I must tell you I was very skeptical about this place. I had to go there for work recently, and the idea of leaving São Paulo with all of its cool people did not seem too appealing. After a night on a (freezing, as always, bus), I found myself in an environment of that bus-like temperature, cloudy, and unknown. “Let’s see what this weekend brings…” I thought to myself without expecting too much. And maaan was I mistaken!
Time lapse: one day later, I’m at a live music concert, after having some beers on one of Curitiba’s busiest streets with lots of alternative (“alternative”, what an adolescent term!) people. Time lapse round two: I’m on a free walking tour, looking at Curitiba’s graffitis and all the food options they have here. Time laps round three: I’m listening to some pretty damn good live music in a tiny park with my new hostel friends. And then, before my travels take me more South, I’m at a free short movie festival with the same supernice hostel people, balancing this intellectual and conscious activity with some proper unhealthy McDonald’s milkshake (the trick is not to think about its ingredients, obviously).
In short – Curitiba has way more to offer than its excellent city planning and, thus, an infinite source of subject-specific coolness for anyone interested in urbanism. Ah, and its bus stops that look like some collective teleports!
I guess it’s the best thing travels (and…simply life!) can give you: when you leave a place being nicely surprised by it, with a warm feeling you’ve made new friends there. In this highly important respect, Curitiba was just perfect. I’ve pardoned its weather and the fact that it’s not São Paulo. I left it with only one semi-rhetoric and slightly absurd question in mind:
If everyone looks a bit alternative, who is REALLY alternative then???