Two days ago, we flew to sau palo for the start of our one week journey in Brazil.
We had all been waiting for this leg of the journey and true to form it took us just a few minutes to realize that our high expectations were justified and would be met. From all the FIFA volunteers to billboards to apparel, it was clear that this country had only one thing in mind!!! We immediately went to the FIFA ticketing station at the airport and got our tickets for the June 30th match in Brasilia – France vs. Nigeria!!
After this, we went to the hotel. As we came into the city, we quickly realized just how large Sao palo is. It took us 1.5 hours just to get from the airport to the Hyatt hotel where we were staying. As we later found out, Sau Palo is composed of many little towns and districts, thus lending to it’s overall large size. We quickly left the hotel and went to an outdoor restaurant/bar to enjoy the Brazil vs. Chile game. We were praying for a win as we wanted to witness a true Brazilian celebration. While the game was nerve wracking, Brazil ended up winning on penalty kicks at the end and the celebrations started!!
People were yelling and screaming in the middle of roads. Vuvuzela sounds could be heard from every direction and the celebrations were surreal!!
We then went to the party district of Sao Palo – Villa de Madeleina. We were not prepared for this as the celebrations exceeded our wildest imaginations. Streets were just closed down with people openly celebrating, screaming, and yelling throughout the streets. Thank god Brazil won as we could only imagine what the mood would be like if they had lost! Two things we noticed here:
1) When they say that Brazilian woman are beautiful, it is an understatement
2) Indian people seem to be very popular here, both from a cultural and religious viewpoint. We saw many people with Om tattoos, Sanskrit tattoos, and a few even had Lord Ganesha tattoos. People immediately noticed that we were Indian and were very friendly with us.
After hanging out at Vila de Madeleina for a bit, we then went back to the hotel to freshen up. After that we headed out to a local Mexican joint for dinner, and then experienced the Sao Palo nightlife for a bit before calling it a night and returning back to the hotel.
Our second day in Brazil was mostly lost to traveling, as we had to fly to Brasilia for our match the following day. We ended up watching some of the Mexico vs. Netherlands game, before heading out to the airport.
Next stop – France vs Nigeria and the experience of a lifetime!!!!!