I love neighborhood papers. When I was in my early teens, I had a job delivering our free neighborhood paper, The Lance, as well as a huge stack of flyers. (For the record, delivering a free paper doesn't pay very well!) I enjoyed reading The Lance because I could usually find the name of someone I knew in each issue. It made me feel connected and important.
When I worked at Mayfair Church of Christ, the church received The Oklahoma City Friday. Its target audience was "affluent Oklahoma City" and was mostly about the neighborhoods surrounding the church. It was always an entertaining read--full of details of debutante balls and the weddings of the rich and semi-famous. My favorite Friday activity was reading the police blotter which helped call attention to serious local crime issues like kids ringing the doorbell and running away, cars parked in the wrong place and the occasional band of gypsies.
We've started getting a new local paper called Nosso Bairro that covers our neighborhood of Pituba. It's always full of interesting facts about the neighborhood and the latest goings-on. Now I know what is probably going to be built where the old clube was, where the mini-favela is and that we really will be getting an Outback Steakhouse in a few months.
One of my favorite columns is written by a guy from São Paulo. He is able to reflect on Pituba and Salvador from an outsider's perspective. He talks about a lot of stuff that's unique to Bahia that we had already noticed.
His column this month was really interesting. He pointed out the number of holidays we've had since the beginning of the year. A holiday on a Tuesday means Monday will be off. A holiday on Thursday means Friday will be off. A holiday on a Wednesday means that Monday and Tuesday, or maybe Thursday and Friday, or possible all of those days, will be off. A holiday on the weekend means Friday is off and maybe Monday, too. And that doesn't even include recovery days, the days AFTER the holiday that you need to take off to get over your hangover or at least to travel back to town. As a result, there are a lot of days here that are useless for getting anything done. How many? According to this guy's count, of the 181 days from Jan. 1 to June 30, 68 of them have been weekends, long weekends or holidays.
SIXTY-EIGHT!!! That's more than 1/3! No wonder it takes forever to get stuff done here!
(I feel like I need to point out that our team policy doesn't give us all these days off. And we certainly don't get Sundays off!)
I don't really have a profound point to all this. I just found it interesting and wanted to share. So I'll cover up for my lousy conclusion by throwing in a video of playtime with JT.