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Fonte Nova: like, Policia Militar: dislike

Posted by on 17/04/2014

t’s 10.45pm here in Salvador and I should be watching the final minutes of Bahia v Villa Nova from the Arena Fonte Nova’s VIP section (ie. the Brazilian equivalent of the prawn sandwich brigade!) thanks to the free tickets I was given yesterday by the stadium’s Comms team… but I’m not, because the match had to be postponed because the city’s Military Police went on strike for the last two days! Booooooo!

Useless skiving gits, as far as I can tell they don’t do anything the rest of the time anyway, but I suppose at least their menacing presence puts many bad people off committing crimes. The city’s been eerily quiet (so I’m told, not exactly an expert on Salvador, plus have been stuck in the apartment because “it’s dangerous outside”), so thanks to these workshy thugs I’ve not been able to see much of Salvador, although this afternoon the strike ended (long after the footy was postponed) and my CS host Betania took me to visit the lighthouse in Barra at sunset – we saw some Policia Militar officers patrolling after dark, well parking up and strolling into Bob’s Burgers for a non-well earned break!

Update: You may be surprised to see me being critical of the police, and yeah maybe my language is a bit over the top, but I’m not going to edit the paragraph above since this is a blog and so should reflect my views when I post them, and it wasn’t just me moaning because I didn’t get to go to the game! Most days here I get told by locals that “Brazil is dangerous” and I also hear them criticise the authorities, so something isn’t right, because in my experience the ‘haves’ (ie. middle class) are utterly paranoid that the ‘have nots’ (ie. poor people) all want to rob/steal/take their possessions that they’ve worked hard to earn, so they live in mini fortresses protecting themselves from the outside world with high fences/gates/walls (sometimes even topped with electric wire and backed by guard dogs) thus further perpetuating the have/have not divide. And whilst I really don’t want to get political (I’ve only been here for 3 months, so what do I know anyway), I think that part of the problem with the current system is the way the Policia Militar operate (but the Civil Police do a very good job). OK, no more opinions from me, here are a few links that you can to read if you want to, which I found from a simple Google search: Wiki – Latest news story – Pro?Con?

Anyway, the stadium tour yesterday was great (& check out the big screen)…

My glamorous assistant

My glamorous assistant / tour guide

Photographer: "Please lift the bike above your head"

Photographer: “Please lift the bike above your head”

Me: "OK but it's heeeaaavy"

Me: “OK but it’s heeeaaavy”

Another beautiful (completed) stadium

Another beautiful (completed) stadium

Wow, never seen an 'obese' seat before!

Wow, never seen an ‘obese’ seat before!

With Jack from Football Beyond Borders who's here to develop some superb social projects

With Jack from Football Beyond Borders who’s here developing some superb social projects

You Orns

You Orns

Outside view

Outside view

Disappointed not to use these tickets

Disappointed not to use these tickets

Following the visit (and bike lifting), I was in the local paper today:

image002

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