5.14.2007

Well, I'm back and in Brazil, baby! Rolled in to the Guarulhos International Airport at about the same time as the Pope. I think we're a lot alike, only he's German, Catholic, and gets a lot more airtime on the TV. ;D. I'm really excited to be back here and to be able to try my hand at both some professional and legal work here. Seriously, it was great to get back, get on a bus and try and make sense of a city that just kind of grew up in spite of itself. Unfortunately, (warning--I'm about to take this metaphor farther than anyone probably wanted) this city grew up with a serious case of chickenpox that never healed, bad acne, bowed legs, buck teeth, and a good ol', Brazilian Style smack with the Ugly Stick. I.e., it's very poorly organized. Just to give you a feel for some of what I'm dealing with while down here doing my externship, I left my house today at 7:45. The place I work at is only 4 miles away (think East High to Temple Square), but I didn't arrive until 8:45. It was even worse coming home--I left the office at 6:00pm and didn't get home until 7:30. So what ended up being a 12-hour ordeal only counted as a 9-hour work day. Fun! The above picture is a fairly good on of the street I'm working on--Avenida Engenheiro Luis Carlos Berrini, affectionately known as "the Berrini." (Beh-HE-knee). Having never visited the Law Offices of Cerqueira Leite Advogados Associados, I was a little bit anxious in making my way there this morning, but everything went smoothely, and I found it without any serious problems. But for anyone out there thinking "Oh, that sounds so great" let me give you a small grain of salt: Like any bus, there is a limit to how many people can occupy any given Brazilian bus and maintain safety for all the passengers. The theoretical limit is posted at the front of the bus, and usually goes anywhere from 40-80, depending on the size of the bus. The actual limit imposed on a Brazilian bus is that set by the laws of physics. I kid you not, if there is a people that could figure out how to fold paper in half more than seven times, Brazilians would do it in order to make more room in their buses.

It's actually kind of fun to have so many people in the same bus because you can usually let go of your handholds at some point and just kind of rock back and forth with everyone else. Also, I figure there's no safer place you could be than in the middle of about 250 other very sweaty people. Accidents? Human Airbags. Armed Robbery? Human Bullet-Proof Vests. Really, it's a very nice system.

As for the legal work, that's coming. I'll put up a post later about my experiences with the Lei Brasileira. Ta certo, gente? FEITO!!!

4 comments:

Barb said...

I think you should patent the idea of human-shield buses. Forget bullet-proof glass, we need a way to easily bullet proof the outside layer of a crowd. You could sell the idea to the military.

Sarah said...

Amazing. I've not yet set foot on a Costa Rican bus, but I'll let you know if it even comes close. For now, eat some pao de queijo for me, and if you make it to Morumbi, kiss the ground in my behalf. I love that poc-marked city!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EBV said...

Well, I'll try and kiss it. There is a Morumbi Shopping center now, if that's to what you refer. But you know as well as I that kissing Brazilian soil could very well lead to lip worms. Now, you wouldn't want that, would you?!