On Monday, we drove around Sao Paulo to look at famous places and to see different neighborhoods. Our first stop was a place Renata called the "Japanese Neighborhood." Kristin says there are more Japanese descendants in Sao Paulo than anywhere else outside of Japan. I had no idea!
Can you see the street lights in the picture above? They look a lot like the lanterns I see in the temples in Asia. Very interesting.
I was so busy looking at the lantern lights that I forgot to ask Kristin to take my photo. Oh well, she probably wouldn't have been able to anyway. She is helping Keith with a video camera. I thought they were making a radio show. Kristin says they are making a radio show but also getting video for a Web site. It is very strange to see Keith with a video camera.
One thing I did see was a McDonald's that served ice cream, but Kristin said we didn't have time to eat ice cream. :(
I noticed a number of interesting paintings on walls and buildings all over Sao Paulo. Kristin says it is "graffiti."
Kristin says it isn't nice to paint things unless you have permission. I think she is right. But it looks like many people in Sao Paulo like to paint anything and everything.
Later we went to a place called Praca de Se... or "Cathedral Square"... in the center of downtown Sao Paulo. Renata says this place is like a "town square" in America. Carlo, our driver, was very worried that someone would try to steal me out of Kristin's bag, so I stayed inside and looked out from a small opening.
The Praca da Se is a really interesting place. There is a large Catholic Church in the square called the "Catedral da Se."
Kristin says the Catholic church is very popular in Brazil. Who knew? But Renata told us that other religions are starting to become more popular. So much so that sometimes preachers from another church will stand in the square and shout their beliefs to the people who walk through the square. That's what this man was doing when we walked by.
There were also many men waiting to shine shoes in the square. Very interesting.
Keith says Brazil's leader, President Lula, used to be a shoe shine boy. Wow! He must have been a smart shoe shine boy. Just as we were leaving the square I noticed someone had set up a place to cut hair. I saw the same type of "salon" when I was in India with Kristin and Amy earlier this year.
Carlo then drove us around town so we could see other interesting places like this colorful shopping street called, Bom Retiro.
Then we stopped at the Museum of Modern Art. Kristin said we didn't have time to actually visit the museum (whew!) but Kristin and Keith did take a lot of photos and video by the museum.
Here's the view from the museum's patio.
Everywhere we went that day I kept seeing these funny looking lime green bubbles on the sidewalk.
I finally asked Kristin what the green bubbles were. She says they are phone booths. Wow, those are the funniest looking phone booths I have ever seen!
Kristin says many people in Brazil cannot afford cell phones so they use these pay phones to call people. Renata says people who use the pay phones buy a special card with minutes on it. Kristin says this is like the prepaid phone cards we can buy in the US. Here I am by one of the phones.