THE GEOGRAPHY OF DREAMS BY JULIANA LOPES
I am now at a very beautiful office in Milan, downtown. As I wait for some people in a meeting room, I check out my nail polish. I have been invited to take part in a project and thus am very excited. I pour down an espresso and approach the wide window. I look down and I see a guy _an immigrant such as myself_ sitting on the pavement. He may be near his thirties. He is carrying some bags and other Made in China souvenirs he is trying to sell. From time to time, he checks the messages in his cell phone _a worn out old model, without internet access. We live in the same age; we have apparently the same physical conditions. I feel empathy towards him simply because we are human. What separates us? What makes our dreams be different? I ask myself silently, and answer myself silently: it is the place we were born in.
I am now at a wonderful apartment in Copenhagen, downtown. It must be 300 square meters large. There are six Danish people living in here. All of them are healthy and smiling. None of them wants to have a car. None of them has known violence. Everyone of them has attended the best colleges in Europe. They have no idea what a health insurance plan is, because they have never needed such a thing. The citizenship lessons they have learnt have been imprinted in their DNA: it is clearly obvious they wait for others to get off the train cart before they themselves can hop on. It is obvious they won’t have to pay for a bus that comes at no charge. They are naturally well dressed. They listen to good music and attend nice cultural events. I ask for some restaurant tips and one of them warns me: “We have never been to that place, because it is only for rich people”. Say what? My idea of dreams, wishes and richness gets twisted. What I have, what I don’t, what I dream of, what can’t I dream of? What separates me from these young Danish people who have been born with everything and crave for nothing? It is the place we were born in.
I was Born in São Paulo, Brazil.