With only six days left before the start of the world cup i thought it might be bout time I cranked up the the old blog again and post some stuff about what it’s like here in Brazil on the eve of the greatest show on Earth.
Unfortunately the British tabloid press have got what they wanted, With less than a week to the opening game, the stadium in which it will be played is not quite ready. It has already been used by Corinthians in the Brazilian domestic league but the world cup games will have an increased capacity by using additional temporary seating.
It`s probably worth mentioning that three people died in the construction of the stadium. Two were killed when a crane collapsed and another fell from the stands constructed to accommodate the temporary seating. A total of nine people have died constructing the stadia in Brazil, seven more than South Africa but hundreds less than in Qatar where migrant workers are subjected to horrendous conditions,
In addition to issues with the stadium the city has had to contend with two bus strikes last week and two tube strikes this week. The strikes over pay issues come almost exactly a year after large numbers of protesters took to the streets demanding a reversal of the increase in the cost of public transport. I`m no economist but I can see how difficult it must be to give the workers a pay rise without raising the fares. Something has to give somewhere.
There were small protests by the striking staff and also by enraged commuters, angry at the Union`s decision to go ahead with the strike contravening a court order which will cost the union £26,000 per day in fines.
In February Datafolha reported that only 52% of Brazilians supported having the World Cup in Brazil and when you talk to Brazilians, each of them likes to complain about the fact that their taxes do not translate into adequate education, health or public transport but the excitement for the tournament is building and the final warm up game against Serbia yesterday accellerated the putting up of flags and banners on houses, shops and bars, During the game almost every bar, restaurant, bakery and shop hosted a group of customers watching the game.
Today I went to 25 de Marco, a street, or rather area, in Sao Paulo which sells everything you could possibly imagine that is made out of plastic and many things that you never imagined.
It is often busy here but today the area was filled with people buying all the flags, shirts, hats, vuvuzelas and paraphernalia they will need to begin supporting Brazil properly next Thursday
There is really no shortage of options available for supporters of Brazil but finding anything to support England was a little more tricky. This was exacerbated by the fact that most Brazilians think the flag of England is the Union Jack. I did eventually find an English flag but had to settle with a hat with a Union Jack and a Japanese vuvuzela.
Vai Ter Copa!