Tonight I got plenty of things on my mind to write about but I need to select what might be of real interest for you. So my first comment is on traffic:
The city of São Paulo has, as a matter of fact, improved its transport conditions over the last four years and I am an apolitical witness to this. I was never allowed to vote, no matter where I lived, so I have “the gift”. I an see clearly where there are clouds. Or something like that.
In São Paulo additional bus-lanes were introduced about three years ago, so public transport goes much smoother than in 2011. Of course, as a card river I was outraged by the chaos in the beginning, but after some weeks, all went much smoother. The cellphone app WAZE also helped us, because we learned to use alternative ways to get to work. The city also rethought the bus routes themselves and I have to say, they are much more logical now, at least between Pinheiros and Vila Olímpia.
We have one new metro line, the yellow line or line number four, and, even though privately held, it surely functions as an inspiration the public services. São Paulo’s metro is a well respected institution among the citizens. You never see any kind of tags, litter or destruction inside the waggons.
Recently the speed limit of the city highway has been lowered to 70 km/h and regular streets partly to 50 km/h. São Paulo’s citizens, no matter which political party the prefer, were outraged, but if they were open enough, they could see that the result is pretty nice. I take the highway almost everyday, most of the times around 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 a.m., 14 a.m., 17 a.m.! Only on Wednesdays I use public transport and my own feet. There are clearly less traffic jams than before. And actually it was never really possible to ride much faster tan 70 km/h during the day on Marginal Pinheiros or Tietê during the day. So it is not only the speed that makes a difference. What changed is that those crazy drivers who switch lanes spontaneously and against all laws all the time, only in order to arrive less than a minute earlier than all the others at work, got fewer. “They” are still there but they drive at a lower average speed, too. When the limit is 70, they go up to 80. Result: Less accidents occur in the city! That is what the mayor wanted.
And the 50 km/h on regular streets: for me that is pretty normal. In the EU you usually drive between 20 and 50 km/h within the city and a little faster on rings. In Germany they don’t have a limitation for highways but most people also know how to behave and that makes it possible. In Croatia you do have a limit because people would not respect the laws.
So, driving in SP now is much easier and faster than it used to be. That is not because we move slower or faster on the streets themselves, but because of a little fewer unnecessary accidents occurring and blocking the roads. Those people who used to break the law, break it a little less now, which is good for the majority.
Oh no! Already so much text on one topic!
My second comment is fast! Today I entered the contemporary world. I got myself a “small rice” (Xiao Mi), and so far I can say that it works great. I have a super nice camera, a relatively strong flash, 4 GB more than before and the cellphone also makes cute sounds when messages arrive.
Todays photo shows our living room. I am really happy with my new electronic friend!