A pleasent hum came from the street, in that sunny morning in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, northeastern Brazil, where the temperature never exceeds the limits of the unbearable, where the sun shines all year. The lively rhythm caught my attention and I went to the window and this was my surprise: I came across a simple scene – a man dressed in orange, heavy clothing, hot for that heat, sweeping the street still shaded by mango trees in that beginning of day. It was the dustman doing the routine cleanness calmly focused on his task or, in this case, the rhythm of his music.
That unexpected sing under my window made me realize the wonderful day that was rising and think we really have to thank more than complain! When we complain about life without the need, we lose the opportunity to see the little things that make the difference. Sing and smile are two wonderful proposals to decorate the life. You can imagine someone casual, relaxed, working hard? There, under my window was presented the example that it was possible.
How a situation leads to another, I remembered a scene that caught my attention in Florence, Italy, last year. A “bello ragazzo” strong, with frizzy hair, long blond, dressed in a uniform of dustman, removed the trash bags of the cans spread around the city streets and did it frowning and scowling with sudden movements that he almost knocked me down when I passed by. Then, I said to my buttons analyzing …. how are interesting the cultural contrasts. The Brazilian, simple people, takes seriously the popular saying, “He who sings scares away his evil.”
To the italian, cleaning his street was something to give a bad mood (Europeans usually delegate these services to people of the third world). However, the crisis shows that the situation is changing in many European countries and that who is “well-created” is already subjecting himself to primary jobs because of the lack of choice of work.
Exactly this lightness of our people that I have missed when I was living out of my country. There are lots of Brazilians who sings and smiles for nothing. A people who love a good “prose”, especially when you are woman and find another one to gossip anywhere, to make time pass in spaces like a bus stop, travel pieces, doctors, and even in hospitals. The motto is to talk without thinking.
In Europe it never happens, at most, a direct response to an information that is asked with seriousness and speed. For those who felt like an exiled (exaggeration aside, actually I was studying there), with a deep lack of communication, a chat about banalities, live this way was something to hurt my heart missing my little land, especially in those cold and completely white days of snow existing in European life.
Perhaps, for the habit I have of talking to people on the streets, without prejudice, this situation was accentuated in my psyche. I even like this quietness, however when I decide to talk is “to worth”.
An episode I will never forget was when I was hospitalized for a day and a half in a hospital for tests and see gall bladder problems. Was a ward with two beds and my roommate was a chatterbox in potential (just like me).
I remember we talked nonstop, each lying on her bed, side by side, for almost two days. I already knew everything about her life and she knew everything about mine. It may have been a nervous “surge” for being doing nothing, but the time passed so fast that I even realized being in a hospital.
We became great friends for a few hours, until we receive “medical discharge” for then we never see and the stories become forgotten in the files of our minds.
These small casualties make a difference in my concept about Brazil. It is exactly the spontaneity of our people that welcomes me and feeds me, always, and makes me move forward with the sure that my country is a yellow-green, rough stone, a rare jewel that just needs polishing and effort all to build a better life!