Saturday, July 6, 2013

Work in Progress

The unsteady landing and driving rain against the windows of the plane marked the return to my adoptive city. Buckets at the arrival gate, buckets at the luggage belts - pools of water where buckets should have been.

“It’ll all be ready in time for the World Cup,” I turn my head to say to the fellow travel-weary passenger to my side, as we otherwise silently power-walked to Purgatory (commonly known as Immigration).

Expressions regarding Brazil’s future readiness for the WC (pardon the abbreviation) and the Olympics are repeated here like modern mantras regarding most public services or planned projects. It has come to replace the more traditional “Brazil will always be the country of the future.” Both expressions are customarily accessorised with a melancholic sigh.

Brazil, the eternal Work in Progress.

The stop/start traffic and the familiar stench of the polluted river that snakes around the perimeter of the centre (the rain sending out slow jelly-like ripples across its surface) have become sad leitmotifs to dishearten even the most cheery of travellers this Monday morning. But even though I tried, I somehow couldn’t be repulsed by it all. I couldn't even muster a resignatory biting of the lip or raise of the eye-brows. If anything was going to make me second-guess my decision to return it would be the sheer ugliness of this city. But I didn’t. And I couldn’t. It has become my second home, and – for however long the country permits me entry – I will return.

Let’s see where these months go. Let’s see what's in store.

view from the barber’s doorstep

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Luke,
welcome back. How nice to see an Englishman, who, using the German language, is not referring to the Blitz anymore but to the Leitmotiv :-)
Let us see whether we can fix a date for the guitars.
Abraco,
Stefan

Luke said...

Hey Stefan
I miss you!
Thanks for the warm welcome back.
Yes, it's the English disease to always look back,but seeing as Ms Merkel has just validated the addition of one of our less salubrious words for your own language (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article3807391.ece), I thought I'd return the favour... ;)
I'm on sabbatical from the house right now, but maybe I could drop by your place to collect them some time this week? When might be a good time?

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