I almost went to a balada this weekend but instead arrived home early having went through one of those small but telling experiences that reinforce my belief Brazil is still a long way from ever fulfilling its true potential.
I arrived at the door to the Trackers club around 1 am with half a dozen friends, both foreign and Brazilian. Voodoo Hop, an otherwise admirable group that seeks to rejuvenate the city centre by running clubs and cultural events in abandoned buildings, were organising another of their successful club nights.
After waiting half an hour to edge up the queue and get in the door, we discovered that there was another queue inside the building to get into the actual club.
My friends – most of whom were a good deal younger than me – took it in their stride. I was outraged. After another 10 minutes waiting in the second queue that snaked up two flights of stairs, I left.
Brazil has problems with lots of things that won’t change overnight. Corruption, antiquated infrastructure, a putrid political system, and the obscene amount of power leveraged by multinationals and construction companies are all ingrained in the culture and will only improve with government intervention or massive pressure from society, neither of which looks like happening any time soon.
But the stupid invention of bureaucracy for simple tasks like getting in a night club is easy to resolve. One queue, fine. Two queues, pointless and self-defeating.
The big worry I have here – and this is the part that reinforce my belief Brazil is still a long way from fulfilling its potential – is that I was the only one who saw anything wrong with this.
Not only were the organizers of this young and hip nightclub happy to carry on with the same old bureaucratic and non-sensical rules imposed on them by an older generation. (If there’s a good reason from this, I’d be happy to hear it, VoodooHop…)
What was worse was that the young kids waiting in line accepted it as normal. There was no outrage at being made to stand passively in two different queues, much less being made to stand passively in two different queues for the right to hand over a 30 real entry fee.
Instead, anyone who complained was “uptight”, “stressed out” or “whining.”
I voted with my feet. Unless more people do the same, the bureaucracy and BS is never going away.