Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Test, Test Test

Let's see if I embed the link in this post, you can click, and it will take you to the actual blog site. Here goes...

If it works, I'll include this in every post.

Thanks for your help in figuring this out.


The Day the Ciganos Came to Town (click title for video)

Today, I’m going to take you off the beaten path and talk about an interesting encounter I had while living in Itajuba, Santa Catarina, while running my espresso café. The seeming poverty depicted in the video attached to the title may sadden some who read this blog, so let me just say from the beginning that the Ciganos I encountered choose to live this way, are happy living this way, and I would guess, have no intention of living any other way. The song behind the video is apropos. So, if you can, please try and look past the surroundings and see the character in their faces. You may gain a new perspective.

The first encounter was so swift, I didn’t know what hit me. The fact that I wasn’t robbed blind is a miracle, because: (1) I am so naïve; and (2) I didn’t know about the Ciganos until the next day, when my neighbor shopkeeper, a realtor by the name of Carvalho, told me in very broken English, that I had encountered gypsies. They came to the store almost at closing and within a flash, had taken what they wanted from the cooler, threw a twenty at me, demanded change immediately, and whoosh, they were gone into a waiting truck. A woman around the age of 20 and a little girl with unbrushed hair, wearing filthy clothing. They took a container of chocolate milk only. But they paid for it, and as the locals recanted stories of their unfavorable encounters with the Ciganos, I realized that I had come up quite lucky. From that day on, we knew “the Ciganos were in town.”

They lived in a large encampment set up on an empty lot a few blocks south of the café. They had all the modern conveniences, just without concrete confinements. They had t.v.’s, refrigerators, generators, late model cars and trucks. They were pretty wealthy by the town’s standards. I was told that they lived that way by choice. By living on vacant property, they paid no taxes. And since they were nomadic, this was really their best option. They spoke a different language, which we later ascertained was Romanian, and they were a handsome bunch in their own right.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story in tomorrow’s post.

Till then, ciao!