day 36: a Sampa adventure

This past weekend, some new friends of ours (yay!) invited us to explore another side of Sampa we have not experienced yet: Bela Vista (northeast from us in Morumbi, across the Pinheiros River).

There, we discovered the most delightful farmers market: Jardim Secreto Fair. It was unlike anything we’ve experienced yet. Gritty, raw, noncommercialized (though ironically the majority of the vendors we talked to spoke English…more so than anywhere else yet). Within the first few minutes of our arrival, the local booth’s bartender offered us the opportunity to participate in..how shall I say…some herb which may or may not be popular in Colorado. Only a few minutes after that invitation, we were drinking delicious whiskey and tea concoctions. After introductions to some mutual friends and a bit of live music enjoyment, we were off to explore the booths: soaps and candies and clothes and home decor and trinkets oh my! Little beer shops–think paleteros–punctuated every few stalls. One of our favorite places was this delicious little peanut butter shop that had peanut butter brownies called Pe.Nutt.

After the market, we walked a few (some might add the adjective here of shady) graffiti-lined-blocks down to a highly-rated-but-off-the-grid restaurant called Cla Destino Gastrobar. There we sat outside and shared delicious bottled local beers, burgers (vegetariano e carne), and batatas rusticos. At some point, the waiter came around with housemade flavored cachaças. This probably coincides with when we decided to hit up a local speakeasy/art gallery/bar nearby somehow associated with our current restaurant’s owners.

And that, my friends, is where our night ended. Below an art gallery of red-threaded–penises (peni?) and superimposed-grooms-into-brides (!), we drank handcrafted cocktails. That is, until midnight, at which point we were kindly reminded of close time: so the local restaurant owners could come in and drink together.

How do I get invited to that party?!

 

parabéns: burgers and tutors

If you know us, you know we LOVE to eat out. (Like many other people, we plan our vacations around our meals.) This is one of the exhilarating and exhausting parts of being in a new country where the language is unknown: what do those Portuguese menus say?!

Unlike at home, it is not easy to go out here in Sampa. Enjoyable… Yes. Accessible… Yes. Varied… Yes. Adventurous… Yes. Exciting… Yes. Cheap… Depends. But easy? No.

This is what I’m realizing about living in a foreign country: nothing is easy. From reading different cultural cues to translating different menus, everything takes so. much. energy. I am a different kind of tired than usual: an aching and deep kinda tired. I’m tired in two languages.

But, Monday night, after a ten-hour day being productive at school, a nice meal at a restaurant was in order. I was both feeling fulfilled from finally working with my students as well as feeling prepared for the next day. So, a little bit of adventure called for the night. We considered walking to the Mexican restaurant (more Tex-Mex… Mexicancito?) because we LOVE Mexican food, and the menu there is more accessible with so many cognates and all.

But, alas, it doesn’t open until 6…and us gringos like to eat early and get home early and go to bed early. So we decided on a local burger place that had some delicious looking fries on the menu (I like salt, what can I say). A short Uber ride away, and we arrived at The Burger Experience.

Naturally, as it was earlier than Brazilian dinner time, we were the only ones there. But it was perfect because our waiter took us under his wings and made us his private little tutees. We stumbled through the language, relying on pictures, pointing, gestures and Google translate. And he would stop, look at us, and slowly say the syllables of words we butchered.

Car a mel iz ad a

Pic les

When we got it right, he made sure to give us the biggest high five and the loudest parabéns and the warmest smile. When we faltered, he’d pause on the part we got wrong and repeat it until we got it right, making us do the same. And then, parabéns!

So though not easy, Brazil is beautiful. A place where people bend over backwards to help you if only you try. (And not for a tip…this is not a tipping culture.) Their generosity and care flows from the pure tropical warmth of their hearts.

So now, Dave and I will start a new eating out tradition: burgers and tutors.

Parabéns!

 

 

 

 

 

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