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São Paulo

In the state of São Paulo.
Text written by Niclas Lillman
The enormous São Paulo is the capital of the state of São Paulo. Depending on how you count the population, more than 10 million inhabitants make it the largest city in Brazil and the fifth largest in the world. If you count in everyone living nearby the "city" of São paulo, you would add up to almost 20 million inhabitants.

Finding your way in São Paulo is not easy... I've spent over 2 years of my life there, and I am still amazed by the hugeness of the place. You can travel by car or bus for hours without leaving "civilization".
The São Paulo never ending skyline.
View from my house in São Paulo

Local weekly markets around the city .

Cathedral of São Paulo at Praca do Sé.
If you want to do some shopping I recommend going to one of the central areas of São Paulo, such as Praca do Sé or Praca da Republica. While ther you can also check out the Cathedral of São Paulo with its interesting gothic architecture.

On Sundays you can find lots of interesting stuff at Praca da Republica and the crowded streets nearby. It is easy to find typical brazilian hand made pieces of art.

Most tourists/forigners, and also brasilians with more money, with stick to the huge artificial shopping centers. Even though prices are much higher, it is a safer environment. i have never had any problems so far though...
Beautiful stone birds at Praca da Republica.
Pirated CD:s, DVD:s and software can be bought`for almost nothing at every street corner in certain areas. The police doesn't seem to bother very much. Usually, new DVD releases can be found in copied versions on the street almost the same day as it is released in the stores.

No copyright laws here?
Me on top of Pico do Jaraguá :)
A good place to go on a clear day is the Pico do Jaraguá. It is the highest point in São Paulo, stretching 1135 meters over sea level, which is really not that much more than most of São Paulo. However the view is magnificent so bring a good pair of binoculars, a camera, something to drink and some kind of protection from the sun.
A well guarded entrance to a closed recidencial area.
The economical differences for people in Brazil are huge. Even though São Paulo often is considered a financial and industrial centre and the wealthiest city in Brazil, millions of people have to live on almost nothing. I believe that this is really sad and unjust. Also, this lays the foundation for the problems the city has with drugs and crime.

These problems has led to a situation where people who are better off distance themselves more and more from the "open" society. The live in well guarded recidential areas and do their shopping and spend their free time in closed shopping centers - all far away from the poor.
A beautiful house in a closed recidential area.
Crowded hills.

A sweet little dog trying to get down the ladder.
If you belong to the majority group that doesn't have an abundance of money, you will not get much help from the state. Find a way to survive - get an underpaid job or start selling soft drinks in the traffic jam. It's tough...

Many people start out with nothing, especially immigrants from the north east of Brazil who come to São Paulo to try their luck. Normally they try to get hold of a piece of land where they start building up a house and a life - all brick by brick, piece by piece.

I am so impressed by the way that some people work and fight for making their lives better. Even though it is a rough environment, Brazil is really a land of opportunities. If you try hard enough, you can achieve almost anything.
The building never stops
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