At the weekend the article below, about my experience at the World Cup, was published in the Brasil Post. Below is an English translation.
At the beginning of this year I moved to Peru for work and in almost no time at all I developed a profound sense of saudades for São Paulo. It wasn’t that I disliked Trujillo, a small city on the northern coast of Peru, it was just that after two years living in Sampa, this monstrously beautiful city had started to feel as much like home as Londonhasdone throughout the rest of my life – a sentiment probably best exemplified by how I repeatedly found myself telling people in Peru about excited I was to be “returning hometo Brazil”for the World Cup.
Unashamedly excited, I should add. As June approached I regressed in age by about thirty years;like my five year old self at Christmas I started counting down the days, thoughnot in anticipation of Santa but of the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream: attending a World Cup. The fact that it would take place in country known as the ‘spiritual home’ of football – and that which I now call my second home – as well as my fortune in being able to buy tickets for myself and my best-friend of twenty years who was flying over to join me, only further increased my giddiness.This was truly going to be the best month, ever. Continue Reading
BR14: A Rota dos Imigrantes is a series of documentaries airing on TV Brasil in June during the World Cup, with the idea being that an immigrant in Brazil from each country competing in the World Cup will be shown whilst visiting places with links to their homeland or fellow exiles who have made a life in Brazil. The series begins tonight and the first show features Japan and Costa Rica.
The reason I am plugging the show here is because I am excited to say that earlier this year I was invited to be the focus of the programme on England. My episode airs on 16th June at 7.30pm and whilst I don’t want to give too much away, all I’ll say is that I had the honour of meeting someone whose grandfather every Brazilian will thank for what he brought to their country.
Here is link to the page with more information about my episode and below you can watch a trailer for the series. Also, here are links to the show’s website and its Facebook page. Enjoy!
Following my post about ‘expats’ in Brazil, I stumbled across an article in which its Brazilian author uses the metaphor, ‘You don’t walk into a house and say the couch is ugly, do you?’, to infer that foreigners should never criticise other countries, including Brazil.
I’ve no doubt that I myself would also be offended if you, my dear reader, visited my house and told me yours is superior because: my furniture is cheap, my choice of decoration garish, the dinner I cooked you disgusting or the living conditions inhumane because the toilet doesn’t flush properly.
Back in the real world, it’s similarly understandable why Brazilians take offence to foreigners posting lists full of vitriolic and banal reasons why they hate living in Brazil. I’m sure most of you would be a little peeved if a foreigner wrote something as insensitive about your country.
Daily Mail – 8 December 2013
And, despite being a foreigner myself, I too have become rather tired of some of the sensationalised dross that has been written about Brazil in the foreign (UK) media. Continue Reading
Like many of the hundreds of thousands who have now joined protests across Brazil in recent days I watched the initial protests – about an increase in bus fares in São Paulo – from afar when they broke out on 6 June.
Why? Well, prior to Monday, when I decided to venture out onto the streets myself, I felt that despite broadly agreeing with the objectives of the protest, and even being a daily user of the city’s public transportation myself, it was probably not my place to get involved. As a ‘gringo’ and a guest of Brazil I didn’t feel it was my fight to fight – and to be honest, even now I feel a little uncomfortable commenting upon and writing about what effectively is probably none of my business.
However, what motivated me to go out on Monday, and I think this sentiment may well be shared by many others, was seeing the extent of the violence (rubber bullets, tear gas, etc) the police used last Thursday to put down what was widely reported as being a peaceful protest. The net effect of this was that whilst the actions of the police may have successfully extinguished Thursday’s protest it had the converse effect of igniting a far broader outrage throughout Brazil.
You can read the rest of this post here at Planet Ivy.
Even at an early age I was hooked on just about everything to do with football, and my addiction become an obsession when I received a huge encyclopedia about the beautiful game one Christmas.
From it I devoured its history, as well as old statistics and stunning overhead shots of various stadia around the world. One in particular that always stood out was of the Maracanã in Rio and not only because it was the home of the great Brazil teams that my father had told me about, but also because to a young me it just looked so huge – largely, I guess, because it was.
Amazed, I read about how almost 200,000 people (although probably far more) filled it for the 1950 World Cup final and wondered how on earth it was possible to fit almost the entire population of my town in South London into one stadium.
The Maracanã in 1950