May 1 has been a while ago, but with an annual activity in a not-prominent but interesting place, I’m still thinking of the little at-home-making adventuring I did around that time.
It was the year 1930. My grandmother was far from being my grandmother yet. She was only 8 years old, after all. Her father, a shoemaker, decided to join in the ranks of the many who sought their luck somewhere else – whether because he had fallen on hard times (which wouldn’t be surprising, given the economic situation in Europe at that time) or lured in by stories of success, we don’t know. In his case, the land of dreams was Brazil.
I wouldn’t normally talk about family history, but this story is old enough, and sometimes still influences enough, that it’s worth putting it up (especially, I find, on a medium that is as unawares of other times as the internet tends to be).
Also, there’s not much more to say, actually – my yet-to-be-grandmother had to return the following year already (alone, on the Cap Arcona liner, apparently), and her father returned a little later (having fallen ill, if stories are true).
There are, however, a few impressions to share:
The one missing image is one of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin airship which visited Rio de Janeiro in 1930 – but that photograph was, according to family history, passed on to an Austrian ambassador to Brazil.
What always strikes me – of course, given the themes I’m focused on – is how much of “globalization” and technology was already possible and ongoing at that time, and how many things we now consider normal were hardly even imaginable. It is an interesting vantage point from which to consider location independence and what may still be possible in an energy- and resource-constrained future, not least…
As I’m preparing to leave for a short trip to Hungary – to experience the Paprika Days in Kalocsa for ChiliCult – I’m reminded of a thought that came up in my prior writing about being at home in a place: the thought, that is, of our being like tourists on this world not only when we seek to be super-homeless (a.k.a. location independent), but even when we live in a place without paying much attention to it.