Friday, October 15, 2010

Intro to my new novel: "Anaconda Town"

 Anaconda TownAnaconda town is a new town in Brazil, at the northern most edge of Amazon. The government chose that specific spot to build the first five hundred houses because it was a really wonderful and promising area. A little higher than the flat plains, the Amazon cascading waters could not get there upon even in the times of the widest floods of the country. The whole plain was uplifted at about 300 metres above sea level – or, rather ocean level – as the ocean was only a few miles down from there. The companies which signed the contracts with the government and the Unesco built the houses out of recycled cement and metal, and rock bought very cheaply from the Andes and not from the Guiana Highlands due to its soft and porous nature . The boulders were brought down bought by countries which were saving all waste material after demolitions; Paraguay, Uruguay and the French Guiana. The constructing company did not use any wood cut from the rainforest at all. That would be because the government had already signed the Kyoto agreement. There was a sub-paragraph about deforestation to which Brazil could not afford going against. After all, the sole purpose of the plan was dehumanization of the Amazon Basin as technology in all its grandeur had already started conquering the souls of the aboriginals. Scenes with naked children bodies illuminated in front of emitting screens in the middle of the jungle darkness were not a rarity anymore. Or pop and rock songs coming from cd players and dumbfounding all the surprised birds and mammals.

So, certain of the need to empty the area, before they took the decision to move all inside-forest populations outside, they calculated a percentage of persuasion success, and, even though the plan would cost much more than if they had used local material, they chose the expensive but sure and safe path. Proudly anymore, despite demonstrations and rivals from a whole nation, they gradually accommodated many peoples in big houses, “mansions” one would describe compared to the straw huts all these poor people used to live. Houses with solid roofs, with drainage system, metal pipes, gardens and fences. For the first time in their long history these tribes had frontiers around individual houses. They told them they were called “gardens” and that they had neighbours.

On entering the town, the first thing one will surely notice, is the long curling avenue splitting the town in two. All stores, craft shops and public services are on the left of this avenue. On the opposite side of the avenue is the two hundred and fifty houses. The rest of the houses are spread beside short vertical roads fitting two carriages aside. The first building you check on your left on the avenue are the public ones. First is the post office. It is said that they built it there so that the old postman, Mr Aureliado does not have to go back and forth with his decayed bike. Next comes the police station. But all the families in the town are still so much afraid of uniformed men that the government did not put any signs on the building, and no people inside yet. Mrs Gulielma Maurice visits the station very often to write a complaint about her neighbours, but she knows it will be a long time before someone reads any of those forms and perhaps comes to stop them from hanging washed clothes smelling outside her window or starting their mowing machine during siesta to remind her of the puma that had eaten half her grandchildren during the years of hunger.

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