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Weekly photo challenge … Foreign

October 30, 2012

Earlier this year my husband and I went from south-east England to Rio de Janeiro to stay with my daughter and her partner.  They live in a favela called Babilonia  very near to Copacabana Beach;  I could wax lyrical about the foreignness  of all three places.  Nothing could have prepared me for the differences. However once I became accustomed and realised it was just different; I love it.

One striking difference between Rio and London is the lack of road signs and ‘paint work’ on the roads.  In UK drivers cannot drive safely without having a sign to tell them how to do it.  Every 100 yards or so there is a sign to instruct, advice or demand; how fast, slow or stop. Roads are painted with yellow lines to prevent parking. There are red, amber and green lights at every junction.  Roundabouts at regular intervals. Not to mention speed humps, cameras and no overtaking etc.
In Rio on the other hand the roads are without signs of any form.  Whether this is a good thing or not I will not discuss.  However I do think England has become a bit of a  ‘nanny state’ in this respect.

Another thing I found alien was the lack of wheelie bins inRio.  Over the last few years in the UK  our smaller more discreet dustbins that were collected weekly have been replaced with huge wheelie bins; emptied fortnightly. There are usually two or more bins  depending on the recycling policy. Now the bins do not fit anywhere so they remain out on the footpaths; overflowing profusely .  We have become such a wasteful nation.
In the favela there is a skip and an area where household rubbish is brought daily and there is an attempt to recycle.  I am not saying this is a pretty sight, but at least the rubbish is confined to one place and removed regularly.  In the city there are litter bins and of course there is litter on the pavement … it is’t heaven.  There is  a feeling that ‘things’ are not just chucked away; there really doesn’t not seem to be so much waste.

Also in the picture this is my son-in-law is carrying a table; that we had just bought. This is another story! He is about to get on the bus and take it home … this would not happen in UK.  Can you imagine getting on the bus with a table in UK?

I am sure before too long Rio de Janeiro will fall foul of the dreaded wheelie bin and the road signs like those that deck our streets. 

Please not yet!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 7:45 pm

    I can totally relate, having grown up in Naples, Italy. In a lot of way very similar to Rio. Thanks for sharing.

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