No, no, don't think that I'm definitely away. Life just opens some doors through which events keep passing and passing. Impossible to control them. It means: the blog's still left behind, as there are many other priorities just now.
Back in France from Brazil, on the way to Southern Africa.
Almost 4 weeks in Brazil. Professor Rattner passing away. So glad we were so connected the last months, so glad I talked to him before coming to Brazil, so glad I could see him twice in the hospital before his departure. So glad I could drink from his experience, positive view, and his drive for people's development.
Things I flash-remember:
The IPTU (property tax)in Guarujá is one of the most expensive in Brazil. R$ 1100 a year. Between 60 to 70 USD a month. For 45 m2. The same as a house in São Paulo, of 150 m2, on a sought-for area. Ridiculous.
Ah, the politicians in Brazil... what a class. How professional they are in advocating in favor of themselves! Please, just be amazed by what "earns" (yes, earn!) a politician in Brazil (see here an article published in 2008). The Washington Post says that the politicians in Brazil make even more money than in the US! For the US figure click here.
Actually the strongest remembrance is really this: how things are so so so expensive down there, while the salaries are so so so low. A state teacher earns about 1000 reais, or 600 usd for a 25 hour-week, for instance. And there are strikes all over. And the firemen were asking for a decent wage (current salary at about 900 reais / 550 usd a month!), and were arrested for that! All of them! Etc etc.
And the banks, ah the banks. Check the internet. Banks and profit. WOW! Here in Russia, here in Nigeria , and here Brazil. And so it goes. All over the world. What a wonderful financial crisis. I guess if I were a banker, I'd love to be part of such a crisis, ending up being so profitable, with my losses taken over by the "government", meaning everyone's taxes. What a smart recipe!
Hum, what else should I tell you my readers? Well, you wanna the positive news?
There were demonstrations for the decriminalization of the Canabis Sativa (I learned that the name marijuana was given by Hearst, who led a campaign to make it a crime in 1930 in the US, and to link it to the Mexicans, Latinos e other "minor" people. Which really worked).
Ah, and the police instead of protecting the demonstration arrested and beat the people. People then demonstrated for "freedom" (in Rio and São Paulo, at least). Well, that people are getting organized for political reasons is a novelty in Brazil. After the great demonstrations for the end of the military rule in the late 1980's, the majority went quiet to earn their day to day and be able to buy their mobile phones.
I stop here. Too much to tell you, and I must go.
Enjoy! (and save water, and do not consume so much plastic, and beware the E. Coli, and use your bicycle!)