This weekend was particularity good because my husband was off on Sunday which only happens once a month. We woke up early to go for a run, then got ready to walk the city!
First we went to Ibirapuera park which we had never been to before. Crazy I know but we have not been here long and quite frankly Junior has been working ever since we came. The park is quite impressive! So full of people running, walking, playing, cycling skateboarding… you name it, they do it!
We left the park to have lunch which we had at some random place we found open not too far away. It was ok, nothing to write about, nothing I will go back for. But it was cheap, and with everyone constantly saying “in Brazil everything is expensive” that is a nice catch. We paid just over €20 for a huge Picanha (should have had only this for the two of us), a sandwich like dish full of stuffing and two large beers, oh and an espresso. So I am sorry, everything is not expensive in Brazil!
After lunch we walked a little bit more. We are in Moema which is a generally exclusive area so I walk with my head up checking out the million dollar apartments. But I don’t get it. Why not spend a little bit extra to make the properties truly amazing, charming, special. They look like any suburban apartment block in Sweden. They all look the same and they are like hotels inside. Exaggeration again. But many (most?) do have a hotel feel, and who wants to live in a hotel? When you walk in the hallway to get to an individual apartment, the door doesn’t look like a proper entry but rather a door into a room. Just the key card missing! The services offered by the condo are the same as a hotel (they even have valet and concierge). But then they do not come with a stove and a refrigerator, sometimes not even with a kitchen bench. I once asked a friend why that is and got the answer that if the kitchen is fully equipped, what if the person moving in doesn’t like it. I thought, oh my God, well then either you buy another flat or maybe you refurbish if that’s the best option, right? Nope, here you buy, or even RENT for that matter, a home with a kitchen that barely has a sink, and then buy everything else for it.Two years later when you want to move again you have to sell those white-goods and that bench and those cupboards, because they don’t look good in the new flat and the bench is not the right size anyway. Smart, huh!? Ok this is not a Brazilian phenomenon by any means, it is the same in many countries (Portugal, Qatar…) but it just startles me. My last apartment in Lisbon had a stove and a fridge. There was a whole for the oven, the dish washer and the washing machine. Shocking!
Another strange thing with the properties here is that they have some weird kind of windows. So, in my bedroom there is one window. The left half is normal. The right half is not really a window, it is a black plastic thing with wholes in it. So, I can never get daylight through, and air will always come through the little wholes (even in winter). There is a similar thing in the service area; once the rain was so crazy that it came through the little holes and I had to unplug the washing machine as I was concerned about the electricity getting, er, rained on…
Apartments here do not come with an exhaust fan, not like you would expect one after knowing the above. I cannot fry or grill without having to air out the apartment and clean the whole kitchen. I might very soon suffer from scurvy as stew is all I can cook.
On a more positive note, when a block of apartments have a hotel feel to it, it usually means there is a pool. And I love swimming and I love sunbathing. And when the guys working in the building are super sweet, the lack of exhaust-fan and strange windows is almost acceptable. Thankfully the people are the reason I like living here, if it was the other way around I think I would have had a problem. Because there is nothing like having friendly people around you.
Speaking of friendly people we were invited for lunch to a friend of Junior as well on Sunday (yes two lunches, long story). This person lives in a villa about 2K from our house. It was a beautiful home, so nicely decorated with a cozy green garden, loads of good wine and really nice people. As we walked in there was a man playing the piano really well, the son of our host was singing and playing the guitar. The atmosphere was just perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Again, the hosts and the other guests were all so friendly! It really does surprise me and makes my ride to Loving São Paulo easier each day.