(part three of Thirty Days in Brazil: Fiber in a Faraway Place)
My legal department has advised me to redact certain portions of my ill-considered narrative. Consider that they'll be returned to E2 - or interested individuals in time. For now, I must be concerned simply with harmless anecdotes or amusing jokes, or notations regarding my tourist activities within the land of Sao Paulo and the surrounding environs.
In compensation, I present to you a series of images and moments taken from Sao Paulo while in transit, passing through traffic-choked streets from place to place on my way to work.
Acid-dream graffiti alongside stark, angular gang-signs in black. A girl with trees for hair and sleeping babies in her eyes. A fat pink cat with Cheshire-clock eyes. Batman glaring sternly out at his artist: a woman in a many-color dress of diagonal checks. Dew-eyed children with stars glittering from their garments. Neon green letters over concrete and concertina wire. Stoned, grinning blue mask-faces. Skulls. Thugs. A woman with alphabet hair, with the letters in every shade of the rainbow.
You can see a lot from a Mercedes Benz minibus, winding up and down the hills of the city through residential neighborhoods. Our quadrilingual driver is smiling, inviting us into his home. A glass of water? An easy conversation, an hour spent chattering away? On a narrow street, our new driver is leaning out the window, laughing with a woman next door.
It's spring in Sao Paulo.
A tree with a wide-spreading canopy of brilliant green leaves, pinned and spreading out massive periwinkle blossoms. A fence covered with powdery morning glories.
You can pass ultra-modern apartment towers soaring towards the smoggy sky, and in their shadow, piles of trash and shantytowns partially torn down for the next big build.
A brown-speckled ivory pigeon, roosting serenely on the concrete, cooing softly like a dove.
Circling, circling everywhere and down...
Grey concrete walls crowned with sapphire-colored and emerald broken glass. Below, a single spade-leaved vine climbs the cracks, stretching towards the sun.
Out towards wide Campinas, and the sky is blue and the hills are green and the vineyards and bamboo stands spread out or burn down as the city encroaches outwards in a cacophony of motorbikes and cars and traffic jams with bicycle vendors selling you deep-fried bananas and frozen treats while you wait.
If I give you images, it is because I cannot give you words. My hands, and my tongue are tied. Find me in between the leaves and the concertina wire and the fibers, for a limited time, until October comes and this too shall pass.