We used to live in an island and I might be the only one insisting on living in that island. But the truth is that no one can stop the changes occurring today. The European crisis and the dispute for economical hegemony affect the smallest and farthest countries.

The food supply is changing to those dreadful products we can find all over European supermarkets, rotting in one day. There’s only one supermarket offering reliable (organic and non organic) food, mostly from the Cape region. However, the demand for quality food in South Africa is so huge that they seem to be facing supplying difficulties. After a decade of relative abundance, we live a supplying crisis. Quality products disappear very fast from the shelves and only the stuff nobody wants remain. In Africa coexist extreme poverty and a great appetite for luxury. It’s almost the same country/city pattern possible to find in developed societies, with the exacerbations we all know. It’s going to be difficult to change this African need for quality. It’s a nouveau riche thing. I don’t know if it’s temperamental or the climate. A couple of days ago, I heard an African lady addressing this question with audible irritation. It must be contagious because I am getting tired of all the rubbish inside most supermarkets. And I am starting to suspect that those in charge of the traffic of goods at the Mozambican borders (Europeans, by chance) are acting on the principle that people in Mozambique have forcedly to consume less and, above all, consume less quality.

A crescent number of people are entering in this country, with more despair than skills. I worry with the mentality they bring along. If they were migrating to Germany, for instance, they would bend their heads and assume a submissive attitude. But here, in Africa, they think they are big and everything goes, racism included. I’ve witnessed children as young as 5 or 6 producing racist observations. If you are so desperate you need to search for your future in Africa, it should be highly recommendable to avoid teaching racism to your children. You are thirsty and spitting in the only water available.

Besides bad manners, some of the newcomers bring all sort of viral diseases. People already died, mainly children. As I told from the first lines, we lived here as if we were islanders. We are fragile and susceptible to the hazards of “civilization”. I got sick for weeks. All my family and staff got sick. It has been very hard and upsetting, since I don’t have patience or a life with room for sickness.

This summer wasn’t fun. Actually, it wasn’t summer at all. We have pollution with new factories and all the cars constantly roaring the streets. The weather changed and so did our mood. It started last summer. I blamed my brand new spa and a few other life contingencies for the lack of sun and stamina. Now I believe it’s a bit of this and that, a bunch of reasons for fun not being so fun as it used to be. And even though by nature I fight back, there’s always some reason (a flu-like reason) knocking me down.

I am where I want to be. I like to travel so that I can return to the place where I live and feel happier to live here. I always feel puzzled with the offer of citizenship cards from developed countries. They must have a completely distorted idea of the image we have of the “civilized world”.

If people had decent jobs and hope, no one would want to move from their own places. Every time I see one of those citizenship cards offers, I think: “No, thanks. I don’t want your food. I don’t want your noise. I don’t want your rules. I don’t want your somber crowds. I pass the notion that people are nothing but credit cards, mere pieces of the consuming machine. The western civilization is viral. I am not a troglodyte but recently I discovered I was feeling a sort of happiness for not having to rush to cinemas to watch the latest movies or attending the fashion shows or queuing for trendy exhibitions. Instead, just give me quality, flip-flops and a bit of sun.


6 thoughts on “Viral

  1. So many excellent points here: A thirsty person spitting in the only water available, what a statement! Often I feel like Americans are being made into pieces of the consuming machine, as if brainwashed to be that and nothing else. Decent jobs and hope; I feel like in days past those were plentiful, but now jobs and hope seem in short supply. A very insightful post.

    1. Thank you. Even though I am afraid to sound wrong, I keep translating Portuguese sayings directly. The spitting passage is a good example of this. 🙂

  2. That is really all anyone needs for happiness: a bit of sun, health, quality food, and an unpolluted environment. If everyone would realize that, we’d all be much healthier and happier.

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