Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Watching the car - São Paulo

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My tolerance for bull**** was at an all-time low yesterday afternoon as I parked my car a block away from the Spanish bank branch where I was sure to have a non-helpful customer service experience. It wasn't my car, actually, but the monster truck that belongs to my husband. Large, old, bullet-proofed, scratched, dinged. 

As I parked the car, the rain started and that of course annoyed me because I had left my umbrella at the house. So as I closed the door, and made a run for the bank, a man stepped in front of me and said "can I watch your car?" Yes, a flanelinha, the guys that made me spout off crabbiness in another blog last year. I looked at him with the "wtf?" face that sometimes works and said "ummm, it's bullet-proof but if you want to watch it, feel free."

After having the expected annoying customer service experience with the Spanish señores, I came back out into a light mist of rain. As I came close to the car, the man approached me. I couldn't resist the following remarks:

Me: "So was the car okay?"

Flanelinha: "Oh yes."

Me: "Did anyone approach it?"

Flanelinha: "No, Senhora"

Me: "So it was all okay over here?"

Flanelinha: "Yes"

Me: "Well, great. I'm glad you were here watching out for my car."

And I gave him 50 cents. And so much sarcasm, the rain was dripping with it.

Hate this. But then I'm just having one of those bad days.


  1. The flanelinha's business is an interesting one: pay me to watch your car so I won't vandalize it! There used to be two flanelinhas stationed permanently on our block in Higienopolis, close to FAAP. We lived in a beautiful old building built in the 1940s that lacked a parking space. Between the flanelinhas and the restaurant valets competing for every last space, parking was always an adventure :)

    1. It just makes me crazy! And yeah, I used to live in San Francisco and there parking was REALLY tough.