So I’ve said that Greece is the place in the world that reminds me of Brazil the most and you, dear reader, must be wondering:
“What does she mean by that? She can’t just say ‘there’s more to this feeling than that’, as if that was self-explanatory!”
And right you are — it’s by no means self-explanatory. I’m not even sure it is explainable at all. But here’s roughly what I mean by it:
1. As I said, it’s a “feeling”, and feelings are notoriously hard to explain, or even describe. I do not know what it is about Greece that really reminds me of Brazil: whether the people, the streets, the stores, the climate, the vegetation, the colour of the earth…
But both this time and last time I was there six years ago, I repeatedly have this feeling of “not being abroad”, and that happened in the oddest places: some parts in downtown Athens reminds me of downtown Rio; the countryside reminds me of the rural part of Brazil my family is from; some beaches reminds me of some Beaches in the Brazilian northeast. And this is something I haven’t felt anywhere else, and I’ve travelled a bit.
2. I have encountered an unusual number of Brazilians in Greece (which probably contributes to my impression in point 1). This is also something that struck me both times I was in Greece. Again, I’ve travelled a bit, and I’d say I have a good radar for detecting my compatriots. But I think the only other place I’ve seen so many Brazilians was in Florida and maybe… maybe New York.
If it had been only this time, I’d attribute this fact to a soap opera that was on for a good part of last year in Brazil and had a Greek component to it. But I had felt this way before, years before the soap opera, so maybe the soap opera was the consequence, and not the cause, of the number of Brazilians in Greece.
So that’s that. The real cause for this phenomenon remains to me unexplained. And whether it is true or not that the actual proportion of Brazilians in Greece is higher than in other places I visited, in any case it remains true that I have this impression. And not even Descartes could find fault with my explanation.