Olá todo mundo!

This blog special will feature everything that’s gone wrong lately! And by that I mean gone way wrong, out of control of what I or people here I know would expect. I know, this is Brazil -a big country with lots of (potential) problems- but when I read and hear about Brazilians being astounded, then I know I’m not just imagining it or exaggerating things. I also don’t mean to complain, as I’m in Brazil willingly! Just reporting on all the things coming together right when I happen to be here!

I think water may have been or may still be the biggest problems. I heard from some people that the city has drastically increased the amount of students lately, which is causing problems in the water supply. It has basically not rained since I came to Brazil nearly 3 months, and quite frequently have I opened a tap in my apartment only to find nothing coming out. Two weeks ago or so, water rationing took place here too, when water supply was completely switched off to a group of neighbourhoods at a time for a day. On Facebook groups from the university, people were/are posting rather alarming photos of the lakes from where water is taken, and they do indeed seem dry. But summer is starting, and with summer comes excessive amounts of water, so that should fix it soon…. everybody hopes! I never thought I’d be happy to wait for rain after having lived in The Netherlands (it rains a lot there any time of the year).

Drying up water supply at UFV campus
Drying up water supply at UFV campus

Another problem, electricity, may also be stemming from too many inhabitants and not enough supply (or overload). I’ve already been without power quite a few times during my few months here. The longest power outage was last week on campus. That was during a computer programming practical class I was teaching, so, you know, it was hard to teach with no power for computers. Before that, I experienced transient power outages at home in the evening, but at least laptops can survive with no power from the mains for a long time. However, with power outages, not even the mobile phone network works here (those things don’t have any backup power?).

This is a blackout in Brazil. Didn't see that coming, did you.
A blackout in Brazil. Didn’t see that coming, did you.

No internet, or extremely dial-up-y internet, doesn’t help when you are doing research that requires internet. Even on campus it doesn’t always work, and sometimes only works intermittently. Yes, I know, I’m still in Brazil, and one has to be prepared to not have internet sometimes. This one day we had no internet in our apartment for a whole day, and that was quite weird indeed. Although we’re not sure if it was our router’s fault or somewhere else. But it was an excuse to slack off. Speaking of slow internet… it’s taken me 45 minutes to upload my resized and compressed photos into this blog post (because I’m uploading a small video (a tiny 35 MB) at the same time)…

My internet connection speed has its days...
My internet connection speed has its days…

No air? Well, almost! Some pyromaniac has been setting the city on fire lately. That would be less of a problem if we a) didn’t already have water shortage, and b) hadn’t already had a record-hot last week (but not hot/dry enough to for spontaneous fires). The smoke, too, was extremely unbearable this one day, which caused the entire city to nearly suffocate.

2nd entrance to university's campus on fire
2nd entrance to university’s campus on fire
Smoke so dense it was misty indoors!
Smoke so dense it was misty indoors!

The sleep thing has been a combination of 1) (very) hot weather and 2) neighbours from hell.

Last week it was already a nightmare trying to sleep with the heat, which was not cool enough at night to cool down the apartment before a new, scorching day started! I know what you’re going to say now! “At least it’s not butt-detachment-freezingly cold!”. Neither extreme is particularly pleasant, however, and  I do know how cold (-30) feels, so somewhere in the middle is more my thing!

Last week's and this week's forecast
Last week’s and this week’s forecast

And then the neighbours below in the same apartment building have been partying many nights in a row lately, which prompted us to call the police and report it last night. If things continue, we will call again and actually have the police do something about it. It’s not acceptable to have parties Monday-Wednesday when real people have to get up in the morning! Quiet hours are from 22h, which our neighbours couldn’t give a rat’s furry arse about.

^An excerpt from what I heard from 3-6am one night, lying next to an open window (needed because of the heat). My phone has muted it a little, so turn up the volume!

But you know, as has become a casual phrase: “it’s probably my fault!” (that things are going so wrong, all at once).

Anyway, enough of the listing for now! See you some other time! Até!