My friend Mauricio – the van driver

We live in a street that is very close to a favela. But this favela is so “nice” that they even have a lodging in there, called Favelinha. I guess the story has to do with a german guy who married a brazilian woman and decided to live there. Although I live very close to the favela entrance, I have never been there myself. But as I need to take the subway everyday to go to work and the Largo do Machado station is quite far if I walk, I take either the minibus or the vans that are driven by some entrepreneurs residents in there. One of those guys is Mauricio. Mauricio drives a white van charging R$2,50 by passenger to take from the Largo do Machado Station to the Pereira da Silva Favela and the other way around. Besides Mauricio, there are other 3 van drivers but I prefer Mauricio. Mauricio is a big black guy, has a quite “decent” belly and is very very friendly. Mauricio knows how to please his clients. Now, that is Christmas time, he puts Christmas decorations all over the van (the flashing lights!) and he has a TV that is generally playing some music videos to cheer people (he likes rap, charm and even pagode) . When it´s Festa Junina, Mauricio gives candy to everybody.

Think about a day that you worked a lot…around 13 hours, between meetings and writing long reports that would eventually help a big company in Brazil to get rid of some corrupt employees. Think about a day that you were extremely stressed, the weather was extremely hot and you wanted to get home as quick as you could. That was me today. But then I get to Largo do Machado and get into Mauricio´s van, that at that time is waiting for more people to depart. Christmas lights flashing and a nice charm song playing. Didn´t know the song, got my cellphone and opened Shazam….there you go Shazam! thanks for introducing me to mr. Keith Sweat singing “Make it Last Forever”….very nice and relaxing song! By the way, as I am writing this post,  I am listening to it on YouTube.

So going back to my journey at the van, I tell Mauricio that the song is quite nice and that I had just figured out the name of the singer….no need, he already knew it. So he increases the volume and asks me if it´s better now and starts laughing. No better way to release stress. Mauricio hands me the DVD cover so that I can look at the name of the other songs.  So I get to the building where I live, get out of the van and instead of paying the regular R$ 2,50, I decided paying R$ 4,00 and tell him that is because I had just worked 13 heavy hours and that because of his music, customer service and good humor, I was feeling a lot better. He laughs and just says “thanks son!”

If we had more Mauricios in Brazil, a guy that is up at 6am and drives about 10 hours a day, taking people safely and with a big smile in his face, never complaining about life , we could become a much better country much faster.

By the way, everybody from the Mud Crush loves Mauricio. Stay with Keith Sweat now and feel the vibe!

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