Friday, 21 June 2013

Brazilian Protests
Oh yes, the protests in Brazil? Had to include an EFL*-related link to the news since, yknow, I'm enough of a geek to be looking up English Language Teaching stuff in my spare time.

Ah the media- they love to sensationalise everything, don't they?
Yes the riots protests got a little out of hand in the big cities (here's looking at you, Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro), but generally speaking the rest of Brazil is pretty safe still.

I mean sure, the protests are spreading, but they aren't violent everywhere. For example, we had protests here (in Sorocaba) yesterday, but it was pretty laidback. Luckily I got a lift from my boss (yay for leaving work at 7pm, since I have the wonderful luck of working for a workaholic!), but even my friend, who had to catch the bus at peak time (is 5pm a global death trap time, or something?), managed to get onto a bus from the bus terminal eventually (the number of protestors surrounding the terminal made it look like it was closed, but actually it just took a little longer to get onto the buses).

Despite this, my flatmate (who went along to see what it would be like), said the 'protests' were pretty tame- even with a lot of people around, nobody was shouting or going insane. You could still have a conversation with the person next to you & be heard by them (& here I was, thinking Brazil was the crazy party capital of the world- what sort of party country doesn't take the opportunity to be loud & crazy whenever they can?!)

So yes, everything is fine over here (I took the bus earlier yesterday, & today morning, without any problems). In fact, after work, I just went out for MacDonald's haha (is it just me, or is it weird that Brazilians go out to MacDonald's as a treat? As in, if they want to impress someone with their weekend plans, they say they're going to MacD's?!)

I guess it makes sense for them though, since many foreign things are very expensive here in Brazil (actually, now that I think about it, just about everything here is expensive (compared to the standard of living anyway)- due to the crazy tax rate applied to all products/ services etc. This is kinda the reason Brazil is protesting in the first place- it's one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world, yet so much of this money ends up going to greedy politicians (sounds like a lot of the world actually) & football stadiums (yes I know your country loves football, but do you guys really need to be spending more for this world cup than the last 3 countries put together have spent?!) In an ideal world, this money should be going towards worthwhile endeavours (you know, like hospitals & schools, so that people don't die from not receiving medical care on time, because they were stupid enough to try mixing caesium with water at home (or any other reason really, but I think that might be the only thing I remember from my chemistry lessons at school)- seriously, don't try mixing those two at home!)

Aaaanyway apologies for the rant, but long story short- if someone tells you the only reason Brazilians are protesting is because their bus fare went up by 20 cents (it's different in each state anyway, but that's a moot point) you can at least be educated enough now to tell them that's not the case. For example, because of the corruption here in Brazil, most of the (free) public universities are much better than the private universities here- doesn't sound very corrupt to you, right? Well, most of the filthy rich families pay for tuition for their children from day 1 (before university) so that they can snatch up all the public places. You might think that's just tough luck, but considering how much we Brits moaned about having to pay £3000 (& subsequently cried a river over the £6000 increase), you'd be building Noah's Ark if you knew how much the tuition fees over here cost!

(I know this video (& the 'Change Brazil' one with the guy in it) have been widely circulated on the internet lately, but I think they're probably the clearest things I've found (in English) addressing what the problem in Brazil right now is:)

So overall, this post is here mainly to calm my mum down reassure everyone that I'm ok.
(PS- so please just ignore my urge to say 'the riots', instead of the protests, every time I mention it- you can all blame lovely London (in 2011) for that, haha.)

Take care,

(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)

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