There's a scene in the movie 'The curious case of Bejamin Button' where a series of apparently random events culminate to something momentous. If this didn't happen, that lead to this that lead to that that ultimately leads to Cate Blanchett getting hit by a car and ruining her ballet career. I had that feeling of serpendipity four days ago in Sao Paulo.
Kevin and I had planned to go the municipal markets and then head to a free 11am concert at Sala Sao Paulo, a world famous music hall. We were running late after breakfast however and Kevin noticed on the way there that it was already 10.15am. Quick change of plan, music hall first. Simultaneously my future friend Aline Vianna waited at the music hall for her boyfriend Marcelo who didn't end up coming because he had gone to bed very late the night before.
So naturally we got lost on the way to the concert hall and had to ask for directions. We waited in line to get in but noticed that people were holding tickets. Shit, I thought this was a free concert. I left Kevin to wait in line whilst I scanned the perimeter looking for a box office and found nothing. I had a bad feeling this was going to end up being another fail. We're getting a few hit and misses on this holiday. It happen when you're foreign. Suddenly in the line across us we hear "Do you need tickets?" in perfect English. Score. We were kindly and luckily given two tickets that were in the second rowfrom the front. Aline had gotten them the Monday before. Double score! We sat next to our new friends and were introduced. Aline is an english teach for children and a Sao Paulo local.
The symphomy orchestra was beautiful, the building amazing and I was overjoyed that we were able to make it. After the concert I asked Aline if she knew the directions to the Municipal market and she offered to take us and meet her now awake boyfriend for lunch there. Lunch with locals AND awesome seats to the concert? Our luck was shining that day.
On a Sunday all the shops were closed so that part of town was very quiet and a bit dodgy so it was great to have locals with us that could ask for directions. Even Paulistas who have lived there their whole lives need to ask for directions because it's such a big city. We were taken to a popular restaurant in the markets where we ordered the specialty - codfish pastry and were taught to order our own fruit juices. Even though we were mocked by the waiter for our poor Portugese it was still an accomplishment in my eyes.
So a seemingly average day around town turned into something more, something a bit special and a day to remember because of the wonderful people we met along the way and their willingness to help complete strangers. I hope one day I can do the same for them in return.