Thursday, April 26, 2012


Just so you know it's not all  pony rides, parties, and meeting famous government officials here at Casa Pullingstakes, I've decided to share with you a few of the less impressive moments we've had around here recently. Also, my friend Jill wants to hear about the chaos in her fellow foreign service bloggers' lives. Which, on any given day, I've got a story for.

This week, Seamus (our long-suffering-but-well-travelled-dog) and I had matching moles removed. Well, mine was a mole. His was a big gross knob of grossness. But they were in the same spot, on both our right shoulders. I'm pretty sure that makes us dermatology soulmates or something. Seamus had his surgery yesterday and let me tell you, does he ever look handsome. But why tell you when I can show you? First, though, a picture of him in his glory days of ultimate cuteness:

Totally adorable, right?

And now:

Wait for it........

Wait for it........



Anyway, the good news is that we're both fine and dandy now even though I wrecked the car in the process and I'm jealous that Seamus got drugged and I didn't. Okay, I didn't totally wreck the car. The other car wasn't even moving, so how much damage could I do, right?  Here's what happened. Every time you park your car in Brasilia, there's usually a parking lot guy, and you make a "contract" with him that he will watch your car and help you get out of the impossibly tiny parking places in exchange for a few reais upon your return. Protection money, as it were. I saw the Godfather, I know how it is. What is a Brazilian contract? He gives you a thumbs up and you give him a thumbs up back, and the deal is made. So, I'm late for my dermatology appointment already because I can't find a freaking parking place that will accommodate our beast of a vehicle. Forty-five minutes of driving around downtown, and I'm near tears and cursing.  Finally, a parking lot guy waves me into his lot. I see that there is a shiny black car double-parked at the end of a row of vehicles. I shake my head no at the parking lot guy, my car is too big.  He is confident! He can make this happen! He has children to feed just like everybody else, so get your big-ass car on in here, lady! I slowly start inching my way past the double-parked car. 


One of my biggest fears while living here has come to pass. I've gotten into an accident with no portuguese skills and no one around who speaks English. I get out (the parking lot guy disappeared the instant the scratch happened), and the shiny black car guy gets out of his car. He is pissed, and tells me so, yelling in portuguese and making wild hand gestures. I do the only thing that comes naturally to me. Burst into tears. This technique has served me well in the past. Brazilians HATE to see women cry. I think because their women would rather slap them across the face than cry. Anyway, the guy immediately stops yelling, has me write down my husband's number (because Gah knows only a man can fix this situation), and waves me back into my offending crazy-lady vehicle.

I finally made it to the doctor and got my stitches out.  The doc sat at his desk, looked up at the ceiling, scratched his beard, thought for a few more minutes, and said to me, "A thousand reais." In cash, to be paid directly to his pocket. And then he handed me the bill, which was in the font of lemonade stands everywhere:

I really hate comic sans, and I will never return to a doctor that uses this ridiculous font. To illustrate how I feel about comic sans, and in keeping with the canine theme of this post:


After the dermatologist, I had to rush to meet the kids at the embassy health unit after school so we could all go get our rabies shots. I know, what are we, dogs? The nurse highly recommended that we get them, since one of our family members (who for the purpose of this post will go by the Native American name of Raisedbywolves) continually tries to play with monkeys and stray animals. Let's just say my long-suffering-but-well-travelled husband was not impressed with the giant scratch along the car when we got to the embassy. He didn't even care about the font the doctor used on his bill! I mean, seriously. Comic sans. On a bill.


Anonymous said...


Aunt Kimmy

Nomads By Nature said...

I like your perspective. Sorry about your car - we have the parking attendants here too with similar enthusiasm and lack of depth perception. Could the mark pass as a racing stripe or is it more just a souvenir kinda thing?

Kate said...

Well, let's say it's a little more than just a mark. It's more of a looong scratch/dent across three panels. Oops!

Nomads By Nature said...

Well ok then. I recommend that you keep it till you leave. That is some damn good street cred you got going. People will think twice before boxing you in or guiding you through an overcrowded area- should make parking much easier from now on. :)

Donna said...

The good news is, you're definitely going to qualify for a spot in the BRU with this one.

I say, leave the scratch until you leave post. Getting it fixed will only tempt the parking gods.

Jill said...

Oh your poor dog. He didn't exactly get a good haircut. I'd totally fire his stylist and take him somewhere else next time ... that is, after he gets his fancy collar taken off.

As for the scratch - holy yikes lady. I'm a crier too - it's gotten me out of many a situation here (like a potential ticket from a Loudoun County Sheriff). I was mighty proud of that one!