Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rio de Janeiro takes on the Bullies.

Oh yes, I've jumped on the blogging Rio de Janeiro is in chaos bandwagon. All the cool kids are doing it. 

Seriously though, it's all around us and is impossible not to think about.  I live in Rio meaning I've never been super stoked to hear police sirens in my neighborhood. You always look to see what's going on, make sure it's something mellow. These days it makes a girl a little nervous. That oh I just peed a little in my pants nervous.  Thank goodness it's warm and laundry is drying quickly.

So that foreigner part of me is like, 'Sweet, I'm leaving in a week for Christmas in the state, I just won't come back until it's done'  Call it the survivor, Chicken Little, in me.  Of course that won't work.  I live here.  For better or worse, this is our city.

It's unfair of us, including expats, to enjoy the beach, the beer, the good times, and then run when the going gets tough.  I'm no fair weather friend! Just ask my friends. I'm just much more of a pesky little tick friend. The kind that when you think you burned it off, you realized the head is still stuck in your ass. Oh yeah, that's me.

We have a standoff happening in our city. Very classic Western movie type of standoff.  And while the sheriff hasn't always been the obvious good guy in our movie, he's probably got a back story we wouldn't understand.  And quite possibly, this is the climax of Rio's movie. This is the make it or break it, all nerds stand together against the bully kind of thing.

As difficult as that may be, if the good guys conquer all, this city will be an even better place. (note that I'm leaving out a bunch of other conditions that should change because I just don't have the time and no one wants to read a 300 page blog post).

I choose to believe what I tell my boys, the good guys will win. Why? Because good always conquers over evil.  And you know what, I consider people who light full vans and buses on fire pretty damn evil.


  1. I hear ya. Trying to keep the glass half full over here.

    In times like these it is better to avoid conversations with my MIL. She is convinced the whole world is ending... (If I want to see her head explode I just have to remind her that I will be visiting Rocinha soon with some goodies for the kids. Kapow!)

  2. My MIL is very mellow about it. She all Rio Zen, this is Rio and it comes in cycles. Although she does admit this one is particularly bad. She told me to avoid the other zones if I can. She isn't too worried, she says that this time of year is always a little crazy. But she is not looking forward to when they enter Rocinha. She believe shit will really hit the fan then. What does your friend think about that situation?

  3. Rachel,

    I'm with you, good always conquer over evil :)
    We should remember that Manhattan was no men's land in the late 70's and Mayor Giuliani, a public attorney in those days started a tough campaign against crime...which he continued when he became mayor, taking several measures very similar to the ones being done in Rio today.

    I saw on the news that Rio's mayor was hiring Giuliani's firm consulting on how to improve safety and fight crime, I am not sure if they moved forward with their project, but it sounds like they did.
    New York was really bad and it took a 360 degree turn on crime, you feel safe walking around at night in the city nowadays, you see a couple of cops in every block, but people are safe.

    Time Square fells like Disneyland and families take kids on vacation to NY city now all the time and the Porn Shops and Strip Show joints gave place to Toys R Us, the M&M Store and many other family friendly attractions.
    Rio can do the same and Rio would be absolutely amazing with less crime, you should expect real state prices to sky rocket when that happens...