I had a late wake up today as I had a day off, finally. So there was time enough to check my mails and to answer some of them. At about 10am I left my place towards the beach of Piedade and Boa Viagem. I made a 2-hour walk on the beach, along the Atlantic ocean, took some pictures, made some videos. There were not many people at the beach this morning. I have been looking for sharks but unfortunately I did not see any. This morning walk was a very nice alternative to the underground work in the Arena Media Centre in the past days. After I passed the Donna Lindu parquet I started looking for the Bus “Setubal Conde da Boa Vista” with which I should get to the Cais de Santa Rita. After some asking around (still nobody who talks English…), I finally got into the bus. The female collector promised to tell me when I had to get out of that bus (in Portuguese of course). This bus drive was absolutely horrible. Most of the streets in Recife are not in a good condition. In addition to that the bus driver drove so insane….sometimes I had the feeling that he wanted to copy Felipe Massa. It’s absolutely no pleasure to use a bus in Recife, believe me.
Upon arrival at the terminal Santa Rita I met with Raissa. She showed me several nice places in Boa Vista and Olinda, and I could have my first real Brazilian food. I took a “Caldinho de Feijao”, a drink made of beans and in it a small egg. It was ok but for me not really something special. After that I did eat a “Coxinha”, delicious! The Coxinha is a popular food in many countries in South America. The drumstick is a snack Brazilian originally from São Paulo, but also common in Portugal, and based on dough made with wheat flour and chicken broth, which is filled with spiced chicken meat. The filling consists of chicken, and tomato sauce, onion, parsley and scallions (and occasional catupiry cheese), that is coated in wheat flour – variants including potato or manioc are also commonly sold – batter, and deep fried. It is shaped to roughly resemble a chicken leg. And after Raissa showed me some more nice places and buildings in this area I finished with a “Tapioka”, cheese in a coconut wrap. Very nice too!
Olinda would be a nice place for the Dutch fans to be next year, if our Oranjes play in Recife. There is even a restaurant with orange chairs!!
We proceeded to some friend from Raissa, they were preparing to join the demonstration which started at 4pm. A next protest against the government after several hundreds of thousands of people already protested in other cities this week. Police in Recife were saying that more than 100’000 people had gathered! Although the bus fare increase was the tipping point for launching demonstrations, the basis for public disenchantment with the policies of the ruling elite goes far deeper, particularly the general population's disappointment with the inadequate provision of social services in Brazil, while mega sports projects such as the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics have turned out to be over-budget, and have resulted in a series of revelations about gross overbillings and multi-billion dollar financial scandals. Other points of discontent are the high inflation rates and increases in food prices.Other commonly stated reasons for the malaise include higher taxes, poorly functioning health services, low education rates, inadequate welfare benefits, high unemployment rates, and the ever-increasing slums where populations live in overcrowded sub-standard living conditions.
There is also a feeling of powerlessness due to widespread cases of corruption and embezzlement, lack of transparency, and financial accountability. Indicted leaders and politicians would often stay in power despite being cited for corruption and collusion in the growing overbilling scandals. The protesters are particularly objecting to a law currently being drafted – known as PEC 37 – seen as a cover up for corrupt politicians, and a reduction of the power of judiciary in pursuing cases.
“We do not want to be inconvenient, we are changing Brazil”, was one of the slogans I saw today. If all these young people want to have a chance, there must be a change!