Hi everyone --
So the big news for the past week is that I finally got my own place. It's a small flat in a building called Moema Top Life (pronounced Top-ee Life-ee in Portuguese), and it looks like a little hotel room. I have a tiny fridge, tiny tv (with tiny cable), tiny balcony, tiny stove with tiny burners -- the tininess is fine for what I need though. The building is nice -- it has a pool, a mini gym, a sauna (sketchy?), a bball court, a restaurant, and a lounge. Plus it includes maid service, which is kind of a weird thing to adjust to. I come home and the plate that I left in the sink is washed and put away. Spooky.
Work has changed somewhat for me, as I now actually have things to do. My first week was largely spent reading celebrity gossip on msn.com and making minute changes to my facebook profile, but now I am really busy. In fact, on Friday I was at work from 9 to 8:30, which sucked, and I was busy the whole time. My job involves a lot of shuffling and editing of documents, so it can get sort of tedious. On the upside, I'm learning tons about law, finance, business, etc., and I think it's going to help me a lot when I get to law school. On another upside, I get to go to Rio on Thursday (or so I am told) to make copies of documents. I mean, some people go for the beaches, I go for the xeroxing. It's AMAZING. I only get to go for the day, but it's cool to get to travel to Rio on business. On business! Hehe. I love saying that.
This weekend was pretty fun, as well. Matthew was out of town for a beach vacation with some friends from home, so I hung out with Vicky and her friends from the UK, who were also visiting SP for the weekend. We went out to dinner with them Friday and Saturday (Italian and sushi) which was nice, and then on Sunday I finally got to visit one of São Paulo's many malls. This one is called Shopping Morumbi, and it is a three-story monstrosity with lots of tacky clothes. I guess some of the other malls have more upmarket faire, but Morumbi, not so much. They had a bargain-basement version of my favorite store outside of the U.S., Zara, which was one small room of discounted, ugly piles of lycra shirts and candy-striped skirts. Anyway it was nice finally getting a taste of the SP consumer culture, aaaah how I missed shopping. After the mall, I came home and watched cable TV, which really is wonderful. I esp. like watching Extreme Makeover with Portuguese narration. Wonderful.
Other than work and home, I continue to spend time at my gym, the fabulous Academia Reebok. I tried Spinning (or the wacky Brazilian version thereof) last week, and it was, as expected, nutsy. First of all, when I walked into the studio, I immediately got whacked in the head with the large screen that was descending from the ceiling, so THAT was embarrassing. Secondly, the class consisted mostly of crazy disco lights, weird DVDs of Ian Van Dahl concerts, and a muscle-y Brazilian teacher who gave no instructions but would occasionally bark stuff like, "Mais," (more) and "Isso" (that's it). Really helpful. He paled in comparison to my Chilean spinning instructor, the fabulous Fernanda, who really cared about the sport -- and, dare I say, art -- of Spinning. Another thing about the class was that i was the only one NOT wearing black. I showed up in my bright pink shirt (and black shorts) and stuck out like an American sore thumb. Apparently I missed the memo on wearing all black that day -- it was like a freaking Spinning funeral. So I have found yet another way to stand out as a foreigner at the gym, but I continue to stand firm in my refusal to wear Spandex and boob-popping bras to the gym. Sorry.