Hello from the bus between Porto Alegre and Florianopolis.
I’ve just had 3 fantastic days in Porto Alegre, the capital in the state Rio Grande do Sul. It’s the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian state. It has about 1,5 million people and the state about 4,5 million, which makes it the fourth largest metropolitan area in brazil.
I visited my friend Rafa, which I met in Cusco in Peru in May. He is such a lovely soul. I’m so glad to have met him. I knew nothing about PoA (Porto Alegre), I had no idea about anything – so he surprised me with all there is to see. I was mainly there to visit him – but I ended up enjoying PoA so much. The people here are SO educated and there are so many things that surprised me. I compared a lot with Argentina since I’ve been there for a while, and Brazil is so much more advanced. Things work here in a hole other level then in Argentina.
There are more laws here that are the same as we have in Sweden – which the rest of south America don’t have – so I felt much more comfortable here. It’s more alike Sweden then Spain is! Haha. Example: you can’t drive drunk (they have controls and arrest you and bill you 1000 reials – 440 USD). You can’t smoke inside – not in clubs, bars or pubs. They allow gay marriage :) They were actually the first state in Brazil to accept gay marriage and the first wedding was held here in Porto Alegre!
Well! Back to what we have done. Rafa met me up at the bus station and then we went to his house in Sapocaia do sur – so big!!!! And with sofas. I have missed the sofas! Hehe. He lives together with his parents, his brother and three dogs. They have two floors and even a pool, but since its spring it hasn’t been cleaned for summer yet, to bad. :) Rafa lent me his room, and it felt like the greatest bed ever – wow I have missed to have a good mattress! I also met his aunt and uncle, cousin and grandmother, who all live just around the corner. Their family own a fireworks store since 40 years back “Pavani fogos”. Their garden is filled with different kind of trees, like: orange, mango, avocado, jabuticaba, Granada, carambola and nut-trees. AMAZING!
We went to a shopping mall and had lunch, me, Rafa, his brother Vilnius and mother Catrin. They are so alike! Rafa speaks portuñol – almost Spanish but sometimes he mixes with a little bit of Portuguese. His family speaks only Portuguese, but we did understand each other quite well. Our languages are very alike, but the pronunciation is more like French, mixed with English words. But when I get used to hearing Portuguese, I think I’ll catch more of what they say.
Rafa helped me to fix a Brazilian phone number, a little bit tricky since you have to be Brazilian or know a Brazilian to get a sim card in brazil.
Later Rafas parents and us two we went to the neighborhood around the park Molinhos do Vento, also called “Parcão”. It’s a rich neighborhood where people with money live, you could tell with the houses, the cars, the stores, the cafés. Everything was so clean too!!
And there are so beautiful purple trees everywhere, called Jacarandá. RS is the state with most trees in the whole Brazil. Love!
We walked around in Parcão – such a peaceful place – like an oasis in the pulsing city. I notice people here are very sporty and healthy – everyone was out jogging or walking! The paths are marked up with km so they can count how much they have run. Very smart idea!
We had coffee at a gourmet café – Press café – which apparently is a chain in RS. Starbucks and that kind of fast-food-coffee doesn’t work here at all, they are very “coffeeterian” here – love it! And I tried the “mil folhas” – a typical cake from RS filled with Dulce De Leche – and it was delicious!!! So yummi yummi yummi.
On our way home we bought a family pizza from a place in Esteio, another city within PoA. Here you can also choose different flavors on the pizza – so we had 3 different, one with meat, one with fresh tomatoes and one broccoli with white sauce and palmitos, and the borders were filled with cheese – it was SOO good! I also tried out the “Guaraná” drink, which is a fruit typical from Brazil.
Next day… um… well. I think this entry will get huge, so I’ll better upload a second entry about tomorrow!