Obviously I was expecting Tatiana to make an effort and show me some sights around her home town, making sure I was well fed and watered along the way too. She most definitely had a plan, and couldn't have packed any more into my stay if she tried.
After dropping my bags at her apartment we set off for a stroll around Parque do Ibirapuera which included stopping for a refresher of coconut milk. Whilst Tatiana's was poured through cooling device into a plastic bottle I think I ended up being the only person in the park drinking from a giant green coconut with a straw! One area of the park we visited - I can´t remember it´s name, just that there was a statue of two kis chasing a pig - is what I understood to essentially be the dating zone. You either sit or strut through eyeing up everyone in sight and the lucky folk get approached and score themselves a date - hilarious!
Next port of call was lunch and whilst I was offered a multitude of choices I think this was a red herring as a traditional Brazilian meal was actually the only option on offer. Pastéis and Feijado later we headed to a traditional Brazilian pub. Now this was my kind of place...Caipirinhas are not only made with Cachaça, but can be vodka and sake based too, and also come in every fruit flavour imaginable. Some even have an ice dolly in them! If you opt for a chopp (draft beer) they come round handing you new ones each time the glass is nearing empty. Obviously I had both! We then had a tour around the city by car, taking in pretty much every main street, so I could get my bearings. Sao Paulo is enormous - the largest city in Brazil with some 20,000,000 inhabitants - so obviously by morning I had forgotten everything I had been told.
The few places that weren't covered by car were explored by foot on Monday morning. You name it, we saw it. I think I ended up seeing more sights in Sao Paulo than anywhere else on my trip so far, and it was supposed to be the ugly city with nothing to do.
We stopped in the market for a pre-lunch snack but given the size of the prawn pastel and cacalhau coxinha (funny shaped cod fishcake essentially) lunch never happened (which unfortunately meant my next Caipirinha was forfeited too). I also at this point learned that cashew was a fruit after being confused by its appearance on the juice menu. When we located on in the restaurant for dinner both Tatiana and the barman took great pleasure in making me eat one...it was a bit like waking up in the morning when you've had a big night on the town and your mouth is superglued shut! Weird.
We used every mode of transport available and I think exhausted the list of any traditional Brazilian sweet or savoury edible whilst on our tour so I'm currently feeling the size of a house.
It was great to catch up with Tatiana and I will definitely be visiting her and Sao Paulo again - although, I don't think there's much else to see or do...so perhaps the next trip will be either F1 or World Cup related...hmmm!