Today's excursion to Camacari was another reminder of the bureaucracy here in Brazil and the lack of manners the educated can have, perhaps its only Bahia. I may well have told the story of my ex and her family, the struggle I had when I eventually found that that had more or less bankrupt me and eventually having got the pack of them and their friends, out of the house, the boy friend of my ex's sister went to the Justice of trabalho and concocted a story of me employing him and then sacking him.
This is a chap with a known history of violence that had had my help in getting him out of prison, at that time I thought him innocent of a crime of double killing and assisted with the costs of a solicitor. I had still at that time, my work in Scotland and was only in Brazil for short periods, having married my ex in 2000 I had left her with my confidence to manage the house and help her family if necessary, although I had done this the previous year by creating a bar for their self employment with an apartment above, in the location were they had lived for some years.
Well the long an short of it was that I have learnt that it is difficult to find a good solicitor and an honest one, I think I have had at least six in Brazil and it as only been in the last couple of years that I discovered my present solicitor, who by any ones reckoning is a first class solicitor and honest, it shows that if you keep trying there is a chance at discovery.
It is with my present solicitor that I have been able to counter the claim from the boy friend and also take the first solicitor that I engaged in Brazil, to court, and win the case. I am sure that this is not easy, it has in fact taken me seven years of trying and still I am awaiting the recovery of the money that was paid to him in 2002, the trabalhista case was started in 2004, but went to the wrong court in Salvador, the fault of the opposition's solicitor, who is acting on a no win no fee basis ( thus the story line from his client is like a Grimm's fairy tale, that even the judge had remarked that if a person had worked for these hours and without a break it would be close to slavery) and the case was then re called in 2006 at the justice in Camacari, were it is at the moment.
It had actually been finalised in my absence at one point two years ago, I had no idea of this until the Xmas brought a different sort of card for me, it was one that said I had lost my case and also inherited a failure to attend a justices demand. I had to counter the judge's decision and to that end I was required to pay a deposit of R$5.000,00 of which R$200 I would lose automatically to pay for the court's time. I have fought this part of the case and won, so the decision of the justice is void and the case will now restart, yes I said restart, such is the justice in Brazil.
It was to the end of my getting the deposit returned that I today travelled into Camacari, I was early and waited, there were two other gentlemen opposite me that had been there before I arrived. We waited for the next 12 minutes for the office to open and for us to submit our various causes, during this time several solicitors and officials arrived and tried the locked door, they too hung around but very close to the door, so when it opened it was clear that they were not prepared to show manners and politeness to those that had waited longer, such is education and a moneyed up bringing, I am sure that the politicians would behave the same way.
I remember when Graca and I had waited all day for a flight from Belo Horizonte, the weather was bad and the flights became a list of cancellations, but we decided to wait rather than risk the following day being the same scenario. It was worth the wait, late in the afternoon the weather improved and a flight managed to land, to our luck it was designated to our flight for departure to Salvador. On boarding there was another delay for some late arriver's, and a passenger with his wife and child occupied seats in front and to the opposite side of us, behind them a man in his early 30's. The stewards had mentioned that the reason they were waiting was that because of severe rain and so many flights getting cancelled they wished to put passengers from four other flights onto ours. The airline asked the couple if they could give the childs seat to another pregnant passenger, they refused, they were offered refunds and extra money for the seat, they still refused. Behind them the man in his 30's stood up and demanded that we take off immediately, the stewards talked to them all but these middle class folk had decided that their rights were being infringed. It became clear from their comments that this group were solicitors and politicians, not at all interested in the poor families and other mothers stranded at the airport, but keen on using their money to have space for themselves. It fell to some other passengers to decide to take the recompense that the airline was offering, including taxis and hotels, for them to fly the following day and give up seats to help the other travellers.
The lady solicitor today who jumped the queue by about six people, had no sense of shame anout it, she clearly feels that she has got position and this goes above others, I for my part think that these jobs ( solicitor, clerks in the council, judges, politicians, doctors etc.) are for public service and although they may well deserve good wages and respect, they do not become anything more than citizens like all of us in urban communities are. It never actually gains anything in the long run, like those that jump queues in traffic, the gain in time often ends with an accident, like those that spend ages chatting before leaving in their car and then try to go as fast as possible on the road.