I've decided I really don't like São Paulo. It's too big, and I live too much in the middle, and it's really, really dirty. It's also more different from Rio than I thought it'd be... the people, the food, the way things work on a day-to-day basis. But whatever. It's really dirty though. Like a lot. Trash is everywhere. And we live right close to where all the homeless people stay, we walk through them every day, and it's sad but it's also really kinda gross, not because THEY'RE dirty, but because their little campouts that surround them are really dirty. But the streets are just full of trash, all the time. Petrópolis and Rio aren't half as bad.
Nights are pretty boring here. It was frustrating just kind of sitting in our room on Friday and Saturday, listening to everyone out having fun. But our street isnt the best so we aren't supposed to really walk down it at night, and we don't really have anyone to do anything with. We've met tons and tons of people, and they're all absolutely amazing, but they're all busy and/or old. Haha.
So far we have done a lot of really cool cultural things though. Today we went to a matinee concert (only R$2 aka one dollar) and I was expecting it to be an orchestra but it ended up being this amazing Brazilian choir singing these really beauutiful French songs, (2009 is "O Ano da França no Brasil") and it was in this world-class concert hall, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. So that was definitely cool. We also went to the Municipal Market and it was a big empty because it's Sunday but that was fun too. Yesterday we did various things blah blah but we went to an outside ferinha (fair) and bought some really cool and cheap jewlery. I got some awesome earrings and a necklace made from açaí seeds and bits of coconut, and Olimpia got a bunch of earrings, some of them those kinds made out of feathers. The lady at one of the stands talked to us for a long time about the state of the world and how all these tourists come through and demand lower prices and think she's cheating them when she's not (cuz really, the prices were amazing anyway) and how they at the same time treat her like she's a starving penniless citizen of the third world. It was an interesting perspective for sure.
Oh, so I think I mentioned this, but we wash our clothes by hand at the Casa. And we did that for the first time last night. My wrists hurt, my nails were a mess, I only washed about half my clothes, and I don't think they actually got clean. Hah. But hey, gotta do what you gotta do.
So my Portuguese is getting better but I'm definitely speaking more English than I anticipated, which is a little bit sad but fine nonetheless.
Um, I probably have more to say, but I'm kinda tired, so I'm losing it. It just started raining too and we have a decent walk back so that's frustrating. Plus the power just went out and my computer restarted, luckily this was automatically saved though. Yay google.
Random observation before I go: fireworks are always going off around here. Just the loud ones, they're never the pretty ones. Sometimes they sound like gunshots but usually you can tell they're fireworks. I don't really know why they're so common. Wednesday nights, when there's a big soccer game, they're constant and expected, but otherwise they come at completely random times.
I just looked this over and wow this was a rather negative post. Oops. Tomorrow we'll make our first prison visit, so that'll be new, we'll see how that goes.
Also, something interesting/good (haha): Noraini, who I've talked about before, has been teaching us a lot about Islam, including showing us this little booklet that she made to teach people arabic in order to read the Koran, and wow it's really interesting. But yep. So tchau for now.