I’m posting ’cause I promised I would, although my heart’s not really in it as Naice’s dad Pedro suffered a heart attack on Saturday and has been in hospital since then, struggling to come back. He’s a lovely guy and I’m fervently hoping he’ll pull through. If anyone has any positive waves to spare at the moment, we could sure use them…
If it hadn’t been for this, I was ready to wax lyrical on a recent article in a national magazine here recently which almost breathlessly described how much fun Brazilians were having travelling to Miami to snap up cheap goods to bring back home. Their prime example was a lawyer, who I shall not name, who happily proclaimed that, having gone with a budget of R$12,000, he actually spent R$30,000 on bits and pieces – even buying stuff he didn’t need “because it was so cheap”. Not at any point did they mention that the limit on personal imports here is US$500 and that Mr Lawyer (and all the other rich Brazilians) are apparently quite happy to defraud the government and practice smuggling on a regular basis. What fun indeed. I couldn’t help but think what a pity it is that they couldn’t put as much effort into participating in the democratic process to remove the protectionist policies which hamstring the economy and keep the less fortunate of their countrymen firmly in the Third World.
I see that Manaus has become a centre for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Anyone with a penchant for watching blood and guts being spewed across the ring should definitely put Manaus on their agenda. http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/3/13/2867942/ufc-middleweight-champion-murilo-bustamante-amazon-forest-combat-dave-menne-retire
I also note that the President of the Brazilian football association has got away with resigning from his post due to ill health. It brings to mind the invariable plea of the war criminal. Bless him. Talking of pleas, I saw the other day in the press some educated criminal complaining bitterly that the police had handcuffed him when he was arrested, whereas – as everyone knows – anyone with a university degree has the right to be arrested without being handcuffed. Tsk.
Locally-ish, the rainforest appears to be under threat again from the Brazilian government, which has come up with a cunning plan to undermine its original undertakings to preserve the thing, and pave the way instead for wholesale deforestation. I can’t say I blame them really – it’s much easier to let people chop trees down than to try to reform the country’s hopeless legal, fiscal, educational and social systems and build a sustainable economy.
There was an article somewhere about how an energy company in Sao Paulo has started using online smart monitoring to determine who is stealing electricity from the grid. The system enables them to cut the supply at the appropriate point. I can’t wait until this gets to Manaus. As I wander around my local neighbourhood marvelling at the ingenuity of the various (and obvious) configurations of wiring tenuously connected to the overhead power cables, and marvelling as well at how this includes a local lawyer (I know – another lawyer…), it amuses me to think that some day their illegal taps will just suddenly stop working – hopefully when their swimming pools need cleaning, their electric gates are wide open and they’ve no fresh water in their tank.
On a brighter note….nope, sorry, nothing brighter today. Maybe tomorrow.