hello, excuse me!
i am going to be in sao paulo next month for a handful of days! if you live there or have been, please send me things you think that i should do!
or, if you live in sao paulo, come hang out with me and show me around. i love friendship and more importantly i love not getting lost and having to ask strangers for directions in a language i don’t speak.
mollyhall omg, I was in san paolo in july of 2011 and golly gee wiz do I have a halloween-y story for you! I know it’s technically november already but shhh…
so here we are, myself and the fam, in the airport for a layover to buenos aires and we have like, three hours (which is not enough to leave, sadly) so we figure - it’s a very nice airport! there’s duty free! look! stores! and we can explore! so off we went.
- a precious gemstone artsy store with rocks and jewelry, but also these PARROT STATUES!!!! and some other animals too but mostly birds. everything was super expensive
- a store that had a giant wall of purses/handbags, and another wall with scarves. there was some whisky hanging out between them
- a little food kiosk-shop that had sandwiches and drink bottles
- HStern. there’s always an HStern in any airport I go to. I don’t think they sell anything but they’re always there. just hanging out. watching planes.
- a little tiny souvenir shop with like, havaianas
that’s it. that’s what they had. there were many many multiples of these stores and they repeated over and over, but they only had these five.
now, the stores at our section of the terminal were all along one side of the building, and all along the other side of the hallway there was a glass wall, where we could see another set of gates. it looked like they might had a different set of stores, so we figure if we walk along the hallway we’ll get to the other side at some point. right?
we start walking. the glass wall is on our right. those five stores are repeating to our left. there is no. way. over. we reach the end, where there are two options: stairs/escalators up or border control. we go up.
there is an enormous walkway with windows looking out to the airstrip and the only way to go is back where we came or onward to the unknown.
we press on.
we walked for, I want to say half an hour? it could have been less, I don’t know. it was a pretty spooky liminal space and we were the only ones there. it was definitely not less than 15 minutes, because the whole thing took over an hour and we didn’t spent that long there, but I digress - it was almost empty, and looked under construction. it was gloomy. it was nowhere near as nice as the gate area. it was weird.
the whole way, there are signs saying “this is the way to the other terminal”. over and over, every few yards. we kept thinking ‘are we there?’ and there would be another sign. when we finally did get to the end, there were stairs/escalators down. we had gotten to the second terminal.
everything was the same - the setup, the stores, the wall…but there seemed to be more people there, and we’re on the other side of the glass wall.
here’s a rough rendering of what happened:
| | A | we went from here, terminal 1
| | |
| | |
| B | | to here, terminal 2
that’s it. we spent over three hours walking the halls of the airport, getting from one corner to the opposite one, and we couldn’t figure out how to get three feet over to the corner on the same side of the same terminal.
y’all, everyone there was nice (I’m looking at you JFK) and they didn’t have a single disaster or delay, but we were extremely weirded out and I’m still not sure the other side of the glass was for regular human travel as opposed to like, amazonian jungle spirits.