Subscribe to Granta today

Second Dispatches from Ambassador to Brazil, Earth

|

Last week Granta launched the Online Edition of The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists with the first dispatches from the newly appointed Ambassador to Brazil, back to his home planet, by Juan Pablo Villalobos. Here are his latest dispatches, in which he goes to a bar or boteco and discovers the truth about Lionel Messi. The third dispatches will be published next week on Monday 5 November and the fourth and final dispatches on Monday 12 November.

DISPATCH 000,3: - WITHOUT TITLE!
(very-extremely-top-secret)

Sorry for not writing in the past days, guys, but I was really busy queuing. I needed a cellphone, a couple of tanks (shirts, I mean) and a deodorant (our sweat glands are acting bizarre in Earth’s atmosphere), so I spent some days standing in queues, getting little papers with information on them, delivering the little papers to other locations and, most important of all, getting stamps! Forget about football: queuing and stamping are Brazil’s national sports!

But I am not complaining. Queuing is a nice and effective way of getting to know people. Zé Mané told me about a couple that met in a bank queue, kissed for the first time in a bakery queue, decided to get married in a supermarket queue and broke up in a town-hall office queue.

The problem with my queues was that everybody was passionately talking about Carmina, Max, Tufão and lots of Brazilian-humans I haven’t heard about. I asked for Zé Mané’s help.

– They are talking about nine o’clock soup opera, he said.

– OK, please give me a summary.

– I can’t, I do not watch it.

– Why? It seems like all do.

– It is rubbish . . .

Guys, I have a surprise for you: Zé Mané is an intellectual!

But then, when I was standing in the fourth perfumery queue to deliver a little stamped paper to finally get my deodorant, I discovered that there was another guy who did not know anything about the nine o’clock soup opera either and we started a very lively conversation.

– I tried to watch it, he said, but I couldn’t, they cry out loud a lot and they speak very fast. I didn’t understand, I am a foreigner, you know?

– Me too! I am Welsh!

– You are kidding! I am Scottish!

Scottish!!! Bloody hell . . . A Double Bastard Plutonian!!!

I looked at his pupils. I looked at his hair. I activated the species detector: he was a Double Bastard Plutonian.

– Actually I want to talk with you in private, he said. Give your helper the day off, I will take you later to your hotel.

– But first I really need that deodorant.

We were in a huge shopping centre, so we went to the food court when we queued at the Casa do Pão de Queijo and bought roughly two hundred little cheese breads.

– I know what you think about us – the Double Bastard Plutonian said, while eating cheese bread desperately. But we have here a very big opportunity if we work together. We have to leave the past in the past and look forward . . .

– OK . . . and . . .

– You must know that we control all the hydroelectric projects in the Amazon, lots of money, all our technology involved there, but that is a joke compared with this, which, if you listen closely, is the most important project for Brazil today.

– Ok . . . and it is . . .

– Do you know Lionel Messi?

– Aha – I was looking at the Wikipedia (an infinite source of earthling information) on my new cellphone: ‘Lionel Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine football player. He plays for Barcelona and Argentina’s national team.’

– Well, obviously he is not human. Everybody knows that. The fact is . . . that he is . . . Other-human!

Oh my – untranslatable –! The best football player of the Planet Earth is an Other-human!

In brief, the most important project for Brazil is to get a weapon to deactivate Lionel Messi in 2014.

– This is ridiculous – the Double Bastard Plutonian continued, you have to accept it, that our Enormous and Glorious Planet needs to close a deal with such an insignificant planet. And you should know that we have the alternative of simply stealing your technology. Think about it.

– I will talk to my superiors.

– OK. You will hear from me in the next days.

– Hey, what is your name?

– Call me Nathraichean. And you?

– I am Llwybyr. Hey, don’t go! (The cheese bread was gone). Will you drive me to my hotel?

– Are you kidding? Get a taxi.

Guys, have we ever tested our Other-human-neutralizer outside our beloved Planet? I remember that we experienced some troubles during the Other-human Campaign. Please, get back to me in the most unreadable code you can imagine.

New news soon.

PS.1 As the taxi man noticed I was not Brazilian-human, the bill was like thousands of reals. Send more money! Urgent!
PS.2 Dear Automatic Translator: is it possible not to translate this dispatch? It could jeopardize the success of our mission.
Automatic translator’s response: No.

