A last minute business trip.
ZM was very jealous because his all time favorite movie is “City of God”. He has been dreaming of going there to photograph the shanty town of SÃ£o Paulo. I, on the other hand, never had the slightly desire to visit any big cities of Brazil. The Amazon, maybe.
Business is business.
I reluctantly agreed to this one week trip so they won’t have me stationed there for a few months (you have no idea how disappointed ZM was when he learned I turned down that opportunity. But i couldn’t imagine myself live there for that long. I would go insane.). First shock came when i booked the flight. 15 to 21 hours flight time (depends on the number of connections you end up with)! I had no idea Brazil is that far away. Reminded me of the only time when i researched Buenos Aires, a city i DO long to visit. From that time on, i knew, going to Buenos Aires is like going to the end of the world, makes that city seems even more lonesome and melancholy.
If i knew how close SÃ£o Paulo is to Buenos Aires, i might have agreed to a longer stay. 🙂
On this eve of my flight to the end of the earth, i did some quick research to find out the basics. Came across a few very interesting items:
1. The EXPANSIVE city: endless skyscrapers stretched to the horizon.
Tall buildings stretching into the horizon in all directions, even moreso than Tokyo (New York doesnâ€™t hold a candle to either, although its tallest buildings are taller). I felt I had finally seen the maximum city and could hardly believe the expanse, as if I dreamt it.
2. SÃ£o Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. “The city has 1.5m citizens of Japanese descent.”-according to Economist.com.
3. In the Chinese site douban.com, one guy left a remark under the entry “SÃ£o Paulo”: “The holy city of great food and wine.”åƒå–åœ£åœ°.
NOW, I’m really interested. 🙂
4. In May 2006, there was a huge gang violence surge in the city. 150 people died, including 40+ police officers. It started because the imprisoned gang leaders ordered the killing of those 40+ police officers. And on Jan 2nd, 2007 (3 days ago), a huge explosion happened in one of SÃ£o Paulo police’s weapon storehouse. And my co-worker warned us not to take any taxi from the airport cuz we could get robbed.
After I told ZM all these, i could see sparks light up in his eyes, “I have to go there one of these days.” He said dreamily.
5. People are really beautiful there. Some say it is because of the large number of diverse ethnicity live and assimilated there. Some say it is plastic surgery. But apparently everyone around you has a perfect body and looks like he/she just walked off a fashion magazine.
Iâ€™m bringing my camera along. Expecting a really busy week so not sure what i can do with touring. But at least, expect some food photos.