Sunday, May 06, 2007

ENGLAND v BRAZIL

Things I miss about England #59: Knowing why you are in trouble. In the space of a few weeks Mark and I have both picked up driving fines for things we didn't know about. Mev did a u-turn in a quiet road with no road markings or sign posts. A policeman on a motorbike gave him a ticket for driving the wrong way up a one way street (...or that's what we thought he was saying).

As for me, the other day we had to take Nelsinho to the hospital and so we pulled up outside. I was well chuffed on account of having found a space right opposite the entrance. I parallel parked inbetween two cars. Two hours later I popped out to discover I had a ticket. I was baffled - no signs saying "Nao estacionamento" and a row of other cars parked in the same place. It turns out I committed a classic school boy error - parking with everybody else does not guarantee legitimacy. They all had tickets too. I can only put it down to the yellowish paint on some of the paving stones near to the car... this was perhaps my clue that I was in the wrong. Worryingly, the ticket on my car gave no indication of how much or to who I was to pay. I am expecting a knock at the door from the men in black any day now...

Things I love about Brazil #20: 12 bank holidays a year. Brazilian populist Politicians of the past have pandered to the worker vote by sticking more and more national holidays into the calender. The present total of 12 is already a drastically reduced number in comparison to how it has been in the past. The advantage for us teachers is that just when you`re having a stressful and busy week and you could do with a break - you get one! Sometimes the holiday lands on Tuesday, and people take Monday off as well...

Employers and management are unimpressed, however. Not only do they have to pay salaries on these days, on top of extortionate taxes and the bizarre "13th month" Christmas bonus, but this many holidays disrupts productivity and is, in short, bad for the economy.

3 comments:

Dona Nonó said...
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Dona Nonó said...

Your ticket will arrive at the address the car plate is registered. If its registered on Rach's driver license, she will get some negative points (in theory, one may be just 20 points negative in a year time. If one has more than that, should loose his/her license for a year).

In the ticket will have the amount, the due date and which kind of infraction you have done (each one has its points).

And yes, just park where its painted in white. For u-turns, always get the second one. The first is the opposite way to u-turn. And in Natal, some streets seem to have two ways, but its just a little garden in the middle of the road, dividing it in two.

swissie said...

Hey, Switzerland does the 13th salary as well, most appreciated as it's given at the start of December, just in time for Christmas shopping, which helps with the whole generous spirit of giving, of course. And welcome to the wonderful world of teaching, where there's never a holiday far from the piles of marking, hours of detentions and earfuls of beautiful language (sometimes directed to you)!