Parts of Brazil, including the state of Bahia (which is the size of France) are experiencing a ‘water crisis’. Fortunately Cabula, the working-class-gentrifying neighbourhood where I’ve lived since March, has not even suffered the temporary shortages caused by ‘improvements’ to the supply system. However, there is one drama I had never experienced before – having to possess the right kind of bottle, and one that is within its ‘best by’ date, in order to purchase mineral water. This is because tap water is undrinkable and I don’t trust ozone filters. Clay filters are supposed to be best, but they take up too much space and are hard to clean. So for years now, I’ve purchased large bottles of mineral water and so far, I’ve had no problems – until this afternoon. Starting with the fact that, in order to buy just the water and not the container, one has to have ’empties’ to hand over in return. But that’s not all!
Back to Clay Filters?
It all started when I decided to purchase water from the cheaper of two suppliers – simple market logic, you’d think? More like penny wise, pound foolish! When the cheaper supplier (Supplier T) was out of stock, I turned to the other one (Supplier I) and found that they only sold the pricier ‘crystal’ plastic bottles and would only replace them with others of the same type. And when I managed to claw them back from Supplier T, who had replaced them with the cheaper kind, the bottles turned out to have ‘expired’ – that is, they were too close to the end of their expiration date to be acceptable for Supplier I.
Today I found that Supplier T has suddenly stopped selling water altogether, when they still owed me two ‘crystal’ containers (probably out of date, but still the type I need to get the better brand of water). I had to pay Supplier I for two ‘crystal’ containers plus the water – nearly three times more than what I would normally have to pay. At least it’s an investment – as long as no one in my household allows another supplier to swap them out for the cheap kind. When I explained the situation to Supplier I, she said “You were buying from Supplier T, weren’t you?” Lesson learned.
I’m used to complaining about the world media’s emphasis on the Rio-Amazon axis in Brazil, overlooking Bahia entirely. These days, more and more features are focussing on Salvador as a “soccer city”. The latest was on BBC World News, about Football Beyond Borders, a lovely project organised by Brits to make the World Cup generate income for underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Here’s a report about the project
I’m organising the “INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON DIPLOMACY, ECONOMICS AND CULTURE: THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH PRESENCE IN BAHIA” which will be held from 3rd to 8th November 2008 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
This cultural event is being promoted by the St. George’s Society and carried out by my company, Five-Star International Communications. It has the support and approval of the British Embassy, is in receipt of funding from FAPESB and is being hosted by the Centro de Memória da Bahia, Fundação Pedro Calmon from 3 to 7 November.
Participation is free of charge; however, places are limited. If you are interested in participating, please contact me, Sabrina Gledhill, at email@example.com to reserve your place.
From 3 to 7 Nov, the programme will be in Portuguese at the auditorium of the Central Library in Barris. On the 8th, a special event will be held at the British Cemetery Chapel, where the presentations that were translated during the main event will be given once again in English, without translation:
Marc Herold – “The British Contribution to Bahia”
Louise Guenther – “The British Merchant Community in Bahia in the 19th century”
John Vignoles – “Charles Blacker Vignoles and Hutton Vignoles: The British engineers who built the Bahia and São Francisco Railway”
For further information (in Portuguese) visit: britanicosnabahia.blogspot.com
Yes, I have so many (too many?) sites and blogs already:
Business – http://www.5star.com.br
Research – manuelquerino.blogspot.com ; mrquerino.blogspot.com ; britcemba.blogspot.com ; cemingba.blogspot.com ; http://www.cib.inf.br ; mulock.blogspot.com
Misc Blogs – handmaidstale.blogspot.com ; capoeirablogger.blogspot.com
Let alone the sites I’ve built and left adrift in Cyberspace (they come back to haunt me every once in a while). So why another? I thought this would be the perfect place to blog about my main activities and hobbies – writing, research, translation and photography. I’ll start by publishing a few things I’ve had stored in my computer for ages.