This week I went with João to a (very fancy) hairdresser so he could have his hair cut. Everything was very modern and new, and the hairdresser himself had a very stylish braided beard and a tail on the back of the head. He spoke little English, and since we speak little German, the conversation was basically noun-driven. Initially he thought we were from Portugal, as we told him we spoke Portuguese. But as soon as he found that we were actually Brazilians, he was more enthusiastic about it. And then came all the comments about the summer, football, etc. Suddenly he made a very interesting remark: he noted how nice it was that in Brazil kids go out to play football on the streets and how bad it was that in Austria kids come home from school and are just on the internet the whole day.
It is interesting because in these moments we realize how Brazil is perceived. We did not bother to explain him, but we Brazilians know it’s not like this. If you live in a relatively big city, say, more than 0.5 million inhabitants, you know the only kids playing football on the streets are the really poor ones, that live in a favela or something close to it. The kids from middle class families or above are too afraid (or have parents that are afraid) of going out to play on the streets. They are playing with their neighbors in the buildings’ playgrounds, or maybe going to football (or karate, or tennis, or English) classes in private schools (by car, of course) or, most likely, inside their own apartments playing video games and chatting to their friends on the internet. Children (or people in general) are not really engaged into outdoor activities, mostly for security reasons.
It’s funny how we observe exactly the opposite in Vienna. It’s summer now, so we see people riding bikes, running, having picnics in parks or by the river, strolling around the parks… Also, we see *a lot*, really, almost every day, groups of kids with teachers walking around to visit places or go to parks. And they even use the public transportation! It looks very nice!!
So how can the hairdresser make a comment like that? Maybe it’s because he has never lived in Brazil, maybe we haven’t been here enough… but quality of life in Vienna is amazing in any case.