Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sao Paulo

Approximately 96 moons ago, Jez met a Brazilian called Michel on a kibbutz in Israel. They bonded over their shared love for music, food, Israel and above all ye old hubbly bubbly. Although their time on the Kibbutz lasted only 6 months Jez spent the next 6 years lamenting the absence of his Brazilian friend and vowed to reunite when we travelled to South America. But 6 years is a long time and neither could be sure that their friendship truly stood the test of time. Nevertheless, Michel very kindly offered for the JeTZ to stay with him...and his beautiful new fiance Ulli.
...and their two cats "Uncle Leo" and Bia. They took a little longer to warm to us.
It was nice to know that some things hadn't changed at all. Ye old hubbly bubbly was still a favourite, only now Michel had his very own.
Sao Paulo is home to the second largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Consequently, some of the most superb Japanese food can be found here and Michel knew exactly where that would be. Not long after receiving a sumo sized serving of sushi, sushimi and other Japanese specialities, Michel, Ulli and TZ gave up the ghost leaving Jez to take a lot of raw fish for the team. 
In Brazil we made a very interesting discovery. The shell of coconuts, unlike the coconuts we know in South East Asia, are completely hairless.
This discovery lead us to question whether in Brazil it was the coconuts and not the women that were recipients of the "Brazilian wax".
Incidentally by the time we left Brazil we calculated that Jez had drunk over 50 coconuts. After which he declared that hairless (coconuts) was the way forward.
It had been about 1.5 years since we had been anywhere near a beach (our disastrous trip to Mallorca not counting). We could not have landed on softer (or squeakier) sand when Michel whisked us away to the family beach house and showed us a beach more beautiful and quiet than any other we had ever seen.
Here you can see our patio and in front of it our white tent where we spent our days luxuriating and dreaming of buying a beach house next door.
In the late afternoon we would walk all of two minutes from our white tent on the beach to the pool to wash the sand off.
After building up a hearty appetite, Michel cooked us the mother of all barbeques.
And here you can see just how much Jez enjoys a good piece of steak...
After a tough day in the office, the boys passed out.
IMG_4866 IMG_4870
The following morning we crept into Michel's room and serenaded him with a wake up call. Our day on the beach would start all over again...

Michel insisted that we could not leave Sao Paulo without seeing a soccer game. So on our last day there we went to see
Michel's team Corinthians_simboloplay the dirty, stinking100px-Palmeiras_logo_svg.
It is claimed that Corinthians have 24 million supporters, meaning that when Corinthians lost in 0-1 in the 85th minute, there were more pissed off Corinthians than there are Australian citizens!
The police presence was very heavy but mainly served to ensure that the supporters from each team took separate roads leading into different entrances into the stadium. Inside the stadium the supporters would continue to be be safely divided by a fence so as not to kill each other.
As you can see below, some supporters were very passionate! Meanwhile the Aussie contingent was interested to know why no one was sitting in their allocated seats. In the end we decided it wasnt safe to interrupt the crazy Brazilians in our seats who were performing black magic rituals against the opposition and ask them to kindly move.

And so the question of whether their friendship had indeed stood the test of time was clearly answered. Jez and Michel vowed never again to wait 6 years between drinks.
P.S Michel and Ulli will be married in August this year. We wish we could be there, but on the other hand Jez has a strong compulsion to jump into their photos which could be a little awkward during the wedding photo shoot...
Uncle Leo and Bia finally accepted the JeTZ into their home on the premise that at night they could play chase the invisible mouse across the bed.
But only Michel and Ulli were ever given any real affection from the cats. The JeTZ renew their commitment to only ever get dogs!
Coming up,  we commence research into the ever declining ratio of bikini to body mass starting on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Of course this is a  mammoth task and so two extra researches were brought in all the way from Australia to help...

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