My ID: 10 September 2010; 9:00am; São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport
Japan Airlines Flight 16 from New York-JFK; Seat 71A
Having rested comfortably in the first row of the upper deck of a JAL Boeing 747 (no, I wasn’t in business class—this configuration for JAL had economy seating upstairs), I was excited to see the rolling hills of northern São Paulo, coupled with the pockets of colorful, tightly-packed houses dominated by red shingle rooftops during the Descent into Guarulhos. Upon landing, I was welcomed on the apron by a bevy of white TAM airplanes mixed in with some from Europe (most notably Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa) waiting for their turns to fly, and a pretty long queue in immigration!
As I found my bus towards the city, Airport Service to Tatuape, I remember being nervous about my things, and keeping a keen eye on everything around me while holding my bags close. This was because of a misconception I had of Brasil having just been exposed to films like City of God (Cidade de Deus) and Bus 174, but before the bus even reached its destination, I was quick to understand what a misconception it was and felt entirely comfortable with my setting and the people around me.