Seeing that one of the topics we worked on in class this morning was animal idioms, I thought I’d re-post this expression I had published about a year ago ….
“There is no chance that these stadiums will
become white elephants,” Sports Minister Aldo
Rebelo told reporters last year.
“They will be much more than football fields.”
That’s the Brazilian sports minister speaking. Elephants in Brazil, and white ones? Maybe the minister drank too many caipirinhas the night before or he spent too much time under the hot samba sun. Not in this case though. Here he was referring to the football stadiums we saw during the World Cup and which cost millions of dollars to construct or renovate. Although they were full of fans in 2014, today some of these stadiums see only a few thousand people paying to watch a match.
This is what we call a WHITE ELEPHANT – a lot of money (and time) spent on a project that, when finished, is hardly (or never) used. There was a news report recently of WHITE ELEPHANTS in Poland and Spain. These countries built and equipped brand new airports but some haven’t been used yet while others only get a few flights a year.
If you know of a WHITE ELEPHANT in your country, use the comments form below to write in and tell me about it.
Meanwhile, here’s some reading you can do about WHITE ELEPHANTS: Airport sold for €10,000!