sexta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2008

I have now returned to Bahia, sunshine and my garden, which has given me bananas last week, passion fruit and coconuts this week. The orange tree as just started to fruit and I am waiting for the Caju and the Lemon to do the same, it seems that it needs 5 years to get started so I will need a couple of more for the Mangoes to crop well.
I arrived back in Salvador near mid night and was kindly met by my fiancée's brother and cousin, I must admit to having some apprehension arriving at any airport after mid night but it is worse if you have to then get a taxi and go away from the city, head north on roads that are quite deserted, arrive at your house and know you are on your own entering the house after 5 months away. However i was taken back to their house and spent the night there and was then taken to Jauá the following afternoon, very much more relaxing and safe.
I had arrange with the bank to pay all my bills by debit so that the electrics, water and telephones would all function when I returned, I had electricity, water was in the tanks for me to take a shower but no water from the road and both telephones did not work!!!!! the water pumps where working, well my apartment was ok the house had been let out during the week of the festival for Saint John and every time that I get folks in the house they feel the need to play with the water pump, there is unfortunately a constant problem in Jauá with water and its lack of being delivered by the water company, either by the tubes in the road or any other means.
Also there is a good deal of new buildings going up at the moment and they are consuming water for cement and concrete along with the summer lettings, those that live in the city rent houses here for the weekend and arrive with large families, all going to use the showers, toilets, cooking and washing up at a time when the water company decides to cut off, litarary they turn off, the water for one or two days in order to conserve supplies. Water pumps are only as good as the connections and that is why they can work perfectly fine for months until some one plays with the tubes and the connections..
I have to get everything working fine so that during the summer I can let the house for the three months without too much hassle, with this in mind I am now trying to re lay the corrugated roofing which seems to have moved sufficiently to allow rain water under it, this has soaked through the ceiling of two bedrooms and turned them black, so they need to be painted but I need first to resolve the cause.
I had not used the car for 5 months and although at first I had managed to start the motor, with the help of some jump leads and a friends car, it did not restart after stopping even though I had left it running for 15 minutes, I took the battery to a small bicycle repair shop whom by chance had a charger for the battery, however the batery would not take a charge so I arranged a lift with a friend to go further a field and swap or buy another battery. We decided to go to a large agency because I could pay by credit card, I had given most of my cash to Antonio, the gardner, some I had used for buying essentials and I wanted to keep the rest to buy food. The battery was duly changed for a new one and then the assistant asked me for details to put on the receipt, he asked me for my Identity number, my work identity number, my driving licence details, my address details, my telephone numbers, the details of my car and the number of the number plate and then the card details for payment !!!!!!!!!! well this done I got a print out of the invoice and went to pay the bill at the internal cash desk, every one has, I asked if I could pay by Visa credit on foreign cards, my bank in Scotland had decided to change the credit card from Visa to Master card but had assured me that the old card would function until its expiry date, 2010, the Visa card was refused and the new Master card was not accepted, I tried my bank of Scotland debit card and that worked.
My friend and I then went on to resolve causes for him and we finished in a shop selling garden fittings, here I remembered that I need some new water spriklers and a garden tap so I promptly used the opportunity to buy them, arrived at the till knowing that the different cards did not function but needing to save cash, so I tried the Master card again, did not accept it, tried my Banco do Brasil debit card, it was out of date, so paid cash and knew that i would have just enough cash to pay for petrol the following day to take me to my bank at the airport in Salvador, not enough to buy any food!!!!!!
The following day I had to go to the bank and collect a new card, before leaving the house I had telephoned the bank in Scotland to know what was wrong with the new card, I have explained to the bank, before this event, that here in Brazil it is not every location that accepts Master card, they assured me that there was nothing blocking the card and that it was the assistants in the shops that where doing the transactions incorrectly, well after getting my new card at the Banco do Brasil I went straight to a cash machine to liberate the card and some cash for myself to buy food. Then I went to the travel agents to buy a ticket to Belo Horizonte, in the South of Brazil, we found a date and price relatively ok for me and then i tried to pay by debit card, the air lines do not accept debit payments for flights, so i tried the Master card, it would not accept this as well, so I had to return to the cash machine and take out cash to pay the ticket !!!!!!! it always seems that it is not possible to go away without encountering problems when you return!!!!
By the way i had to contact the telephone company to check that the debit payments had been made and then they came and checked the line, one phone was working after 24 hours and the other had a broken cable on the veranda, so i am now able to have internet use but here on the coast it is a very slow connection and difficult to load or download pictures or information...