The offending article

Just when you thought Brazilian laws couldn’t get any more backwards, another bit of needless bureaucracy leaves you not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

I bought a bottle of wine at the weekend in Pao de Acucar, my local supermarket. Over the years I’ve bought hundreds of bottle of wine, vodka, beer and rum at the same supermarket.

This time, though, I had to register.

REGISTER. Not just show ID – but register.

Like you have to do in the US to buy the kinds of fertilizer used to make bombs. Like you have to do in Scotland to buy certain kinds of hard drugs.

No matter that it was a bottle of wine, 13 % volume.

No matter that I am 45 years old.

No matter that it was a quiet Saturday lunchtime.

I still had to provide them with my personal data that they put on their central computer.

Sometimes Brazil beggars belief.