Saturday, May 1, 2010

a picture

This morning I went to the gym with a colleague. Since exercise promises to be a rare outlet for me, I hope to do the gym thing on a somewhat regular basis. But the 5:15 departure will be a bit of a barrier!

What I loved most about it was the rooftop terrace. I suppose mid-day it gets too hot to enjoy, but since it was so early, after I finished my desperate attempt at a sprint on the treadmill, I went up to the roof with my yoga mat. The sun was shining and a lovely cool breeze was blowing.

Here is what I saw: up in front were rolling green hills with interesting-looking buildings and pathways on top. I was fascinated by the pathways and wondered what historical establishments they might be circling.

To my right was a landslide waiting to happen. They looked like the favelas of Rio de Janeiro - lots of houses on a very steep hill, but in Rio you can still see pockets of green here and there. The barracas in Rio are made of wood and tin, which makes them fragile yet earthy. They'd slide smoothly along with the land in the landslide of my imagination. The houses here were pure concrete. Hopefully that means they are strongly rooted and thus landslide-resistant. I guess if they're standing there today they've probably already withheld a good bit of land fragility. Just like Rio, it was rather breathtaking to be on the top of one of the buildings at the bottom of the hill, looking straight out at a mass of homes.

Behind me on the right side I saw the sea in a hazy distance. I love views of the sea. Nuff said.

The rest of my surroundings were other buildings like the one I was in: 3-6 stories high, of a neo-colonial architecture, trees sprouting out in gardens and streetsides. I imagine we were in a nice neighbourhood since the homes were surrounded by high gates and traffic was lively as we left the gym. Even so, two blocks away, the mass of sky-blue and white tents filled a park area. In so many ways, it reminded me of home - I pictured Praça da Republica before the police kicked all the squatters out.

I suppose instead of linking to photos of similar-looking things in Brasil, I should take some photos of my own. I'll get there.

It's really beautiful here, though it's been a while since I've lived in a place so split between the lovely gated homes in the valley and the favela on the hillside.

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