Adventures of a foreigner in the south of Brazil.

Monday, January 01, 2007

So it's New Year's Eve, late afternoon, and I urgently need to write an email. Plus make some copies of documents in order to keep them separate from what I have in the hotel. So I proceed to a certain campus to go to work where I know I can do both. On weekends there's some more security, you're checked in when you arrive with a car, need to state where you're going etc. I go in, spend about an hour doing everything I need to, and then go back.
Arriving at the barrier - a flimsy affair that is just taken out of your way when you want to pass - there's a second guard now, and the ensuing conversation goes like this:
- "You're coming from Acme Dynamite Corp.?"
- "Yes."
And then the question that I don't understand at first, can't quite believe after a repetition and that still has me in stitches. The one and only, guaranteed to catch all professional do-no-gooders.
- "Are you taking any equipment with you?"
"No", I say, and after a piercing look the guard lets me pass. Apparently I look trustworthy enough.

This in front of a barrier that I could overrun even with my rented Celta (think cardboard box on wheels), on a campus that has seen a couple of armed bank robberies in broad daylight in the past few weeks in a town with a huge homicide rate. You have to hand it to them. They don't give up.