This morning we had a fabulous class on law in Brazil! The professor was so passionate about the topic that it made it even more interesting. As much as I would love to type out all of the interesting things that I learned, I wont – if you’re interested let me know ☺ definitely right up my alley with emerging markets studies. She is a professor of law at FGV but went to Yale for graduate school and has passed the bar in both New York and in Brazil, and is extensively knowledgeable about the legal systems in both countries, making learning that much more relatable.
Our afternoon class today was replaced by a city tour organized through the school with a tour guide. We had an amazingly comfortable bus that took us around, and we got off periodically with our guide and with our program coordinator from FGV who spends all day with us each day. We first visited the city center, although not very far from where we are at all (although we are essentially in the city center anyway). The Se Cathedral that I had already visited we checked out again, this time with narration from an expert. The inside was gorgeous. Reminded me of being in Spain and Europe, the influence was undeniable.
We then walked further down and meandered through some downtown shopping and walking areas, what used to be the financial district (which is now Avenida Paulista right near where we are staying). It looked like a little mini Wall Street, the buildings were quite similar. Down the street however is where the Brazilian stock market, BM&FBOVESPA, is located (electronic exchange, so no trading floor to be had) – an amazing high tech building. We went inside and watched a brief 3D video about the exchange and about the stock market, a bit of an educational video. I still cant get over how nice it was inside. We learned that this exchange (the only exchange in Brazil), is the third largest in the world by the number of transactions, which I found to be incredible.
We kept working our way, with our guide, through the center area, seeing too many things to describe. The city hall building, the municipal theater, the tallest building in Sao Paulo (and the second tallest, we took a trip to the top to see a wonderful 360 degree view of the city from above) among others. And the number of hole-in-the-wall bars is incredible, reminds me, again, of Spain.
Also just being able to see so many parts of the city while on the bus, going from the center across the city to the Central Park of Sao Paulo - Ibirapuera Park. We weren’t able to spend time there as we would have liked, only because we got distracted by a huge statue/monument on the edge of the park and accidentally spent all of our remaining time climbing on it and taking pictures while acting like children. We’re allowed once in a while. Over all the day was a great overview of a wider variety than the focus we have had on this area were we are staying.
Throughout out time in and out of buildings, I've noticed that almost every elevator has a TV monitor in the corner, as if you cant afford to be without some type of media for a minute or two. But being the Queen of multi-tasking, I love it! Its usually news or gossip channels. Also, I learned today that Sao Paulo has both the second largest Jewish community in South America after Buenos Aires I do believe. Also, Brazil has the largest number of plastic surgeons outside of the United States. And they have the third largest number of lawyers in the world for a single country, and more law schools than the entire rest of the world combined.