I knew today was going to be special from the minute I woke up and turned the television on. It was set to ESPN International and I was treated to a very intense match of Chinese Competitive Ping Pong. This is not just something you see in the movie, Forrest Gump, but it is actually real. They stretch between serves, give intimidation stare downs, and bring their "a" game.
And this was all before I even got in any taxi's.
The taxi rides were not too much out of the ordinary however today was the first time that I witnessed any sort of road rage on the streets of Sao Paulo. It was not a taxi driver but someone driving a Chevy Sedan who was attempting to cut across three lanes and then proceeded to flip the middle finger to 3 or 4 drivers along the way. I have no way to confirm this but I would place a bet on the over on the 50/50 chance it was an American. As I rolled down the Avenida Nove de Julio listening to "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent taking in the scene, I got to thinking that, despite the craziness that we all know as the Sao Paulo Traffic, I had not seen road rage before this. In the U.S. this is very common, and I'll admit I've had a spell or two myself, but here, despite the very aggressive style, everyone just goes about their way. Its almost expected that you would cut someone off as you attempt the 3 lane merge but if you don't make it all the way over, you just go back into the lane where you came from, and then try again after the car passes. It is an interesting dynamic to say the least but it works, for the most part.
On the way back from work, I was treated in luxury. It was some sort of Chevy Equinox, but just a bit smaller. However, it felt like a Suburban compared to the cars I have been riding in. It was also very clean and even featured a seat back advertisement for GPS systems, which I thought was ironic given the driver did not have one. Despite not having a GPS, the ride went smoothly, mainly because after four weeks in Sao Paulo, the driver actually followed the directions I handed him! I was truly amazed and excited that it only took one month to witness.
Today was also special because it was the second time I took clothes to the laundry service across the street from the hotel. $65BRL later I was given a receipt and told to come back next Thursday, or at least I think that's what she said pointing to the date. I cannot wait to pick up my laundry cube next week. (If you have no idea what I am talking about when I refer to a laundry cube, refer to "Business as Usual" showing a photo of when I last picked up my laundry.
After Lamb Mignon and two Stella Artois at another great restaurant, Capim Santo, it was back to the hotel to put my game plan together for the weekend and watch the World Series. I think someone forgot to tell these two teams that its not the Little League World Series because with all of these fielding and throwing errors, I'm pretty sure the team from Huntington Beach, California could play better than this. Good night Sao Paulo.