WARNING: This post is not about “making urban interventions to bring joy to people’s routine“, but it IS about urban interventions, and CAN bring joy to people’s routine. I’ll explain:
I’m from Brazil and if you’ve checked any news lately you know a bit about the protests that are happening there.
First thing I need to confess before I write this post, is to say that I’m definitely NOT a politically oriented person. This has always been a subject that I’ve avoided, and part of the reason why, is because it honestly never made too much difference for me. I never needed to use public transportation, public education and always had private doctors to take care of me when I was sick. That being said, why should I bother, right!?
Not right. I currently live in the US. It was supposed to be just for two years at first, for school, and then I got a job and kept staying. As my friends like to say: always for “just three more months”, and there it goes fours years since I moved here.
I miss my family, my friends, the weather, the vibe, the energy and the people. Our culture is the richest I’ve ever seen. In any city you go, from Salvador, Manaus to Porto Alegre, there’s always something to learn. Traveling around the world, I never heard of anyone saying they don’t like Brazilians. We’re probably the most cheerful people ever. We hug, we laugh, we’re loud and we do drama, then we make up, make out, we love and we hug once more (it’s never enough).
Then when people ask me why I haven’t come back yet, I actually don’t know what to say. But the truth is, because things here in US work. I always thought I had a great quality of life in Brazil, but here I don’t have to worry about much. I feel safe when I walk on the streets, because I know that if someone does anything bad, they can be sued or pay for it, and this rule applies from super models and celebrities to pocket lifters. I feel comfortable going to doctors because, although they’re not going to be as personal as the ones I have there, they will take it serious and will not operate my wrong knee (who told me this story?). There are good public schools, and everyone has a chance to go to college. Americans think they know, but they really don’t know what misery is. I never took a bus while I was in Brazil, but in NY I’d go everywhere by metro. And even though I can’t afford the same life style I’d have there, I still feel that my quality of life here increased tremendously. And US is not even that perfect, but it’s a step further than us at the democracy scale.
So when I finally understood the core of all these protests, I couldn’t feel anything but satisfaction in seeing that people from all social classes, races and ages are finally getting together to fight for something better. It’s not just about the 20 cents hike on public transportation. It’s not just about the ridiculous minimum wage (around $360), and although a big part of it, it’s not even about the tremendous amount of money being spent for the world cup and Olympic (around $17 billions) from which the most people will not benefit a cent. It’s just that we got to our limit and we’re tired of corruption, and paying so much tax without no return. We want more schools and hospitals. We want same opportunities to everyone. We want a real democracy.
I’m happy that we’re all going through it, and I wanted to share here my support.
But again, I’m not very politicized, but if you’re interested in more facts, you can find more here:
This one of the Facebook page about the protests:
And this is me:
– Brasil, count me in! #changeBrazil