Unique Sao Paulo

First I have to rant a little about Blogger. It has been not very nice to me lately, not allowing me to publish posts, publishing things three times when I press “Publish Post” only once, things like that.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m here to discuss what I’ve seen on my long ride on the bus back home on Wednesday. First I was hit by the lack of good information about buses around here. There is a website where you can check bus itineraries. You enter two big avenues and it finds buses that connect these two places.

Note that there is no time, no regularity of the bus, just its number. Then you can go to the number and see what the itinerary of the bus is to have an idea how long it takes from one point to the other. And that’s all.

With this tool, I found a bus line that connected two streets that I could use to connect where I was to my house. So there I went to the bus stop… I saw at least 15 different bus lines driving by that bus stop, at least 3 times each! So one hour after I got to the bus stop I decided that I should try something different to get home. So I went to another bus stop and asked the driver of a bus that went approximately to the place I wanted to go about how to get there. He promptly said that I should stay in the bus for one more stop and then transfer to another bus in the next stop. I’ve done it and I was on my way home, arriving safely.

Now for the interesting thing that I’ve learned on this trip.

Buses are very interesting in Sao Paulo. Some are old and not very confortable. They can get pretty crowded, especially on peak hours. Crowded enough that you have to squeeze your way out or else you miss the stop (that’s what I had to do and almost missed my stop). But they show a lot of what life is about. You just have to stop and listen to people talk, and look outside on the places the bus goes through. Here are just small excerpts of these observations (lots of them needed pictures, but taking a digital camera inside a bus is never a good idea):

– A paper ad glued to a post: “Call Miss XYZ: Tarot, and a large list of other related future reading methods. Get your love to love you in 01 days!”
– A discussion between two high schoolers: “blah, blah, blah about boys. So what are you doing about it? Well, I’m going to talk with my grandmother and she always gives me good advice about it…”
– A set of very new buildings all made of glass and a homeless man walking with his cart full of trash and just ignored by everybody else.
– Very poor looking people entering the bus and paying their tickets using a very interesting smart card system (I’ll get to this system one day)
– People entering buses to try and sell some snacks, ice cream and drinks and first going to the driver and giving them a free sample so that they can enter and exit the bus for free.
– Very well dressed people leaving and entering the bus at the same time as very poorly dressed people.
– Women walking by and seeing almost all men just turning around to see her back.
– Outdoor ads displaying nearly nude women and men to sell pretty much anything, from alcoholic drinks to lingerie

This is just what I can remember. I know I was actually quite delighted with all I was seeing and hearing. I do miss Sao Paulo, and I know I’ll always miss it. Especially because my sister said that being a man in Sao Paulo is great right now, because there is a very interesting scarcity of available men right now.

Anyway, time for me to go to bed so that I can help my mother to prepare things for my party in the evening.

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