After a long 10 hour flight from Chicago to Sao Paulo, we met up with
our taxi driver and crammed all four of us along with our luggage into
a small Fiat van for the 2 hour ride to Piracicaba. When we got to
the hotel, we found that our Cat contacts at the factory had cancelled
our taxi ride from the hotel to the factory this afternoon because
this is a local holiday and not much was going on at the factory. We
didn't mind, since it was already 3 pm here and we could all use a
shower and some food.
We regrouped in the hotel lobby at 6 pm and waited for the steakhouse
next door to the hotel to open for dinner at 7:30. Now, I am
extremely full. One extreme to another!
Tomorrow, I have to transport all of the items that I brought along.
I have a few small parts for the build that had to come from the US
because of some late changes, a part to keep one of the machines we
built here in July running at a local mine site and the items that I
was asked to bring as a personal favor. Someone wanted some organic
babyfood so I am hauling 12 jars of that around. I know someone that
like plain Pringles and so I am traveling with 3 cans of those (to be
fair, I was not asked for these. This will be a surprise). And last,
but certainly not least is the toilet seat. This is by far the
strangest and most unexpected item that I have been asked to bring. A
friend here had knee surgery recently and wanted a raised seat with
handles to help him on and off. I ordered it from Walmart for $63 and
he is happy to get it because the closest thing he could get in Brazil
was $700! I think this is due to nothing similar being made locally
and the shipping and import taxes really add up.
Tomorrow, we meet for breakfast and head off to the factory. It is
taxi's all the way this trip! Last time, one of the guys got an
international license and rented a car which really made each day a
new adventure (in this traffic), but 3 months later, he received a $50
speeding ticket in the mail! They have radar and cameras set up, but
we had no idea when or where we got caught. We were also a little
surprised that since we travelled the same route each day, it did not
happen more than once.