Whenever I’m asked which of my b’Earthdays was my favorite, I always like to say my 21st. I was lucky enough to be in Brazil at the time. I spent 3 months with my best friend’s family, exploring and learning as I went. Brasília is Brazil’s capital, and that’s where I spent all of my time. Brasília is also the most modern city in the world. When I was there, Brasília was celebrating its 50th anniversary. I’m gonna let you know how the city decided to celebrate!
Brasília is divided into sections, and from an aerial shot it resembles a bird in flight [or a plane]. There is a large manmade lake with a bridge that resembles stepping stones called Ponte JK. I stayed in Lago Sul, but ventured into Lago Norte for one night while I was there.
The city itself is so symmetrical it’s almost ludicrous. If you venture into the city, I advise you go up the TV tower to take a panoramic shot of the city. You can see how well planned out the entire city is. The diplomats live in a certain area, the government buildings have their own section, farther along are the hotels and malls, and even farther still are rows of supermarket chains. You can see as far out as Lago Sul from the TV Tower.
My favorite part of the city was close to the bus park. You can step out and head over to a mall nearby, or come up to the Congresso National building. This consists off 2 large towers in the center and an upright dome to one side, and an upside down dome to the other. Getting a look at most of the architecture in Brasília, is getting a look at a futuristic Sci-Fi movie from the Twilight Zone era. It’s mesmerizing.
During Brasília’s 50th anniversary, which happened to be a week after my 21st, the people of Brasília gathered near the Metropolitan Cathedral for a Disney Parade. It was a lot of fun. There were so many well done floats, and it was so interesting to hear Disney music in Portuguese. There was a section for Disney villains, Disney princesses, and different characters from cartoons and TV shows.
Right after the parade was an aerial show, and a section for people to look at old tanks and helicopters used by the military. You could take photos in some of the military vehicles too. Some skydivers came out of planes with matching white parachutes to say hello to some patrons. If you moved along a bit, there was a music festival with different genres of music. There were people playing drums and marching, and there was a heavy metal band that had a stage for itself.
When the sun set, the party didn’t stop. People gathered near the Natural Museum of the Republic for an enormous rave. There was a stage set up with a DJ near the white dome of the museum, and a projector was set up so that interesting images were projected onto the dome itself. By the museum are perfectly round cut outs in the ground that are ponds. I remember a naked gentleman with his guitar strumming to some poetry while the music was playing to some interested people by one of the ponds. What was wonderful about it was that the city was so unified. There were goth kids, preppy kids, elderly people, people with babies. All different kinds of people celebrating and having a good time.
I have so many more memories of Brazil. I loved the zoo, I loved going to the city of Planalta [the street art there is phenomenal!], and I saw the coolest play called Bacantes. Bacantes was 6 hours of wondrous confusion, but given the chance, I’d watch that play again in a heartbeat.
I didn’t spend any time in the usual tourist spots of Brazil, aside from the airports, but I can still say that Brasília is a city worth exploring. If not for the organized comforts of the city, then certainly for the architecture, and for the learning experience. The people are very friendly too, but it would definitely do you some good to learn a few phrases in Portuguese.
All in all, Brasília é muito legal!
This was a contest submission by Alana Igbe.
Updated: August 19, 2015