Just about everything in my life has changed since my last post; I don’t even know where to start. Between classes and settling into life here, I’ve been busy, but I wanted to give an update.
Follow along in my facebook photos, the ones in Curitiba start about halfway through the album.
I left Rio on April 7th and came to Curitiba, where I will be studying until August. It’s funny, Rio is far and away the most beautiful city I have ever been in, but after a while you start to take start to take it for granted. The skyscraping peaks draped in rainforest, the endless sun-drenched beaches, the food, the ocean, the waves, all these things which were so amazing at first just somehow become the new normal. And then after a while you start to get sick of the traffic, the noise, the heat, and everything else that comes with living in Rio. I enjoyed my time there beyond belief and I will return in the future, but after 6 weeks in that crazy city I was definitely ready for something a little bit calmer, cleaner, and quieter, as everyone told me Curitiba would be.
And it is. Curitiba is about as opposite of Rio as you can get and still be in Brazil. Located in the south of Brazil, the city has a very strong european influence which you can see in everything from the architecture and city planning, to the food and the people themselves. Within Brazil the southern region has a well deserved reputation for being more developed and organized. There are public squares, fountains, and pedestrian streets throughout the city, and the number of swanky shopping malls is almost matched by the number of museums and cultural spaces. Additionally, Curitiba has an innovative bus system that is renowned for its efficiency. The weather here is much more temperate than the heat of Rio; its usually around 75 during the day and cooler at night. Everyone says that it gets really cold in the winter but I’ll believe it when I see it.
It’s been 3 weeks here and I’m just starting to get settled into a day to day routine. After a lot of searching I moved into my apartment last friday and it has turned out to be a miracle situation. My 2 roommates are Brazilian, and the owner of the apartment, Louriete, is a portuguese teacher. Lourie has been super helpful, showing me around the city and constantly introducing me to people. Chatting with her has been a great way to practice my Portuguese and I’m sure it will continue to be.
As cool as the bus system is here, I was getting sick of riding it back and forth across the city 4 times a day, so I bought a bike last week off of the Brazilian version of craigslist. Drivers here aren’t very friendly to bikers, but there is a decent network of bike paths throughout the city including one that goes directly from my apartment to campus.
Thats all I have time for for now. More to come!