Monday, May 16, 2016

Brazil, Oh, Brazil.

      Here is the image of the national flag of Brazil.  It is recognizable almost everywhere for its unique colors and design: green signifies the tropical area of the Amazon jungle; the yellow signifies the southern section of the country with its agriculture and ranches; the blue with starry constellations known in the southern hemisphere signifies the global position of the nation.  Of course, it is also seen on the jerseys of the national soccer team.
      The President of the country Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended from office by the legislature and confirmed by the Supreme Court.  Her vice president is in her stead during the 6 months the court expects to take as to her impeachment and formal removal or not.  The country is undergoing its worst recession in almost 60 years.  Inflation has whipsawed the citizenry with accelerating prices for everything.  Unemployment continues to climb.  Charges have been filed against almost half the sitting legislators.  The future doesn't look so good.  And the beginning of the 2016 Olympics is barely 3 months away.    And maybe the Russyan team will be banned(as they should).
      The Mayor plunged into this milieu early this month, meeting with Tahoma's own Minister of Latin American Affairs in Sao Paolo, the country's Mega-City of 15 million+ souls.  While I've read and heard quite a bit about Sao Paolo, seeing is believing.  Just the ride from the airport was a revelation.  Traffic?  OMG, the traffic.  And the weather was just fine.  It entailed almost 2 hours of taxi time from the airport at Guarolhus.
     The size of the city is similar to our Los Angeles, excepting the proximity to the coastline in Southern California.  There are a few hills scattered around the city, but the highlands are off in the distance, about 45 miles from the city center.  The city has a subway system that extends across wide portions of the urban sector, reaching the fringes of the city proper.
     Neighborhoods are extensive, built up with large numbers of high rise apartments, one after the other.  Many are of mixed economic levels with modest structures set among more expensive structures, lending a disheveled, confused, and shabby appearance to the streets.  Getting around is dependent on time of day and destination.  UBER works quite well in S.P.
     We enjoyed a nice stay in the city, and then we went upcountry, putting aside fears of Zika virus.
More later on the Mato Grosso do Sul.

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