Rua 25 de Março - Was is it worth the trip?

By 14:11 ,

Yesterday, the Saturday before Christmas, I went on what some may call a mission impossible.  I went to Rua 25 de Março which has been considered by some, São Paulo's version of New York's Chinatown.  Now, there are a lot of comparisons made between SP and NY, but usually one's bigger or better than the other in certain comparisons (in my opinion, at least - some New Yorkers or Paulistanos won't budge, haha).  Now, I cannot say 25 de Março is any "better," than Chinatown, although prices are considerably lower, but it's certainly bigger.  And holy sh*t is it huge and PACKED.  Don't believe me?  See below: 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what I faced yesterday.  At 9 AM I arrived on 25 de Março and this is exactly what it looked like.  I didn't take this picture, but I can assure you it was like this, if not worse.  Street vendors, tiny shops, galleries with more shops, all selling anything from fake watches and bags to toys to clothes to pirated dvd's.  And of course there's the street food (and of course a McDonald's randomly) because who can shop like this without substanance?  And people, people, people everywhere!  Either the crisis hasn't hit Brazil or it has for some who could previously afford more expensive things and this made the streets even worse? haha

You're probably thinking I'm a downright masochist for putting myself through this first thing in the morning on a Saturday right before the biggest gift giving holiday in the country, and to a certain extent, I agree with you.  But I went to buy a number of things my aunts and cousins from Minas Gerais asked me to buy since I'm going for Christmas.  Apparently what happens is, people from there come down to SP on any given weekday, buy loads of things from 25 de Março at ridiculously low prices and the go back to Minas and throw an equally ridiculously high price on the things. 

Needless to say, I left with a number of R$13 (about USD$5) 'puma,' and 'armani,' watches, and loads of bijoux in hand for the familia. 

Then, I got home and took a 4 hour nap.  Afterwards, I went to visit a friend who was sick this past week and then to another friend's birthday at a salsa club (bailando por toda la noche too!) and today it's all resting, packing (woohoo!), and more Christmas shopping.  But this time not on 25 de Março - ninguem merece going through that again.  

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