Today was a historic day for Brazil. Minutes ago the vote to remove President Dilma Rousseff completed – she’s out of a job. It only took decades of corruption, months of squabbling on social media, and 5 hours of speeches to seal her fate. Each politician in the vote (513!!) gave an impassioned speech about the spirit of Brazil, the evils of corruption, and even the crisis in the Middle East (I’m not joking). The hours and hours of bravado made me miss getting a lift back to Alto Paraiso tonight, so I’m taking refuge in Brasilia’s airport. I’m a bit bitter – both at the politicians for talking so much and at the airport for having rows and rows of connected chairs made useless for sleeping with armrests.
Despite the inconveniences I have to say it was a fun day. I walked around the downtown of Brazil’s capital with thousands of people, the Dilma-haters holding plush toys of her in striped prisoner jumpsuits, the supporters sported red headbands and sashes. There was music, laughter, beer, and dancing – a great party.
People here have been screwed by their government on every level; I’ve met couples my age living on one income, dealing with long term unemployment and student debt, putting off having kids and unable to leave the country or take vacation. Yet, despite problems and political affiliation, they didn’t squander a day to be happy, to enjoy. Instead of fighting or watching in resigned silence, they used the event to come together and party. It’s a bit unconventional, but I think there are a few things I think we could learn from this culture. (Especially the dancing part).