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– Brazil Journal Week 12, 3 de Setembro – Joseph Thieman

October 22, 2012

Brazil Journal Week 12, September 3, 2012

Campinas is to Sao Paulo what Hoboken, New Jersey is to New York. Its the place that almost no one has ever heard of, that is close enough to the big city to be important. People from Sao Paulo know about Campinas, but people from Brasilia don’t know much about it, even if they have heard of it. We are a little over an hour away from Sao Paulo by car, but we haven’t been there yet. Many people drive all the way here everyday to school from Sao Paulo. This city has very little in terms of music, it is a city saturated with punk, and rock. I have yet to get a gig here playing Brazilian music, and I guess that is because those groups never seem to have trumpet in this town.

When I first arrived here I went downtown four or five times in one week to try to get my paperwork filled out with the Federal Police. The center of Campinas is probably about as big as Louisville, except with very small streets congested by tons of people. I am almost nervous riding in a car there because the people drive really fast on small roads, while pedestrians are only feet away overflowing from the sidewalk.

I went to a large indoor market with my landlady that was built inside an antique building near the heart of town. There were booths of rice and beans, fresh meat, fishing supplies, knifes, and of course produce. The building was full of pigeons flying around trying to steal leftovers that people have dropped. Places like this always have one of my favorite new foods; “Pastels.”

Pastel is basically a very thin square of bread or dough that is deep fried. The best part of a pastel is the filling; you can have them with just cheese, meat, pizza toppings, or just about any combination of meat and vegetables. Needless to say, I am on a hiatus from being a vegetarian. In Brasilia I didn’t eat any meat, but here in Campinas it was nearly impossible. The meat here is incredible.

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