Sunday, 5 September 2010

Exploring a Place and Finding Yourself

The sun has baked Sao Paulo since I arrived, today´s the first day I´ve seen a cloud and I think it´s getting ready to rain at last. The sky looks like it could burst at any time. I was a nervous about this week, but it is nearly over, and it has been very important for me. He left to work in Rio on Tuesday, and I was left to face this city on my own.

I´ve learnt to look after myself, to get around, to ask strangers for help, to trust my piegeon portuguese, to meet new friends, to find my bearings. To find a Sao Paulo of my own.

The smallest task, that in Manchester I would cram my day with, can take me a whole day here. I am learning to slow down, to appreciate the time of things. My acheivements this week have been: to buy a sim card for a phone that didn´t work, to call the shop to say it didn´t work, to return to the shop to find out the phone didn´t work, to buy a new phone, to get a half price discount because the man turned out to be a Smiths fan, to top up credit, and to make a call. It took me all day, and when I finally had a working phone in my hands, I was so happy I had to sit down with a coffee or else I would have cried. After that I knew I was going to be ok. I got keys cut, and now everytime I see the keycutter I say hello and how are you. I´ve caught the metro in rush hour, one big hot group hug in the shape of a train. I asked bus drivers where they were going and got on. I have found theatre. My freckles have found me. I saw a helicopter land on a roof. I have been lost lots and found my way again from strangers with points and smiles. Best of all I have found beautiful pockets of people and the city, by just wandering around in the heat and following my instincts.

Tomorrow he returns, and I will not be at home. I have made a map for him to come and find me. I am very excited to see him again, and to share a little bit of what it feels like to explore a place and find yourself.

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