Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Sunset in Ann Arbor and mountains in Rio at dawn half a world away.
I arrived here at 8 am Friday and it was hot.
32 degrees and humidity hovering upwards of 70%.
I've been busy and have had little time but did manage to carve out a visit to the Botanical Gardens. They're an oft overlooked landmark in the middle of the city and though it was hot the cool green light under the canopy of trees gave an illusion of something more comfortable.
You sweat but it doesn't feel that bad.
Founded in 1808 by King John IV of Portugal its in the south zone of the city.
Its at the foot of the Corcovado Mountain below the right arm of Christ the Redeemer, and has been known locally as the Christ's armpit district....or so I'm told.
Its 140 hectares contain 6,000-7000(depending on the source) species of plants from Brazil and all over the world as well as 140 species of birds.
It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1992.
Its a nice way to escape the Chaos of the city and posing of the beaches nearby.
It was one of the nicest a Saturday afternoons I can remember.
I got my haircut at a local barber shop around the corner from my hotel in Leblon.
It was as much a meeting place for old guys drinking coffee and arguing about football as it was a place of business.
My nonexistent Portuguese meant I was very much in the old guys hands.
I drew the line at the thick, greasy Pomade he wanted to slather on but given the difference between a good and a bad haircut for me is about 3 weeks, was $10 well spent.
Not much more to report.
Back to the gardens.
I'm in Sao Paulo after arriving to an overbooked hotel, apologetic Front Desk manager, and a long debate regarding the merits of having to share a room with my colleague at a hotel 20 minutes away.
"No I'm not doing that"
I'm not sure why he thought he could convince us this was a viable option.
I'm too old and to set in my ways for such things.
End result was two rooms were magically conjured up at a sister hotel 5 minutes away.
Persistence on our part, and a realisation on his part that we were not going to budge finally won the day. A growing line of impatient folks behind us no doubt went through the same routine after we left.
a moment of Zen from the Botanical Gardens brings back the calm.
Stay well everyone

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gawd. You look so mannish boy having a haircut.

Is it just me, or does everyone want to leap from lillypad to lillypad. Ok, shuffle, just me.

Take care