DISPATCH 000,4: - RIO DE JANEIRO IS STILL BEAUTIFUL

Oi meninos malucos!!! Como vai!!??

Finally I am in Rio! Yesterday I left Germany, sorry, I mean Brasilia and got on a plane with Zé Mané and Nathraichean. Yeah, don’t be surprised, we travelled together to Rio because of our Other-human-neutralizer business. We will have important meetings here. But that will be tomorrow, I think, or the day after tomorrow, I don’t know and I don’t care! I am now at a boteco drinking extremely-dangerous-cold beer and cachaça, listening a roda de samba and watching all the people around dancing while I am writing this dispatch! Did you know Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful!? Add that to our Cool Things to See on Earth Manual! With bold letters!

To drink beer in a boteco is really interesting. You get a freezing 600 mIlILITRE bottle to share with your friends in tiny glasses of the size of a sip. It’s like a shot of beer! And magically your glass is always full of extremely-dangerous-cold beer! Everyone is happy because no one knows what he drank! Only the waiter! We should import this method to our -untranslatable-!

Have I told you Zé Mané is really cool!? I looooove Zé Mané! I just doubled his salary! He deserves it! I asked him to show me the spirit of Brazil, and he said:

– Let’s go to a boteco.

– What is a boteco?

– It’s a bar.

– I know bars, Zé, we have pubs in Wales, you know?

–Pubs? Are you kidding? The boteco is like a gigantic seashell. All the Brazilian voices pass through it.

– Very nice, Zé, you are a poet!

– It’s from Nelson Rodrigues.

I told you! Zé Mané is an intellectual! Wait a minute, I have to order drinks.

I am back, galera! Have I told you Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful!? Here you go a very big top secret: I fell in love*! (Do not tell my -untranslatable-!) I met her twenty minutes ago. She One was leafy! She One was lush! I was about to talk to her in my lovely Portuguese with irresistible Welsh accent, but then She One went to the bathroom and I met her. She Two was enigmatic! She Two was like a tropical fruit! She Two was like an old sad song! I got close to her, smelt the fragrance of her hair, looked at her big and broken nose, opened my mouth to say ‘Hi, I love you’, when a Brazilian-male kissed her. She Two broke my heart! Life on Earth is terrible! Mating strategies are totally old-fashioned! They are based on social skills! Can you believe that!? No one told me!

But I didn’t have to kill myself: She One was coming back from the bathroom with all her leafy things!

– Hi, young lady, may I . . .

– Hey, what are you doing? Zé interrupted me. No one loves the same woman twice.

– Zé, you are a genius!

– That’s from Machado de Assis.

Have I told you Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful!? Listen to the song!

Live and not be ashamed to be happy / Sing and sing and sing / The beauty of being a life-long learner / I know that life should be better and will be / But that does not stop me to repeat / It is beautiful, it is beautiful and it is beautiful!

Then something very strange happened: my bowels began to slide smoothly provoking me into a shiver. My skin tightened. My eyes stared nowhere. Time stopped. I thought I was about to have a human emotion! Zé stared at me and found out that I was on the verge of something.

– Now you understand, meu.

– What?

– Eternity is the state of things now.

– Yeah.

– Clarice Lispector.

He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.

– Or do you prefer Drummond? Eternal is all that lasts a split second, but with such intensity, that is petrified, and no force rescues ever.

– Yeah. Or maybe I am drunk.

I have to disconnect. New news soon.

PS. Have I told you Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful!?

*The actual word is untranslatable, as the concept of love doesn’t exist outside Earth, but in order to keep the meaning of the text we’re following Earth patterns when it comes to reproduction of the species.

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 Shelia Tostes.

Comments (48)

You need to create an account or log in to comment.

  1. Indian railway pnr status

    Sat Aug 23 14:09:42 BST 2014

    Its nice to read this article
    http://ap-ssc-results-2015.blogspot.com

    #
  2. AnthonySaenz

    Mon Dec 01 11:58:39 GMT 2014

    With heart tissue technology 2. 0 as well as the 3D making technology system because it is now this tends to indeed spend less many day-to-day lives. This is really because heart disease is often a disease that could cause abrupt death.
    http://www.caliberreverse.com/states/texas/reverse-mortgage-broker_irving-tx.php

    #
  3. Shah Alam

    Sat Nov 30 13:23:43 GMT 2013

    I am very happy with the best custom essay writing services (http://www.customwritingforum.com/) as they provided the high quality essay for my assignment by which I obtained the highest mark in my exam.

