After she sold her house, my GF also bought a flat in Brazil. It’s a beautiful flat, in a compound of 42 flats, just by the seaside, outside of Natal. A couple of years ago, we spent 3 months over there. Brazil is a beautiful country, with so many contrasts, that trying to explain it, is impossible.
During the day, the place is simply Paradise, with miles upon miles of stunningly beautiful beaches, where we could walk for hours, find some beautiful spot, and meditate for 30 minutes, before going back home again. During the night, it’s a crime infested hell hole, unbelievably dangerous, with robbery being and every day event.
An American visited some of our neighbours once, and referred to the compound as a “prison for rich Norwegians”. I don’t know if we’re rich, but there definitely is some truth to that. There are electrical fences, alarms, walls and armed guards patrolling the compound during the night. Even with these extreme security measures, we still have robbery attempts every now and then.
Brazil has humungous amounts of really poor people. This creates a lot of desperation among some of these people, that makes them willing to go to extreme measures to feed their families. Once we had 4 people literally digging under our wall, to get inside and rob us. Once they came through, the guard on duty that night, locked them inside of the compound, and called the police. The thieves started becoming desperate, and when the police showed up, they started a fire fight with the police, just a couple of meters away from our bedroom where me and my GF was sleeping. The police returned fire, and both of the thieves were hit. Me and my GF never even woke up, and didn’t even realise what had happened before the day afterwards. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt, and the thieves survived.
Below are some pictures of the Paradise side of Brazil, which is the part I tend to focus on …
The “coolest” robbery I ever heard of in Brazil, was a guy who came into a bus, waved his gun, and told all the passengers that it was his birthday today. He told everybody that they had to sing happy birthday to him. After he had made everybody sing this sing, he took his hat, and started walking around, saying he’d expect gifts, and that his particular wish for this birthday was cell phones and wallets.
After having gone through the bus, collecting everybody’s wallets and cell phones, he pressed the button to signal to the bus driver that he wanted to leave. The bus stopped, and the guy walked off the bus, as if he was just another passenger.
Although I obviously don’t condone robbery in any ways, it proves a point. Which is that even among desperate people, as long as a little bit of curtesy, politeness and humor is given – Even the most terrible situations can easily be turned around to a positive experience. I betcha that today, all the people that were on that bus, remembers that robbery at least partially as a funny experience …