Walking in high heels to five different meetings in five different locations in one day is a bit much even for a Viking (since my Portuguese is rather limited my role was reduced to smiling and eyelash-fluttering). Me, Diego and Aurimar met with various local politicians in Augusto Corrêa and Bragança (we told ourselves that with my blonde hair, Diego’s charm and Aurimar’s sharp tongue we were an irresistible trio) asking them to support the AMA Institute, and to employ me as a violin teacher, which would enable me to apply for a work VISA. Either that or Aurimar has promised to marry me to keep me in the country. I pointed out that polygamy is only allowed in certain Muslim countries.
All the people we met are freshly elected, and the new dynamic duo of Bragança – the Mayor and his right hand man – are both men of the church, and I found it surprising that the Padre (the new Mayor) and his Pastor secretary belong to the “communist” Worker’s Party. I have a feeling they were elected more because of their religious status rather than their political views.
In a social centre in Augusto Correa, where I might start teaching, we found a room full of expired food that the previous Mayor apparently had spent the last bit of money on, just before leaving office in December, as a farewell gift to his successor. Not only that, but we were told that they had taken all the computers and printers as well.
Bragança has also had its share of political scandal the last couple of weeks, with accusations thrown by the new regime towards the old, leading to heated demonstrations outside the old Mayor’s house, as he allegedly did not pay out the Christmas bonus to his employees. There were rumours that he had escaped to Lisbon with the money, but we happened to see him just the other day at a restaurant in Belém. A friend of mine claimed that it’s actually the new Mayor/Padre that is supposed to make the payments, but that he pretends it’s not his job, in order to ally himself with the Bragantians against a mutual enemy.
Who said politics is boring?