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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Oi, I really don't care! - Day 578

A couple of domestic chores needed doing. Tim's sim card had run out of data. The wifi here is weak, so I keep hotspotting, and Facebook consumes a lot! We walked into town and popped into the service provider Oi for a top up. (This is quite a long story so I will break it up with photos from our day)

Tim was served, and I sat and waited and waited and waited. Eventually, Tim came up to me looking rather frustrated. "I paid R$15 for 3gb and only got 750mb. Now the guy is saying that I need a new Sim for R$35 and won't give me the R$15 back".

I sprang into action. The young assistant and both of us busy on Google Translate to resolve the issue. But the guy didn't seem to want to find a solution and blamed us for purchasing the sim in a different state! How strange that we managed to top up in a few other states with no problem.

The guy did not realise he was dealing with the intrepid GrownUpTravellers. We stood our ground, we had all the time in the world, well, until our flight on Friday.

His manager was no support and fled out to lunch.

The guy was becoming as stubborn as us and even said he really didn't care. Didn't care? What kind of customer service is that?

Tim looked at the guy's name card and wrote it down, and I took a photo of him. That seemed to make the difference. (I won't expose him here though.)

He became flummoxed and asked a colleague to help. We explained for the umpteenth time that we wanted our R$15 back, and they could even have the sim card. Luckily this next guy had more sense.

After an in-depth conversation between them and after nearly an hour being in their store, we got our R$15 back and walked out with our heads held high — all for an equivalent of £3.

We then went to Claró and got a new sim and excellent customer service. Result!

After lunch, we walked around the town and along the riverside with the distinct colour change of water in the distance where the Rivers Tapajós and Amazon meet. It is even more impressive than the previous 'Meeting of the Waters' we visited which is included in the Lonely Planet's top 500. At least we get a tick on our LP Top 500 spreadsheet!

A mustard and white building facing the waters stood out. One of the oldest buildings in the city dating from 1867 this now houses the João Fona Cultural Centre, which in its history has been a jail, a city hall, and a courthouse.

We entered and were greeted warmly, that's more like it, and walked around. In the foyer were paintings of all the city mayors over the past century or two; one woman amongst the very distinguished men. We wandered around, looking at bits of pottery and stone pieces from the Tapajoara culture that flourished locally more than 6,000 years ago.

Sadly there was little information, not even in Portuguese, so I cannot enlighten you with any detail (Did I hear " thank goodness"?) I can't even tell you who João Fona is! I think he was an artist. Any ideas?

In another room housed a skeleton of a Mink whale cub, which surprisingly ran aground on the Tapajós River in 2007. This did have some information and a Union Jack with an arrow, so we were hoping for an English translation. No such luck.

Do I really care? Do you really care? Probably not! :)

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