Another update, soon after the last. Not much to say, but am stuck in Sao Paulo bus station. Trying to figure out what bus I want to catch – as in when, and where to.
So – some random observations of my time thus far:
– we are using cellphones all wrong. You are supposed to hold it in front of your mouth when speaking. Then, when you’ve finished, hold the speaker to your ear. This way, it is impossible for the other person to interrupt you. Although some people here put their phones on permanent speakerphone mode, that way you don’t have to keep moving the phone from mouth to ear.
– the whole thing about “don’t wear ‘bumbags’, you automatically look like a tourist”? Not true. Many many locals here love the things. In some towns I have felt out of place not having a big pouch hanging off my waist.
– cashier system here is great. Most places have a person employed solely as the cashier. People behind the counter getting burgers/etc – never touch the money. A few variations on the theme. Chicken place in Guyana – buy a ticket/receipt off one woman, who spends most of her time idle. Then – with your ticket – try to press to the front of heaps of people waving their tickets at the two overworked people behind counter. Another method – everybody gets a sheet of paper when they walk in. Everytime you buy something, it is marked on the sheet. When you leave – hand paper to cashier. Sometimes an extra person is added outside, to check that your paper has been stamped by the cashier.
– did I mention the little girl who threw up on the bus? In aisle, right next to my seat. To be fair – the toilet was occupied. And somebody was thoughtful enough to place some newspaper over the vomit for the remaining several hours of the trip.
– Tiny dancers. I have seen two dancers who could be considered ‘tiny’. The first – my Caracas girlfriend. She was fairly small, and was definitely a dancer. However, she had bare feet, not bound. Not sure if she can be counted. The second – a small boy appearing on a music DVD, imitating the main star. Very tiny, very much dancing – but a child, and not in person. Not sure if he can be counted. I am also lacking on the spotting of any Rocketmen, or Nikita.
– Each country uses a different technique for dealing with the age-old “beer-getting-warm” problem. Venezuela – very small beers. Brasil – ’coolers’ for each 600ml bottle. Which are pretty cool. Wish I’d brought a stubby-holder with me actually. Have seen some can-sized ones here, but are rather primitive and bulky.
And that’s about all. Still haven’t decided on which bus to take, or where to go. Maybe cerveja will help. Oh, did I mention that Sao Paulo is the second largest city IN THE WORLD? Over 11 million in the ‘city proper’. 29 million in the ‘metropolitan area’. Big.