Part Five: São Paulo, Brazil
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glorious day in Brazil! The weather and environs of São José
do Rio Prêto reminded me of Australia's Northern NSW or Queensland.
After some very pleasant morning Hare Krishna mantra meditations,
we packed our bags and set off in a south-easterly direction to
São Paulo, but not without one last photo
opportunity outside the Espaço Cultural Subhadra. The mood
was upbeat and merry, characterising my whole stay in Brazil.
plan was to arrive in São Paulo around lunchtime,
specifically at the famous Hare Krishna Gopala Prasada restaurant
on Rua Antonio Carlos, where we would have lunch, check the
kitchen and facilities, as well as the foodstuffs which the staff
had already bought for the class. We sent them the menu a few days
ago, and so they would have already photocopied class notes for
the students. Then I could chill-out for the rest of the afternoon.The
route to São Paulo was very picturesque,
through rural regions and passing many orange orchards, sugarcane
plantations, innumerable papaya and mango trees, and countless coconut
the awesomely large São Paulo in the daytime
was even more overwhelming than at night. Founded
by the Jesuits in 1554, it lies on a plateau 2,493 feet (760 metres)
above sea level, and 45 miles (72 km) from the coast. Today it is
the industrial and financial centre of Brazil, generating over 30%
of the GNP. It boasts 12,000 restaurants, 70 museums, 500 cinemas,
50 theatres, 29 shoppings malls and an intense nightlife.
Prasada Restaurante (firstname.lastname@example.org)
was opened in 1996, and is run by a couple of dedicated
ladies Nrihari and Madhava. The daily clientele figures
are very impressive - on average 350 diners partake of the sumptuous
cardápio (menu) every day for 10 Brazilian reals
(about 4 USD$). The place is three stories, with dining
areas on every floor. Popular areas are the low tables where diners
sit cross-legged on Indian-style cushions. Today's prato feito (set
lunch) was wonderful:
integral c/gengibre e especiarias
Brown Rice with fresh ginger and spices
Mattar panir (ervilha fresca c/queijo e molho de tomate)
Matar Panir - (fresh peas, homemade cheese and
Lasanha tres queijos c/molho de tomate
Lasagna with three cheeses and fresh tomato sauce
Torta de palmito
Savoury Heart of Palm 'cake'
Pakora simples (legumes empanados)
Mixed vegetable pakoras
Pudim de iogurte c/coco e rosas
Rose and coconut-scented yogurt 'pudding'