As you may have heard many times, much of the joy of travelling in Brazil is meeting the Brazilians.

As I say in my book:

Brazil’s strength lies in its people and not in institutions that have been imposed, modified and mutated over the centuries to serve an elite; the ruling classes have failed the Brazilian people who do not deserve the politicians they vote for. But as anyone who has seen how easily they burst into song and dance, as anyone who has been moved by their friendliness, their approachability, their concern and curiosity for strangers, as anyone who has been to a country that moves and laughs and lives life as if there was no tomorrow, I know that Brazilians have something that we in ‘serious’ countries have lost, perhaps forever.

Let me give you an example: in my last trip I stayed in a small family house, Pousada Sonho Meu in Paraty. I needed to write an article so I asked for a proper table and a chair in my room (which I got). Still, the wi-fi signal was not that strong on the first floor where I was, so I sat in the family living room for two hours trying to compose 450 words while they were watching television.

Next day around 6pm, I came back from my excursion to the beaches and I saw the owner on a ladder.

“Apologies”, he said meekly. “There may be some noise. We are drilling on the walls. We have installed a new network for the first floor.”

And he pointed at a wi-fi box just outside my room…

So raise a glass to the Brazilians.

The 2012 edition of Brazil: Life, Blood, Soul by John Malathronas is now available on Kindle.