Surf trip! My friends and I finally decided to get together to surf in a lost paradise, with crystal clear Caribbean waters, under a tropical blue sky near our city! ! The destination was the Região dos Lagos, the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. On the way, we could see the dense and green Atlantic slope.

The day was perfect for travelling, mild sun and slightly breezy, nothing to get in the way of the sport. The boards securely fastened to the ceiling, the suitcases geometrically placed in the trunk, ice-cold sparkling wine waiting for the next stop and excited in the car towards the perfect waves. Expectation versus the harsh reality encountered!

At the entrance of Arraial do Cabo was a construction site gathering dust and a traffic jam incompatible with a small coastal town. We saw countless (and frightening) tourist sleeper buses as soon as we passed the first barrier. We wanted to eat bacalhau (cod) from Ana, the Portuguese woman who lives there for sure, but there was no way to park the car and the boards safely. We changed the route and went to the hotel without the bacalhau (cod).

Upon arrival we found signs of what was to come on the ground. Trash! It was noticeable that the inn must have been amazing in the 60s/70s of the last century. It was visible in the old decor, still hanging on the walls. And the sea. Gorgeous! But invaded and taken over. In my teenage memory, Arraial do Cabo was the most distant island in the world. However, now transformed into a place full of noisy and garbage-spreading people.

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The very unhelpful receptionist, had a NO on the tip of her tongue for any request. NO, the rooms were NOT available yet. NO, she had nowhere to leave her bags. So, we went to eat lunch at the most recommended kiosk in the area. On the way, several people were equipped with speakers on their waists, each listening to a different song. Of course!

The kiosk was nice. Still empty, facing the green sea of clear waters, pleasant music. After the second bite, a loud beat began to play. And people and more people started arriving. I asked to repeat the previous album, and they accepted, which allowed us to finish the meal with some peace.

The biggest reality check would come the next day. Turmoil, screams, sound war on the beach of Cabo Frio, where the waves were that day. I did not imagine that there excist a reality in which each table is equipped with very powerful speakers, for parties, measuring about 70 by 40 centimeters. The sum of all the noise was chaos, noise pollution of the worst kind I had the misfortune to experience. The effect of the beer seemed to further dull the senses of the people who accepted and promoted the inhumane and unhealthy competition of that space.

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I grabbed my board and ran into the water, which was certainly nicer. Two hours went by, and my surfing wasn’t that good, despite the good waves and the rewarding sea. Back on the sand and towards Jaque, who was waiting for me there, the feeling of the sea in my body could not ease the discomfort, and despair was reinstated. War, screams, equally hysterical children to make themselves heard, street vendors, equipped stalls, sound cars on the track and individually. Most of those walking were armed with their speakers.

This is the war we see on TV, in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, in the mouths of the family that occupies Brazil: the impossibility of communication implies the war of sound, the war of whoever speaks the loudest, and in chaos, no one listens, there is no communication and much less affection.

The next day, with tired ears and eager to return to the peace of my home, we went for a walk after breakfast to admire the beauty of the sea. At 8 am, the chaos restarted. Again, there were people with their beer cans in their right hands and speakers in their left, the unfolding of the day I could predict. Deeply sickened by the massive doses of noise, I felt the most desperate shivers of the last 20 years. We took the car and ran out of this Noise Republic.

Two worlds are being built. Perhaps several. But two come to mind now: those who sleep, wake up, don’t give a damn about trash, about noise and visual pollution, about the planet, and push through daily life, dying without even making a difference. Another one that rebels and exposes the permissive dynamics of our society, with the focus especially on Brazil.

I believe that humanity is evolving and that the shadows are masters in this process of transformation. When we argue and rebel, it means that the transformation is in process. Conclusion that helps me digest the trip and give it meaning.

And you? Have you ever done this type of diving into any Brazilian beach?

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Sound Abuse