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时间:2016-08-19 15:03:53   来源:chinadaily

On my last full day in Rio de Janeiro, I wanted to see how the rest of the city lives, so I decided to visit a section of the favelas, areas known for poverty, gang violence, and the setting of Fast and Furious 5. Wouldn’t it be funny if I got shot right before I left? No it wouldn’t be, but just don’t tell my mom I’m going. After a heart-stopping drive up the steep hills, we finally arrive at one of the best restaurants in Rio, nestled in the colorful favela buildings.









The rooftop bar of the restaurant might have the best view of Rio, maybe even better than the tourism sites. In front of the mountains are short stubby houses painted in street art and put together like intricate puzzle pieces to form the favela community. Off beyond the mountains are high-rise buildings seemingly planted on the edge of the coast, where some of the Rio Olympic events are held.









Not only is the view gorgeous, it also more accurately represents Rio than the main tourist sites. This is a city made up of contrasts. Standing on this roof, I see the contradiction of poverty and development all in one snapshot. If I zoomed in, I would see the Brazilians that form one of the most diverse cities in the world. I would see the different shades of humanity mingled together and coexisting.



But this observation isn’t just about Rio; it also applies to the Rio Olympics. This past week has taught me much more than just journalism and sports.

I rewind my memory tape back to visiting the athlete village and cheering with strangers in stadiums. Where else am I going to be around so many people with such contrasting backgrounds? Maybe it’s just the chatterbox habits of a young journalist at play, but I’m really going to miss being able to talk to strangers around me without being weird. At the Olympics, people are often pretty eager to learn more about others around them, wherever they may come from.

I’ve enjoyed doing what my mom always advised me not to do: talk to strangers. I experienced sitting beside and cheering with people from Brazil, France, Russia, Hungary, America and China. I’ve been speaking English to different people with various accents that I might even be catching on a mix of them.

Like many other young people I know, this is the kind of diversity I dream of. Everyone has a life story so much different from yours, so there’s always something new you can learn.

“Omg, how’s the Rio Olympics?” a lot of my friends asked me through text.

How do I respond to that? In short, I usually say it’s been crazy/interesting/tiring. I really can’t capture the essence of my experience here in a text message, but here’s a key aspect. At Rio Olympics, I’ve learned to appreciate coexistence in the face of contrast.

The opening ceremony and my first article really provided some foreshadowing for the rest of my time here. I remember the recreated favela buildings at the ceremony on the first day and I remember the meaning I discovered when I visited them in person today. I guess the peace and tolerance messages did last beyond the show.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.


Emma Li,SECA重剑剑手,《Around the Rings》实习记者


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