Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday in São Paulo cont

I made my way down to Rua Santo Amaro and caught a bus to Avenida Paulista.  I arrived to Avenida Paulista, and while strolling down the street I caught a PD idea that literally had me bubbling with excitement. It was great, I was literally  babbling to myself walking down the grand Avenida Paulista while waving my pen as a baton as if conducting some PD symphony, I am sure all you readers can imagine this image.  Such details will be shared in the weeks and months to come.

Anyway, I made my way to MASP, past the Feria de Antiguos below the building.  There were groups of teens and a few adults offering abraços grátis (free hugs).  I snagged a group hug with three cute Brasileiras and squeezed them tight, before heading into the museum.

The museum was good.  There was an interesting exhibit on portraits.  There were some by the masters such as Titian, Goya, El Greco, among others.  My favorite was a self-portrait of a young Rembrandt.  As I wrote once prior the last time I found myself staring at an older Rembrandt: And then I found myself staring at genius. A self-portrait of Rembrandt, with a twinkle hidden in his eyes. It is not everyday you find yourself staring at genius, and find him staring back at you across the canvas of centuries. Nothing like staring into the eyes of genius through the ages.

I continued on to the Romantic exhibit.  Will we be granted to share the audacity of beauty? asked a prophet named Saul.  What I loved most from the exhibition was the line: Romanticism is also a stated longing for whatever is endless.  So true.

The exhibits were nice, but my mind was swimming in other thoughts.  But I did find an interesting exhibit of biblical chapters done in cubist style that was excellent.

After the museum, I wandered through the Feria de Antiguos in the day's fading light.  The sun cast beautiful shadows on the market's antique charm.  Afterwards, I went wandering down Avenida Paulista to find a cafe for an afternoon caiprinha as the sun set across the city.  Caiprinhas have a ton of vitamin C, and other good-for-you medicine to help find the cold I was battling.  I think Linus Pauling would approve.

After the evening caiprinha, I hopped the metro up to Liberdade to grab some ramen.  I wandered through the Brazilian-style version of Japanese bulbs, and found a busy ramen (lamen) joint.  The place had a wait out the door, but sometimes it is easier to get a place for one at the counter than a bigger table.  They told me it would be a twenty minute wait.  I put down my name then bounced around the corner to the local lonchette for a beer at a plastic table.

I returned to a seat at the ramen (lamen) bar for some incredible noodle soup.  I slurped my hot soup and hot sake as I dreamed of Japanese gastrodiplomacy outreach through ramen and other lesser known Japanese cuisine.

After a delicious bowl of soup, I headed back up to Liberdade Square, where I sat out at a plastic table, sipping a beer out of a small cup.  For someone who likes to talk, I love to listen.  What I love to listen to most is the sound of other languages pouring over me.  When I am the only foreigner about, in some cafe or bus or metro train, I love to listen to the sounds of local banter when I can't understand a word.  That is all it is: sound.  Not having the burden of understanding offers me the peace that I call silence amid sound.

But my silence didn't last.  The next table over befriended me, and poured me cup after cup as I chatted in portoñol.  What is portoñol?  It is the version of Spanish-Portuguese that I speak to fake not speaking Portuguese.  I can't count how many Brazilians have told me I spoke Portuguese well, to which I respond.  No, I speak Portuguese poorly, I speak portoñol well.   This always earns me a thumbs-up.

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