Thursday, January 08, 2009

Farewell to Sao Paulo . . .

This morning we leave Sao Paulo for Rio, a 7-hour bus ride on a "sleeper", but beaches beckon.

Yesterday we invested in a dictionary, that and the newspaper supplement the appendix in Lonely Planet. Spanish and Portuguese continue to melt together, and we both function reasonably well.

Yesterday also was perhaps our greatest adventure here in Sao Paulo as we took the METRO to the Museu Afro-Brasil and were delighted by the exhibits there. My favorites were absolutely fantastic quilted wall hangings of the jungle, elephants, monkeys, exquisite flowers, bright colors, tiny, tiny stitches. Ah, no pictures allowed.

And we encountered Yemanja, a sea goddess with a mermaid tail, ruler of the top half of the ocean, creator of the first man and woman, most commonly shown with a syncretic overlay of the Virgin Mary, complete with blue robe, hands trailing pearls, and, at times, her mermaid tail peeking from beneath her skirts. We may actually be in Salvador coincidentally on one of the days celebrating Yemanja as Our Lady of Seafarers (Nuestra Senora de Navegantes).

The true adventure began on our way home on the METRO at rush hour. Every single image you may have of people crammed into a subway car is true. I have never seen so many people in one place at one time. I was able to plough through a wall of souls by crying out: "Succor! Desculpa!! Obregada!" (Help! Excuse me!! Thank you!) and so we made it home.

Picture from:

No comments: