CouchSurfing is as great as actual surfing.

Sao Paulo Travel Blog

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The 'Ship Hotel' I don't even know the name of it, or at least I don't remember the name of it, but it's cool.

My second day in São Paulo is one that changed my life.  I had been told by a friend that they would be able to arrange somewhere for me to stay, but unfortunately it didn’t pan out, so on Tuesday I needed to scramble for somewhere to stay. I really didn’t have the budget to stay in the hostel, so I went to couchsurfing.com and put in an emergency request on the last minute couch page in São Paulo.

I got my first reply at 10:21, “Hi Elke I saw your request on CouchSurfing. I can host you, how long do you need a couch and when are you coming to Sao Paulo? Hugs

This was the first contact I had with Clovis, he arranged to come an pick me up at the hostel at 1pm. He was on time, and as soon as I met him, I liked him. He told me that his partner Carlos was at home cleaning the house in readiness for my visit.

Apparently this is the address for the Açai Beach Bar
We drove home and talked the whole time. Clovis is learning English, but his English is much better than my Portuguese is so we were able to converse really well. When I met Carlos, I liked him straight away too. 

The three of us sat on their veranda and chatted most of the afternoon, before jumping back in the car for a little drive around São Paulo at night. Being Tuesday, the regular SP CouchSurfing meeting was being held at the Açai Beach Bar, but none of us knew the address, so we drove around a bit looking, all I remembered was the closest train station, which I guess was a bit of a start. We called one of their friends from the car and got an address, but when we found a park and walked to the address, we found it was a parking station, really, we did need parking earlier, but now we want a bar.

My and my boys! Clovis in the blue and Carlos in the orange.
So we called the friend again and got the correct address at the other end of the long street we were on. So back to the car we went and drove some more. I have to say, Clovis is the master of patience. He was great when we were driving all over the city looking for the bar.

We eventually found the bar and went in. We noticed a few people with tags on and I thought these must have been CouchSurfers, but the tag didn’t actually say ‘CouchSurfing’ so we didn’t know. We pulled up a chair and Carlos went off to the bathroom. He came back and told us to follow him. We walked through the bar to the back and through a curtain and there was the CouchSurfing get together. There were so many people. We got our tags, mine was written in green ink and had my first name and my country of origin.

New friends, Tiago in the white and Pablo in the blue
Green is for foreigners, if you are a foreigner who speaks Portuguese you get a green and black (I think) stripe on your nametag (my new friend Tiago said I should have had a couple of dots on my tag), Clovis and Carlos both had nametags written in black ink to signify they are Brazilians. Each tag also had a number on it, if you ordered anything you needed to use the number and when you leave you pay using the same number.  I learnt some of this information from a card handed to me written in English when I checked in and got my nametag, and the rest of the information I learnt from one of the other CouchSurfers I met at the bar. I made two new friends, Tiago and Pablo and I talked to a whole bunch of others. But Clovis, Carlos and I wanted somewhere more quiet so we could chat properly. So we went back to the front of the bar and sat there for a while with another drink and something to eat.
We saw this plant from across the room, we didn't get a closer look, but it looked suspicious to us.

I drank the yummiest caipirinha this night. It was made from açai.  Some of you won’t know what açai is, so let me try to tell you. It’s a berry that is grown in South America, it comes from a palm tree and it’s delicious. I have eaten it as a frozen pulp in Porto Alegre. It’s considered to be very healthy for you. So I figured that drinking an açai caipirinha would even things out for me. I didn’t feel the affect of the vodka from the two drinks I had, so maybe it worked.

We went back home and I spent my first night on the couch of Clovis and Carlos, which was a couch but it folded out into a bed, and I was in a room so didn’t need to sleep in the lounge room. I had my own bathroom as well. I couldn’t have been more comfortable is I had booked into the Sheraton Hotel.

My second day in São Paulo lived up to all the expectations I had as I was waiting for the bus to take me there from Curitiba. 2012 has started perfectly.

sylviandavid says:
couch surfing ..... very neat that you went to a meet and greet....
Posted on: Jan 19, 2012
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The Ship Hotel I dont even know…
The 'Ship Hotel' I don't even kno…
Apparently this is the address for…
Apparently this is the address fo…
My and my boys! Clovis in the blue…
My and my boys! Clovis in the blu…
New friends, Tiago in the white an…
New friends, Tiago in the white a…
We saw this plant from across the …
We saw this plant from across the…
My açai caipirinha
My açai caipirinha
The caipirinha menu
The caipirinha menu
The Açai Beach Bar menu
The Açai Beach Bar menu
That was a bucket that at the end …
That was a bucket that at the end…
Elke, Carlos and Clovis have left …
Elke, Carlos and Clovis have left…
This guy was funny, his name is Ja…
This guy was funny, his name is J…
I took a photo of these lights dur…
I took a photo of these lights du…
I also took a shot of this one dur…
I also took a shot of this one du…
A different angle
A different angle
The Christmas lights in São Paulo…
The Christmas lights in São Paul…
We stopped to take a better photo …
We stopped to take a better photo…
The big Christmas tree.
The big Christmas tree.
We drove past these pretty trees a…
We drove past these pretty trees …
The Gay Forest during a drive by.
The Gay Forest during a drive by.
Sao Paulo
photo by: Eric