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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Primeira semana no Brasil - First Week in Brazil

Another Continent under the belt; and what a country to start it off with - Brasil/Brazil. This has been one of the countries I have dreamt of visiting and this week finally it did come true. My flight from Atlanta to Sao Paulo was good. In flight services on Delta do not compare to Singapore Airlines, and I am not complaining either, just that I got spoilt by Singapore.

Entering into Brazil I noticed the strong national feeling about the way immigration was handled. Different lines for nationals and foreign nationals !! Never seen that in any country I have been so far. Then as it has happened to many of my friends and Brazilians - I missed the connection. This not only turned out a good experience of Brazilian hospitality but also made me very comfortable about the situation of conversing with them through English words and sign language.

The TAM staff were very helpful and rebooked me on a later flight and also wait listed me on the next flight which was full. Getting food was also a breeze, "No Meat" seems to be a global phrase, it was well understood by the lady on counter at "Pizza Hut" at Sao Paulo Airport.

The flight was completely full and gave a taste of what travelling domestic was like. Flight attendants were very helpful and realizing that we did not understand Portuguese, helped us to the seats and were very courteous.

We landed in Porto Alegre and came to know that our cabin baggage which was taken as check-in due to lack of space was missing. This caused some jittery moments because of the value of goods inside it, but were assured that it would be with me by nightfall.

Stepping out of the airport made me feel like I was in India - Similar kind of buildings, some dirt, not so perfect road and yes the look and feel of the landscape. The trip to Santa cruz do Sul was scenic. Lush green fields interrupted by homes with livestock abundant everywhere. We were excited to see horse driven carts, which have now become a rarity even in India itself.

The city of Santa cruz do Sul is situated on a slope of a hill and the city doesn't show up till you are very near to the entrance. We checked into the hotel where one of my colleague was living along with this family. The tiredness from the journey clearly spoke through our bodies. The moment we were inside our apartment, we just crashed !!

The work week has been very hectic and have found the colleagues very understanding and helpful. I hope the aim of my coming here is realized before I go back. . . .

Tchao for now.

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