Grandma and her boys

Thursday, 15 April 2010

One of my favorite treasures

This park bench is one of my favorite treasures beautifully hand made and as you can see it is no larger than a decent mobile phone, I have put a pen in front so you can see the size.
 I made cushions for it while still living in China and always promised to make a miniature quilt for it.. one day !!..... I bought it in San Paulo Brazil as a souvenir... I had to buy it in the hotel shop so probably paid far more than I should have done.

Quite a story about where this treasure came from .. hope you have time to read it.
While living in China ( when ever that was a few years back) Eric needed to go to Brazil to attend an exhibition where they were to have a stand, now normally a Chinese girl or two would have gone  with him but for some reason they were refused visas just a couple of days before they were due to leave for San Paulo....
Having a British passport a visa was no problem for me.
 So I went along and helped at the exhibition, it was a great experience not so much the exhibition but going to see San Paulo the capital of the world when it comes to crime and kidnapping and murder.
The city of San Paulo has the second highest population in the world which stood at way over 10 million people in 2006 ( only Soul in Korea has more) even beats any Chinese city.

I was a little scared all the time we were there ...  the hotel would not allow me to go out on my own or take a normal taxi, only hotel cars, that would drop me off at a mall and collect me at a designated place in the mall to return to the hotel never allowing me to be on the street at all. 
Jewellery was a no no, it would be ripped from your body and clothes, also handbag's these things were kept in the hotel safe,  not even in your room especially passports, tickets, credit cards and any useful  kind of document .. . Money and cards were to be worn next to your body not in a pocket of a jacket or coat,  pick pockets were rife in all areas.

The people lived in such abject poverty I have never seen the like of before and there are not many  countries I have not seen, in our nomadic life.

We went past 10 jails while we were shown around the area with in the city boundaries and told there were 115 in San Paulo area all over flowing with in mates, murder was rife and most would not even be looked into by the police...there was just to many each day, and they never found the perpetrators any way.
Every where is gated and barred,  with bars around every  door and window this  is how you protect your car outside of your home.

We had dinner with a Brazilian customer  (a very rich man ) and he told us of the kidnap of his 17 year old daughter the year before while she was at university, she managed to escape her captors and got home although they already had sent a ransom note to him  ..... which he was going to refuse to pay if she was harmed in any way, but because she escaped the police just dismissed the whole thing. She was then sent to USA to finish her education... what a very sad place it was, gosh how it makes you appreciate the safety we live in .. even if we think we don't ...I assure you we do,  from what I saw of  San Paulo  in Brazil.
This was an experience  of a country  I will never forget.

1 comment:

Ali Honey said...

Your little park bench is beautiful and never mind if you paid too much for it. Folk there obvoiusly need help - although the person who made it probably didn't get all the money.
That is an incredible story about Sao Paulo, I knew it was large and poor but I guess one has to experience these things to really know what it is like. The car protector says it all - I have never seen one before having not travelled as you have.
Great post Laurie.