Sunday, November 27, 2011

South America part 1

I'll be heading back to Brazil in the very near future.  One reason I like to blog is so I can re-read old posts.  I went to look for posts on going to Brazil and didn't find any.  My previous trips were all before I started blogging I guess.  I'll try to capture some of my thoughts and pictures here so I don't lose them.

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

same ramp

short cut

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.


Kate Geisen said...

Very cool. I'm sure that sometimes travelling for work can get old, but it sounds really cool to someone who doesn't go any further than Belleville. :)

Back in 2000 Jeff and I went to Puerto Vallarta and got some tickets from a time share salesman (and a fantastic deal for our time, as it turned out). Anyway, there was about 45 minutes between us giving him the money and our ride to the resort. We'd already paid, so we were going to be back for sure, but I guess they weren't so confident of us because the guys came driving up in a cab and told us they'd take us for a tour of the city until it was time for our appointment. We got in the car, but I think both of us were wondering a little if we were being kidnapped. The crazy driving didn't make us any more comfortable, but they really did just show us around town.

Have a great trip!

Cory Reese said...

Awesome pictures, although those short cut pictures definitely look a little sketchy!

Unknown said...

Awesome picture
Music logos

Dawn said...

Hahaha...(sorry)...but I KNOW that feeling. On short cuts in places like that- you never quite know if you'll ever see familiarity again!
I was going to say I was jealous of you getting to go there- but I'm not a fan of uneasiness;))
Be safe when you venture back there!!

Anonymous said...

I've never been to Brazil but I've spent a lot of time in Mexico City on business - I bet they have similar vibes.

Have a good trip.

Anne B said...

Wow, what an adventure! Stay safe!

Jill said...

I said a few prayers in a "taxi" in Mexico once... scary! Have a great trip in S.A., what a great adventure!