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A colourful float during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Its people have a lot in common with the Irish...”
A colourful float during a carnival parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Its people have a lot in common with the Irish...”
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Cork is fine, Ireland is fine — but sorry, it’s not Brazil

LETTER #3

Connor,

Today I told you about the pregnancy. You hugged me. I hugged you. This is the third letter, and the third reason why I can’t marry you is because Ireland is not Brazil.

“Well, now getting married makes more sense than ever,” you said. I know you know what you said, but I don’t think you realise the way you said it. Your eyes still seemed as if they were at the software company where you work. You still sounded like you were presenting graphs for cutting costs and increasing demand.

“You stop going to English classes, we save money on that,” you repeated to yourself. “You get a full time job, we make more money from that. If we have to raise a baby together, a child needs a solid family.”

“We would save the most money if we didn’t have a baby at all.”

I told you my reasoning about aborting. I asked you the things I asked in the past letters. How much do you imagine an illegal abortion costs? Is that a thing in Ireland? Would it be cheaper going to the UK and getting one there?

“But why not keep it?” you asked.

“I don’t know if I want a child raised in Ireland.”

And I know that broke your heart.

Connor, here’s something I never ever told you: I didn’t choose Ireland because of the scenery or the tradition. I chose it because I could work while I studied. I could make some money in order to study English and go home.

Do you know why I chose Cork? The rent was cheaper and people told me it was easier to get a job than in Dublin if you already spoke English. I’m sorry, I know if I ever told you this face to face it would break your heart.

When we met, I told you I loved Ireland and had always dreamed of living here. Nonetheless, like I said, when meeting prospective roommates, you always say your biggest flaw is being a perfectionist.

That is why by the end of those twelve letters, I may not be here. Maybe I’ll leave a stack of paper behind me and not be home when you get back home from work.

And — please, I beg you — don’t get me wrong. I know where I come from: one of the most violent countries in the world, one that is currently under great political stress, one that speaks a language that, frankly, isn’t as useful as English.

I know I come from a country that has large income inequality, with people who exclusively ride helicopters and others that barely get basic water sanitation. I understand that. I know it may not even be the safest environment to raise a child in.

Nonetheless, you forget that what makes a country are its people. Good people, open-hearted people, who make the best food in the universe and hug without fear. People that have a lot in common with the Irish, to be honest.

To me, in order to raise a child well, you need to raise him or her with good people.

I’m glad we haven’t made a decision on whether we should have an abortion or not. We became a “we” all of a sudden.

Can you imagine the size of the maps we’d need to buy so the kid could realise where São Paulo is?

At the same time, can you imagine how cute it would be to argue with a kid that they should speak Portuguese at home? Would we teach him or her Portuguese?

So many questions, only nine more letters to go.

Júlia