Thursday, 29 March 2007

Brazil 2 Australia 0

After two visits to the Brazilian embassy we are unable to visit Brazil over Easter as planned:-

Round One: in spite of what I'd been told when I called, they wouldn't accept our application yesterday, as they only talk to foreigners until 1pm. As we'd spent the morning out at the airport extracting our laptop from Customs (similar to pulling teeth), we didn't get to the embassy until the afternoon.

Round Two: Sorry, but Monday, Thursday and Friday are all public holidays next week. As our definition of the 'three business days' to process you application actually means four business days, we won't be able to give you a visa until Easter Monday, well after you're supposed to fly out. And no, there's no way to speed that up, even with extra fees. Ah modernisation!!!

Well, I guess this is just a unfortunate taste of living here. Not wanting the Argentines to miss out, yesterday we got to enjoy their bureaucracy too. We say thanks to all 16 people who handled the half a tree worth of papers required to retrieve our laptop from customs. To paint a picture of the morning: after shuttling between 3 offices for an hour and a half we finally were told we can pick up our box. However we couldn't get it from the guy we'd just been checking it with and who actually had it, but instead we had to give a form to the guy in the blue shirt who will scan the barcode, and then get a separate guy to bring it over on a forklift! Now that made me laugh. However we can't really complain, we've couriered a whole load of gear over and all of it has arrived in one piece.

Today I found out that the bureaucracy gets so bad here that a whole industry has actually grown up around it - you can actually pay someone to do the queuing for you, until the final moment where you step in to sign and walk away with the goods.

For all of you that have made it this far through the grumble sorry. Otherwise BA is beautiful in it's old french architecture way and we even have our own apartment. Luxury! :-)


At 30 March 2007 at 20:18 , Blogger Colleen said...

Missing out on Brazil is so disappointing for you. Perhaps they were needing something to speed up the processing process? Are there paper queueing people that can accelerate the process in these circumstances? It reminds me of stories of Italy as well...

Enjoy the luxury of your own apartment and spread out. After all the queueing you will need extra time to visit the interesting places in BA

At 31 March 2007 at 22:57 , Blogger Katrina Morris said...

Thanks mum,
Sadly we even offered to "assist the process" but they wouldn't take it!
We'll be up there later on in the year so all is not lost.


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