Random thoughts on northern Brazil

11
Dec
2008

– A lot about the cuisine here reminds me of southern India. There is a prodigious use of coconut in a lot of things, and there are many dishes that bear a striking similarity.  One of the major differences is in the other kinds of tropical fruits (notably cashew apple and pitanga) that show up in things. I love it.

– The culture feels very different up here, almost like a different country from Sao Paulo. The music and food of course, but more than that. The pace and self image of the north seems very different. Is it the greater African influence? The greater heat? The slower pace? Perhaps Sao Paulo is the anomaly in Brazilian culture, being more like a world city for its hustle and bustle.

– Did I mention how hot and humid it is here? And I am not even in the jungle.

– Surely for economic reasons, there are way more people trying to aggressively sell things to tourists here.

– This is just an impression, but strangers (not friends) in the south were generally warmer and nicer to me than here in the north. This could be a function of a lot of different things, but it is noticeable.