São Paulo, Brazil: Day 5
Rain rain go away come again some other day! I have been chanting this over and over in my head for days! Suffice it to say, sometimes things just don’t go our way and my father always says thats okay as it’s just another adventure. I say “God’s will not my will” but I love my dad’s upbeat take on life hence the name of the blog. But, as I am human, I get disappointed too sometimes – not very often – but every now and then. Between the constant rain, suspension of the Grand Prix race and closed temples, things haven’t gone my way the last few days but repeat after me the more appropriate chant, it’s just another adventure, it’s just another adventure, it’s just another adventure.
Today I was disappointed once again by the non-stop rain but also because I so wanted to visit the two temples Leonardo suggested (Templo Espirita Kardecista and Templo Espirita Umbanda) and participate in the rituals that are alleged to take place there so I could share my experience with all of you. Leonardo told me stories about how the masters, as they are often referred to, can evoke good spirits during the rituals and I could possibly talk to someone on the other side if the master could incorporate one i.e. if one possessed him or her. Unfortunately, they were closed yet again during the day today and the masters couldn’t see me until 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., respectively but my flight was leaving at 8:00 p.m. for Rio. I might have extended my stay again for this but honestly I was ready to leave São Paulo as it was a difficult city to maneuver in, expensive, wet and its charm, I’m told, is overshadowed by that of Rio de Janeiro’s. But, I must say, I was highly intrigued by participating in one or both of the rituals and experiencing the religious, spiritual and cultural nuisances of the area. This is especially the case since the third temple and ritual I was specifically warned against going to is said to have masters who conjure up both good spirits and evil ones and the practice includes sacrifices of animals and sometimes humans and is illegal. This warning made the first 2 sound incredibly enlightening but in a conscionable way. I, of course, would never want to participate in or witness anything like human or animal sacrifice or risk the entry of evil spirits into my world but between the descriptions of the first two rituals, the earthquakes rocking New Zealand and Argentina on completely opposite sides of the world at the exact same time and the super moon tonight which was last seen this close to the earth 69 years ago and won’t come this close again until 2054 the experts say, today seemed like the perfect day to do some spirit seeking. I have, however, been told there will be an opportunity at a temple here in Rio this week so we shall see. Having said all that, unlike in May 2012 when a version of a super moon (not nearly this close) did appear behind the Christ Redeemer, tonight the Brazilians and I would miss such an auspicious event as the clouds and rain again had their way in as disruptive a fashion as they interfered with the Grand Prix yesterday.
I did, however, get an opportunity to visit São Paulo Catedral and Praça da Sè (the square) before catching my $87 USD flight on GOL to Rio. The walk up to the cathedral in São Paulo is lined with large palm trees that swayed slightly seemingly beckoning you to enter. The neo gothic cathedral with is its matching St. Patrick-like spires took 4 decades to build which is not astounding given its size i.e. allegedly the largest cathedral in Latin America and the 4th largest in the world seating over 8,000 people. The height of the ceilings and wall to wall stained glass is worth a visit to the inside if you are in the area. I, myself, like to step inside and kneel in prayer (especially given the many hours wasted attempting to be introduced to another form of spirituality or religion depending on who you ask) just so I could spend a few moments giving thanks for all my blessings. I do this each time I visit a church despite the fact that I know God is everywhere and hears all my prayers regardless of where I am when I say them and he’s not just in churches, temples, mosques and other infrastructure built for homage and prayer. I do it because I like to soak up the history and feel the energy of all the people who kneeled in that spot before me reaching for their own higher power.
I also learned a few new things today as well as I always do which I like to share with everyone. While Uber is in Brazil, there is also a competitor which may have even better rates and gives many promotional discounts rather than just the first ride free and it is called Cabify. I tried it today on the way to the airport and it was significantly cheaper than Uber at 29 reales rather than the 150 I paid coming in. I also learned how incredibly helpful and kind the staff are at Royal Jardins Hotel in São Paulo when I had difficulty booking my flight online as despite my advanced years the online booking site repeatedly indicated that I couldn’t fly alone as I wasn’t twelve years of age. This made me laugh. I also learned that sometimes, especially when you use Claro as your internet provider, you get spotty wifi down here so be prepared for that. Moreover, GOL appears to be not only an affordable airline that flys throughout Sude America, it has a lot of leg room even in economy, is on time for the most part and has some incredibly kind and helpful people working there. Finally, I learned that day after day of the rain impeding my plans can cause a slight depression as my expectations about beautiful Brazil may have been too high as I expected only sunshine. Remember expectations lead to resentments so clear your mind of them and just go with the flow. We do have the capacity to change our thinking by staying in gratitude rather than sinking into the downward spiral caused by dashed hopes. Alternatively, check the season’s weather before making any plans. I thought I was coming here at the right time i.e. summer but so far I have been wrong about that. Now I’m focused on accepting things and the weather as they are because, well, it’s just another adventure.
So that’s all for now with love and gratitude from my bed in Rio and obrigada to São Paulo for hosting me this past week.