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I had a talk with my landlady.

Prostest against the Argentine government in Buenos Aires

There had been another set of monster protests against the government in Argentina and she was talking about the situation in her country.

As usual, she scolded me for leaving Brazil and coming here.

As usual, I tried to stay out of it saying I don’t really follow the news.

“And also,” I explained, “Brazil isn’t that much better, you know?”

“Ah, but you are so much more organized,” she continued.

“We were lucky with the last few presidencies,” I conceded.

“That wasn’t luck,” she educated me. “You know how to vote over there.”


“We have too much corruption,” I continued. “And crime. We’ve got too much violence!”

And then she said something I heard before in Argentina.

“Ah, yes,” she permitted sympathetically. “You have all those black people…”

She must have seen my face because she said “well, I don’t know, of course.”

“That’s not the problem, you know,” I said. “When I was kidnapped, none of the men were blacks. That really isn’t how it works over there.”

And we changed the subject.

That’s not the first time I hear from someone here the same argument that Brazil’s problems are somehow a result of “those black people” but it stills throws me off, every time.

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