Friday, May 17, 2013

A Casa Caiu

This blog is pretty much defunct, but I have a good story to tell and I think I can tell it quickly.  Those are pretty much the parameters these days.  I have lots of stories but not the time nor the focus to get them out.  I think maybe this blog has run its course, maybe, like a book, I should give it an ending.  Or like a novela, the famous Brazilian prime-time soap operas.  Unlike an American TV show, which keeps going until the ratings drop enough, novelas run their course and wind themselves up in less than a year.  Evani's current favorite just ended tonight, not even a half hour ago.

But not yet.  I'm not ready to give up the ghost.  I've got twelve followers and by gum, I won't let you down!!

Anyhow, the story.

Yesterday a building in a neighborhood near where my wife grew up a building blew up.  Literally.  A three story, steel and concrete building exploded.  Here's a picture:

As you might imagine, this is big news even in a place as crazy as Bahia.  One guy died and several others, including two young girls, were injured.

What happened?  is you eminently logical question, and I will tell you.  Apparently they were making espadas there, these completely insane homemade fireworks that are basically gunpowder packed into a bamboo tube, lit like an enormous sparkler.  They make their appearance at São João, the big party that rolls around at the end of June.  Here's an example, this video was shot in the neighborhood where the house blew up:

I'm not a big fan of São João, I've whined about it on this blog in the past, it's a freakin' month of my life listening to homemade fireworks go off and I have come to loathe it.  I heard some fireworks last night and cringed - it's starting again.

However, this business of the espadas (better known as 'guerra de espada' or 'war of the swords') is just madness and stupidity as far as I'm concerned.  I'm sorry, but no civilized place should let people run around in public with homemade rocket bombs of considerable calibre in residential neighborhoods where they could, you know, burn or blind people, which happens all the time.  You only need to watch 30 seconds of the video above to see what I'm talking about, but if you watch a bit more you'll see the cop cars on the scene, doing fuck all about it.

But hey, I'm a 40-something fuddy duddy and I don't get it.  The people who are into this are really into it, it's an insane adrenaline rush apparently.  And plus, what's the worst that could happen?

Well, you could blow up and die and take a whole building down with you, and you could cause the deaths of innocent people which thank goodness didn't happen yesterday.  They're trying to figure out if the neighboring buildings will also have to be torn down as they suffered structural damage in the explosion.

So that's a pretty good story, right?  Well, it gets better.  One of the guys who lives, I mean lived, in the house?  I know him.  He's a graffiteiro.  And a cop to boot.  There's actually a picture of him on this blog, but I'm not going to tell you where.  I found out about this whole thing because Facebook lit up with people wanting to help him out because his house blew up.  The two girls who were injured were his nieces.  As for me, I'm going to wait and see.  I don't know what his involvement was, but as you may have noticed from my tone I don't think highly of building homemade explosives in residential neighborhoods with kids in the house.  This guy is one of the nicest people I've ever met and I'm sure he wouldn't intentionally harm anyone, especially his own family.  Oh wait - he's a police officer now.  Maybe he would hurt someone.

I'm an American, more specifically a UnitedStatesian, citizen of one of the most reviled and warlike nations on the planet.  We blow people up, things get blown up, we shoot people, etc.  Who hates the Brazilians?  Nobody, except maybe some Argentinians, and that's mostly over soccer feuds.  Who is Brazil going to war with?  Nobody.  Who's blowing up bombs in Brazil?  Why, that would be the Brazilians.  Whole lot of shooting going on in Brazil, whole lot of dying going on here, and it's all internal, all self-inflicted you could say.

There's a joke about God as he's making the Earth, he makes this amazing paradise that has no earthquakes, no volcanoes or hurricanes, and that's Brazil.  One of the angels asks him if that's really fair and God says: Don't worry, wait until you see the people I put there.  That's pretty mean, and also pretty funny.  But seriously Brazil?  At least take 'Order and Progress' off of your flag.


Anonymous said...

Over the past few years, you have cured me of my Brazilian fantasy. I guess thanks are in order. Besides, the lunacy in Buenos Aires is much more entertaining.

I still have a love/hate (moderate) relationship with BA, but I always return and I wouldn't be surprised if I died there - (I'm 56)

What will you finally drive you from the place?

markuza said...

Um, you're welcome? I always get a little nervous when someone says I'm 'living their dream' in Bahia, but then again, not everyone is as grumpy as I am.

The idea is *not* to die here in Bahia... as for what would (will) drive me away, I can think of a couple things that I'd rather not mention. I'm here for sure until my store goes under or becomes self-sustaining (yeah right). Maybe when my son becomes a rebellious teenager? No, I'm supposed to stick around for that. Wherever I go, be sure that I will continue to be alienated by my fellow humans and thus will always have stuff to write about.

Skarrlette's Hammer said...

hey I follow your blog I'm from the US too, I love right outside of Boston right now and its a wayyy good life here. And wonder to myself. I know life is exciting there but from someone born and bread in the US isn't it a little too exciting for you? Do you think about moving back to the US at all? Just curious. Are you really planning on living in Brazil for the rest of your life? The thought of that (for me) makes the hairs on the back of my head stand up I tell my husband to I have no qualms about telling others how I feel.

Just curious from one American to another.

Skarrlette's Hammer said...

Sh*t I didn't even read these comments someone else basically asked the same question!!!!

SO new question

Can you get your wife a visa to the US?

markuza said...

Hi S.H. - yep my wife has a visa, it's a huge pain in the butt process to get one but I shelled out the cash and she's good for the next ten years. Unfortunately she doesn't want to live in the US.