    #
  4. linhx7@gmail.com

    Thu Jul 24 06:31:55 BST 2014

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

    http://vncamera.vn/camera-giam-sat.html
    http://vncamera.vn/camera-quan-sat.html

    #
  5. rdokoye

    Mon May 19 19:11:31 BST 2014

    People can be easily mistaken, especially if they base their opinions on superficiality.

    J
    http://www.teethpolish.com/

    #
  6. livebulksms

    Tue Aug 05 17:31:47 BST 2014

    Many thanks for this brilliant post! Many points have extremely useful. Hopefully you'll continue sharing your knowledge around.
    http://www.livebulksms.com

    #
  7. Mazzi

    Mon Aug 04 13:14:36 BST 2014

    This is cool post and i enjoy to read this post. your blog is fantastic and you have good staff in your blog. nice sharing keep it up.
    http://www.bulksmsbase.com

    #
  8. djonet

    Mon Jul 07 18:38:18 BST 2014

    Thanks for sharing i love your blog,
    <a href='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJY6SBYM8bA'> Restore My Vision Today Review</a>

    #
  9. 45641

    Mon May 19 22:11:10 BST 2014

  10. IsabelHutchinson

    Mon Dec 01 10:46:34 GMT 2014

    The heart is one of the important components that reside in the human body. In my opinion, if someone has a problem with the heart he had, it's good if he immediately consult a physician experts.
    http://www.reelaffair.com

    #
  11. Mazzi

    Tue Jul 29 00:36:18 BST 2014

    Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.
    http://www.bulksmsbase.com

    #
  12. mathiasQuin

    Fri Feb 21 03:18:05 GMT 2014

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware http://my-littlesecret.com/ of. I say to you, I http://my-littlesecret.com/ definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit http://ipadminitricks.net/ the nail upon the http://blogs-service.com/ top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take http://lynxconcept.com/ a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    #
  13. EleanorMorses

    Tue Dec 02 01:16:11 GMT 2014

    The heart is probably the important ingredients that live in the human body. In my opinion, if someone has a problem with the heart he, it's excellent if he or she immediately consult a physician experts.
    http://www.westportfishingcharter.com/index.php

    #
  14. livebulksms

    Sun Aug 03 17:56:18 BST 2014

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them.
    http://www.livebulksms.com

    #
  15. Lukasek

    Sat Mar 15 13:21:19 GMT 2014

    Great article... I have learned a lot!

    http://www.opzionibinariebiz.com/

    #
  16. julek

    Sat Mar 15 11:53:47 GMT 2014

    Thanks for everything guys!
    Cheers

    http://www.binaereoptioneneu.com/

    #
  17. Mazzi

    Wed Aug 06 09:34:12 BST 2014

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
    http://www.bulksmsbase.com

    #
  18. lostemirage

    Fri Dec 05 11:09:36 GMT 2014

    very nice.
    http://ranandegane-herfei.ir/shop/soap-rp.html
    صابون کوسه آر پی

    #
  19. JeffreyDelarosa

    Sun Nov 30 21:34:28 GMT 2014

    Many points can be generated ​​easier while using 3D prints such as this. In this medical planet, 3D form like this is useful to learn the different types of ways involving working from the nervous process in the body.
    http://www.onestopbuy.co/default.asp

    #
  20. BlackMen1

    Sat Dec 06 15:07:49 GMT 2014

    getting little papers with information on them, delivering the little papers to other locations and, most important of all, getting stamps! Forget about football: queuing and stamping are Brazil’s national sports!

    mittekirurgiline rasvaimu
    http://www.zlimline.com/zlimline_cavi.html

    #
  21. Mike91

    Thu Jun 26 16:09:02 BST 2014

    Wish you all the best also from me!! @ http://opziobin.com

    #
  22. LenyLarr

    Fri Nov 28 21:57:34 GMT 2014

    Many things could be made ​​easier using the 3D prints such as this. In the medical world, 3D mold like this is useful to know the different kinds of ways of working from the nervous system in the human body.
    http://www.hotelruch.com

