HOMESTAY BRAZIL – Week 7

I met up with 33 year old Dani in Sao Paulo this week. She is a Brazilian lady who did a 3 month homestay with my family 15 years ago. Other than reconnecting on Facebook, we hadn’t seen each other since.

Who would have known I’d end up living in Brazil for 3 months and be placed so close to where she and her husband live.

Friday night we hit the town for a few Caipirinhas (a Brazilian cocktail traditionally made from Cachaça – sugarcane liquor with freshly crushed lime and sugar) deep fried snacks and reminisced like there was no tomorrow.

The following day with sore heads Dani and her husband showed me the Sao Paulo sites:

Batman Alley (Beco do Batman) – to view the amazing street art of the area and it seems to see people and company’s doing photo shoots.

Galeria Choque Cultural – an street art gallery near Batman Alley where the curator talked to us about local about street art, artists and other projects in the area.

Maria Brigadero – for a delicious coffee and to sample some traditional Brazilian handmade sweets. The 70% caco one I had was delicious. My mates who had the regular type said the same for theirs. The girls at the shop were also very generous with the chocolate samples. I was one happy girl.

Casa da Vila – cute restored house and gift shop “Casa Da Vila”. Not normally open on Saturday, but they did for us following a quick phone call. This shop supports locals from all around Brazil by selling their artisan work in order to provide opportunities for the next generation and preserve the craft.

Sujinho for Lunch – Saturday is traditionally Fejoada day, so like good little Brazilians that’s what we had. There are 2 main shops, 2 buildings, and 4 levels at this restaurant which were packed to the hilt. The food was amazing. I have no idea how they do it in such huge volume. Go to the building / entrance which is not on the corner and ask to sit up on the top level, or grab a street table if you are lucky enough.

Independence Park (Parque da Independência) – Here we watched the skaters, admired the statues, eternal flame and walked up to the museum which we learned will be under restoration until about 2022. A children’s marching band also happened to be practicing in the area.

Parque Ibirapuera – We walked a small section of this massive park which is in the centre of the city complete with a lake, museums, numerous cafes and food/drink vendors. Many locals were here skating, riding push bikes, jogging, waking, and others just chilling out. We stopped at the lakeside café for a bit of people watching and to enjoy a refreshing cold Acai with granola.

That evening we went to a birthday party, ate, drank beer and straight Cashasa (see above for description) and danced salsa with the family, grandparents included, until the early morning hours.

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