Source : Diário de Notícias 19/1/2008
Shouldn’t laugh, but last Sunday morning in an accident in Caniço, a car left the road and landed on the roof of someones house down below. The driver was slightly injured, and I would guess it didn’t do the house much good. As the owner of the house I would be thinking ‘… that was a lucky escape’ little expecting that it would ever happen again. Well it did! Thursday night a second car did exactly the same thing, and this time no one was injured, however (in the words of the translation software) it “provoked bulky mischief” to both the house and the car.
A young man of 21 years was stopped in Calheta on Thursday, for driving without a licence, and also drink driving. Whilst searching his car they found a small arsenal of prohibited weapons. The police went to the culprits house and then discovered bank notes in 24 different currencies, the origin of which is not yet known. Words escape me … this is Madeira, not downtown New York!
Undoubtedly talk of the island today will be about Vânia Fernandes, a young lady from Madeira who last night won the final of the national talent contest Operação Triunfo (probably the equivalent of X Factor or Pop Idol I would guess, although I have never seen either). She picked up a cheque for €75,000, and whether there are recording contracts involved I don’t know, but for sure she will have no trouble finding work here on Madeira. For the first time in my life I made a telephone vote (cost €0.60 !) which I am sure swung the competition her way, so I am hoping she will read this and ring to thank me personally. I thought she was the best and deserved to win, but I observed a plea (in the news) from one of Madeira’s senior politicians yesterday giving the phone number to vote for Vânia. So it’s not really about talent, it’s about where you live.
A neighour of mine (not Portuguese) went to a lawyer in Funchal last week to ask advice about someones voting rights on a condominium owners management committee (pretty standard stuff). They gave him a quick consultation and letter of confirmation, and stuffed him for €500 … more than his condominium fees for a year, … more than the average Madeira monthly salary (outside of Funchal), … and it turns out the information was not relevant to the meeting anyway. Nice to see the lawyers are in on the ‘fleece the foreigners’ scam too!