy milk but :( well what do you expect?) baguettes, butter, honey, cookies, banana with ground cinnamon
some nice cake. Look at this, i was pretty satisfied. I made myself a little sandwich with ham and cheese and honey drizzled on top. I had some of that banana and guava, and half the papaya, mango, pineapple juice. mmmm..
Today we had planned to go to a the top of the Banespa building to see the panorama of São Paulo, then a really awesome Mercado near by, then walk to Liberdade for lunch and go to a the museum of the Portuguese language.
This is what our little neighborhood in Sampa looks like as we're leaving our dear hostel:
There are orchids growing out of the trees!
I was surprised at how flowery this big city smells, every like 3 minutes I smell some jasmines or roses.
We got to where the Banespa is supposed to be we took the metro this time. We unfortunately found out they don't have ANY deals on the metro passes, like a week pass or anything you have to buy them all at the same price.
We walked all around this place only to find out that the tower is closed all saturdays, so it was sad. We didn't get to see that 360 degree view of the city :( But oh well.
I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom and all around us were just these tall executive buildings. So I just went up to a random one and asked if I could use the bathroom, and amazingly they just let me in.
It was some lawyer building, and I don't know I feel like in Sacramento if I ask at some lawyers building I wouldn't get the same response.
So here's the bathroom: I know I'm ridiculous but I just really felt like I had to capture these heart-shaped toilet seat covers that I had also seen at Boi Preto Churrascaria restaurant but it was still too early for me to start taking pictures of such trivial things. But I am relatively uninhibited now! muahahahahah
Anyway then we were looking for the Mercado Municipal, but got lost and bumped into this graffiti exhibit and I am really happy about that.
I got to see this artwork by my favorite graffiti artists--they're twins and that's their street name "Os Gêmeos" which also can mean Gemini. This IS they're hometown and I'm planning on seeing this other installation they have in the city at a museum right now.
We kept walking supposedly towards the Mercado and we came up to this crowd:
And I guessed it we were in Rua 25 de Março, which is always this crowded. It's lined with cheap stores and stands where you can find all sorts of things! Anything!
We saw this flan looking thing, pudim de leite, pretty much flan.
But we couldn't find the mercado and we kept getting inconsistent information, just go down the rua and it will be at the end, then we got to that end and they'd say oh just go that way all the way down the street, so we went down that busy crowded street like 4 times!!!! oh meu deus it was torture. And well we ended up somewhere else that they happened to have food too. So we just decided to give up there. (And i bet we were really close too)
Above is a lovely selection of (from left) jiló, maxixe, and quiabo
What those gentlment are cutting are huge Jaca fruit and they offered us a sample
It comes from Asia originally as I've mentioned in another blog in Jardim Botânico , and it's like gummy and sweet and chewy but really sticky.
so the mercado was okay but this is what i was expecting:
The mercado even has a website check it out.
so there's just one other reason to come back to SP some day. I love farmer's markets!
Then we walked to the Museu da Língua Portugeusa and it was amazing!
They talked about the history of languages and how Brazilian Portuguese evolved into what it is now. You can look at this branch of langauges of some of the biggest linguistic families. Oh my gosh I was geeking out at this museum because I am facinated by language in general. And it was amazing to just see the history of the language I use every day here.
Also a time-line of all the influences
The latin roots, their meaning and what word it is in Brazilian portuguese now
Some Arabic words that are in Portuguese (and many in English too)
Then the African Bantu words that came in because of African slavery in Brasil.
I had a really great time, of course but the thing is you need to know Portuguese to really appreciate this museum there's no translation so the more portuguese you know the better.
It was a very technologically advanced musuem too.
They had this electronic map you could click on to hear the different sotaques (accents) in Brazil. It was really cool.
There was also a table that showed images of preffixes and suffixes and roots of words and people could use their hands to combine them, and once parts of words came together and made sense a cool like video wikipedia came up. look:
Then we went to take the metro again down to Liberdade because our feet were so tired of walking around and standing.
Hey does any Bart station have piano in it? i thought this was a really cool station, this metro subway station was built in an ex train station.
We got to Liberdade, the Japanese town.
And we got there on a day that they have their street fair so that was cool. We timed somethign appropriately yes! They had Brazilian Japanese food .
We went to a Japanese market. There are a lot of Korean and Chinese pockets here too though, so Lena said she felt she was in China.
Lena said that she felt less homesick just seeing asian food and stuff but it actually had the opposite effect on me. I suddenly missed my trips to San Jose's japan town and all the happy memories I've had related to Japan *ehem*
I'm in Japan!
And look what I found! Another Os gemoes work!
I always think that there is something strategic about works so my friend and I were trying to analyze it and we came up with the idea that may be the purpose of it being in the Liberdade district may symbolize immigration in which you bring your physical house, by reinstilling your cultural architecture and literally bringing your "house" and keeping your food and your own little bubble of culture to a new place. That's what that made us think of but who knows.
What we did know was that we were starving. I bought a little sandwich back at 25 de marco but it was little, and I brought a granola bar and nibbled on it as the day progressed but that was totally not lunch. And now it was 4PM no lunch thus far but the restaurants weren't open for dinner yet and I really wanted to go to know i'd seen online but I forgot what it was called and where it was so...we just asked around I think it was like Nasako or something like that. But at this point we were just hungry and went into a little market that had a little table in the back where you could eat their homemade prepackaged food. we got some inari it was dericious! I don't know what that red powder was I've never seen that in Japanese food before but whatev.
And then it started to rain again, and it was pouring and pouring forever. We sat on the steps at some restaurant that would be opening sson andthey had a sign that there was a special in the lunchboxes of sushi and stuff and it was pretty cheap so we waited. until finally it opened and we were the first ones there. We got the menu and all the little dishes were like 30 dollars and not filling. So Lena was like "I can't afford this" and plus we were starving and we would not be satisfeitas if bought what we could afford. So I'm like, what should we do? They had already given us warm wet towels and everything but Lena's like "I don't care I'll tell them"
So I let her and in her broken Portenglish she told the waitor "Um this place is caro de mais for us, entao, we have leave, sorry" And I'm like, oh no, may be I should have said it but the waitor was totally chill about it and polite even though we had to go, she's like "don't worry about it"
So it was great.
So we kept walking down that same street and I kept seeing "lamen" signs all over the place. Lamen this Lamen that, what's up with that? I was really curious, but then finally my Engrish kicked in, and I'm like. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh: RAMEN!
But next to the Ramen place there was this Buffet!:
And it was pretty much the same price as the other place or less actually it was like 15 dollars for all you can eat. It was a mixed buffet of Chinese, Japanese food and Korean BBQ.
It was my first korean barbecue ever and it was exciting.
Lena was really the one who know how to use this thing, but they had a selection of seasoned raw meet over at the buffet thingy and you pick what you want and cook it youself.
I got a whole bunch of sushi, I love SALMON! I was super excited. they also had octopus and oyster and all these little japanese pickled stuff.
I thought it was a really nice place and it filled pretty well. Lena felt like she was in China especially here. She kept hearing Cantonese.
Oh man, woman, and child, I ate sooo much. I was almost going to explode but I decided not to. Because the food was really really delicious. And the service was good. I would definitely go back to this place, I forgot what it's called but you just go down that main street at liberdade past that os gemeos work, and go straight.
Another great but tiring day! And yep we walked back to our hostel from there! Oh I need a shower. my hair and my dress (Katherine's/the community dress) smell like BBQ.