Thursday, December 15, 2011

What License Plate?!

Anyone who follows my blog on Facebook knows that I bought a dryer. I am over the moon. It is like losing my virginity with an orgasm, that is how long I have been waiting for this moment.

Of course, with that moment came the task of getting rid of my still good washing machine. It's 6 years old and washes, coincidentally, 6 kilos at a time. The first person I thought of giving it to is my twice a week maid. After years of conflict with her asshole (my word for him) father of her children, she is without a washing machine. He took it out of their place after she left him, like a fine young gentleman.

So I called Socorro (Portuguese for help but that is her name: Maria de Soccorro) after I purchased the new one. I told her that my washer is hers and, if possible, I would love it if she could bring my old one home the next day. She had it all arranged when she arrived this morning at my home.

Come 3pm, the pick up guy arrived with his truck. I had instructed the administration of my building that he would be coming and gave permission for his truck to enter the building to carry out our washing machine. The catch, he refused to identify himself to the doorman.

What?! Refuse to identify yourself and your car? Yes, we all know that many "movers" are not necessarily registered with the city. Socorro tried to explain this to him, that the building only required him to check in for the security of the people who live there. Regardless, he refused. I told her that I would personally go down and drive in with him. He drove away before I could get there.

That makes me think, what is this man avoiding? Socorro laughed. She said he was old, confused, and a little too cautious. I personally wonder why this man is avoiding identification.

To clear things up, I'm not really "worried." I don't think he's going to show up at my place with a gun and take my tv and fridge. He's like 65 yrs old and a friend of my maid. But the fact that he refuses to let my building write down his license plate number is something to make an American girl laugh.

The thing is that Brazil is changing because of the games coming here. Those who work with jeitinho, ie. not registered moving companies, may be concerned that they will be punished. Of course it's not like he's delivering to the US Consulate. Even then, I doubt they would say anything. Every country has their own way of running, and under the table help is nothing new to Brazil.

But I wonder if me being American and living in a heightened security building was enough to make this man not want the extra cash. Either way, Socorro and I had a laugh at the confusion .

Note to self, if I should ever have CIA access to foreign info, I would love to look up some of these peeps... just to see why the license plate info is so damn important.

Has this ever happened to you? 


  1. Never one to shy away from a challenge...and since I'm stuck in the airport in Vitoria awaiting the flight that was delayed 'cause of all that rain this afternoon in Rio...Jeitinho is a blessing and a curse....I've even reached the point where I could just possibly be a CIA agent and "Big Oil" is wondering if I am really a teacher and Workshop Leader or if I'm spying....please do not ask for my CPF...whatever you do!!!

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  3. Ha ha ha thats a first in rio that i have heard off. But then iam new here. Pub hopping directed you to your blog a couple of days back. Iam just addicted now!

  4. When jetinho goes away -- the price of everything will go up!

  5. Be sure that other countries also have a "2nd cashier" (Belgium is a great example) and many things are negotiated, a-ham, let's say "out of the law boundaries". In Holland it is called "to negotiate under water". Small or one-person-businesses in Holland propose (discreetly, hesitantly, with no witnesses around) a lot of "under water deals". It is common when one takes driving lessons, or needs to hire a carpenter, etc. It is also called "zwart" (= black) services = with no fiscal notes or papers. The service is then a bit cheaper for the consummer and the money goes straight to the pockets of the service provider. I do have my limits with that though.

  6. You see that a lot with older people in Brazil. It's the hard life and going through times like the dictatorship or the high inflation period. It changes them and they suffered a lot. add being stubborn and yikes.

  7. Actually, I found this quite heart breaking... I wish I didn't read this today, I was happily listening to my X-tmas in NYC playlist (Monobloco) and dreaming of my coming 2 weeks vacation in Brazil and I have this in your face reminder that Brazil isn't a equitable society (yet) and how ridiculously classist my society still is...

    IMO, being 60 years old makes him wise and his action was of self-preservation!
    He probably saw many instance of the Brazilian class system is place to know better.

    You see, Mrs Rant is middle class and this fact alone puts her in a powerful position within the Brazilian society Institutions. The problem is if she has a change or heart calls the police and says that her old WM was stolen... He would be in deep trouble with our law; Her word carries more weight just because you are middle class, quite sad.

    Socorro would know the real reason why he acted that way, it looks like you like her and would like to help her out. If you still have the receipt of the purchase you should give it to her with a written declaration that your are giving it to her, this should be enough to calm the old sage (that is, if my understanding of his motives are correct)

    Feliz natal e um otimo ano novo pra vc e sua familia

  8. On a similar note, this thing about giving your CPF when you buy something or eat somewhere seems to put people off. You allegedly get some kind of tax break, so I always give mine (plus I have very little to lose in this country), but many people outright refuse - including my relatives. Of course, I wouldn't give ANYONE my SS# in the states unless it was absolutely necessary.

  9. We just bought a new stackable washer/dryer combo, that we'll be taking with us to Brazil in about a year. We got gas because that's what we use here, but just realized we probably should've gotten an electric dryer. What do you have? I'm BEYOND excited that I'll have a dryer in Brazil, though, no matter how much gas we'll have to use.

  10. Marcio, you have an interesting point. My first reaction was thinking that his car was stolen or something like that. The next day Socorro brought her son and they carried the washer down to the front of the building where the man waited. Thank goodness the washer was super light. Regardless, Mr. Rant came home from work in case they needed help.