Upon returning to São Paulo, we had the opportunity to explore more of the city and activities related to this city. One of my favourite things that we got to do was Capoeira. Fortunately there was a Capoeira teacher who practiced only 2 minutes down the road from us. Although this activity was already scheduled in the itinerary for a later date, one of the other students and I wanted to check it out earlier and start classes.
Capoeira is a martial art created by the African slaves during the slave trade period here in Brasil. Although very much a self-defence art, the practice looks a lot like a dance and this is no accident. When slaves wanted to train their skills for defeating enemies if they wanted to escape, they had to come up with a way that slave owners would not recognise their dissent. So they disguised their fight training as a dance, so as not to alert the slave owners of any suspicion. There’s something truly special about participating in this martial art knowing that this is how it was formed. Capoeira for me represents a fight for freedom and a building of one’s own strength in this fight. Even in our first class you could feel this straight away. It has been one of my favourite things so far about visiting Brasil.
Similarly, we had the opportunity to participate in a Samba dance class which was also so fun. I learnt a lot about dancing, especially the idea that when dancing the samba there are no rules. You learn the steps and then from there you just listen to the music and let it take you wherever. I never thought I was so into dancing, and hopefully I will get to do more of this in the future.
One of the last things I want to talk about in this blog is the best burger I have ever tried. Our trip guide took us to a place that she believes has the best burgers in the city. I was skeptical at first, seeing as I have tried a lot of burgers before and Brasil isn’t particularly known for its burgers. To my surprise I was treated with a culinary experience that I shall never forget. The place was called MEATS. Probably because it specialises in the “pattie” aspect of the burger. I ordered something called the Zagallo. On paper a pretty basic cheeseburger, the only difference being that it had two 200g mince patties inside. I knew this was going to be different from the get go when the waiter asked me how I wanted the meat to be cooked. A luxury I had never previously experienced. I took my first bite and I was taken to heaven and back. It felt as though an orchestra should have been playing in the background while Morgan Freeman narrated the slow sequence of me indulging in the specialty that was the Zagallo. No amount of words will do justice to the explosive rush that burger gave me, So all I can do is give the recommendation for you to try it yourself.