Thinking about my hard, hard life as an expat and the either mind-numbing or enraging bureaucrazy to go through, I figured that there is actually something to learn from it: PPP – persistency, politeness, patience.
Persistency – For one, it’s the kind of annoying tenacity that makes people give you whatever it is you want in the hope that you won’t come back. However it also means, knowing the legislation better than the people I’m dealing with. I’ve read the article 23 of the decree 3598 – and can show a copy just in case.
Politeness – The system imposes many of the constraints on the people behind the counter. The admin people I deal with – they didn’t make the law and it’s not meant for them either, so a bit of understanding goes a long way. Plus, the reciprocity of politeness makes the whole experience occasionally a bit less painful.
Patience – The gracious acceptance of the impossible.
Just as in Brussels, Brazilian bureaucracy excels at making the easy difficult through the means of the unnecessary.
Bureaucracy is the art to transform the easy in the difficult through the means of the unnecessary. Quote: “Hello. How can we disturb you today?”
Above all, the respective administrative systems share their delight for long waiting queues, the incapability or refusal to speak other languages and, of course, for endless lists of documents all of which have to be properly legalized, authorized, stamped, signed and translated.
Oh, and not to forget, a good dose of arbitrary decision-making due to the unwillingness (Belgium) or the inability (Brazil) of the administrator to actually do his or her job.
In hindsight though, living in Brussels was in that sense an excellent preparation for Brazil. If the bureaucrazy in the first doesn’t drive you crazy, there’s a fair chance of surviving its pendant in the latter. Especially if you take into consideration that the weather has improved tremendously.
I’m not a big fan of modern architecture and the more concrete is involved, the less I generally like it. It’s hence not a surprise that I’m somewhat suspicious of Oscar Niemeyer’s work. Though in comparison with the standard, read: boring, Brazilian architecture – rectangular, concrete, high risers – Niemeyer’s imaginative grandeur style stands out.
And so does the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, designed by and named after him. intriguing, stylish, space-consuming – Niemeyer’s buildings call for attention and provide unexpected perspectives.
The photo exhibitions inside went in line with the outer shape and so we spent an agreeable 3 hours at the MON, liking Niemeyer or not.