    #
  23. 45641

    Mon Jun 30 01:13:24 BST 2014

  24. Caroline

    Thu Jul 03 15:13:24 BST 2014

    Awesome post I must say. thanks for sharing guys :)

    thanks, Caroline
    http://www.bancdeswisserfahrungen.de/

    #
  25. Mike91

    Thu Aug 14 13:57:49 BST 2014

    Good stuff, love the way this interaction is going.
    @ http://www.brokersopzionibinarie.biz

    #
  26. kevinnalexx

    Wed Dec 03 05:32:35 GMT 2014

    Good Information. Very Useful Thank You. If You Know About Tirupati Darshan in India. Surely You can now visit our website related to tirupati darshan tour packages at affordable rate.

    http://www.mahalakshmitravelss.in/tirupati-tour-packages.html

    #
  27. Qui

    Mon Dec 15 17:00:45 GMT 2014

    You can not say that it is not interesting! This site has captured my interest and prompted him to read it with passion.
    http://comemetteremassamuscolare.com

    #
  28. Info prodotto

    Mon Dec 15 17:08:45 GMT 2014

    Fantastic, I always wonder in front of the originality of the author of products so interesting.

    http://guadagnareconbitcoin.wordpress.com/

    #
  29. RickyKlowe

    Mon Oct 27 06:05:52 GMT 2014

    That must be a very memorable trip. I wonder what it feels like when I have it. Feels like being at the top of the world, the luckiest man, or maybe like an alien?
    http://www.eye4group.com

    #
  30. EleanorMorses

    Tue Oct 28 11:03:20 GMT 2014

    That need to be an incredibly wonderful excursion. When i question precisely what it seems like when i own it. Seems like staying towards the top of the globe, the actual luckiest gentleman, or perhaps like an on the planet ??
    http://campbellsbeachresort.com

    #
  31. ClairAlderson

    Wed Oct 29 09:59:34 GMT 2014

    That must definitely be a incredibly memorable getaway. I question what it feels like when I've it. Feels including being near the top of the globe, the luckiest guy, or maybe as an alien?
    http://www.criminalattorneysseattle.com

    #
  32. HarlandJoyner

    Thu Oct 30 05:33:34 GMT 2014

    That must be an incredibly memorable trip. When i ask yourself precisely what the item feels like after i have it. Appears like getting over the rest the earth, the luckiest male, or possibly as an alien?
    http://www.thehomecenters.com/index.php/2014-06-25-19-28-40/gel-mattresses

    #
  33. BernardLoftus

    Thu Oct 30 08:45:25 GMT 2014

    That must definitely be a very memorable trip. When i speculate exactly what this appears like once i are. Feels like getting near the top of the planet, the luckiest man, or it could be like an alien?
    http://www.cobaltreverse.com/states/washington/reverse-mortgage-broker_vancouver-wa.php

    #
  34. ZelmaWoodhouse

    Fri Oct 31 01:31:07 GMT 2014

    That need to be an incredibly wonderful vacation. We wonder just what this feels like while i contain it. Appears like staying at the top of the earth, this luckiest male, or it could be such as an noncitizen?
    http://www.tonylamaboot.com

    #
  35. JackJelly

    Sat Nov 01 16:43:22 GMT 2014

    That must definitely be a quite memorable getaway. I ask yourself what it is like when We've it. Feels such as being towards the top of the earth, the luckiest gentleman, or maybe such as an alien?
    http://www.nino925.com

    #
  36. BillyCalvert

    Tue Nov 11 12:19:46 GMT 2014

    Brazil is one of the famous country that sharing of culture and natural beauty. I think your experience in Brazil is one of the interesting things and invite curiosity within me to visit Brazil.
    http://www.fearlesstactical.com

    #
  37. JackJelly

    Wed Nov 12 18:46:00 GMT 2014

    Many people are choosing a vacation to Brazil because Brazil has many interesting things to know. Many people take a vacation to Brazil is inseparable from the role of Government in promoting the country.
    https://www.beastnode.com/portal/knowledgebase/9/Basic-Minecraft-VanillaorBukkit-Server-Commands.html

    #
  38. BlackMen1

    Sun Dec 07 12:17:24 GMT 2014

    The third dispatches will be published next week on Monday 5 November and the fourth and final dispatches on Monday 12 November.ultraääni kavitaatio

    http://www.zlimline.com/fi/zlimline_cavi.html

    #