Belo Horizonte is a city that makes you feel stupid. It has 2.5 million inhabitants, and 5 million in its urban district, but I at least had never heard about it before. Like Brasilia, it’s
Belo Horizonte is a city that makes you feel stupid. It has 2.5 million inhabitants, and 5 million in its urban district, but I at least had never heard about it before. Like Brasilia, it’s a planned city. But while Brasilia was planned in the car-driven modernist 1950s, Belo Horizonte was planned in the more practical 1890s, a time during which people didn’t have cars but were travelling by foot or horse. It is a grid, but with diagonal boulevards.
A grid is very boring to look at from the top of course. But it’s beautiful on the inside, with tons of buildings squeezing into the squares, high and low, old an new. And when it comes to cities, most people for whom the city is everything lives on the inside. Of course, the city has grown tons since then and is surrounded by mountains, so most people don’t live inside the centre, but in all kinds of environments. But here’s where I walked today.
The area around the central station was more busy and messier than the rest, with people everywhere. Unfortunately I have no pictures since my camera wire got broken in the not so luxurious Belem-Brasilia bus. But the rest of the city was nice, although quite closed and empty. It was a Sunday! But here is a restaurant where they know how to let me rest through the Swedish miracle combo potatoes and beer.
There was a bit of a fight there. The woman wants to leave, but the man doesn’t let her get to her things. What to do? Don’t get involved in fights is rule number 1 to avoid getting murdered. But also you can’t just watch this epic dickwaving like a nice afternoon pleasure. In the end I alerted the staff. Who didn’t do much, but whatever, compromise. We sat looking at them until they left.
Couchsurfing.org is a great site for making friends across the globe. You can search on interests such as “board games”, “economics”, “vegan” etc, and I’ve made a lot of friends there. But today it failed more than ever. I had contacted a crazy doctor, who was busy with a test all day, and when the night came, he told me to use Google Maps to find buses to his place that was far away. But the buses were so many, and with lots of walks in between them, and I don’t have internet outside cafes (I bought Claro in Brasilia but they suck) so in the end I took an Uber to his place. Me and the Uber driver sat outside his house (or we think we did, because I had no address), discussed a bit using Google Translate, we tried to call him a million times, and in the end we drove back to central Belo Horizonte. That cost me 14 € plus the hotel. I haven’t heard from the guy since. I’ll be more careful in the future! Don’t drive anywhere without a proper address is one thing to think about (yeah, I feel stupid writing that).