Cultura All Night Long.

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It's been a week since I've been at the Wall Street Institute, and I think I've adapted pretty well to the atmosphere there. Last week, I went out with some of the teachers on Thursday for a going away for one of the teachers who's going to Las Vegas to get married! Friday night, we had "Happy Hour," but at like, 9, for the students and teachers. We went to a "Choperia," (which is basically a cute name for a bar that serves good drafts - "chope" = draft - a very important word to learn here in Brazil). The choperia had menus in English, so we made the students order in English and had fun conversations with them. As I mentioned in my last blog, my students are all awesome, and I'm not gonna lie, I definitely have a crush on quite a few of them! haha. The good news is, rumor is, students and teachers have dated in the past at Wall Street and it hasn't been a problem ;-). Oh! And some of my students speak Spanish, so they've been teaching me a few words in class. Our tri-lingual conversations are actually quite entertaining!

On Saturday, I spent the whole day getting pumped up for VIRADA CULTURAL, which is a 24 hour celebration here in São Paulo with 800 concerts and activities going on from 18h (6PM) - 18h from Saturday through Sunday. Unfortunately, we had to go to a funeral in Embu, a town right outside São Paulo, for a friend of my aunt's family's wake and funeral. Here in Brazil, when a person dies, he or she is prepared for a wake very quickly and buried in less than 24 hours. Needless to say, morgues aren't such a big hit here. The funeral was supposed to be at 4 PM, but ended up being at 6, due to some complications on the way to the cemetary, and we ended up staying there until about 7 or so. I was in a cemetary at 7 PM in the dark at a funeral. *chill runs up and down spine.*

After the funeral, my aunt decided that my cousin Heitor and I needed to go out to Virada Cultural. We did. And so we made our way downtown. We took the metro from Avenida Paulista (my new stomping grounds since I work around there) downtown where there were THOUSANDS of people on the streets, as you can see in the picture I have up here. Shows were going on on every corner, and so we made our way to a couple of the smaller gatherings, and up a large alleyway that was having a techno rave with a DJ in plastic bubble overhead, and then made our way to the Zé Ramalho concert (this is a clip from the actual concert - you can't see him, but you can see how immense it was - i was right in front of the big tree you see on the left!). For those who don't know Zé Ramalho, he's a classic in Brazilian popular music - he attracts people of all ages - so much so that my parents listened to him when they were my age, and he's still writing new music and still just as popular. The streets were pretty packed for his show. So much so that some people told me they tried going and didn't stay because it was too crowded. After the show we decided to head home so we could catch some shows on Sunday. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We got to the bus stop at 2:30 AM, and thinking that they were running all night long, stayed. Needless to say, we made it home at 7 AM. Looking back it was quite funny and silly of us to just sit there, but we weren't the only ones!!! Sunday involved a lot of sleep. I was super impressed with 2 things the night of Virada Cultural. The safety and the metro. There were thousands, maybe millions of people on the streets - and there were hundreds of police officers enforcing, and maybe even not needed because people of all ages were all around just having fun (of course there was drinking and drugs, but when isn't there any in an outdoor festival?). And the metro @ 2 AM was soooo clean!!!

Yesterday and Tuesday were dedicated to studying and working. Studying for what? My driver's exam (the written part) I had this morning!! yikes. I really hope I passed, because if I fail, it's another R$100 to take it!!! If I pass, I can start my driving classes, yayeee. Tomorrow is a holiday (kind of our equivalent to Labor Day), but I'm working Friday and Saturday, so I'm not taking the long weekend to trave like most people, but I'm going out with some coworkers tonight to celebrate not working tomorrow. Ok, lesson planning time now.

Pictures in order:
Sunrise in São Paulo - stolen and taken from Phoebe and Renan's apt.
Virada Cultural crowds downtown
Me & Heitor waiting for the bus
Standing advertisements for Semana magazine and people walking on Avenida Paulista.
Me and some students at the Happy Hour.

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