Friday, July 18, 2008

Through rain, snow, sleet, and hail . . . or not

I'm still new to this big city living. It became painfully obvious yesterday when I got waaaay too excited about the protesting mailmen marching down my street with their chanting and ranting and holding up traffic. It was the first time I've seen protesters come down the street I live on, and boy, oh boy, was it exciting! I grabbed my camera and got some pictures and video clips.

The Correios workers around here have been on strike a lot since we arrived. From the news articles I've read, they've been striking on and off for over a year. It has pretty much stopped making the news now. They want higher wages, and maybe more, but I am mostly gathering that they don't think they get paid enough. The crazy thing is, I don't think anyone hardly even notices when they're not working. Hardly any serious business is handled through their mail system. If you have important documents to deliver, you send it by DHL or other private carrier; if it is just within your city, you call a motoboy (guy on a motorcycle) to pick it up and deliver it. Bills arrive in the mail, but you can't mail your payment in. You have to go to the bank to pay your bills. We really get nothing more than a couple bills (the others are hand delivered to our apartment building) and bank statements in the mail. (Well that and the occasional card or package from the US.) But really, for the most part, nobody seems to care if they are delivering mail or not.

Just the same, a big gaggle of 'em came marching down my street yesterday and they put on a pretty good show. It kept me from my work for at least 15 minutes.



The VW van with speakers strapped to the top broadcast the main speaker quite well! I heard them long before I ever saw them!

I couldn't figure out what this fake coffin deal was about. (I think the guy's red flag explained it, but with him waving it around and what not, I couldn't ever quite read it all.)

I found it rather funny that they had a police escort in front and behind them: cars stayed back for awhile, but then they got impatient and started driving through the protesters. The police (as usual) just watched. What's the point of a police escort during a "parade" if they don't keep the cars from running over the people in the street?


And in case you're curious what protesting sounds like in Portuguese:


And in this one you can hear all the frustrated drivers honking and then see them start driving through the crowd.




6 comments:

Ray Adkins said...

Emily,

The audio was pretty clear, the main guy voicing for the protesters is saying that they are playing a simbolic funeral wake for the Brazilian Communication's minister, his name is Mr. Helio Costa, apparently they were marching on your street because he lives in one of the buildings, they even mentioned his address, by buiding number, that is why they were in your street specifically...
According to the man's voice, the Brazilian communication minister sold them short in the negotiation for their salaries improvement and they were calling him a liar and comparing him to "pinochio", because he lies...
Very good report, keep up the great work in your blog...


Ray

Emily said...

Ray,

Ahhh, thanks. I was able to catch a lot more of it after reading your explanation. I couldn't quite put together everything before. Nice to know there is a 'death wish' for a guy living on my street. Makes the whole thing even more exciting now. Sort of. ;)

hermes said...

Pinocchio mentiroso.....lol...very funny!
nice blog btw!

Corinne said...

Emily,

If you go to the webpage of the correios (www.correios.br), there is a long explanation from the government arguing how the mail carriers already make good salaries, but I could not tell you how is right on this one. All I know is that I have been trying to get a box of baby clothes from the States since May, and it still has not showed up! You are right, though, the strike really doesn't effect most people since most dn't ever use the mail...

Ray Adkins said...

FYI,

I work with Post Offices and Express Parcel companies and the Brazilian Post Office system is considered the 2nd most efficient in the world, the 1st is the USPS, this is a fact and it is recognized by all Post Offices around the world...

Corinne said...

That may be Ray, but I can never figure out why some things take forever and others seem to arrive really fast. I just have not had a lot of luck with the post office. The last time I sent a little care package of Brazilian goodies to a friend in the States, the box took 3 months to arrive, and then it was so water damaged that everything in it was spoiled (chocolate and such). I used to have a really good experience with the post office, but in he last year or so, (perhaps because of the strikes), I have had some really bad experiences.