Yesterday Brazil started not only a new year but a new hope with the official inauguration of the elected president Lula. This is not an ordinary thing. After 8 years of continuous decadence and political instability, Brazil finally has a president that cares about social justice, fight against poverty and will do something to preserve Amazon Rainforest and protect people living there (especially indigenous people).

We were a little bit worried about terrorism during the inauguration ceremony, because there are some crazy people trying to imitate the US crazy people who stormed the Capitol. But, fortunately, everything went well.

Since the context became very conservative and arid during these years, and the public budget left by the former president is chaotic, it won't be easy for Lula and the new government to do all they need to recover the country. But we already can see some important changes: ethnic minorities assuming positions on ministries, resumption of real diplomatic relations that the former government had abandoned, measures to increase the transparency of public budget and political decisions, measures for poverty alleviation and fighting against deforestation.

I'm jealous of countries able to make long term plans and chart the path for their development without (or despite) the interference of the US imperialism. I hope Brazil will reach this point one day. For now, we need to rely on governments like Lula, when they happen.

Ok, now I'm going to study Chinese.


Everyone borns illiterate. A little bit more rare is when someone suddenly becomes illiterate. For example, like me after arriving China.

纵然我学习中文,还不会懂基础事。路标,菜单,包装标签,还有手机中文的app's。更坏的,旅游的时候我的手机坏了,所以我来中国我没能用翻译 (现在我一记有新手机)。

Even though I study Chinese language, I still can't understand basic things like sings on the streets, menus at restaurants, labels on packages and Chinese apps on my phone. And even worse, my phone got broken during my trip, so in my first days I couldn't use automatic translators in a easy way (but now I already have a new one).

我很高兴有学校老师的帮助。他们都安排好的一切,所以留学生可以来真顺溜溜 (谢谢 Zhao老师,Xia 老师,Yang老师,Yiyi老师)


I'm glad for have received constantly help from the staff of my university. They arranged everything so the arrive of foreigner students be the smoothest possible (thank you Zhao laoshi, Xia laoshi, Yang laoshi, Yiyi laoshi).


There is no advantage about beign illiterate. Life becomes much harder. And, in my case, illiteracy is not only about language comprehension, but also about many aspects of local culture. Some situations can make me feel really distressed.

我用筷子用得对不对?我吃饭吃得对不对?我粗鲁吗? 一位人敲我的门,我应该说什么 (因为有时候我花了很长时间才开门)?我太形式上了吗?太不形式上了吗?我在做违法的事吗?

Am I using kuaizi properly? Am I eating properly? Am I being rude? Should I say something when someone knocks my door apparently in a rush (because sometimes I take too long to open)? Am I being too formal? Too informal? Am I doing something illegal?


Despite these questions and unconveniences, there is an interesting aspect on being illiterate. It's like returning to childhood. Everything becomes new, even the simplest things. All my senses stay a little bit more alert in my almost always failed attempts to understand all the information reaching my eyes and ears. It's like a chance of recover (at least a little bit) an almost forgotten feeling from a time when everything was a way of learning.



Todo mundo nasce analfabeto. Um pouco mais raro é se tornar analfabeto de repente. Foi o que aconteceu comigo quando cheguei à China.

Mesmo estudando o idioma, ainda não consigo entender coisas básicas como as placas nas ruas, os cardápios nos restaurantes, os rótulos das embalagens ou os aplicativos em chinês no celular. Pra piorar, meu celular quebrou antes de eu chegar aqui, então não pude usar tradutores automáticos com facilidade.

Ainda bem que tive a sorte de ser constantemente ajudado pela equipe da minha universidade, que arranjou tudo para que a chegada dos alunos estrangeiros fosse a mais suave possível (obrigado Zhao laoshi, Xia laoshi, Yang laoshi, Yiyi laoshi).

Não existe nenhuma vantagem em ser analfabeto. A vida se torna muito mais difícil. E no meu caso o analfabetismo não se reduz apenas à compreensão da língua, mas também de muitos aspectos da cultura local. Algumas situações me deixam realmente angustiado.

Será que estou usando o par de kuaizi da forma certa? Será que estou comendo do jeito certo? Será que estou sendo mal-educado? Será que devo dizer alguma coisa rapidamente quando batem à minha porta antes de abri-la (é que às vezes demoro um pouco para abrir)? Será que estou sendo muito formal? Muito informal? Será que estou fazendo algo ilegal?

Tirando as dúvidas e inconveniências, existe um aspecto interessante na experiência de ser analfabeto. É como um retorno à infância. Tudo se torna novo, até as coisas mais simples. Os cinco sentidos ficam um pouco mais aguçados nas tentativas quase sempre inúteis (por enquanto) de entender toda a informação que chega aos meus olhos e ouvidos. É uma chance de recuperar pelo menos um pouco da sensação daquela época da vida em que tudo era aprendizado.