Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Art of Villa Magdalena, Sao Paulo and the End Of Insomnia

I will forever remember Sao Paulo as the place where my ability to sleep returned to me. It seemed from the very first day I stepped foot in Argentina I suffered insomnia. No matter where I was, a noisy dorm, a quiet private room, my friend’s house, air conditioning on, air conditioning off, fan on, fan off. It didn’t matter how tired I was from long bus rides, being in the sun or from drinking as soon as my head hit the pillow my eyes popped open. Too many times I saw the sunrise in Argentina. Sleep filled Colombian nights started to seem like a distant memory. I officially left behind the Argentineans when I left Florianopolis, an Argentine holiday haven and with that I left behind my sleepless nights. My saviour was Hostel Villa Magdalena. I was on the top bunk of an eight bed dorm, on the most comfortable mattress and at night not a sliver of light entered. That night my first night in Sao Paulo I was dead to the world, lost in a blissful comatose dreamless sleep. After suffering from Constipation in Egypt I savoured every shit I took and now I savour my sleepy time.

I feel like Sao Paulo is quite over looked on the backpacker trail and quite frankly I was about to happily over look it as well. To me a lot of large cities in the world are just a bunch of concrete and not a good representation of the culture of that country. London is New York is Hong Kong and Paris is Montreal is San Francisco is Melbourne and so on. Plus it wasn’t on the coast and I wasn’t looking forward to sweating my balls off Buenos Aires style without a beach in walking distance. The other Tracy was dead set on going and really wanted to meet up with her friend whom she met in Chile. I agreed to go and figured we spent quite a while on the beach and it was time to see some concrete.

I was delightfully surprised by Sao Paulo and it wasn’t just because I was now sleeping. The area we stayed in was recommended to Tracy and I immediately agreed when I read that it was a bohemian village with art shops and antique stores, a less touristic San Telmo where the art is a bit harder to find.

We signed up for a Villa Magdalena walking tour, which was odd as we were both walking tour guides in Oaxaca, Mexico. I realized why people actually liked my walking tour in Oaxaca; you are able to uncover places you wouldn’t normally find on your own or in the guide book through a local person.

We went to vintage antique shops, galleries, walked down alleys of graffiti and looked at architecture. Although I am trying to be a writer here some things words really can’t do justice for so I am putting up a series of picture for your enjoyment. This is just a little bit of what Sao Paulo has to offer, a small artistic offering. There is much more, for someone who likes history, football, nightclubs, pubs and food it is all there. Oh and do not forget fashion...South America’s capital of Fashion.


Beijo, beijo

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