Thursday, February 18, 2010

Irony!... and fame

My new friend Marie, a reporter from France that Marisa met here in Rio, did an interview with me on Saturday about my opinion of Carnaval. I go on and on about how amazing it is, how happy and smiley everyone is, and how it's all just about music and dance and dressing up in crazy costumes! I'm glad she caught me before my "incident!"

You can listen to it HERE, sort of, but it's translated into French, so you have to be a French wiz to understand it. Good practice for all you ex-French studies people on hiatus. I'm the second interview, after the into. (I'm the one who yells "super fun!" haha)

I have another opportunity to be interviewed, this time about violence during Carnaval, and this time on TV... so it's a big decision for me to decide if I want to do the internview or not, and if I want to show my face. I mean, I do, in the sense that I think it's important for people to know that the rumors are true, that it IS important to be careful here and that it IS dangerous, while simultaneously not scaring them away. I think I can do that. But my face is.. well, it's in a condition I'm sort of embarassed by, and honestly my shallow side is not sure I want it on national television. Even if the nation is France.

I need to decide right away, aka tomorrow. I have finally decided to file a police report, after poo-pooing the idea all week. I just felt tired and upset, and the idea of sitting in a police station for hours re-living the whole thing, battling the likely crowds of others reporting Carnaval crimes, all for a bag I will most likely not get back and criminals I cannot even describe (luckily... I don't want to be dreaming of their faces) just seemed like too much for me. But now, days later, I can handle it, and Marie has informed me that there is actually a tourist police station I can go to. So that's the plan for tomorrow.

Now get this-- she wants to bring the entire camera crew and film me filing the police report as part of the story. Eeeek! It's actually a brilliant plan, because showing up with a camera crew will force them to be nice to me and give me faster service... buuut it's also kind of scary! Then afterward, we would do an actual interview where I can talk about the incident and my general impressions of crime at Carnaval...

...which, for the record, are:
1) Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro can be very dangerous. Be very careful, stay in groups, don't walk around in poorly lit or abandoned areas, and try not to carry bags or expensive items with you whenever possible.
2) Lots of places in the world, at all times of year, are also dangerous. You can get robbed on your suburban street in Wisconsin. Let's not forget that.
3) Don't decide not to come just because of crime! Just be smart. Smarter than me. Learn from my mistakes, and have fun!

Anyway, should I do this? I am nervously leaning toward yes. I know I'm not the spokesperson for crime in Rio or anything, but frankly these particular reporters haven't interviewed any victims yet, and I think their story needs a little dose of reality. Not, like I said, to scare people, just to inform them of real risks.

To bed.. and then to decide... too bad it'll be dubbed over in French!