I’m back from a wonderful trip to Itacaré (more about this later) and this means: there is more to come. But first I want to share a small moment of funny confusion, when I was standing in a bakery some minutes ago and an elder man in front of me was wearing a shirt of a futebol club. Since this is so common here in Brazil, I thought of nothing until I saw on his back written “Cottbus” … which is a small city south of Berlin, currently playing in the 3rd league (I believe) and to which I have a small connection, since my former roommate used to live there. Full of positive surprise I wanted to talk to the guy and find out, why he was wearing this shirt, but he was next in line to pay and at the moment I wanted to talk to him, he left to go to the cashier. With some nice feelings and a little “Fernweh” (or “Heimweh?”) I looked at him, and when he turned around I realized the advertisment on the front of his shirt. “Penny Markt” in German which I found funny but at the same time it reminded me of these claustrophobic, small and bad supermarkets and the whole ideo of paying employees next to nothing (which is usual in Brazil unfortunately as well, but the supermarket chains in Germany are very well known for this).
So in a moment everything was back again: some positive thoughts, some happiness, some frustration or in short: my mixed feelings about Germany.
Brazil is full of crime and a lot more dangerous than the parts of the world where I lived in my life. Stories of friends being robbed are not uncommon, robberies by armed people in the streets and on the highways are in the news every once in a while. And especially in a giant city of São Paulo people tell you to be carefull and even I have a hightend sense of alertness, even though noghting every happend to me there. But people tell you to not carry valuables at night, take only one credit card to pay and some small bills to pay off a robber, if you are unlucky enough to find one. And then I visited a friend who does not even close her front door when she leaves the appartment. OK, there are only two appartments per story and a porteiro is keeping an eye on the people entering and leaving the buidling and there are cameras in all the elevators, but still. Not locking your front door so that everyone can enter made even me feel a little strange and I thought: what a wonderful challenge to all the security issues.
The awkward moment, when I thought that an older woman in a store ended her question to me with “almoço” (lunch) when in fact she just called me “moço” (young man), which is quite common here in Santos. I guess she didn’t realize, but for a moment I was indeed shocked.
The view out of our living room window might not be spectacular, but it gives a nice feeling of living in a city and yes, there is even a little bit of beach, just enough to check for waves and if the ocean is still there. I like this view but the other day my wife noticed something quite fascinating. It was early at night, already dark, and many windows where showing the blue-ish light of a running television (only a showed the green light of a football transmission). And many of the windows were changing their color and brightness in the same rhythm, showing that their inhabitants were watching the same program. It was soap-opera time and the audience was waiting eagerly for the first televised gay kiss in Brazilian TV history. And I was watching the rhythm of these windows and asking myself questions about individuality and community, seeing all these apartments watching the same program.
So I took a little time off to enjoy a “pernil” at my favourite bakery around the corner (“Roxy” – I still can’t get enough of this awesome name for a bakery), which is the closest I got to a “Schwenkbratenbrötchen” in Santos. It consists of a bun, filled with fresh cut meat from a huge chunk of roasted ham, which is on display, accompanied by likewise roasted onions. My favourite “lanche” (afternoon – or noon or anytime – snack) so far.
I thought this might be an important information to share!
Happy 2014 to everyone with some pictures from the New Year’s Eve at the beach in Santos