Yesterday we were invited to SPAC - Sao Paulo Atletico Club by an ex-Nomads player. Nomads is a rugby team in HK that Tim use to play for and oen of the guys put us in touch with Duncan who has been living here for 17 years. We went out to the Santa Amaro venue which has pitches as they were playing a couple of games in the afternoon.
It took us about 40 minutes from Moema in a taxi (traffic wasn't great, as usual). The taxi wasn't allowed to drive in and we had to wait at the entrance while they confirmed we were guests. My first impression is that it was very similar to the USRC in HK, without the military connection. It use to be the old British club over a 100 years ago but today there are no English speakers left; the only remnants of the English is a photo of the Queen in the restaurant and the Union Jack flying over the entrance.
We met Duncan and his fabulous girlfriend Dr. Fabiana. Duncan speaks fluent portuguese and Fabiana speaks a little English. It still meant we could use our basic portuguese to communicate. Every little bit of practice helps! I still managed to get my order wrong - I ended up with one bolognese and one carbornara. Not quite sure how.
The games were pre-season and were played in thirds. I managed to catch Tim running on a minute before the whistle went of the second third. He swears he played the whole of the next third! The standard was pretty good, all the guys playing were Brazilians aside from a couple of expats who all spoke fluent Portuguese as well. The pitch looked pretty green from a distance but close up Tim swears it was more weed than grass.
While the boys were playing, Fabiana, Sophie and I hung out by the pool. We had to have a medical to enter the pool as guests - basically a once over to make sure we didn't have any big open sores. My sunbathing ethics have changed drastically since I was 20.... I use factor 50 and lie in the shade rather than when I use to lather myself in cooking oil and bake in the sun. The pool was lovely and met lots of families who, despite knowing I couldn't speak much Portuguese, just kept rattling on. Most of it was about how 'muito linda' (beautiful) Sophie is! I smiled and nodded alot.
The drinking after the game isn't as full on as some other countries... maybe because wags were around. The mossies came out in full force, and since we had Sophie we decided to opt out of the drinking session (first time for Tim) and head home. Fabiana kindly drove us all the way home instead of just dropping us off at a taxi stand. I have to keep a list of favours to repay - the Brazilians are definitely one of the most hospitable nations!