May 21, 2014

Life in Sao Paulo

Mention Brazil to many people in Europe and they might think of rainforest, the beaches and the carnivals.

But life in this huge country has many sides and in one city in particular, it is possible to see not only a real cross section of Brazilian life but of many other South American cultures as well.

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the seventh largest city in the world by population.


It is also the capital of Sao Paulo state, the most populous in the country. Known locally as “Cidade de Garoa” (City of Drizzle) it is famous for the constant cloud that forms part of its micro-climate, the size of its helicopter fleet, the vast skyline of skyscrapers and its chronic traffic congestion. It is also known throughout Brazil as the place where the business is conducted (as opposed to Rio which is known for its partying).

Way out on the far reaches of the city, where it starts its long sprawl along the north and south coast, lies Santos, the biggest seaport in Latin America. Santos is also famous for Praia Grande, the closest seaside resort to Sao Paulo, and for being the home of Pele, who played for Santos Football Club.

Weekend life in Sao Paulo is about as varied as you could want from any major world city, but most Paulistas enjoy simple things like shopping in one of the air conditioned malls, a day at the beach, fishing or a 'churrasco' (barbeque) at home with all their friends and family.