When I caught a glimpse of Rita
Filling in a ticket in her little white book
In a cap she looked much older
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a military man
Though there are no meters along downtown Brazilian streets, this young lady is the Brazilian equivalent to a meter maid. In order to park legally on the street downtown, one must purchase a parking pass from a lady like this for about a dollar. If she sees a parked car without one of these paper passes displayed above the dashboard in the front window, she will ticket your car. Then you must find her (or one of her sister meter maids) within 3 days to pay about three dollars. It gets even more expensive after three days. These women are members of a special squad of the Brazilian military police, but are referred to as "Periquito" or little parrot. This goes back to the days when they were outfitted entirely in bright green clothing to be noticable when ticketing from the streetside of a parked car. Their protestations about that style was heeded and these more conservative uniforms adopted a few years back. They do look very military and must keep their hair tight on the top of their heads. But this is afterall Brazil, where women can be arrested for not looking sexy, so the Periquitoes are encouraged to wear make-up and smile when writing tickets. Just as this one did when I paid her my three dollars.