Greetings from Brazil, where I'm lucky enough to have been invited by Volkswagen for the 2012 Sao Paulo Motor Show. For the first time ever in Brazil, the VW Group will be holding one of its famous pre-motor show Group Nights tonight, and since I'm off to that in just a few minutes I've only time for a short update right now.
You can expect more over the next few days, though – internet connections permitting. We already know the show is set to bring at least a couple of surprises
, but in addition to this I'm going to get the chance to try out a few South American market Volkswagens while I'm here as well. Although if the number of near misses in the bus ride from the airport this morning is anything to go by, I perhaps shouldn't be looking forward to that quite as much as I am at present.
Things are already feeling pretty weird. Having arrived at around 6:40am, my bodyclock is already thoroughly confused – we flew for over 12 hours, but the time difference is only three. And inevitably I got caught up in a combination of work and terrible movies on the flight itself, so I didn't get quite as much sleep as I probably should have.
For first impressions – although by this point I've actually seen quite a lot of it through the heavily tinted windows of various buses – Sao Paulo presents a bold mash of modern American high-rise architecture, mixed-in with shabby old world equivalents, and much more ancient buildings besides. There's loads of graffiti – which the locals label as art (distinct from the mindless scrawling of vandals), and an eclectic, slightly off-kilter selection of cars.
On which more later on.