In the places I work, I deal a lot with the Facility people.  These are the Electricians, Carpenters, Plumbers and Laborers at the Embassy/Consulates.  Same as here in Sao Paulo.  I find these people much more enjoyable than the stuffy and arrogant officers I deal with.

We have already discussed the diminutive electrician named Francisco, who has the nickname Chequeno.  He is so wanting to help me, that if he sees me walking with tools he will follow to see if he can assist.  A few weeks ago I had to crawl down into a manhole to cut and retrieve a cable.  I asked him to help me because he knew where all the manholes are and how they connect.  After we got the cover open he started to crawl down inside.  The manhole had a sewer line that ran through it that was cracked and had some sewage in the hole.  I wasn’t just about to let him get down in that, so I stopped him.

No, my Friend.  I will go down.

No no no. I go, my Friend. I go!

No! You stay here, my Friend.

No No No!  Please please …

So, I had to pull rank on him.  “Francisco, I am your boss.  I will go”, as I started to lower myself down.  (I’m not really his boss)

At this point, he became very agitated.  “Oh my gosh!   Oh my gosh!   Oh my gosh!  Oh no, my Friend!  Please, please … I go!  I go!”

As I mentioned before, he is the nervous sort, always moving.  Usually twitching his shoulders or adjusting his pants.  So, when he grasped the horror that I would be the one going down in the hole, he was in total despair.  I thought he was going to rend his garments and cover himself with sackcloth and ashes.

I did what I had to do and pulled myself out of the manhole as he chastised me for not letting him be the one to crawl down into the sewer laden manhole.  As a consolation, I let him pull the heavy cast iron cover back over the hole by himself.

Now …. Bulldog.

Bulldog’s real name is Rogerio, which translates as Roger to us.  To pronounce it correctly, the “R” is spoken as “Ha”.  So, the pronunciation would be “Ha-jario.”  I started calling him Bulldog because of his stance.  Imagine a bulldog standing on its hind legs, but with a happy face.  … and clothes;  but also, I couldn’t remember his name.  I didn’t think he knew what I was saying until someone pointed out that Bulldog translated to Portuguese is Bulldog.

He is a mechanic.  Much like Chequeno but with more weight and no twitching.  And like Chequeno, he wants to do everything for me.  He calls me Meester.

Once a month I have to do pre-maintenance on the Delta barriers.  These are big gates that will stop a 30,000-lb. truck traveling at 50 mph.  Mostly it’s simply lubricating everything and Bulldog does that very well.  To the point, I have to say, “Bulldog, nós terminamos.  (we are finished)  And he will say, Okay Meester, but he still adds one more squirt of grease to the gate.

When I get a chance, I will tell him my 900-year-old mother wants a picture of him, and will post it for you.  It has worked with everyone else.  Until then, kick butt and head to the next adventure.


Oh wait.  One more thing.  My body, at this point does not want me to eat anymore beans.  Every time I have even a moderate helping of beans, I get cramps in my upper belly immediately.  Hopefully, my belly will soon forget and I can indulge in another one of my gourmet masterpieces.