Like every new year it was all about the fireworks worldwide. I like this tradition. Happy New Year! May 2014 be a glorious year.

Like every new year it was all about the fireworks worldwide. I like this tradition. Happy New Year! May 2014 be a glorious year.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda. Musician, poet, writer, playwriter.

Chico Buarque de HollandaMusician, poet, writer, playwriter.

Behind bars.

Behind bars.

Diving into the summer! Quick trip to northern shores of Brazil.

Diving into the summer! Quick trip to northern shores of Brazil.

Winter is here.
To the left, the island where I live (you can see the bridge that connects it to the continent). At the back, the mountains covered with snow this morning.
(Photo from the local newspaper by Alvarélio Kurossu / Agência RBS.)

Winter is here.

To the left, the island where I live (you can see the bridge that connects it to the continent). At the back, the mountains covered with snow this morning.

(Photo from the local newspaper by Alvarélio Kurossu / Agência RBS.)

“Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t major in minor things. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.”
Jackson Brown Jr. (via at-kkoolook)
And now a photo of me in Bratislava, just because.

And now a photo of me in Bratislava, just because.

about the protests in Brazil

As most of you know, I am brazilian. I know a bit about the protests going on here, I participated in two of those events (I was even interviewed by a reporter). I’d like to take a minute to discuss it very briefly.

Brazil has been on the spotlight for the last years for several different reasons: BRICS, World Cup, Olympics, Economy, Presidents (Lula and Mrs. Rouseff), Energy Industry, etc. 

The government has been conducting left-side party policies targeted to social areas. As a hence of a number of policies, millions rose to the middle class in Brazil. The country is now a middle class country. Of course this was advertised to the world by the left-party government - and the data is true. We are a country where the majority of our population is in the middle class.

With many reasons to feel optimistic about Brazil, why are people protesting on the streets?

Well, for one, because the government only speaks about the good things happening and seem to forget that other social problems are just as important as the goals reached. Many rose to the middle class, but inflation is here once again. The quality of public services (education, healthcare, transportation, to mention a few) is very questionable. Some questions came to mind for brazilians.

Some of them include:

  • The taxes are incredibly high, so why aren’t we improving in such areas?

  • Why are we deliberately hosting the World Cup and spending an incredible amount of money (this World Cup is costing to Brazil what the last three World Cups costed together) when we have such poor services?

  • Will the investiment be returned to society or to private hands?

  • Why is it costing this much? Where is all the money going to?

  • Also, if corruption is so high among politicians, why don’t they go to jail when they are condemned?

What triggered the protests was an increase of 20 cents (in Reais, Brazil’s currency - U$1 = R$2,26) in the bus fare of São Paulo city. The media in Brazil did not cover the protests (at this time, very, very small) with the imparciality they should. However, with the help of smartphones, dozens of people uploaded videos of the pacific protests in which policemen were being very ridiculously abusive. And this by the order of the governor and the mayor of of São Paulo. Our biggest city.

This was it. It was the turning point of everything.

From this moment on, millions of Brazilians came to the streets to support the small movement in São Paulo and to release some of the frustration held for so long. The frustration mainly about the politicians in Brazil. 

The generation of today feel completely disconnected with the political parties in this country. The frustration because of corruption has reached an unimaginable proportion: they claimed no one represented them, they were only Brazilians coming to the streets and very pacifically expressing their indignation and frustration with the way this country is being conducted.

The questions above summarize most of the indignation but there are many more voices and many more themes. I will cite just three more: the women’s rights; the Congress wanting to take away the Public Ministery’s power to investigate corruption; and the christian visions coming to politcs (specially to confront the LGBT movements).

I’m not sure where is all this going to but I know that some results are showing up already. For instance, the Congress approved a bill that makes corruption a heinous crime, a severe crime. Technically, the punishment will be even harder than it was. Also, they rejected (unanimously!) the bill which would take away the Public Ministery’s power to investigate.

As a brazilian, I see many wrong things with the way both the government is conducting the nation and with the protests denying a leader or a political voice. I hope all of this serves the purpose of utility and improvement which we need.

Unlike protests happening worlwide, this one is being conducted nationwide in a democratic, economically strong, and political stable country. Shouldn’t we all keep an eye? I think so.

I’m in the middle of my finals here and everything’s a bit crazy, but this video is really funny. It’s about Brazil’s recent protests… this guy’s humour is fantastic.

I’ll post later about what’s going on down here. In the meantime, watch this!

Movie outdoors tonight.

Movie outdoors tonight.

Sometimes I look at this place and I swear I live on the island of LOST.

Sometimes I look at this place and I swear I live on the island of LOST.