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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Get In! (thanks to a friendly Chaveiro)

After what seems like a few months dotting around the place, we're back. And given that this one is our front door for the time being, I suppose you could say, we're home.

Typically, nothing in our lives seems to take place without incident, and before we took off, it occurred to me that I had no idea where the house keys were. No problem - we'll cross that bridge etc etc.

So we packed up the hire car and headed for terminal 5 (no less!) - filled up with the last full English for a while (if you can call Huevos Rancheros a full english) - and headed back to Brazil.

My last meal in blighty. Very well done me. Very well done indeed.
Flight was fine and unremarkable (apart from a certain 1 year old's screaming blue duck fit as we came in to land) - still, it seemed to encourage those around us to help with our obnoxious amount of hand luggage when we finally came to a halt. I think they were so traumatised (and deafened) that they simply had to help in any way they could as part of their recovery programme. Thanks very much all of you, enjoy your stay.

Then followed two of the most extraordinary events that strengthened my growing conviction that Brazil is the place to go if you want to find a good bloke. The first event was meeting our taxi driver.

Now - like many places - some taxi firms have paid good wedge to have a stall inside the airport, where they harangue the jet-lagged into an overpriced A to B. Rio is the same, with bells on. So, if you survive the stalls and make it to the Airport doors, well done. The next challenge (much like the next wave of nasties in a 80's video game) is to AVOID the foot soldiers who want to get you to use the cab they have in mind - no doubt the one that will chuck them a cheeky backhander that no doubt will eminate from your pocket.

If you make it through, you'll get through to the traditional taxi rank with the familiar yellow cars and licensed drivers. Our guy loaded all the bags, helped to fit the baby seat and charged us according to the meter. What a fella. He even asked if he had done ok when he got us there. The price, after I rounded it up was R$50 - Half the quote that the theiving bastard at the airport door gave me. Don't do it people. Be strong. R$50 buys a lot of bits and bobs.

Ahh, a friendly local Chaveiro. Every neighbourhood should have one. In fact, every neighbourhood has several.


It doesn't however, stretch to the services of a Chaveiro at 1130pm. I still couldn't find the bloody keys so we needed a locksmith. Our door keeper recommended him, and after 20 minutes he arrived on his pushbike. This fella was fantastic - I'd almost say worth getting locked out for. He could easily been a member of the Ocean's 13. With his bizarre toolkit and beardy/spectacled look, we knew we were in good hands. We were. We were in half an hour later. Doors a bit knackered, but hey - we met the mastermind locksmith of Copa. The cost - R$80 - about 30 quid. Now I know its easy to get ripped of here - but to meet two diamond geezers one after another seems to me like too much good luck in one go. 

Just make sure you call for a chaveiro to come round. I warned you.




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