4.9
March 17, 2022

When you get dressed & then change a shirt & then change out of shorts into pants & nothing matches & you like it.

My first trip to Brazil (or South America!).

When you get dressed and then change a shirt and then change out of shorts into pants and nothing matches and you like it. Socks are flourescent reflecty green yellow btw.

Pictured in an underground hotel. If this is anything akin to life on Mars, let’s save *this* Planet.

Just back from Brazil—by far the farthest south I’ve ever been, a new continent for this life! I only first traveled at age 39, overseas, and am still too worky to get out much (yes, I think twice about my choices, but service involves both joy and sacrifice). Brazil was…touristy, where I was. All the beautiful nature chomped up by ugly cheap characterless towers, we coulda been anywhere. A few tourist locations, a lovely beach (mostly, I was told, for the privileged) and almost no vegan food or eco anything or local craft shops, mostly chains, chains, chains you could (and do) find anywhere.

That said: good coffee. Good humans. A joyful wedding of genuine friendship, relationship wisdom, and love. Michelle and I didn’t have an easy time, relationships are work, but overall is was progress and joyful and harmony and joy for us. I danced hard and fun, made friends with a gang of local black-shirted tough guys and their flashy cars! I mean, really, Renato BFF.

Michelle and I found a vegan mindful organic local oasis, Harmonia, and Maggie and Chemy and I found a local Brazilian crafts shop on the last day in the last moments, and it was so inspiring, fun, colorful, joyful, sacred, all of it. We supported ’em, yes.

We biked a bunch, but a lot of Uber, too. Supporting Big Tech wherever you go? Ugh. Same with Airbnb. Ugh. We could allow a few trees (almost no green anything in the whole city) if we didn’t make space in half our downtowns for second homes and tourists, instead hosting them in hotels and such. Some airbnbs, like the one we stayed at, directly support locals, and that felt better.

So much plastic. The entire country, without water treatment, appears to drink all water out of plastic every day. Not just us gringos. And beyond that—blankets in plastic, drinks in plastic, plastic straws, bananas and apples wrapped in plastic (!?), plastic and stryofoam in every crook and cranny of the lovely beaches, desserts in plastic, clothes are plastic, sunglasses plastic, hammocks plastic, chairs plastic, toys plastic, even the famous local straw hats are plastic and no longer locally-made. Michelle asked if we could get coffee or water in our own containers, and most said no.

All in all I feel like I went a world away and found mostly TGIFs and Subways and Starbucks and the like. Shop local. Go zero waste, one step at a time (start with one week, no plastic, if you fail, that’s okay, keep learning and trying and asking for alternatives). Bike or walk instead of reflexively driving. Climate crisis is here and let’s act like it, and save this planet for the next generations.

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