Getting used to life in Brazil again I found myself having trouble speaking English today. I don’t think my English got worse, but definitely my Portuguese improved. Which is quite convenient, because still little English is spoken here, especially in some parts of the city. I guess that it is not necessary to explain that Rio has many different sides, maybe you can even call them worlds. It is something that I like to show in this project too and so I found myself traveling between them this fim de semana (weekend). For a little research and in search of the right people for the project.
I got invited to start off the weekend on friday in a chique champagne bar in Zona Sul (the south zone, which is the richer part) surrounded by a group of very nice, well educated, hard working people with obviously some money to spend, getting ready to dance. We talked, laughed and had a good time, but I could not stay too long. Saturday morning Zona Norte was my next stop. The complete other side of town and life. I spent most of my day talking to a former drug solder that now made his work out of it to get kids (most drug solders attend traffic when the are around 12 years old and most of them do not make it to 21) out of the “business”. Again, we talked, laughed and had a good time. With his nephews I spoke about the Dutch team, they knew the players better then I do and proudly showed me the sticker book of the World Cup. They look foreward to the games, but elderly are not as exited as expected form the inhabitants of THE football country of the world. Along the way I started to ask all people that I bump into the same two questions; “Are you happy with the World Cup in Brazil?” and “If there was anything you could change in your county, what would it be?” No matter the background, the answers are all the same. “No, we could have better spent the money on….” answer two “Education, health, end of corruption” It made me think of the conclusion I drew in a review that I wrote for the University here in Rio in 2010. “Rio has many sides and in impossible as it seems, they need to work together”. For whom is interested, I have put it on my website.
The weekend got me closer to the people I want to follow and the people whom will help me find them. It goes Brazilian style slower then I would have hoped. But, not knowing everything exactly yet makes me tumble into interesting situations and people that I wouldn’t have been in and found otherwise. In my next posts I will introduce some of them to you.