Today was the cheapest days since I got here. The standard price of lunch or dinner in Sao Paulo is around R$12 (5 pounds) which might not seem too much but even the sandwiches cost this much. In fact everything costs this much. I don’t know how they do it but everytime I go to the supermarket to buy some bread, cheese and a bit of cake or to the restaurant for some rice and beans it costs this much. The only thing that doesn’t are the salgados (i.e. a breaded or battered savoury delight containing some combination of cheese, ham or chicken) which can be a pretty sensational choice, but not if you don’t want to eat greasy, stodgy food all the time.
Today I found an alternative in the shape of Yakissoba, a japanese dish (adopted by the Brazilian Chinese) which is made on the street, uniting the simple pleasures of chicken, cabbage, noodles and soya sauce. For R$4.50 I got a box full of the stuff. It’s all I’ve eaten today. Well that, and a bit of salad to make the second serving seem like a bit of a different meal. Here’s a picture of one of the guys making the stuff:
We have a guy just across the street from the hostel, so it couldn’t be more perfect.
Also today I went to see Yusuf Lateef, a 90-year old saxophonist who had played with people like Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie and Cannonball Adderley. He was playing with a couple of people based in Sao Paulo, and a few other odd-looking chaps. Everytime he tried to get up or to pick up his saxophone he would somehow wrap the mic lead around his legs, at which point a roadie would run onto the stage to unravel him. The music, however, was first-class. I’m very much hoping to meet Mauricio Takara, who was playing drums here, at some point during my trip. The guy has some chops.