Saturday, September 1, 2007

Part 1: An American Farm Girl in Rio de Janeiro

People who know me well know that I was raised in a suburban town in California. For a few years our housing tract was surrounded by orchards but by the time I could walk around the block and make it make home safely, the prune, pear and apricot trees had been converted to firewood and new schools and homes stood in their places. So no one could ever call me a farm girl except my brazilian husband.

He knows me as a woman who bakes bread, tries to grow trelliced tomatoes on varandas, sews clothing, paints anything to extend its usefullness, brews soap and yogurts, and makes furniture or upholsters things to serve as furniture.

Six o'clock this morning was no exception. He woke up to the sound of my electric drill screeching into the pieces of plywood stretched out on the kitchen table. I was making upholstered headboard frames to cover with a gorgeous fabric I bought in San Franciso last year. I suddenly discovered that the lumber shop nearby had sold me a warped piece of wood which will distort the shape a bit. Then I discovered that the foam pieces were cut wrong. One piece was cut 2 centimeters too long and one two centimenters too short.

Now anyone who has lived in Brazil knows there is no such thing as returning an item to a store in Brazil and there is no such thing as an employee who mismeasures. The customer is always wrong!!

The truth is they sold me exactly the quantity of foam that I asked for and the exact length of wood I needed, so what is my problem anyway . . . . Everyday life in Brazil lesson #54,789, I will measure it myself before they package it and complain before I write the check.


Anonymous said...
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Riorose said...

I removed the previous comment because it was spam. It is only the second time that has happened but I will disable the comment sections if this becomes a problem.