I had a couple trips with other people and didn't really have to pay much attention to anything. I also traveled by myself a couple times and that's when things were interesting (and a little scary, at least in my mind). Flying through Sao Paulo, I had to switch planes on very little sleep, and had to figure out which bus to board (to get driven to the connecting flight) when all the announcements were in Portuguese and English with an accent so strong I couldn't understand it. I resorted to approaching the announcer, saying "no Portuguese", showing him my ticket and having him shake his head no. This repeated for many flight announcements until the announcer finally looked my way and gave me a nod.
Once I landed, I had a driver waiting for me. He didn't know English and I don't know Portuguese. He knew where to take me and I was so tired, I couldn't stay awake. After a quick nap on then ride, then a quick shower at the hotel, the driver took me to the company I was working with. Along the way, the driver drove like a bat out of hell (just like everyone else), weaving in and out of traffic, hoping off the highway and cutting through low income neighborhoods with bars on the windows, graffiti on the walls, and laundry hanging on the porch/roof. Then we would hop back on the next highway only to hop back off for another "short cut". On each short cut, I felt like I was being kidnapped. Probably because of watching too many movies (but also because my company gave me a phone number to call if something happened). Anyway, I made it to work, then had the same thing happen on the way back to the hotel. After three days of being "kidnapped", I finally got use to it.
|View on the highway|
|another short cut|
|yep, I have no idea where I am|
At first I was too nervous to go walk around at night. After a couple days I thought it was crazy to stay in since I was staying in the safe part of the city so I went for a walk. I felt like everyone was watching me until someone stopped me to ask for directions in Portuguese. That is when I knew I was ok and ventured out a lot more and started running.
More when I find more pictures.