Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Navigating the Broken Streets of Sao Paulo


Running, writing, reading, sleeping and tentatively trying new food in another world, I have just enough time today to report a few things about my trip to Sao Paulo.

First, the fashion here is interesting. And so are the winding sidestreets, walkways and broken trails. Together, these two things leave me in a state of complete awe. Here is why: Brazillians are very sexualized beings by their very nature. Girls wear heels. Period. Boys are, for the most part, thin and tan with dark silky hair and darting eyes. So these girls and boys travel on foot or within the confines of the smallest of cars: Fiats, tiny Toyota's and even more miniscule Volkswagons. Motorcycles pivot and tip-toe through crowded paths of bumper-to-bumper traffic and never seem to spill. But no matter the vehicle or the route, the girls wear heels. High, high heels with tight, tight pants and even tighter tops. Therein lies a problem. The walkways are crowded and broken with steep steps and crushed mortar and zig-zagging tile that drops off when you least expect it. It's more common to see walkways in mid-repair with a variety of materials being substituted for whatever the bricklayer found in the back of his truck that morning than to see a finished space welcoming high heeled travelers. Nonetheless, the high heels pile out in the morning and stomp on in measured fashion way later than my curiosity allowed.

In other news, I ran the Ibirapuera park today. As in, the whole freaking park. Maybe twice...I'm not sure. I saw the Modern ARt Museum, the Japanese pavillon and the brave workers climbing to the tips of the trees to wrap up holiday lights in an etheral fashion all the way to the stars. Like many runners, I got caught up in the environment and the experience of getting to pound out a new run in a new place and before I know it, it happened. I got lost. Luckily, these high-heeled, broken-tile dodging beauties have nothing on a girl in a pair of well-loved running shoes. I caught up with every one I needed to bother for directions and that helpful guidance was what drove me back home....