Less than a week left before I leave Brazil (time the illusion as always).  I get the feeling that when I arrive back in London I will keep looking out  for the carts pulled by small donkeys, mules and ponies filled with construction materials; for the dusty orange roads and stray dogs. I’ll be listening for the barking in the mornings when the dogs wake up too! Strange the things you get used to after some time in a place.

The things I will bring back with me (apart from the few words and more phrases of Portuguese I’m learning) are a better knowledge of the culture with its fantastically diverse origins; some great music and much more apprecition for the folk music of Brazil; a joy for the original culture of the native Brazilian people before colonisation (and the need to preserve it); a deep dread of the globalisation of Western culture from the USA and a deep dread of Beaurocracy.

With politics in general (between the USA, the UK and Brazil) I can’t decide what I dread more…the capitalist, money-driven system with wealthy FatCats and the RatRace doing their 9 to 5; or the beaurocratic office obsessed system with self-important pompous beaurocrats who worhip their best friend the paperclip. I lean towards socialism but I dislike the dependency on countless personal documents; people literally sign their life away on paper kept in office drawers! Opening a bank account takes just under a month and one of the peices of paper alone requires about 10 signatures.  Plus birth certificate, identity cards, passports, drivers’ license, fingerprints…

But Brazil gives the impression of being happy and bustling and optimistic…getting better and improving. And the best part instead of the increasing economic wealth is the wealth of diversity here 🙂 . The impression I get is that there is no ‘right’ political system under which things are perfecr and equal for everyone (communism tried and failed). And even here in Brasil although the socialist  government is a massive improvement from the military dictatorships of the past there is still great poverty and inequality with people ranging from wealthy bankers, accountants and other beaurocrats to the people on the street who flee downtown to places where living costs are cheaper and build makeshift houses of whatever they can find (favelas). There are child benefits from the government for families with children to help support them…but since the benefit is ‘per child’ – the poorest families who can least afford it are encouraged to have more chldren in order to claim for each one.

But despite that there is also a wealth of music and colour here. Since poverty is also a global problem, to include Brazil in the World Homeless Action Day events, some of the most diverse and colourful  bands and DJs might be willing to take part in a musical event on 10.10 next year. The next step is to track down some genuine grassoots organisations or NGOs who the funds can be donated to as part of the initiative. And to learn Portuguese…

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