I met a person in Brazil named Judy. If you ever travel to Sao Paulo and need a fascinating person to guide you, Judy is the person to hire. She is a Canadian who has been living in Brazil for almost a decade after having spent the previous decade backpacking solo in more than 40 countries around the world.
Judy is the only person who I have ever met who has stories that rival mine. For every horrific and unbelievable and ridiculous thing that has happened to me, Judy has a similar story to share.
Unfortunately, Judy is also the worst food describer on the planet. When trying to convince me to try acai, she told me that it tasted like earth. "Kind of like dirt. Gritty."
Despite her terrible description, I tried it anyway and liked it.
Later, when trying to describe a dessert to a friend, she said, "Have you ever wanted Gummi Bears, except you really wanted a healthier version of Gummi Bears?"
"No," I explained. "No one has ever had that thought in all of human history."
Not only was the description ridiculous, but the dessert turned out to be nothing like Gummi Bears, healthy or otherwise.
These are just two of several examples of Judy's problem. I saw it happen over and over again. The woman has no vocabulary when it comes to food.
But if you're in need of an entertaining guide while in Brazil and can overlook this one glaring flaw, there might be no better person to hire than Judy. I spent a day walking the streets of Vila Madalena with her, taking in the street art and swapping stories about our lives, and over the course of my week in Brazil, she joined me twice for dinner. I always had a good time when I was with her and learned a great deal about the country in the process.
Of course, Judy's not actually a tour guide. In real life, she's a middle school teacher, but since she's also Canadian, she could probably be convinced to escort you through the streets of Sao Paulo if you needed someone to guide you.
Those Canadians are too damn nice for their own good.