Recently I have been working on some scripts for processing the various files created by the JTAG Technologies so-called classic tools. Nothing fancy, but text processing is something that seems to keep heading my way. This has been good practice with files, string manipulation (plenty of splitting and slicing), sorting, and tallying.
Around Christmas 2018, I mailed a one-pound bag of pecans, harvested from local groves, to a Brazilian friend, since he didn't know what pecans are. His wife does, but she acknowledged they are rare and costly, certainly in the country's northeast. Surely they would enjoy a bag of pecans, I thought.
Mail to Brazil is slow, often a few weeks, but my friend says the Brazilian postal system is reliable, if slow. He says they have never lost or stolen anything. I expected delays because of Christmas and other seasonal holidays as well as a Brazilian postal workers' strike. But March came without the pecans showing up, so we gave up.
Around May 1st, almost a half year later, the pecans returned to me. They bag had been opened for inspection and a pamphlet inserted, written in Spanish, about what is prohibited entry into Brazil by Vigiagro, Vigilância Agropecuária Internacional. I had checked with the USPS about whether nuts could be sent to Brazil and got a definite maybe, so I decided, Why not? And now I know.
What I found particularly interesting is the forbidden items pamphlet in Spanish, not English, the international language of business. I find it odd that Brazil's Vigiagro has no English forms; however, since Brazil's neighbors and, probably, majority trading partners are nearly all Spanish-speaking, maybe there is no real reason for such forms in English.
Next time, like Ghostbusters, I'll know who to call.
May 1st is Victims of Communism Day. Despite a history of tens of millions killed and exploited, along with environmental degradation, engineered famines, and persecution; despite Venezuela at this very moment, people around the world keep supporting Communism.