We thanked our driver for the ride and got out of the car somewhere in São Paulo. After having a look at our paper map, we walked briskly in a random direction towards what we believed to be civilization.

But we soon noticed that no street names seemed familiar and we were most likely out of the map boundary. After being lost for a while, a police officer dressed in full riot kevlar suit noticed us. He sighed and motioned us to follow him, which we did. Another officer joined the parade and we walked down a gravel road to the unbridled attention of the locals. Several people talked to the officers, probably asking why the gringos are in their hoods.

We were eventually escorted down to the subway, where another guard took over the babysitting duty. He followed us closely to the subway track and didn’t relax until the doors were closing and we left the platform.

I’ve seen some strange things in my life, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of exciting area we had discovered?

Sao Paulo View from Banespa tower in Sao Paulo.

It’s been said that São Paulo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere, and when I later observed the skyline from the top of the Banespa tower, I found it quite likely to be true.


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