Anderson, Santa Cruz and a Lenny Kravitz concert
IÃ¢ÂÂm in Rio Grande do Sul in BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs south. The capital is Porto Alegre, home to two million and a veritable footballer factory.
RonaldinhoÃ¢ÂÂs from here, Anderson too. Both played for Gremio. AndersonÃ¢ÂÂs mates are right rum coves. They use pea shooters, donÃ¢ÂÂt file their tax returns on time, go through traffic lights on amber, that kind of thing.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a football state and you see the flags of the two main teams flying above houses all over the region: Gremio, who wear blue and black and Internacional, who wear red and white.
Both are huge clubs with their own 50,000 plus capacity stadiums just a mile apart. And both are among the most successful in South America and have won the Copa Liberatadores.
Gremio's fans make a din
Gremio were Inter-Continental champions in 1983 and Internacional world champions in 2006 following a sweet victory over a Barca side containing Ronaldinho Ã¢ÂÂ a former star of their detested foes Gremio.
IÃ¢ÂÂll return for their Gre-Nal derby game one day. The easily mocked Danny Dyer went in 2007 and the footage he got was superb, with fans creating a din only an Old Firm game can come close to matching in Britain. I like the fan culture in Brazil and wanted to experience it again.
With the Brazilian football season starting, I looked in the paper for any fixtures. Inter were at home in a cup match. My girlfriend reckons sheÃ¢ÂÂs Inter and loathes Gremio, but the closest she has come to seeing either team was when she saw a Lenny Kravitz concert at GremioÃ¢ÂÂs ground.
Which is a poor substitute on many counts.
Kravitz makes a racket
I suggested that we watch Inter vs Santa Cruz - and sit with their ultra style fans in the cheap seats. Her friends said that it was far too dangerous. They also raised their eyebrows when I told them IÃ¢ÂÂd used the excellent - if incomprehensive - Sao Paulo metro.
Apparently muggers and murderers lurk down there. Apparently nothing, it was fine.
We arrived at the ground an hour before kick-off and bought tickets for around ÃÂ£8 in one of the cheapest sections where all the vocal fans stand. It was a great experience, but as IÃ¢ÂÂm writing about it for another magazine IÃ¢ÂÂll limit my vague description to Ã¢ÂÂgreat.Ã¢ÂÂ
I should mention the minuteÃ¢ÂÂs applause before the match, held at the start of the game to honour the players of second division side Brasil de Pelotas.
A bus carrying their team crashed into a ravine after a game against Santa Cruz recently and three passengers Ã¢ÂÂ including two players Ã¢ÂÂ died.