Sao Paulo is a city of nightlife. Youíll find restaurants and pizzerias jammed at 10pm, partially because most clubs and bars arenít even open yet When I travel, the most ridiculous thing about America from a distance is clearly the insane drinking/bar restrictions. How can it really be the case that bars and clubs in California must close at 2am? Itís like ending Mike Tysonís Punchout after you defeat Soda Popinski. In Sao Paulo, most of the clubs and bars close at around dawn. Iím told there are after hours clubs, but even I have my limits. My limits include drinking off a hangover after waking at three in the afternoon, then keeping it up until five in the morning. I suspect that the main difference between me and the energizer bunny locals, is that I was unable to score propellant drugs here. My efforts were half hearted and absent minded (I forgot to ask any of the many students I talked with on a college campus), so Iím sure a more determined traveler would find success. Itís worth noting, however that Brazilians consider yay to be a low class dug, maybe one notch above huffing tire sealant.
Hitting a club is an intimidating prospect in the land of Lambada, the forbidden dance. This is like ten times more true if you are me, and virtually all dance is forbidden out of consideration for innocent spectators. My dance repertoire consists of “the sarcastic robot” and “the Christopher Reeves operated marionette.” It turns out that there are a smattering of women who can jiggle their hips in a very pleasing way, but the simple Caucasian sway is the dominant technique, so my moves were nearly sufficient, with the aid of eight or so liberally poured drinks from Sao Pauloís kind and generous bar tenders. In fact, it was in Brazil that I was told for the first time in my life that I am a good dancer. This was clearly a lie, but the fact that it was thought to be a plausible lie speaks volumes about the general dancing ability in the land of Samba and Bossa Nova. There is another common Brazilian dance move, which is to just stand there and jam your tongue down your partnerís throat. You probably wonít need lessons for that one. One thing you should be aware of is that Sao Paulo clubs turn over fast. I learned that about 80% of the clubs listed in my Lonely Planet guide, published in 2005, were had gone the way the speculative beanie baby purchase. Most of the clubs I talk about here have pretty firm roots, however, and should be around for a while.
Itís worth noting that the club scenes are not nearly so racially divided as in the US. Granted, whites still tend to prefer rock and blacks still tend to prefer hip-hop, but the notion of something like “Asian night” is completely alien. Another interesting difference about the clubs in Sao Paulo is that, at many clubs, gays and straights freely commingle. Youíre just as likely to see a couple of dudes exchanging slobber as a heterosexual couple, and nobody is bothered by it, which is refreshing. Folks like Jonny and forumite, Aeon could romp freely with plausible denial if spotted. This tolerant atmosphere ups the adventure of Brazilian urinals, which being like three inches apart from one another, are pretty gay already. Iíve never held my penis in the air, knowing that there is about a 40% that the guy standing shoulder to shoulder with me was a dongophile . My homophobia was not a factor, but my vanity was and I made note of flaccid size. I thought about it and figured that a gay guy, more than anyone, would realize that the flaccid state can be deceptive either way, but still didnít like to prospect of being scoped and immediately written off. Luckily, I was at a respectable half mast. Then I glanced over at the other guy to see if he was actually looking and he wasnít. Then I thought he would think that I had just checked him out, and reflexively began staring at the wall to my right, before realizing that this was exactly what a guilty peeing Tom would do and returning my gaze to my seemingly endless stream.
One more remark about the gay thing. I saw gay, male couples sitting and making out for literally hours. I always reckoned the absence of cock teasing to be one of several enviable benefits of homosexuality, all of which are related to not having to accommodate women. Like, if you make out for more than ninety seconds, itís off to bed for quick orgasms followed by immediate slumber. With all of the money you saved by not squandering it on chicks, you ould afford a Filipino houseboy to make the sandwiches. It was disappointing to see that getting gaylaid can be such a project and this killed what laziness based bi-curiosity I might have had.
Many clubs here have “Trash 80s” night at least once a week. I went to a club called Caravaggio to check it out.. The music was a mix of American and Brazilian pop hits from the 80s, including some nostalgic childrenís tunes and cartoon theme songs. This included a couple of songs by the legendary childrenís entertainer, Xuxa, who is a prime example of why I love this country. Now, I know what youíre thinking here. “Yeah, itís pretty awesome that the Brazilian Mr. Rogers is a hot blonde who struts around in a bikini.” Itís much better than that, my friend. Turns out that Xuxa made a pornographic film in which she seduced and underage boyĖlike for real. She actually had sex with a twelve-year-old kid on camera. And this happened before her career as a childrenís entertainerĖor rather her second such career. So in other words, in Brazil, fucking children on film does not disqualify you from hosting a childrenís television show. Iím strongly considering modifying Yakov Smirnoffís routine and moving there to live as a stand up comedian.
In broader terms, the club scene is about the same as the US or Europe. The biggest difference from the US is that the Brazilians, like the rest of the world and the great state of Nevada, let their adult citizens consume alcohol whenever they damn well please. This means that rather than closing absurdly early, clubs get going late. Things start up at about 1am and can run past dawn. Also a factor here is that Brazilians apparently do not sleep at all. Weeknights, 3am, nobody is even considering going to bed. The cast of characters at Caravaggio was familiar. Thereís Chris Rockís guy whoís not really old, but just too old to be in the club ie me in about 45 minutes. Thereís the fantastically obese chick who insists on unleashing dance moves lifted from Britney Spears videos. The women are mostly there to put on a show of looking sexy (and they are perhaps the hottest in the world), rather than looking to hook up. Iím told that there are bars where people go just looking to mate, but this does not appear to be the case at manydance clubs. That hardly stopped me though. Meet Liza.