Today was one of those obnoxious days that only caipirinhas can fix. We're going out with some friends soon for exactly that reason.
But in the meantime, I have some musings for you, fine and patient readers. The crap today (not much different from other crap I complain about) really made me wonder: Am I going to be able to deal with the mess of this country for the rest of my life? THE REST OF MY LIFE, arguing with incompetent drones who refuse to do their jobs? Paying for services that I can't expect to receive? Watching my back, double-checking, thinking for two, literally begging people not to pass the buck?
What do Brazilians do to cope? I joke about alcohol as a solution to the frustration and the overpowering anger, but really-- is that the ONLY THING that people do? Drink their troubles away? Alexandre's solution (learned from his parents) is to just re-pay for things, to pay more for things, to pay people to do things for him, to leave things for me to do, to avoid contact with people as much as possible, even if that means just leaving a problem unsolved and seeing how long that works. What do people do when they don't want to throw their money away, or when they don't have money TO throw away? I like to plan vacations to feel better. They give me positive things to look forward to. My time vacationing often makes me hate Brazil a little less. But is that the kind of life I can expect, then? These huge highs and lows of maddening rage on one side and sweet relaxation and amazement on the other?
Will I be able to live in a society that is so really and truly "every man for himself"? I know I'll have good days again, that I won't think like this every day, but that's sure as heck how it's been feeling lately.
Both Alexandre and I can make more money working in Brazil, which is why we have stayed and why we plan to stay so far. But things can't stay the way they are. Since I can't singlehandedly change Brazil's sorry excuse for an education system, nor can I change the rampant apathy that is apparently acceptable in the workplace and in society as a whole, I need to find a way to change myself and my perspective. Does it just mean accepting the fact that life is going to be lived at about 65% of its potential? Does it mean that I need to always account for time wasted on trying (and usually failing) to solve problems that other people cause for me? Does it mean entering into every new venture/situation/agreement with the expectation that it's probably not going to work out? Does it mean giving up on the idea of ever living in a reciprocal, empathetic community again, or in a place where people really and truly believe the expression "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," not because the Bible says it, necessarily, but just because it makes things easier for everyone?
I never used to be this angry/pessimistic/cynical/grouchy. But this godforsaken place is sucking away my morale.
Holla if you've had days like this.