Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010



Yes, the image does say 'Maleducado' and my title has an 'a' on the end. That isn't a spelling error. This title refers to a girl on the bus (the 'a' denotes feminine).

This weekend, I read a blog where someone was describing eating habits in Brazil. One of the things she mentioned was that it's considered rude to eat on the go (they obviously didn't walk the streets of São Paulo or take public transport here). Ok, it's not often you see someone walking and eating. Kudos to them. They have some odd 'rules' for manners here, but then, they probably think the same about some of our manners. That's beside the point.

What gets me here is the use of the word 'maleducado'. It means 'badly educated'. 'Mal' is 'bad' and 'educado' is fairly obvious. Is it really just a matter of education? Really? They honestly believe it is and will argue the toss till they're blue in the face.

On the bus today, there was a girl sitting in the area on the bus reserved for the elderly, infirm, pregnant and those with children too young to stand on their own. At her feet, sitting on the corner of the footrest, looking very uncomfortable, was an elderly woman. Standing alongside was another. I looked down. The woman's feet were swollen and red. The girl sat. I tapped her on the shoulder and, giving her the benefit of the doubt, pointed at the two elderly women who had a right to a seat there. The girl heaved a huge, very visible sigh and started 'packing up'. By 'packing up', I mean she started arranging her earphones and fiddling with her iPod and shuffling her bag around on her lap. I glared at her. She sighed again. 3 Stops later, she was still 'getting her stuff together'. I had to get off. She watched me get off and settled back into her seat. I was aghast and totally disgusted. I'm sorry. That is Not a question of education. I've seen animals care more. Trouble is, I see this all the time. The kicker is that this same girl will look askance at someone who eats their pão de queijo without first wrapping it in a napkin.

Is it really lack of education (they're talking here about the 'education' into manners you get at your mother's knee) to dump huge mountains of rubble and refuse around the only three trees the neighbourhood has? Is it really lack of education to park the whole pavement full, so pedestrians have to walk in the streets? Or lying across two seats on the bus because they know that not a soul will ask them to move. People would rather stand around uncomfortably than ask to pass someone or use a seat. And what about not booking a table at the mall, which stands empty while they decide what to eat, as others are wandering around with a tray of rapidly-cooling food.

I don't think it is lack of education. Not even in the slightest. It's lack of caring or respect for our fellow beings. Sure, education can improve that, but it shouldn't be necessary and heck, so many times I see the so-called educated acting like uncultured buffoons.

It irks me no end that this word almost gives them cause to feel sympathy for the offender. You can hear it in the tone they use when excusing it. "Oh, it's not her fault. She's just not educated." Gah!


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