This is my first time being abroad during an election, and I was a very good boy and registered with my previous council where I lived in the UK well in advance (September last year) for my postal vote.
I had a letter from them confirming they had received my application, and my postal vote would be sent out.
Yet here I am, 2 weeks to go, and no postal vote… The average postage time from the UK to Rio has been around 2 weeks. I’ve had some as quickly as 1, some as long as 3. Postal votes should have been sent out from early April I’m told (the day after registration for candidates closed, so the 10th April I think).
Two weeks have gone, and I am starting to get worried! Even if it arrives on Monday, I’ll have to FedEx it back to ensure it gets back in time to be recorded!
Anyone else living abroad in a similar situation? Any advice?
Jetting off to New York tonight for a week! Definitely feeling like a holiday, even though it wasn’t that long since the last one! Hopefully next year I will have much more time to look at places in South America too, as so far I’ve only had a brief excursion to Argentina. Plans for weekends away around Brazil are in the works for later this year and next.
But what has been happening in Rio lately?
An election of course! Which had a slightly surprisingly result where the third place candidate going in to the voting came out in a good second place. Marina, the new candidate who had a surprisingly strong showing in the run up to voting day ended up in a distant third.
But all that means there’s a second round in two weeks, and a healthy chance the incumbent favourite may not win if all of Marina’s votes go to Aércio… Certainly from my perspective as a foreigner here, he seems to have the most forward looking policies for Brazil, actually looking at the economy and how to improve international trade and relations. Dilma’s policies, which are very popular with less well off families, are far more introvert for me and have also landed the country in to a recession and have resulted in what should have been a period of major growth for Petrobras a period of stagnation.
Either way, we will find out in two works!
But outside of the elections, things have all been somewhat calm. I had a long 6 hour bus journey the other day to a relatively near by city… the roads here really aren’t so good except between Rio and São Paulo I’m lead to believe. Single carriageway, dangerous overtaking (really really crazy people…), potholes everywhere, stupidly high speed bumps…
I’ve also discovered the joy of Uber in Rio. As later in the evenings I always commute anywhere via taxi, I always have to make sure I have enough cash. Although there are some cabs with card machines, they are not that common and far from guaranteed. Uber arrived in Rio earlier this year, and I’ve become a regular user. Although it is costing maybe 15-20% more than a regular cab here, cabs are so cheap in the first place (for someone coming from London anyway!) that is still isn’t too expensive, and I have no worry about having to keep extra cash for a taxi. And you tend to get much better drivers who don’t all think they are the re-incarnation of Ayrton Senna.
Oh… and I lost my sun glasses… that’s somewhat annoying as they were fairly new and quite expensive… In a taxi I believe, I think they may have fell off my head… Oh well, time to get some new ones in New York!
So it’s been a busy couple of weeks over here at work with the launch of the Volunteer Portal (portaldovoluntario.rio2016.com if you fancy it!).
So had a nice Wednesday off after working through the weekend. Rio 2016 has passed 2 years to go, and I have nearly passed 2 years in Rio now… time flies. And in two more years I’ll be on my way from Brazil to… somewhere else!
My last post was during the World Cup… and it’s all over! Things returned back to normal pretty quickly round here. The vast number of police disappeared, the tourist level is back to normal and life keeps going. There was an armed hostage situation in a church the other day… all back to normal…
The next new thing coming along now is the elections. Walking round Ipanema, or anywhere in Rio, I’m surrounded by adverts for candidates and people handing out fliers. The big day is the first week in October, and talking to most people they seem to expect Dilma to be re-elected… Despite everyone complaining about her! I don’t get to vote in the general election of course, or in the local Rio elections (which I know nothing about unfortunately… although again there seems to be a general dissatisfaction with all the candidates), but I am very curious to see what happens and the impact it has on Brazil. After a successful World Cup (in terms of how it was run at least and not for Brazilian football!), an economic recession couldn’t have come at a worse time for Dilma. There’s plenty of damning articles over the economy right now.
Till next time… whenever I get round to it:)