The two sides of the city

Over at The Lion’s Den, which I link to on my (in-progress) Links page, Leo wrote a great post showcasing the two sides of Salvador. I’ll borrow the first two sentences from each perspective…

Side 1

“Look. Salvador, it’s a beautiful place. From the emerald sway of the palm trees that line the All Saints Bay, to the soft pastel colored churches that fill the Pelourinho—Salvador is a city of light, a place infused with the energy of a Northeastern sun.”

Side 2

“Look. Salvador, it’s an ugly place. From the dark stains of sewage that line the All Saint’s Bay, to the prostitutes, thieves, and wicked intentions that fill the Pelourinho—Salvador is a city of darkness, a place dried and cracked by a Northeastern sun.”

One of the people commenting on the original post, made a great observation on being a foreigner in Brazil. She said that it’s nescesary to be able to come back to Side 1 after seeing/living in Side 2. I think that’s very true as it’s easy to just stay with your illusions of what Brazil is depending on your social circles and stomping grounds. What is also interesting is that one can’t say Side 2 is the real Brazil, while Side 1 isn’t. They are both the real Brazil, you just have to make the choice as to which Side sits well with you.

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4 thoughts on “The two sides of the city

  1. Why do you have to choose one or the other? And how do you do that? I think that’s the illusion. They coexist and are extremely intertwined. My experience in Salvador (and the northeast in general) is that it’s all beautiful–the good, bad and even the ugly. Those who are trying to stay on one side or the other do nothing but render themselves blind. It’s nearly impossible to completely leave Side 2 to return to a side 1 devoid of crime and ugliness. That feat is a privilege most don’t have, except maybe tourists.

  2. Pingback: Articles from the other Eyes On « Eyes On Brazil

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