Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Days in a BRIC (by Francesc Trillas)

I just spent two days in Sao Paulo (Brazil). Of course this is not enough time to know a city well, much less a country. I would have liked to spend more time there, and hopefully in the future I will be able to do so. It doesn’t help that we don’t know many people there, so we didn’t have a local guide in our visit, although I had a productive meeting with professors in the Getulio Vargas Foundation. In the short time that we spent there, my impression was that it is a relatively rich and lively city. Apparently, it is a safe city, at least in the daylight and in the commercial center. The Avenida Paulista, the main business street, does not look different from other big avenues in capitals of developed nations. We spent a few hours in a big park (Ibirapuera) that contains several museums, and that reminds one of Central Park. We also spent time in a shopping street called Oscar Freire, which reminds one of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. One thing I didn’t like: if you go to Sao Paulo, avoid the Linson Suites Hotel. One thing that didn’t surprise me: when we woke up to catch our flight in the last day, at 6 am there were still many groups of young people partying in the streets, not differently from many Spanish cities. And yes, the Brazilians are crazy with football, and they fed the illusion that they were on a par with FC Barcelona the days prior to the Clubs World Cup final. The taxi driver that drove us to the airport in our departure was a Santos fan, and (hypocritically) I wished him luck when he dropped us. The rest is history.

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