Viet Hung - 05/2019

Cidade Maravilhosa – wonderful city. This is a coastal city, with the world’s most famous and beautiful Capacabana beach…

After more than 20 hours on a plane of Turkish Airlines flew from HCMC, we set foot in the São Paulo International Airport / Guarulhos – Brazil’s largest airport about 7pm. This may be a long and tired journey to most of us, or at least with myself.

This is a time before the World Cup 2014 approximately 1 month, we come here in the hope of enjoying a little bit of atmosphere of Country’ s preparation was held the biggest football event on the planet, which perhaps Vietnam has to wait very long time to have a chance to host. Hopefully it will be like that but the atmosphere here, at least the largest or the second largest airport in Brazil (like a way of the call of native people from when the region was separated) is not totally like we think. None of the poster, none of billboard about the World Cup, there are no signs indicating that one month later, soccer fans from around the world will gather here to blow up all of the field of this country.

We caught a taxi to go downtown. At this time everyone looks quite tired but the excitement to explore the culture and the people here are not diminished at all. Brazil is still a strange country to Vietnam. Throughout history, the number of Vietnamese people to work and travel here is just a few hundred turns and the Vietnamese community living and working in Brazil also not exceed 200 people – a modest figure. After more than 30 minutes we arrived at the hotel, ending a day filled with fatigue and immediately sank into a deep sleep. Fatigue seems to have blotted out the disparity in time zones, while the difference between Vietnam and Brazil is 10 hours.

The next morning, we started to explore the city of São Paulo. My first impression of São Paulo is the image of the skyscrapers are everywhere in the city. The rapid development of the economy has led to the crowded high-rise. In addition, the income of the people is improved and the

demand for modern means is increasing. On the streets, there are many cars regardless of day and night, and on the sky, helicopter also took turns to fly. São Paulo is known for the number of private planes and helicopters that are not less than New York.

In that afternoon, we are lucky to be “participants” at a festival, a street festival brought extremely true colors of the Brazilian carnival, hometown of sexy samba dance and the famous carnival in the world. The special is that it is the festival of the 3rd gendered and this festival has attracted tens of millions of LGBT people around the world gathered.

Leaving the noisy and excited festival, we begin our journey again. There are not many signs of the World Cup on the streets as well as in the everyday life of the people here. This makes us very surprised because everybody knows, Brazil is a country renowned for the passionate with round ball, they eat football, sleep football and soccer everywhere, from lawn to the street. But in here, the World Cup does not seem to exist. We decided to explore this issue through friendly people here and everything is gradually being unraveled. Brazilian people love football, they would expect but they are not excited about organizing the World Cup because of corruption and wasting. With the Brazilian people, they need money to care for the community rather than the World Cup.

Here, we also had the opportunity to visit some of the stadium as well as the headquarters of some famous football clubs of state of São Paulo such as São Paulo, Santos … Especially in the program , it also includes stadium Arena Corinthians – the stadium will take place 2014 World Cup opening match and this time was a different surprise when this is still a huge construction site strewn with construction materials, everything was not in hurry when the opening day was nearly to come. We wonder by ourselves how the opening ceremony and opening match would take place, because until this moment everything was not ready at all. Perhaps the organization of the host country really had a problem …

There is an interesting thing going on every street of São Paulo, you will not feel like a foreigner, because on every road having the presence of people from around the world. It is not difficult to recognize the influence of Italian architecture in several major works, in a fairly bustling area of the city also has a large gate built in the style of Japan – this is the area massing of Japanese descent live. Indeed, Vietnamese is not only unfamiliar with Brazil but Brazilians also completely “blind” about Vietnam. When some people greet us in the language of Japanese or Chinese, we waved his hand to show them with pride that we are Vietnamese but they seem to be bewildered as Vietnam is a country which is just established in a few hours and even the media has no time to delivery this important event … But one thing we noticed about the people here are friendly and hospitable, a difference from what we’ve been reading about Brazil is the looting and crime rate, among the highest homicide world. Especially when he saw the police are equipped to make roast, barricades everywhere on the streets. Nonetheless, security is also something to consider when you decide to travel or work in Brazil.

São Paulo’s farewell after 5 days “undercover”, our group took a bus to Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s former capital. Rio de Janeiro in Portuguese means “River of January”, besides Rio de Janeiro also nicknamed Cidade Maravilhosa – wonderful city. This is a coastal city, with famous beaches and beautiful Capacabana World superlative. There are three things we are impressed during the time in Rio, that is a tour exploring the largest slum of the city, was photographed and views of the city from the truth of the messiah and watched a match of the Brazilian national championship at the famous Maracana Stadium – the place performing the final and the closing ceremony of the World Cup.

After a long day of moving, we arrive in Rio at midnight, atmosphere is cold because of Brazil is in winter now. As a tropical country, winter in Brazil is quite cool and pleasant, not harsh with daily average temperature below 20 degrees Celsius only .at the beginning is our Rio tours slums, where the warning of safety is extremely complicated and dangerous. This is the center place of poor labour, the organization gangster and drug dealer … With the guidance of a young man – a non-professional instructors and obtain the trust of the community here, we have gradually discovered almost every corner of this vast slums. There are almost fully all basic services. From haircuts, shampooing, tattoo shop, small grocery stores until kindergarten … According to the most people in our group, the economies of Brazil may be beyond Vietnam, but the environment living here is no better than slums in South Vietnam. The city government here also organized numerous raids crimes, the fierce gun battle took place., As evidence by the bullet holes on the pin holes on the walls, where we go through, it is still new but the results are not worth much. Criminals and residents still rely on each other to survive and “shadows” in the hierarchy of Brazilian wealth and poverty has quietly developed its own way.

The second notice of destination, our team had Rio’s Christ statue tour. We were taken up to the mountain by Train system, that looked very old and maybe only existed in a few places in the world. Quite unlucky for us, the weather was not good today, cloudy and foggy made us extremely difficult to take photo with Christ statue at the back. As a popular tourist destination, tourists flock here is very large, you really have squeezed between the sea of people to find a place to enjoy the panoramic view of the city from atop the highest mountain of Rio de Janeiro. From here, you can panoramic bay with lots of luxurious yachts, the tower “crowded” in the center and the edge of the slums in the city. You can freely watch the social panorama of Brazil’s biggest city here.

Final destination in Rio is legendary Maracana stadium, which will host the final, most important match as well as the closing ceremony of the World Cup. Maracana stadium has held its title as the largest stadium with the game world has been recorded in history that more than 10 thousand fans to cheer. Now, after extensive renovation, the field reduced to about 7.5 thousand seats. Knowing in advance about accommodating “stature” of the Maracana but we are still not out of surprise of the magnificence of it. Unlike messy and disappointing of Arena Corinthians, perhaps because of renovation, not because of new construction, Maracana with modern equipment, perfect pitch was really ready for the finals in apricots in the presence of the host team and even better thing for the people of Brazil as Neymar and the team was crowned champion in his own country. And that will be the biggest festival not only in São Paulo or Rio separately but around the vast country of Brazil.

So, our time in Brazil run out, we got the car back São Paulo International Airport / Guarulhos to return to Vietnam. Feeling regret because there are many famous attractions here, we cannot fully explore. Anyway, we were the one of not many people in Vietnam got the opportunity to come and explore human culture as well as people in Brazil. An experience which probably every member of our team will never forget.