Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brasil a gosto and Caiprinhas

Today was my first day in Sao Paulo, and it was rather uneventful. Worn out from the trip and getting to the hotel, I was ready to relax as much as possible. We are staying at the Mercue Jardins Sao Paulo which is a nice place, even if they do not have an iron or an alarm clock in the room. Wood floors and an awesome rainfall shower head make up for the iron and alarm clock. These confines should work nicely for the next few weeks despite the internet connection being less than impressive.
Room at the Mercure Jardins
After unpacking and organizing everything I had hoped to watch or listen to The Ohio State Buckeyes play Michigan State today, however I was unsuccessful. Both the wireless and the LAN were too slow for video and 97.1 The Fan has some ridiculous setup to listen to the games online where you have to pay $5 per game. After spending $5 twice to try to listen I gave up, and tracked the game online. It was a great game to miss apparently as it looked like the interim coach tag may have been removed, but for all the wrong reasons.

After the game, I met Katie and Jamie in the lobby so we could go to dinner. One of Katie's friends from Graduate School, Fernanda, was picking us up and showing us the town. Fernanda actually works for Ernst & Young here in the Sao Paulo office. It turns out that Katie, Fernanda and I have some mutual friends from their participation in the E&Y "Your Master Plan" Program. This program allows non-accounting business majors an opporuntity to get a Masters in Accounting at either Notre Dame or Virgina. This again confirms my suspicious of exactly how small the world is.

Fernanda took us to a place called "Basil a gosto" which I was very impressed with. A quick google search backed up what my impression was and it is ranked the #4 best restuarant in Brazil. Right away you could tell this was not some place where you would hear Kevin Federline's Latin "hit" Popozão playing. The food and atmosphere were amazing and I was also introduced to the Brazilian national cocktail drink, the caiprinhas. It is a traditional rum drink flavored with fruit and sugar cane. They are very good, but, you would not want to drink too many of those, because both your blood sugar and your blood alcohol content would be skyhigh. Tomorrow the plan is to actually walk around and see more of the area we live in which is the Jardins area. One thing that I was not expecting was how expensive everything is here, even despite the exchange rate. For a dinner that was delicious but relatively modest, it cost each of us 100ish BRL's which is about $60 USD per person.

Upstairs Dinning Room at Basil a Gosto
Its now time to call it a night and see what this thriving metropolis has in store for tomorrow.

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