After a very good night's sleep, I woke up early and found a nearby market for breakfast supplies. K made another excellent breakfast, and soon after our friend Nina arrived. She is a kindergarten teacher in Såo Paulo, and she had taken the day off to show us around her city. We spent about an hour discussing plans and getting our mobile phones to call each other, the latter being less than straightforward in this country! Then we headed down the street to tour the MASP Museum where we saw original works by Rodin, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, and many others. Sorry, no photos allowed in the museum. Just outside there was a big park with several statues and lush vegetation, so we have some photos from there...
We walked around the Avenida Paulista neighborhood a bit, looking for lunch, with most places completely full of people. It was lunch rush hour. We ultimately stumbled upon a kilo restaurant. These are buffets where you serve yourself. All kinds of foods were there - Brazilian, Thai, Mexican, Churrascaria, salads, fruits, everything. Then at the end they weigh your plate and charge by weight. Three of us ate our fill with some water and soda to drink for a little under US$30. Such a deal! Nina wanted to take us to her neighborhood and see her school and meet some family, so we made a complex connections of subway lines and trains to get to the Interlagos neighborhood.
The first stop in the neighborhood was to meet Nina's parents, a short walk away. They are a charming couple and they live in a very nice house (not an apartment) in a neighborhood that is friendly, safe, and quiet - except for the roar of engines from the world class racetrack nearby. What a delight to meet these folks, who served us homemade papaya preserves, and also had laid in a supply of beer for us - served with cheese, olives, and cashews. Excellent!
|Could not find T-shirt, but had the beer!|
Next stop was the school and the little kids. We met all of the teachers and most of the children. They were very happy to meet us and noisy as well. They also made us a special gift!
|Nina has 35 students, and there are 35 sets of handprints here waving to us - a wonderful gift!|
During our whole time in the neighborhood we had heard the roar of racing cars, so our next stop was the famous Interlagos Raceway of Såo Paulo. There was a practice session underway, and the track was open to the public. We went inside and watched for a while...
|Great view of the track and a tiny part of the enormous city in the background|
Next stop was to pick up Nina's husband, Rick, at the bus stop and decide where to go for dinner.