Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - Restaurant Owner
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in March 2017
I met Francisco during a 5-day hike in the “Vale do Pati” in the centre of Brazil. One evening, after a long hiking day, he accepted to sit for an interview. Francisco owns a few French gourmet restaurants in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. He is a good example of “self-made man” who worked hard to get there. Like many other Brazilians, he talks a lot about peace and violence. It is not surprising in a country shattered by violence and corruption. Off camera, when talking about politics, he is one of the few people that I’ve met who was criticizing Lula. Maybe because I interviewed many people from lower social classes. As a business manager, Francisco told me that during Lula’s time, he had trouble finding employees. People used to get more money from the state doing nothing that if they went working. That’s the risk of uncontrolled social policies, as I also testified in Argentina.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
Today I'd like to have a coffee with Fernando Henrique Cardoso. So, that I could understand some things that are happening right now. I'd like to know from him if they are true or not. Because I don't know why he is protecting Lula and Dilma and that is making me very sad.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
One thing to teach in every school of the world: saying no to violence, saying no to racism, saying no to all those bad things.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
If you knew my mother, you'd know she was a very… she was the happiest person in the world.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
I'd follow John Lennon's song and it would be like that for the whole world.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I'd put it in the bank and I'd still be working here.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
I think it would be flying cars. That would make it easier to live in big cities.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
Crime. It affects me a lot, I come from a city that has a huge tourism potential - Rio de Janeiro - and everyday they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, which is tourism.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
I live better than my parents, surely. Because the world has changed. Brazil has always been a country of opportunities. My father was a barber - someone who cuts people's hair - so I have a better life than his.
Can you draw something beautiful?
What I drew… This is the journey we made today. We descended all these rocks until we got here, the weather was sunny and there were some clouds as well. It's something beautiful.
Can you sing something beautiful?
I can say a song. "Everyday she does things the same way / Wakes me up at 6 o'clock am / She occasionally smiles to me / And gives me a kiss with her mouth tasting like mint." That's it.
What is your dream?
Having time to do all the things we've been doing for the last 3 days.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
I can see fireworks everywhere, knowing that man has reached Mars.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
A volunteer in some place where people would need my work.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien what would you say?
Someone from another planet? I'd ask: "Are you sure you want to come here?"
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
I'd like to know why there are so many wars, so many bad things happening to people who have absolutely nothing to do with them. Why do people keep killing each other so much?