Traffic.

By 16:13 , , , , ,

First off - the bestest part: Seu Jorge - São Gonça - this is probably most definitely one of my favorite songs of all time, and there's a line in this live version i never understood which goes, "... morando em São Paulo você sabe como é; hoje a Marginal engarrafou, e eu fiquei apé"- which means "you know how it goes living in São Paulo, the Marginal was stuck, and so I walked home," - but now I get it - Marginal is one of the major roads here... and it never moves b/c there are always so many cars on it!! Aha!

So since I left off - most have been asking about my interview process, so here goes:

I've had two interviews, both of which I'm still waiting on, and I have another interview this Friday. Which is apparently really good - this one guy who was also interviewing at my interview on Thursday said that he had been having one interview a week for a while... and he seemed super intelligent and confident, so I don't feel so bad about myself. As for the interview process, I have 3 really good things going for me here: 1. English. 2. A Foreign Degree. and 3. I've worked and volunteered at NGO's. At least that's what's come up as looking impressive so far. But in the meantime, I think I'm going to teach some English classes and take my cousin's teacher up on his offer so I don't stay at home waiting for HR reps to call me all day and night.

Now for a note on São Paulo. Apparently since I've been here, everyday the city's been hitting record traffic stats - i.e., how long the lines of standstill traffic have been during rush hour ["horario do rush" as they like to call it here]. And coming home from my interview Friday afternoon at around 5 PM, I finally experienced this on my 2 hour or so bus ride on two different buses... and being interviewed on the bus by a Globo reporter [no, I didn't get on TV], but needless to say, it was interesting to stand on a bus for two hours, and chasing after busses in heels - a ride that otherwise would take about 15 minutes - and roads here aren't smooth ridin' like in the US, and thinking to myself the whole time that I'm going to have to live near where I work... but then I thought about the people who weren't fortunate enough to have this sort of option... and I'm still contemplating. People keep telling me to get a car as soon as I get my license here [which is a whole other story we'll have to discuss once the time approaches] because it's become so easy to buy a new car with minimum credit, etc., but wouldn't that add to the traffic problems? Almost everyone interviewed stuck in traffic is riding along in their cars. But on the other hand, it really is fascinating how a city as big and developed as São Paulo doesn't have the infrastructure for decent commuting - apparently the trains are treacherous and the metro doesn't reach out to all parts of the city. That's my rant on the traffic here - but if you get a chance, it's really interesting and kind of a Catch-22 of Urban Planning and Economic Growth.

Speaking of Economic Growth and Catch-22's... USD - WTF?! I've heard prices are going up like crazy just in the past few weeks in the states with the decline of the dollar... those of you who go grocery shopping probably know this more than others. This means the Real has also become stronger - in fact, a report was published today saying Brazil's GDP grew 5.4% just last year, up from 3.8%. And investment grew 13.4%, which is wonderrfuull. But here's the deal - the USD has to get a little better so that Brazil can keep FDI, keep exporting and stop importing so much, and I can trade my dollars in for Reals, k? Thanks. How this is going to happen, I don't know - but in the meantime, inflation for all of us! And I didn't realize this until I got here and all of this started getting out of control. I always thought that if the USD were lower, then the rest of the developing world would be better off... but I guess that isn't the case. Shows how much I have to learn. *sigh.

I know this week was a little serious, but hopefully somewhat enlightening. And I supposed I'm in a bit of a serious mood. [but not sad/bad serious - necessary seriousness]. Love youuusss.

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