Letter from America (S)

David, on the right, at the Pocket Park festivities a few weeks before leaving for South America

A few weeks ago, former Parish Councillor David Kellett and wife Crissy left the village for Sao Paulo in Brazil. Their many friends in the village will be pleased to learn that David intends to keep in touch by means of regular newsletters to this website. The first of these can be seen on the next page.

News from Brazil No. 1

Hi everybody

We finally made it, and now it’s the end of our second week in Sao Paulo already.  In some ways it feels as we’ve been here much longer, we don’t seem to have stopped; well I don’t, Crissy’s been able to slope off to the office for a rest, but I’ve been shopping, shopping, shopping.  It’s been rather like setting up home for the first time.  Even though we’ve got loads of our stuff on its way from England, you can’t really get by without at least one or two pans, some plates, knives & forks, towels, linen etc etc.  The list just goes on, and every day it seems I find another task that can’t be done without a trip to the shops for some vital bit of kit or other.

We bought a washing machine & a dryer, local type suitable for the local voltage, only to find that sometime (probably several years ago) they had introduced a new type of plug for higher current devices like those, but our apartment was still wired with the old version.  So it’s off to Nimco (a sort old fashioned, less organised version of a cross between B&Q and Wickes) for me, to buy some of the new type sockets and back to the flat to wire them up.  At the store I was amused to see a poster advocating the fitting of earth connections in these sockets and on the equipment to be used; apparently it’s much safer with an earth than without!  Well of course I was going to earth them, you just would, wouldn’t you.  That is until I opened up the socket box and removed the old unit, there’s no earth wire there!  No problem thinks I; I’ll get some wire and create an earth connection to the back box, except oh no!  The back box is plastic!!  Could be a good market for Health & safety advisors here Bob.

The cost of living here is astonishing, I guess you can live quite economically if you avoid imported goods and other luxury items, but where’s the fun in that?  A bottle of average to decent wine, say a simple Chilean red, which would be about £6 or maybe £7 in the shops at home is about £25 here!  So I might be joining Julian on the waggon.  The fresh stuff – fruit in particular, is very good and not too extortionate, meat also is very good.

Our first night here we went out to a local restaurant, literally at the end of the road; couldn’t cook, no pans at that stage.  The restaurant is one of a local speciality type called a Churrascaria, which basically is a barbeque restaurant.  You help yourself to salads & stuff from an enormous buffet, and then a constant procession of guys each carrying a spit with a different cut of meat tours the tables, they slice off a piece of whichever cut you fancy and the keep coming until you say stop.  A really good meal, as long as you like beef, lots of it.  We later discovered that the particular incarnation of this phenomena that we had visited is rated as one of the best in Sao Paulo, and by extension therefore, one of the best in Brazil.  Good job really as with only a couple of beers and a couple of glasses of house red the bill was over a hundred quid for the two of us.  We will be going again but not soon and not often.

Below is a photo taken from our living room window, behind the large tree to left of the picture is a small park, a bit like the Pocket Park but with semi tropical trees.  More on that in the next missive.  By the way, the view taken is looking away from the city centre looking toward the remoter suburbs!



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