andre at andregarzia.com
Sun Jun 7 10:03:56 CDT 2009
Well Friends I've been to some really interesting places during our
conferences, I made airport connections everywhere since getting
tickets from frequent flyer reward program has a rule that you will
connect at least your age divided divided by three.
And mind you that I an a mid age Brazilian and this has potential
illegal immigrant written all over it. Once I was entering the U.S.
thru Miami and the C/I officer tried to talk to me in spanish, I
replied in english that I did not speak spanish but that I could do a
pretty passable english. She still insisted on spanish, I said that in
Brazil we speak portuguese which is different from spanish and kept
english going. She kept on spanish and we moved back and forth this
insanity till she told me that: "when visiting a country, try to speak
it's language!!!" and at that very moment I could hear the twilight
zone theme song in my head and wondered what happened and where I was
but I was in Miami and the restaurant had a sign "English spoken
Another funny time in the U.S. was when I was trying to leave the
country and they made me strip, I will not enter in any detail and
will deny everything but the very fine comments they made on my
In malta there was no security line and the C/I officer was sleeping,
I woke him up and said: "I want to enter your country legally." he
gave me a bad xerox of a form and it was all set, next time, I will
take on the goverment there.
In the U.K. after like 10 minutes explaining the name of my dog, my
birth chart and what on hell I was doing in london, I asked the
officer: "will it help if I show you my ticket back home, it's just 20
days from now." and he smiled and I was free.
But nothing beats BRAZIL!!! yes, brazilian customs is like lottery,
for example, you bought three flasks of perfume and after customs
you'll have 3 - random() flasks of perfume. Other things might be
confiscated too. Some weeks ago they closed a shop in Ipanema whose
the owner was a C/I officer and all the products on sale were stuff he
"confiscated" (goverments confiscate, people rob). There's no green or
red line, there's a single line and there's a thing like a traffic
light that will shine green or red for you depending on your aura (or
your poker face). They quit having two lines since all brazilians
think they can get on with anything and would always try the green
line. Once I tried paying tax for a laptop (tax is fixed 60%) and the
officer requested a bribe and did not allow me to pay the tax even if
I wanted it, he kept saying: "thats to high, let us keep it just for
us at 30%").
I always put funny cards with messages for the custom agents like:
"you steal anything, I am coming back to you!" or "my perfumes, your
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