November 10 (Thursday)
Place: Sao Paolo
What to do: Exploring the city
Accommodation: Staying with Simoni’s Brazilian friends from Mata Groso sisters Daniela and Rafaela
Yesterday’s plants already made some friends here.
I had to spend all the morning working on my online job. This is the challenge I’m taking for myself for this trip. I’m traveling, I have to organize the rout, find places to stay, I’m running this blog and on top of this I have to work. Ok, this was a minute if complain, but the rest of this page I promise would be interesting)
Praça da Sé is the zero point of Sao Paulo, where the city was founded as the cross road between the gold mines and the sea ports has happened in this square. Nowadays it became the place where unemployed men come to get some freelance jobs (if this was a place for the new city may be it will work as a place for the new life). São Paulo Cathedral was first built 1589 by African slaves and destroyed it at 1616. At the beginning of the 20th century Brazilians decided to rebuild it which took them around 50 years to make it happened and was finished very recently in 1967.
The first church and a first construction of Sao Paolo – Pátio do Colégio (the school backyard) was built in 1554 fifty years after Brazil had this failure to be founded by Portuguese dudes. Portuguese were killing natives basically because according to the strong influence of the church this time native indians didn’t have a god in their harts. And if you don’t have a god – this means you have a devil. And if you have a devil – you need to be killed. But god says killing is not really a good action. And Portuguese decided to build this church and came here to teach indians about god, so there would be no need to kill them. Unfortunately indians didn’t absorb the new religion as easy as Portuguese wanted.
Inside Pátio do Colégio we found Cripta with a library of historical books of Brazil. Jean-Baptiste Debret and Nicolas-Antoine Taunay were the first painters who painted Brazil daily life to show it to Europeans who were very curious about Brazil this time.
Next to the church there is the Palace of Justice with Trance Gender exhibition (very interesting choice of the exhibition place) to discuss Brazilian law of transgender, lesbian, gay and all these sort of people rights. Since 1988 when we didn’t even have sex in USSR Brazilians can do whatever they want like using whatever gender bathroom and marry whatever gender husband. But. Majority of Brazilians don’t know about this law. Yet. Seriously. So there is this organization who wants to remind that guys, you can marry guys, and girls you can kiss other girls, it’s legal. Se-ri-o-us-ly.
Getting hungry we were trying to find some interesting spot. And we found! The foundation of Guanabara bar sends us to 1910 – the same year when the big fight of black workers leaded by admiral Juao Candido for their rights was started. It remembers the time when black people stood on the lower step than white ones just because of the skin color. And today in 2016 sitting in this bar I’ve seen a white man serving two black guys.
Streets of Sao Paolo Largo Páteo do Colégio, Largo Vale do Anhangabaú and Largo Paissandu are the most historical areas of Sao Paulo. They are mixtures of old Portuguese style architecture with modern building technologies, no idea about city roads plan strategy and some really nice graffiti on firewalls and some really ugly on reachable by hands of artists spaces of anything.
Living in Brazil you can always hear some sounds of Samba music, so did we, and went to check where it was coming from. It appeared to be a rehearsal of samba band under the bridge. This orchestra is organized by CRECI – a center for old and homeless people. If you don’t have money and house you can come there and get some food and shower. The only thing – you can stay there just for a day, after that your friends or relatives have to come to pick you up. CRECI also organizes social programs related to art activities – like this Samba Band.
Next to the samba bridge there is the building of Municipal Theater of Sao Paolo which was inspired by Paris Opera. The interiors are pretty similar as interiors of Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. I’m not sure I’d like to attend any play here again… I went already for opera and ballet in Rio. Mozart and Salieri – ok, this wasn’t too bad as it’s pretty hard to make it bad if there are just two people singing something which no one one understand a word anyway, and again anyway not much backgrounds and costumes needed. But ballet… I watched Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov… I’ve been to theaters more times in my life then cinemas. My mother is a teacher of music and when I was little (and until I got my rights to refuse doing the stuff which was labeled as must) we spent evenings in theaters few times a month. If you want to know my opinion… It’s definitely nice that Brazilians are trying ballet dance… But may be this is the reason we don’t have samba carnival in Russia because we just can’t make it at the same level as Brazilians can.
The rain started at 6pm as scheduled on the sky above Sao Paolo.