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Dispatches from Ambassador to Brazil, Earth


Today we launch the Online Edition of The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists with the first two in a series dispatches from an alien ambassador to Brazil back to his home planet, by Juan Pablo Villalobos. You can read the second round of dispatches, here.


OK, guys, before beginning, here is a very important thing you should know about Brazil: the people here don’t speak Spanish. The Brazilian taxi-man said to me: what the hell are you talking? Are you Argentinian? And why are you so . . . green? This was the moment I learned another very-important-thing about this place: in Brazil it is crucial not to be Argentinian. Add that to our Earth mission’s proceedings manual under the topic ‘Cultural Affairs’.

I arrived at the European Space Operations Centre at Darmstadt, Germany on schedule but the problem was getting to Brazil by the train to Frankfurt and then the flight to Lisbon and then the Portuguese people and then the flight connection to Brasilia and then the Brazilian taxi man that slapped my face because of my perfect Argentinian Spanish. But then yes I arrived yesterday night to our Operations Centre in Brasilia, I mean: at my room in the hotels sector.

Brasilia is just like the cities on our Planet: there is a huge sky (but blue, of course) and a lot of steam clouds and big asphalt avenues dedicated to the transport of the humans, who remain trapped in vehicles most of the day. The city, like ours, is under the ground. At least that is my conclusion, because last night, travelling from the airport to the hotel there was no city over the surface of the Earth. There are these buildings like ours but they seem to be dedicated to governmental affairs and not to living humans.

Wait a minute: humans are knocking at the Operations Centre door.

OK, guys, this is interesting: the city is there, the Brazilian man who wanted to change the sheets of my bed just told me that. I asked if the city was under the ground and he looked at me with a strange face (but different to the face of the taxi-slapping-man) and said to me: the city is there! And he pointed to the window. I went over and took a look at the sky and the clouds and some gigantic buildings like space ships and asked again: where? And he said: Porra! Você está maluco? That, according to the instant translator that I already readjusted to Brazilian Portuguese means: F . . . Are you crazy?

I will have to investigate the actual location of the city later. Now lets talk about our mission. In the next days I will have This was the moment I learned another very-important-thing about this place: in Brazil it is crucial not to be Argentinian. meetings with the Brazilian authorities and the trips to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Tomorrow I will present my credentials to the Spatial Special Affairs Minister and ask him to meet President Dilma to explain our projects for the 2014 Earth time Football Cup and 2016 Earth time Olympic Games. I have to say that it will not be easy: Today at breakfast I saw the ambassador of the green Planet (bastards) and two guys I think are maybe Plutonians (double bastards). We are too late probably to make the deals. But as our proceedings manual says ‘never is never too late’ in Brazil because they are always late and they are last-minute champions.

One thing we will have to discuss is about the money, because Brazil is too f . . . expensive. I spent on the taxi, hotel and tipping lots of Brazilian humans 82,56 per cent of our budget. So: send lots more money.

New news tomorrow.

P. S. You have to know that there is a new Earth law that forces us to translate the dispatches to English so the Americans and the British can read them. So, please don’t write me back nasty stuff, I don’t want to be ashamed.


Hi galera! How are things going there?

Today I hired the Brazilian human helper for our mission. Everybody calls him Zé Mané, though I think his actual name is José Manuel. As our proceedings manual states, I told him I am the cultural and business delegate from Wales and, as predicted, he said: Wales . . . ? Hum . . . Where exactly is Wales? Welsh people are like you, I mean, half green? Or are you sick?

So, confirmed. Wales is the perfect alibi.

Zé Mané drove me to my first meeting at the Intergalactic Bureau, held in the basements of the Planalto Palace. Talking about basements I have to say that the city of Brasilia is not underground. It is overground and it is futuristic old-fashioned, like the dream of a Plutonian architect one million light years ago (the same damned Plutionian architect that built our cities during the colonization).

Brasilians have some kind of architectural king or dictator, that is, by the way, a Methuselah?: a Brazilian human called Oscar Niemeyer. He is more than one hundred Earth years old, which is a lot by human standards. You can have two opinions on Niemeyer: 1) I love Niemeyer, he is a genius and so on . . . or 2) F . . . Niemeyer, he is a F . . . lunatic etc. But Brasilians are nice humans that talk of architecture like common beings talk of music, football or – untranslatable –.

The event at the Intergalactical Bureau was the monthly meeting of the Brazilian-Universal business committee and there were all the ambassadors, not just the greens (bastards) or the Plutonians (double bastards) but the pinkies, the black-holish, the other-humans etc.

Surprisingly, I am able of confirm that our species detector concluded President Dilma is a female human although she has this trim and still hair that seems not human. Add her name to our list of clean human politicians and erase it from the other list, after the name of David Cameron.

In brief, in her speech President Dilma said that if other planets want to do business with Brazil we will have to make huge-enormous-tremendous-very-big-offers because of the European economic crisis. Seems like our more dangerous competitors will not be the Plutonians (double bastards) but the Spanish and the Portuguese who need urgently to close deals with developing-Earth-countries to get the money back to Europe.

After that, the pretentious imperialists and double bastard Plutonians asked President Dilma for permission to use their teleporters, as traffic in Brazil is worse than Dante’s hell. President Brasilians have some kind of architectural king or dictator, that is, by the way, a Methuselah?: a Brazilian human called Oscar Niemeyer. Dilma denied saying that it will be risky for the secrecy of our relationships. Black-holish supported the petition, asking if Brazilian-humans have ever thought that one day very soon all the vehicles will be stuck behind one another and the movement will cease. Plutonians insisted arguing that they are using teleporters in other Earth-countries like México, but President Dilma just answered: Let’s be serious, México doesn’t have laws. So we will have to continue using lots-of-time and cars and Zé Manés.

By the way, I activated the human race detector on Zé Mané and it broke down. It began saying he was Tupí, then Italian, then Japanese, then African, then German, then Spanish and then it went bad. Like he is mestizo, blue-slanted eyes, straight hair, big nose etc., I asked him about his ancestors. He said he was Tupí, Italian, Japanese etc., and finally cried: Eu sou Brasil, cara!, which means: I am Brazilian, dude!

But after a few cachaças (I will send a special dispatch about cachaça in the future) I found out that in cultural affairs Zé Mané and the Brazilian-humans are just like us: they say Brazil is the country of the future, they complain all the time about the government; they cry for the lost occasions and they love Europe and the United States while they shit on the Portuguese colony just like we do on Plutonians. I was a little drunk and I told Zé Mané we are fraternal peoples and he said: Wales is a developing-country? (actually he said: Wales is a third-world-country?), so I had to make up some facts about the history of Wales. In brief: I finished the night with a terrible saudade of our beloved-Planet.

New news soon.

P.S. Please send more money, lots of money: Zé Mané’s salary is like a lawyer’s salary on our Planet.

Next Monday we will publish more dispatches from the alien ambassador to Brazil, by Juan Pablo Villalobos.

The print edition of The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists will be available from 8 November. You can pre-order here or subscribe to receive it before it reaches bookshops.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos is published by And Other Stories.

Photo by Fidalgo Dennis.

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