Chelsea: Brazil ~ First Impressions

Kia ora whānau!

Where do I even start?? What a wild 24 hours it has been. Eleven of us set off for São Paulo on the 12th January 2020. It was fairly smooth sailing, bar one of us losing their suitcase eep. We were greeted at the airport by Campus B’s AMAZING Talita! She was SO patient and helped us translate everything.

In the morning, after some much needed rest, we had our orientation followed by a beginners Portugese class. I have never travelled to a place where English is spoken so infrequently, so this was definitely helpful. Giselda was our teacher and she kept us super engaged and made the class fun. We learnt how to introduce ourselves and say our basic information and a few key phrases such as “Tudo bem” (how are you?) and “Obrigado” (thank you). I didn’t realise how gendered all of the words are in Portugese. There are different words for ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ things. It makes me think of how hard it must be for gender fluid people in Brazil to be addressed with the correct pronoun.

Next stop was the Municipal Market of São Paulo. This is basically a giant food market with a tonne of fresh fruit and Brazilian delicacies such as pastilles . The street vendors offer you a lot of different fruits that I have never tried before. Thanks to Talita, I was able to find vegan options that I could eat and she translated for me.

Municipal Markets, São Paulo

After our tummy’s were full (and jet lag was kicking in), we decided to visit the popular Batman Alley, named after the famous batman window (pictured below). This is basically the Hosier Lane of Brazil. It was very hipster and had a bunch of call artsy vendors and beautiful artwork. We all really loved this spot.

Our afternoon group trip to the supermarket was so much fun. Some of my favourite parts of travelling are going to foreign supermarkets. I love getting to see all of the different brands and snacks, and Talita told us all of her favourite foods.

To end the day, we went to our welcome dinner at an all you can eat steakhouse. As a vegan, I was not very excited for this. However, it was more of a buffet, with meat served to the table. I had lots of options including sushi, and my new favourite vege mandioca (cassava in English). Its like a fried potato but sweeter, so yummy. I also got to have my favourite Brazilian cocktail, caipirinha. I have had these before but not in Brazil.

If this is day one, I am so excited to see what the rest of this trip has in store for us. Will check in very soon to update you all.

Aroha nui,

Chelsea xx

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