Brasília, Brazil

Picture a description of Brave New World:

A brief reference to the Hatchery itself — a “squat” building of “only thirty-four stories” — also gives a sense of the surrounding landscape, a city, by implication, of lofty heights. 

That was the eerie impression I received from Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Founded in 1960, the capital was built on an immensely ambitious dream led by then-president Juscelino Kubitschek.

Suffocated by the violence and humidity of Rio de Janeiro and drowning in the vastness of São Paulo, Kubitschek, riding on a high train of economic prosperity developed a daring idea, to move the capital of Brazil to a climatically balanced and regionally convenient area. The expeditious construction of Brasília lasted 3.4 years, under the supervision of Lúcio Costa, and the architectural plans of Oscar Niemeyer. Niemeyer envisioned Brasília to be representative of its future, following the almost laughable flag motto of order and progress. Architecturally, each governmental and residential building has a sterile and clean finish that is properly referred to as Modernism. I later found out my judgment wasn’t far off, for Oscar Neimeyer was a die-hard communist.

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 Palácio do Planalto the President’s workplace 
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Oscar Niemeyer’s plan called for Brasília to be shaped like an airplane. The body contains governmental/administrative buildings and the wings are where the upper-class resides. 

Thought #10: Home

Saudade: This untranslatable Portuguese term refers to the melancholic longing or yearning. A recurring theme in Portuguese and Brazilian literature, saudade evokes a sense of loneliness and incompleteness.

I currently sit in my friends expansive living room with broad windows lined with wooden frames. The windows allow a constant flow of warm natural light and offer a view of the fertile land of Brasilia. There’s a window to my right that is slightly ajar and letting in happy bird tunes carried in by a gentle breeze. I am at ease, for the most part, but deep down I feel a raw yearning for missing home. The feeling began a few weeks back when I found myself physically tired after a tremendously demanding trip to Peru. My time was limited and I felt the pressure to see as much as possible in a short span of days. I reached a resting point upon my arrival to Bolivia, a place I dedicated to recollect my thoughts and plans. After an arduous day of finding a place adequate enough for my budget and needs, I felt it. I felt my adventurous spirit begin to break down, to reach an exhaustion period that could only be mended with familiarity and routine.

I missed home.