Tuesday, February 28, 2006

mall of south america

They have malls in Brazil. Giant shopping malls, with Louis Vuitton stores.

Last summer I spent some time at a journalism fellowship learning about biology. There were six of us in my class, and two of us stayed on longer to learn more - me and this Brazilian dude, who I'm going to call Brasileiro because it means "Brazilian dude." (Clever, huh?) We hung out with the other Brazilians at the lab and this Welsh dude, and it was heck of fun. Brasileiro kept telling me I should come hang out in Brazil sometime.

So last fall when I saw that U2 was supposed to play two shows in São Paulo this February, I checked out the airfares and, long story short, I bought my plane ticket, we failed to get U2 tickets, then right before I left to go down there (having resigned myself to not seeing them) a friend of his turned up someone who had enough tickets for me, him, and his U2-obsessed wife (Brasileira) to go to the concert.

On my first day, Brasileiro took me to a shopping mall so I could buy a bird book and it was clear that I was wrong about Brazil. I expected something more developing country-like. But Brazil has a wealth gap like the U.S. does, except way more so. Way way more. Serious poverty in most of the country, pockets of prosperity in a few cities. I spent my vacation in the relatively prosperous bits.

1 comment:

Maegan N. Murray said...

I'm so going to Brazil!