Maarten Schäfer

It is early afternoon when we arrive in São Paulo, a huge city with over 20 million inhabitants. From the 20 million we know only one person, Fernando, a colleague storyteller who we met on Facebook. “I will take you to an authentic and human-scale place to stay called Pousada Dona Zilah.”

Two hours later, we’re strolling through the area south of Avenida Paulista, called Jardins. “The best street of the area is without a doubt Oscar Freire,” says Fernando. “Here you can find boutiques of the coolest Brazilian brands, like Osklen fashion, Melissa shoes, Agua de Cheiro, Havaianas and even a Romero Britto gallery. Shop till you drop.”

São Paulo - The city of many

We look up as a helicopter passes over Jardins. “This is not unusual,” Fernando says. “Due to the intense traffic jams on the roads combined with fear of kidnapping among the rich businessmen, São Paulo has become the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world.

There are over 500 private…

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