Brazil is seriously behind in its preparations for the 2014 Football World Cup, according to the organisers of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football).
Building and repair works have not yet started at many of the stadiums set to host major World Cup football (or soccer, to our North American readers) games, including Rio’s legendary Maracana.
Despite the fact that Monday (May 3) was FIFA’s second deadline for work to get underway on the stadiums,
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told a Brazilian newspaper Globo that work is yet to get underway on many of the stadiums that will host matches in the tournament.
“I received a few reports on the stadiums and they are not good. It is not only Morumbi (in Sao Paulo) or Maracana , but all of them. The deadlines have passed, and Brazil is not in the right direction,” he said.
But while the news that the country is behind schedule may be causing concern for FIFA and for football fans, it comes as little surprise to anyone living in Rio.
The city and its residents are famously laid back, and nowhere is this better evidenced than in the locals’ approach to timekeeping.
Soaring temperatures and a relaxed beach culture have combined to create a ‘what’s the rush’ attitude to life that is equally charming and frustrating.
Here, there’s always time to stop and chat in the supermarket queue, whether you are waiting to pay for your goods or actually manning the till. Queuing, it has to be said, is something of a national sport in Brazil, and Rio has mastered the art. To avoid becoming overly stressed by snaking queues for everything from cashpoints to public toilets, try to allow extra ‘queuing time’ in your schedule.
Similarly, if arranging to meet Brazilians socially, be prepared for the fact that they may well turn up considerably later than scheduled. Take along a good book, try not to clock-watch, and try and appreciate the ‘where’s the rush’ attitude that seems so charming at the beach and in the bars.