In Brazil, M and I went for a stroll along the new board walk in Fortaleza that leads from Iracema Beach to the construction site of what is to be South America’s largest aquarium when we accidentally made a wrong turn and entered into one of the remaining low income areas of the city which are sometimes called “favelas.” This favela had a certain charm to it, as the main street has an old remnant of days gone by in the form of tram lines running down the centre. On one corner there was a fishmonger and on another a general store; the favela appeared to be a self supporting community and the people in it appeared to be proud, religious and full of dignity.
Upon returning to our apartment, I gave some thought to what in the United Kingdom has been a hot topic for some three weeks now, a television program called “Benefits Street” has been exposing the total depravity of the under class in that part of the World: a place where the government gives people so much money that they have absolutely no incentive to become productive members of society; where the majority of the street’s residents exist on an endless diet of legal drugs in the form of television, alcohol, and tobacco and of course the other illegal drugs which are freely availably from the dealers on the street.
I will let you decide where you – should you be on the bottom rung of society – would rather live.
For me, I would rather be working in a favela in the hope that one day I will have enough money to progress up the ladder to something better.