I have no proof to back this claim up but there seems to be an unwritten law in Brazil that events – a holiday trip, an evening out with friends, a nice dinner – did not happen unless there is photographic evidence.
As of the youngest age, Brazilians are trained to smile at the camera which over the years converges into the same pose, the same grin repeated incessantly: Women stand slightly sideways, men as broadly shouldered as possible and both show that the money spent on the dentist was well invested.
The typical Brazilian holiday picture will show themselves in front of whatever tourist attraction they happen to visit. It’s important to note that it is not necessary to be able to recognize the attraction, the person is the relevant item to be on the photo.
Personally, I would not be surprised if hell was a place where you have to sit through endless repetitions of photos from the same people in front of something. Forever and ever.
Unless it’s for taking out the dog or for jogging, Brazilians do not walk; they drive. For one, it’s because badly done sidewalks are another similarity between Brazil and
For the other, it might be because the only poor devils walking are those who cannot afford a car. Or because driving is considered safer; i.e. it’s harder to rob a driving car than a pedestrian; though that certainly is not taking road safety into account.
Anyway, contrary to other cities in the world, I get to enjoy a relaxed walk to the bus station or to the next popular square without dodging fellow pedestrians, strollers or dogs, while only occasionally stumbling over roots or rocks.
If a week after the delightful, almost magical experience of resolving a problem quickly and painlessly, you have neither received a call nor an email confirming that indeed, everything is ok; and you start to wonder what’s going on; the only solution (after nobody answers your calls) is to go and see for yourself.
Only to find out that your file has been, oh well, kind of forgotten. Because “your phone number was lacking”, though you distinctively remember providing this essential bit of information. Before you even get to ask why nobody thought about emailing you, it dawns on you that this is just reality setting in.
And you realize: Everything is back to normal.
Once you are used to things never being easy, such as getting a visa, a bank account or an apartment, the elevating feeling of walking into an administration & resolving a problem within 30 minutes is overwhelming.
Also, it doesn’t feel quite real. Or right for that matter. Despite having ALL necessary papers, stamps and signatures, a nagging feeling persists, that this was too easy, too good to be true.
So you go and pinch yourself, hope the best & enjoy the feeling while it lasts.
Despite the fears and worries it started with, the world cup turned out to be quite an organizational success. In football terms, most Brazilians could have done without that semi-final* against Germany…
Though even after that stunning game and painful defeat, our Brazilian friends continued to be fantastic hosts. Having wisely made the decision to watch the semi-final apart, we came back together for the final and found our friends cheering louder for Germany than we did. In a room that was beautifully decorated in German colours.
I probably made this comment before, still: Brazil might have many political, social and economic problems, but the people are great. The hospitality we experienced, the passion for futebol, and the cheerful yet critical pride in their own nation & its football team – it really makes a good place to live.
* Interesting side note: As the Brazilian team progressed through the world cup, the coach became “Felipão” – the great Felipe – in the newspapers and on TV. After the 7-1 defeat, he was referred to as Luis Felipe Scolari again.
The ones for going to the movies were out…
This post is neither sponsored nor endorsed by a major company – with a name vaguely resembling one of the US states – producing flip-flops.
Samba is probably the one kind of music that comes to most people’s mind when thinking about Brazil; in line with carnival and Rio de Janeiro. Not surprising for a country of its size, there is much, much more with strong regional differences, trends and preferences.
Were it not for the help of a friend, I would be in no position to write about Brazilian music. I’m not really a fan of Bossa Nova and even less of Forró – the popular music of the Northeast. Still, thanks to this friend who is fund of meaningful music, as opposed to the cheap, widely selling popular one, here below is a selection of songs he made me listen to to broaden my musical knowledge. What can I say but: Obrigada!