Mandy and I had been talking about this Sao Paulo trip for three or four weeks. We’d talked about going to the city early, walking around Vila Madelena’s artsy streets, sitting in Starbucks for hours, going to Skyy Bar and looking at the city from above, eating a fabulous dinner, spending the night with our friend who lives in SP, and then coming home early in the morning by bus. It was going to be the Best. Trip. Ever. to Sao Paulo.
It didn’t quite work out like we’d planned.
However, that said, it was DEFINITELY the Best. Trip. Ever. to Sao Paulo.
How it did work out was this:
We stayed at school until 1pm, WELL past the time we said we wanted to be there until. (We’d figured something more along the lines of 9am. But we had so many things to wrap up that time just slipped away and before we knew it we were some of the last people on campus.) We then went home and took naps and finally left Campinas at 4.
We talked the whole way on the bus, looking out the windows, watching the landscape whoosh by us, all the the greens, the bright blue sky, the red dirt. In a moment of silence I realized that the next time I take a bus, I’ll be whooshing by sky scrapers and I’ll have to crane my neck to see the patches of blue that seem so wide and expansive here, so available.
Arriving in SP at 6, the first place we went was, of course, Starbucks, where I got my favorite drink and we sat outside talking for two hours. Later we went to a restaurant that Mandy had always wanted to go to called Chakras, and afterwards we went to a restaurant that I always wanted to go to called Oba, right across the street. We ate AMAZING food at Chakras and had a very powerful but very tasty drink at Oba with a friend who met us there, and then, before we knew it, we were catching the metro back to the bus station, and I was falling asleep before we even pulled out of the bus station on the very last bus out of Sao Paulo to Campinas. All in all, it was a 10-hour super adventure, filled with the most important things: Starbucks, food, appreciating SP, and spending time with friends. Talk about perfection.
Everything was so easy, every moment filled with smiles. Laughter. Memories. Satisfaction. Gratitude. It was the very best way to say goodbye to her. To my best friend here. This trip was something important for both of us. In the taxi on the ride from the Campinas bus station to our apartments, we both silently acknowledged that we won’t see each other again for a little while. She’s leaving again in just a few hours to go to Rio, which leaves me here in Campinas without her. I leave for New York on Saturday; she leaves on Monday for D.C. So we said our quick goodbye in a taxi knowing that it really, really, isn’t goodbye. There’s something a little sad about the moment, and that’s just that it couldn’t have lasted longer, that the fact of separation is indeed a fact. But it’s just for a little while because we’ll visit each other. D.C and NYC aren’t all that far away from each other, after all. I guess I could feel really sad about the farewell, but there’s no need. I have nothing to be sad about. These two years have given me this amazing friendship and nothing about that makes my heart hurt.
After I got out of our cab and stood waiting at the gate to my apartment building for the porteiro to let me in, I turned around just in time to see Mandy waving to me wildly from inside the darkened windows of the cab. I could tell she was smiling and I waved and smiled to her in return. It feels like I’ll see her after the weekend. In a way, I guess I will. It’ll just be in a different place. With a Starbucks on every corner.