If you knew the escalators at Rio’s international airport needed replacing then when would you choose to rip them out?

Would you look for a quiet time in order to cause the least inconvenience to passengers or would you do it right in the middle of carnival, the time of the year when the airport is busiest?

No prizes for guessing that officials in Rio have scheduled to replace 10 of the airport’s escalators the week of carnival, when half a million people are expected to come through the building.

(I am not making this up. See details in this morning’s Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.)

This struck me as too ridiculous to be true so I called Infraero – the body that runs the Galeao airport – and they confirmed the Folha story. Fourteen of the 58 escalators have already been replaced and they are replacing 10 more right now.

Why not wait a couple of weeks and do it after the carnival rush is over, I asked.

We are following the established timetable, the Infraero official replied.

Portuguese speakers might like this link, to O Globo columnist Artur Xexeo’s December column entitled: “The Worst Airport in the World.”