This past weekend I visited Brasilia, the capital of Brazil (no, Rio is not the capital, nor is Buenos Aires). It was built in the 1960’s basically in the middle of no where and now is a city of several millions of people. Majority of which are public servants or diplomatic staff. If you want to know more details, wikipedia does a much better job at this..
The most common reaction I received from every Brazilian I told I am going to Brasilia for purposes of tourism, was:”Brasilia?!! Why would you ever want to go there?!”. And to my:”Have you ever been?”, the response was: “No way, it has no beach.. why would I go there??”. Therefore, I was sure I was going to have a good time in this beach-less city. And I did.
Brasilia is a showcase of Oscar Niemeyer‘s architecture genius. It’s full of compositions of space, art and nature. It really does achieve the vision of making one feel so small against the greatness of the surroundings. I kept thinking in my head about the soviet construction style, all the Utopian books I’ve read (1984, We, Brave New World, etc.) and was not so surprised to find out that Niemeyer was a member of the communist party. The other interesting part of Brasilia that struck me was the stark vividness of urban planning. The city is designed in the shape of an airplane with the plaza of 3 powers (branches of government) in the head of the plane. There are zones dedicated to specific purposes, and all duplicated. For example: north hotel zone, south hotel zone, north commercial zone, south commercial zone, north hospital zone, south hospital zone. etc. etc. very strange indeed. I felt like I was inside a sim-city game. There is even a north lake and a south lake.
I better go to bed now, but next time, I will write about the interesting people I encountered in Brasilia. Hint: young boat entrepreneurs and a crippled man.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I played an awesome (but evil) April Fool’s joke on my gringo friend from work. Told him I cannot take it anymore and decided to quit as of Monday and leave Brazil. He started freaking out so much, trying to save the situation, to the point that I felt to guilty to keep lying and had to tell him the truth. I cannot be evil for too long. What pranks did you play?