I know its kind of clichéd, but it’s hard to believe we have been here a week already…
Let me try and give you an idea of what our set up is like now we are settled in.
Our little apartment is already beginning to feel like home, we live in a suburb called Itaim – from what we can gather its kind of like Sao Paulo’s Chelsea, it’s quite a posh suburb and is chock a block with restaurants, bars and night clubs – which is great.
We have a high street only about 100 metres from our front door with the usual array of supermarkets, banks, coffee shops and restaurants. But because its a posh suburb it also has a lots of shoe and handbag shops, a dog hairdresser and a dedicated BBQ shop (Gregs favourite shop of course)!
We are about 500 metres from Sao Paulos biggest park – its great it has an 8km running loop around it which i am sure we will get to know very well and is always full of families picnicking and 100s of people running…
Itaim is about 10k from the centre of the city, from what we can gather no one really goes into the centre of town – its not the business centre, and its not the shopping centre, they have slowly drifted away from the centre, maybe because of the reputation for crime that the city centre has gathered. Caths workmates have advised her that we are not ‘experienced’ enough to hang out in the centre of town yet – which makes it somehow kind of more appealing!
Here is a link to a map showing our place and the park – the centre of town is further north
Though in some ways the suburb feels like any other nice suburb, it still really different to anywhere we have lived before, among the nice houses and apartment buildings there are still lots of empty blocks with assorted rubbish piled in them and the foot paths and roads are all in need of some love and attention. All of the fences around the buildings have either two foot of razor wire on top of them, or five or six strands of electric fencing….. Despite that – or maybe because of that, the suburb is famous for being one of the safest in Sao Paulo, which is great, and there are always lots of people around – more so in the evenings as the locals flock to the bars and restaurants which are all around us. We have already made friends with the guys at one of the closest bars – its a kind of a weird mix of fresh fruit juice and cocktail bar and restaurant, its a nice place to sit on a warm evening – so i think we may be spending a fair bit of time there in the future.
Our apartment is really nice, unfortunately our dreams of a two bedroom apartment fell quickly by the way side when we found out the rent would be more than our London rent, so we have opted instead for a one bedroom place, when we got here we discovered one bedroom here is the same as a studio apartment, so we now have a very funky studio apartment with a large balcony.
Fortunately its air conditioned, has a big bathroom (with spa bath), separate kitchen, separate laundry (wooo hooo –thats real luxury for us after living in London) and nice polished wooden floors and funky furniture. Its really nice and we have already spread our stuff all over it, some differences to an apartment back home are that we only have a cold tap in the kitchen (not sure what the story is there, we are waiting for someone to explain) and the powerpoints have different power outputs in them (some are 220v, some only 160v) but apart from that its all pretty standard stuff.
Our apartment building has two swimming pools – one lap pool on the ground floor, and one for relaxing in on the roof. It also has a gym which is great, a restaurant and two bars (we are still not sure if they ever open though – could be dangerous if they do)!!!
So i hope that gives an idea of our new home. We are about to head out for dinner on Saturday night, another new experience is that no one goes out for dinner till 10pm, so i think it could be quite a late night coming up!
Hope all is well with all of you
Missing you all loads
G & C