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Hunting Down Batman in São Paulo

I woke up with a start and a sense of purpose I usually don’t feel before 2 p.m.

For a split second, I wondered where I was. Canada… definitely not. Mexico… nope.

My eyes fell on the stove across the room, the gas stove with the broken igniter that I had to light manually with my lighter the night before. And I also clearly remembered “surviving” a very enjoyable suicide shower before going to bed.

Mystery solved.

OMG, I’M IN BRAZIL!

I smiled remembering my plans for the day—I was going to hunt down Batman.

I love my life.

You may be wondering what the hell I’m doing all day when I’m travelling. Part of it is the same as in Canada, just online or in a different setting—I’m still working, and I’m chatting with Feng and Mark on Skype in the evening just as if we were talking in the kitchen when one of us is cooking. I’m organizing stuff, doing laundry, counting new white hair, you know the drill.

The rest of the time, I’m looking for stuff. I’m looking for directions, attractions, interesting places, routes, and unique moments to capture. I’m looking for natural wonders, human interactions, ingredients for dinners, and maybe a cup of coffee at one point. I’m looking for stuff to learn, share and remember. I’m looking for answers to questions I didn’t know I had, I’m looking for the right word, and I’m looking for new experiences.

And sometimes, I’m looking for Batman.

Well, just this time, really.

I had heard about a fun outdoors graffiti gallery in Vila Madalena, a district of São Paulo I didn’t know. Apparently, the first mural was a drawing of Batman, and now the few alleys of street art are called “Beco do Batman.”

I didn’t know what to expect from this urban adventure. It was a 45-minute walk across unfamiliar neighbourhoods and along a cemetery. In the pictures I had seen online, the alleys were completely empty, which can be great for pictures but not too great for safety.

Oh well. Worth a shot. When Feng and I first visited São Paulo in 2002, it felt like Gotham City to me with this endless cityscape of towers and choppers above our heads. The largest city in Brazil is an acquired taste but trust me, it’s addictive. I feel like a treasure hunter in São Paulo because I know it has what I’m looking for, it’s just a matter of finding it.

And so I went, eventually crossing very normal and quite entertaining neighbourhoods. Once at the cemetery, I turned right and…

“Tudo bom, muita gente!” I sent on WhatsApp to my Brazilian friend who is half concerned, half entertained by my occasionally very “gringa” way to explore Brazil.

Indeed, this part of the neighbourhood was packed and very lively with tons of artists painting murals, and people taking pictures, drinking, eating, wandering around and also looking for Batman—and possibly a fun way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

It reminded me of La Boca without the gritty feeling—or maybe São Paulo epitomizes urban grit in a good kind of way, so colourful walls were something to marvel at.

I found Batman and a new neighbourhood to wander around.

Mission accomplished. I walked back to Paulista through Jardim Paulista, home of crazy trees and million-dollar real estate. I was safe there, in fact, I was probably too poor to be there.

May Batman keep an eye on São Paulo.

R. Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo - SP
R. Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo – SP
R. Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo - SP
R. Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo – SP
Tv. Alonso, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Tv. Alonso, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
Beco do Batman, R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo
R. Aspicuelta,, Alto de Pinheiros, São Paulo
R. Aspicuelta,, Alto de Pinheiros, São Paulo
Escadaria do Beco, R. Aspicuelta,, Alto de Pinheiros, São Paulo
Escadaria do Beco, R. Aspicuelta,, Alto de Pinheiros, São Paulo
R. Venezuela, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo
R. Venezuela, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo
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Zhu

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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