Cloudy arrival again this year, but less
rain. It had been raining and was still pretty cool. I get off
the plane and decide to find a Taxi (TAX in Portuguese) to take me to the
Hotel. Ah! This is when I realize the second thing I
forgot............the Name and address of the Hotel, plus my reservation
Good job I have Fabio's phone number.
So I call him and get the information. (Imagine if I had booked the Hotel
It was much easier finding my way around
this year and I was very comfortable about it. I step outside and
find the Taxi rank. I walk up and Say "Olla Bom Gia"
(remembering my Portuguese.) "Hello, Good morning". Of course then it's
Spanglish again...."Abla Englaise?" Yes is the reply. :) I
tell them where I want to go and they say it will be 75 Reais, approx.
No problem! I get in the cab and away we
go. (As we are leaving I spot the same beautiful Blonde I saw at the
airport in Phoenix!) It does not take long for me to realize the cab driver has no
idea where the Hotel is. :) But I have to tell you, I really trust
these guys to get me to where I'm going. He is on the radio and his
cell phone getting directions. We are very close to the Hotel, when
he stops at a Taxi rank on the roadside to ask another driver. It's
all one way streets, so as the crow flies we are about 100 yards from the
Hotel. So a trip around the block and here we are. "Slaviero
Executive Suite Hotel, 1435 Alameda Campenas. :) I pay the 75 Reais
and check in.
The Staff is very friendly and speak a
little more English than I speak Portuguese, so everything is fine. There
is a Buss Boy that already captured my luggage while I was checking in. He
shows me the way to the room and wheels in my luggage, waits for his tip
and splits. It takes me a few minutes to figure out how to turn the lights
on. I have to use the door key and slip it into a slot in the wall
and leave it there. Then the lights work. :)
I'm on the 8th floor without much of a
view this year, but it's less than half the price of last year, and I'm
tired and hungry, but first I call everyone in Sao Paulo to let them know
I've arrived, and finalize arrangements for meeting everyone.
I get cleaned up and go downstairs to
the restaurant for something to eat and drink. I walk in and ask if
it's open as there is no one in there. The waiter just looks at
me............so I realize he does not speak English, but we get it
figured out and I sit down to eat. I have a sandwich which is called
a Beruite or something like that. Pita bread, steak (thin) ham, cheese and
some veggies. Very tasty! Plus a couple of beers.
I decide to take a walk up to Aveneda
Paulista, about 6 blocks away, and see if I could find a reasonably priced
jacket. Man it was all up hill! The good part to that is, it will be
down hill on the way back.
Up on the avenue there are these guys
pulling two wheeled wagons, and I don't mean small. They are about 4
feet wide and 6 to 7 feet long, with two car wheels on them. They
have two handles which extend out front about 3 feet, run the full length
of the wagon and stick out the back about 2 feet, with some old tire tread
attached to the bottom end. That is the brakes! These guys are
"recycling". They collect all the garbage paper and boxes and take
them to the recycling centers. They may be homeless, but they are
willing to work. You have to admire that!
After my walk along Paulista, and not
finding a jacket, I decide it's time to head back to the Hotel. Easy
walk this time. :) I decide to have a cocktail in the Bar. The
same guy that served me lunch was there. His name turns out to be Fabio.
(Must be a fairly common name in Brazil.) I sit at the bar and order a
Bacardi and diet Coke.....................they just look at me as if I
spoke double Dutch. :) I'm thinking, it cannot be called anything
else. After a couple of attempts, another guest sitting at the bar
said "Bacardi y Coka light" Immediately they get the drink. Now the
only real difference was the way he said Bacardi and used Light for diet.
Oh well! At least I got my drink.
I then try talking to the guys behind
the bar, which is a lot of fun. We have a combination of Portuguese,
Spanish and Broken English. Luckily F1 is an international language,
but I'm in Brasil so the talk is about Brazilian drivers. The consensus of
them was Rubens SUCKS, Massa is the Man now. Senna will always be
the MAN and Emmo is "So-So". :) Time to leave and get some sleep.
I'm done for the day