From the series Things that happen in Rio.
I got my brother-in-law addicted to Game of Thrones. I watched the first season with him two weeks ago (in preparation for the third, which is coming with the winter), and by the last episode he was so into it, that he wanted to get season two right away.
The thing about living in Brazil, though, is that things such as this one may take longer to become available. Maybe for some commercial strategy reasons (which I can’t understand, not in the internet age), maybe it’s because nearly no one speaks English in this country and it takes time to translate the whole thing and make the subtitles.
Regardless of why, the fact was that he couldn’t find it in the video rental store then. Now, going to a video rental store in the Netflix-and-the-such age is something that only my brother-in-law can explain.
This morning he went for a walk by the beach (because that’s what people do in Rio) and he stopped at one of the stores of this chain he’s client to. He was delighted when he found that they had just received a few copies of his long-waited season two, but his joy lived shortly. All copies in that store had just been rented.
Then my brother-in-law, who is a very good example of a true carioca*, with his out- and easy- goingness, asked the clerk to call the other store, the one he usually goes to, and ask them if they still had any copies available.
“Hi, Mike!* Do you still have any Game of Thrones, season two?”
Mike answered something like: “yes, we do, but we’re out of DVD cases. So we can’t rent them.”
“And you won’t rent it because you’re out of cases?” The clerk asked.
My brother-in-law added to the clerk’s remark that he did not at all mind DVD cases and that he would take an oath to return the discs in perfect conditions, should he be allowed to rent them regardless. The clerk laughed and said they had DVD cases in the store and my obliging brother-in-law offered to bring the cases to the other store.
The Contemporary Art Museum (in Niterói) and the Christ statue in the background
Now, I can hardly picture this conversation happening anywhere else in the world, and certainly I would never be the one negotiating with the clerk. Thoug I love Rio, I’m not a carioca whatsoever. I generally stop the interaction at “all the copies have been rented.” But not my carioca brother-in-law. And the clerk apparently liked it. He gave the DVD-cases to my brother-in-law, who resumed his morning walk and delivered the parcel entrusted to him at the other store.
As a reward for his trustworthiness and diligent service, the staff there let him be the first one to rent season two and even better, they allowed him to take the discs in their original box, still wrapped in plastic.
The season has been watched and, according to his oath, sir my-brother-in-law shall return the discs in perfect conditions.
*Carioca: Strictly speaking, people who were born in Rio. Broadly speaking, anyone who decides to take on the city’s attitude and accent.