Monday, July 25, 2005

Cover Bands and Caipirinhas

My first weekend in São Paulo was... insane. On many levels. Let me give you a rundown of what went on....

Friday:

After work, I went with the Brits (Matthew, Vicky, Martin) and a Brazilian (Paola) to this Irish pub near our office to hear this band that Paola had been raving about. She said it was her favorite band, they were SO great, they practically brought tears to her eyes, etc. Long story short, they were horrifically, scarily bad. I don´t think they meant to be ironic when they stood up there in tight white jeans and did Spice Girls and Cher ballads. We all pretended to like them for Paola´s sake, and sung along with their uplifting rendition of Whitney Houston´s "it´s not right, but it´s okay," but holy shit.

Saturday:

The highlight of the day was seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (NOT DUBBED thank the Lord), which was great. I was skeptical going into it, wasn´t sure how I felt about remaking a modern American classic, ya know, but I loved it. Afterwards we went to this pizza place in Jardins (a really cool area of town), and ate tons of delicious pizza for practically nothing. After dessert and coffee, Vicky suggested we go somewhere for a glass of wine. We ended up at the place next door, which appeared at first glance to be a furniture store, but was actually a bar. What a happy discovery -- this place was a hidden gem! Five bottles of (excellent Chilean) wine later, we were having a GREAT time, as the other patrons of the bar looked on in horror. I think there were several things going on -- first, we were a good 20 years younger than the average patron of this establishment, which was surprising, since it was such a cool bar and played such great music. (They even had a DJ upstairs who took requests!!! I requested Destiny´s Child, obviously...) Second, it was some lady´s birthday, and we were inadvertently crashing the party, even though we had been there since 9 pm, before the party started. At least I had the good sense to turn down the piece of cake that was reluctantly offered to me, but to be honest, it was because I was too busy dancing and not out of any sort of courtesy to the poor woman whose birthday it was. Oh man...it was an epic night, to say the least. We left at 3, which was ridiculous in itself since we had walked in at 9 intending to have a glass of wine each and then go home to bed.

Sunday:

I had to force myself out of bed at 12:15, just because I knew if I didn´t get up then, I´d languish in bed all day. Yes, languish. I met up with V, and later M, in the Parque Iberapuera, which is full of bikers, runners, walkers, dogs, children, couples making out, middle schoolers, soccer players, and doofy foreigners like us.



It reminded me a bit of Stanford, what with the reckless, free-for-all biking going on.
The three of us felt like death warmed over and it was good to be out in the air. We did a couple laps of the park and took in the scene. It´s a pretty cool place -- really huge, with a lake, a gym, a museum, etc. Kinda like a dirtier version of Golden Gate park, if you can imagine such a thing, with fried food vendors and women in Spandex everywhere. Speaking of which, Brazilian women are like Chilean women in that they insist on wearing really unflattering, tight-ass Spandex pants instead of shorts, no matter how hot it is or how bad they look. I refuse to buy into the Pants-to-work-out philosophy and wear shorts, even though I am the only female probably on this side of the equator who does, but whatever. Brazilians also wear these itsy-bitsy sports bras that look like bikini tops -- NO support whatsoever. But I digress. So, after walking around, we went to lunch at this place where everyone checks everyone else out while eating lunch. I guess people dress to impress to come to this place, even though it´s just a regular café, but MAN, I saw some weird outfits. Just plain odd. After gawking at all the fashion disasters, I walked back to Jaime´s house and was delighted to find my boyfriend, Alexandre Pires (see photo), performing on a show called Domingo Legal. I LOVE HIM. So that was good.

Today:

I went to my FABULOUS gym, Reebok, which is so nice I don´t even feel like I deserve to belong there. Besides having awesome facilities, it has a L´Occitane de provençe (or however it´s spelled), a Redken salon, a dry cleaner, a gourmet restaurant, a spa, and free internet access. It's ridiculous! Apparently there are only 5 of these, one in NYC, one in London, Paris, Madrid, etc. Anyway it´s amazing, quite an upgrade from the Page Mill YMCA.

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