Sunday, March 30, 2008

Greetings from Sao Paulo, Brazil!

Greetings from Brazil!

Keith, Kristin, and I arrived yesterday with no problems. Did you read that last sentence closely? We had NO problems getting to Brazil. I guess King Tut wasn't mad at Kristin yesterday. :)

Since we took a direct flight, we didn't have to change airports. The flight left Chicago around 9:30pm on Saturday and we landed in Sao Paulo just after 10:00am on Sunday. Since it was an overnight flight, I slept most of the way.

A journalist named Renata and our driver, Carlo, met us at the airport. They are both very nice! Renata is helping Kristin and Keith during the trip. Kristin calls her our "fixer." Now I remember...Kristin and Keith have had "fixers" help them on our other trips too.

Renata and Carlo immediately took us to the hotel so we could check-in. We are staying at a Marriott in what Renata calls "the nice part of town." Kristin's room is like a mini-apartment. Smaller than the room we had in Seoul, South Korea last fall...but still nice.

Kristin's room has a small kitchen and a dishwasher!

Isn't that the strangest dishwasher you have ever seen? I asked Kristin if we could use it because I think it would be fun to watch. But Kristin said we will likely eat out most of the trip. :(
Kristin's room also has a balcony that overlooks part of Sao Paulo.

Kristin says Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and all of South America. More than 10 million people live here. I had NO idea! (Note...Kristin is helping me find links for my messages like she did for China and India, so don't forget to click on the colored words if you want to learn more about Sao Paulo).

It was raining when we landed but the sun came out later in the day. The temperature is nice and warm (in the 70's). MUCH warmer than Iowa. I like Sao Paulo already! Here are a few more photos from Kristin's balcony.

When we first met Renata, I could hear her on the phone talking in a language that sounded a little bit like the Spanish I hear in Iowa. Kristin says people in Brazil so speak Spanish, but many also speak Portuguese. Kristin agrees both languages sound similar, but she tells me they are different. I am going to have to believe her on that since I can't understand anything Renata is saying when she talks in Portuguese. Here I am with Renata and Keith.

Kristin, Keith, and Renata spent most of yesterday working on making appointments and checking on things for our stay in Brazil. We didn't get to go out and do much since they were busy working. But we did stop at a local convenience store to buy water. We also had to buy diet coke for Kristin. And guess what? They have diet coke (or coke light as they call it here) with lime flavor...Kristin's favorite! You should have seen how happy Kristin was when we found this bottle at the store.

It is kind of hard to see in the photo above, but the bottle actually says it is coke light with "lemon." I thought Kristin was wrong when she said the diet coke had lime flavor since the bottle says "lemon." That's when she told me that people in Brazil call limes "lemons" and the yellow lemons we have in the United States are "limes." Are you confused? I sure am! Kristin swears her drink tastes like lime...even though it says lemon on the bottle. Strange!

That's all for now. Tomorrow Kristin says we will get to visit different places in Sao Paulo. Plus, she says later this week someone I know is going to meet us here. WOW! I wonder who that could be?!
More later....