Growing up in a city under construction

I was born in Brasília, capital of Brazil.

Brasília is a planned city, the architecture is very modern and the center part of the city is shaped like an airplane as shown on this map:

If you fly over Brasília nowadays with someone that knows the city, that person can easily point out where the wings and the body of the airplane are, but if you are seeing Brasília for the first time, you will likely not immediately find where the airplane is because the city grew quite a lot, expanding around the original airplane area.

Brasília was inaugurated in 1960; my dad used to be a political correspondent for a large Brazilian newspaper called “O Estado de São Paulo” and moved to Brasília a couple years before the inauguration to cover the events from the new capital of Brazil.

I was born in 1964, I am part of the first generation of people born in Brasília, we are a mix of Brazilian culture, a mix of people that came from all over the country to build the new city.

Until my early teenage years it was a very unique thing to be born in Brasília as there weren't that many people born there yet, I remember people would always say something like “really?” when I mentioned I was born there.

There wasn't much to do in the city back then other than get the family all dressed up, drive around, let the kids enjoy the outdoors and take pictures.

Almost every Sunday my dad would drive us to a square in the center of the city where we would eat popcorn, walk around, play a bit, pose for pictures and then go back home.

Finding the first popcorn cart always deserved a happy dance. Ahhh... simple pleasures!

Sometimes other relatives and/or friends would join us for that special popcorn moment.

Sometimes we would save some popcorn, drive to the area where the Brazilian Congress is located and feed the swans in a small lake by the Government buildings. If you ask anyone from my generation if they've fed the swans by the Congress when they were kids, you will very likely hear a yes!! It was the cool thing to do. Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures featuring the swans, but this is the little lake.

Some days we would stick around and wait for the President to come down the ramp from his office at the Presidential Palace, there were some scheduled days for that event and the population would gather to watch him.

President who? What’s a President? Can we please leave soon so I can get my yummy popcorn?

Ahhh... finally back to my happy place, popcorn bliss!

For the #coilgratitudechallenge this week I'm expressing my gratitude for having had the opportunity to grow up in a place and time where the simple things in life were the norm and were enough. It was so special because it was absolute peace.

Modern lives have become so busy that the new norm is the need for reminders that family time and slow down time are so very precious.