29 December 2013

Good times and a promising future

Ponta Negra - Natal
Coming to Natal from Barra do Cunhaú could have been a traumatic experience. From the quiet beach village to the concrete jungle filled with stressed people and shopping centers. But I was lucky again. My hosts Isabelle and Cristiane live far from the busy center in a very quiet neighborhood close to the beach.



A nice swimming spot

I enjoyed my days reading and on the beach and only visited the city center once. As Natal doesn't have much of a historical center this was more than enough. I decided to leave Natal after four days by night bus to Fortaleza. But before that it was time for the highlight of my stay: a short hike starting right from our front door took us into a small nature reserve in a river valley just next to the urban sprawl. A hidden paradise so close and yet so far from traffic and pollution.
We went swimming in the river next to the house of an elderly couple that lives a simple life in this beautiful environment growing fruits, vegetables, breeding animals and catering to the occasional visitor. They spoiled us with delicious food and Açai almost fresh from the tree!

An uncomfortable night on the bus later, I arrived in Fortaleza, last stop of this short trip through northeastern Brasil. I already knew the city, so sightseeing wasn't much on the menu. Instead, I focussed all my energy in making new friends, meeting old ones, buying presents for friends and family back home, discovering beaches to the east and to the west of the city and getting to know more great bars, restaurants and clubs.

Far too soon, I was sitting on a plane back to Europe. Back in 2008, I got a first glimpse at life in Brasil. 2013 I felt more confident, more comfortable, more at home and I enjoyed my time even more. That's why I consider Brasil today as a country I'd like to live in in the future. It's difficult to describe what exactly attracts me so much. The climate is great elsewhere in the world too, I manage to make friends anywhere on this planet. The food of other countries tastes delicious as well and everyday life in Brasil is by no means easier than elsewhere in this world (and definitely not easier than in Switzerland).



Maybe it's that omnipresent happiness I always feel in brasilian people, even in sad times or when bad things happen. Maybe it's the many surprises I experience every time I step out the door or I start talking to someone. Or maybe it's the uncertain future that attracts me. But I do know it feels right for me to be there. Each and every time.

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