Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Odd Conversation

I had a strange conversation yesterday.

I was out buying food for lunch- Evani was making feijão, a food I'm not sure I could live without any longer. Beans with smoked and salted meats- mmm! Delicious. I was walking by this little market we have in our neighborhood, a wide spot in the street with vendors selling vegetables. One guy started talking to me like he knew me- "How are you? You disappeared- have you been travelling?" I went over and asked him if he knew me. He said he used to live in my neighbor's house, in a room with a leaky sink.

My house shares a wall with my neighbor. Actually I share walls with two neighbors. This is something I would never opt to do again if I were to buy a house in the future- it's a pain in the ass. One of my neighbors is fine, the other, Mario, runs a rooming house and has upwards of a dozen people living there. He's caused me problems, mostly because of leaky sinks and so forth, which end up seeping through the wall and destroying my paint or worse. I complained some time ago, and apparently it was this guy's sink that was leaking. He said the owner came by three times to make sure it was fixed.

"Mario's terrified of you," he told me, apparently explaining his rapid action on my behalf. Why, I wondered, and am wondering still. Is it because I'm a foreigner, with my presumably deep pockets and potential to sue his ass off? Is there something he's hiding that he doesn't want me to know about? Some trouble I could get him in? I'm curious.

The guy told me that Mario is a miserable bastard. Said he has him in the courts because he robbed his stuff from his room. I couldn't understand much of what he said, I have a hard time understanding many Brazilians, particularly old-timers like this guy. Told me that Mario wanted to kill him.

I don't know- I've had some odd encounters with Mario but nothing that would lead me to believe he's capable of killing someone, or putting out a hit on them. He definitely is capable of throwing used condoms out the window, which is what someone was doing from his house shortly after we moved in. When confronted, he would get all pissed off and tell us there was no way they could be coming from his house. That kind of belligerent denial worked for a while, until whoever it was (and there's a good chance it was him) actually hit someone who was working here in the head with one, and he looked up to see a hand throwing the wrapper out after it- right out his window.

At least that doesn't happen anymore.


AkuTyger said...

This reminds me of an episode of "This American Life" called "The Super." It was broadcast sometime in... I think December of last year. You ought to look it up online and listen to it.

markuza said...

I love This American Life! I'm subscribed to the podcast. I'll have to check it out.