Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Brasilia

Post dated like a week....

So on Friday morning my host Jackie had to work, so she had her friend Daphne take me around, along with Natasha from South Africa. We drove around and she pointed out some buildings, then we went up the antenna tower in the middle of the airplane design.

The view from the top was very cool. Daphne knew a ton about the design and the city plan (and thankfully spoke perfect English since her Dad was ambassador to Haiti and somewhere else). For example, all of the apartments are in the wings of the plane. They dug artificial lakes on the outer side of each wing. The two rows of apartment buildings closest to the water are all 3 story buildings. These were designed for the ‘poor’ people. Then, there are two more rows of 6 story buildings, which were designed more for middle/upper class. Well, things didn’t work out so well, and the poor could not afford to live in the ‘poor’ buildings, which are now inhabited my middle class people & students, like Daphne. This also lead to a huge boom in ‘satellite’ cities outside Brasilia. People who couldn’t afford to live in the airplane had to move outside the city.

You can see the layout of the airplane from the tower. Also, you can get a feel for how the city is compartmentalized in ‘quadrants’. For example, you can see all the banks are concentrated in one area. All the hotels are located at the point on each wing that connects with the body of the plane. There is a sector for sports, which really just contains a large soccer stadium, as well as an indoor facility for concerts/basketball. The shuttle of the airplane is one giant green space, and the roads on the sides are symmetrical. At the very front of the plane are 3 buildings, which are for the 3 branches of government. Then, there are about 6 large rectangular buildings on the side which are all government buildings. The bus terminal is one of the only things located in the middle of the shuttle. The green space was designed so to allow for the people to walk directly up to the president’s house and protest. Product of the urban planner, who was a communist (and the city was designed in the late 50s).

This is a wing, which you can kind of see curves:

The front of the plane with the 3 legislative buildings (president in middle). Plus green space to walk up to:

Legislative buildings (10 on each side):

The front of the airplane shuttle:

The view of the rear part of the airplane:

The 'sports' sector. There is a soccer stadium in front, and a venue for concerts & baskeball in back:

On the way back, in the large tent market below the tower, we tried some green coconuts as well as some ‘pastels’ which are just like empanadas, dough filled with something then fried.

Trying Brazilian Coco's (drinking then scooping out the edible part) with Daphne and Natasha:

So after this, we watched the USA England game. It was a good game. I know a whole heck of a lot more about soccer now (probably watched a bit of soccer every day the last 3 weeks). We tried to go to a brewery to try some local microbrews (not impressed with Brazilian beers, they are extremely light/watery, but not without a purpose...because it is always hot here so drinking a Guiness probably wouldn't be the best). Anyways, it was closed, so we just watched it at Daphne’s apartment, and thus I got to go in one of the bleak, 3 story, rectangular, working class buildings!

Later we had some Brazilian hot dogs. Topped with corn, peas, mini French fries, two types of mayo, one infused with garlic, the other can’t remember. I think there probably was more stuff in it as well. And, it was quite delicious.

Hot Dog:

Then that night we went to a party for Brazil’s Valentines day (maybe they flip it because the seasons are switched…I have no clue). It was in the backyard/back patio of the house of a friend of theirs. It was very official. They had a list with people’s names and everything to get in. Anyways, they had some DJs playing music in the backyard. Seemed like a rich house, but we couldn’t go inside to check it out. However, they did have a pool out back. Hmmm.

Host Jackie (hold the beard comments, I trimmed it recently! haha):

A drink with Natasha, girl with Brazilian name I dont know how to write, and Pree:

Sunday, I left for my 27 hour bus ride in the afternoon. Jackie took me to the bus terminal, and a big hug was given! I really enjoyed Brasilia, not only because it is the strangest city I have ever been to, but also because Jackie and her friends were so nice and treated me like an old friend (except for the fact that they speak English with a Portuguese accent...) So, maybe I will stop back in on the way to Bolivia at the end of the month.

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