Tuesday, February 17

Countdown to Rio

Today was the day that I was supposed to get on a plane to Rio de Janeiro. A simple roundtrip to Rio to make sure that all is under control, has turned out to be an exercise in patience that in the end should result in a PhD in international bureaucracy and a minor in Pavlovian hoop jumping.
In earlier posts, I have explained some Brazilian sayings, such as 'A pig's nose is not an electrical outlet'. Well this situation that I am going through is a whole hog operation.
I have the Brazilian version of a Green card. Every 9 years I have to renew my card. I went through the hoops of filling out the proper forms, paying the tax at the Banco do Brasil, getting a photograph, and going all the way to the international airport in Rio de Janeiro to 'dar entrada' which means 'hand it in' to the Brazilian Federal Police to be processed. They gave me a 'protocolo' to prove that I am a resident for ID purposes valid for six months. In the meantime, I came to Canada to help my mom, as my father is dying, and the six month limit ran out.
I rang the Brazilian embassy in Vancouver explaining my situation and I was advised to get a tourist visa to gain entry into Brazil to be able to pick up my new card. Fair enough. I filled out all of the paperwork necessary(see above the list), booked my ticket to Rio and sent it all off to Vancouver way back in the first week of January..As of yesterday, no visa for Brazil. As it turns out, my name comes up on the Federal Police in Brazil because I overstayed my tourist visa in 1997!! yes, I know I overstayed my visa but you know why? BECAUSE MY SON WAS BORN IN BRAZIL AND I COULDN'T LEAVE THE COUNTRY WITHOUT GETTING HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PASSPORT DONE! So back in 1997 after I got his two passports(Brazil and Canada), I paid the due fine and flew out of Brazil two days later. In the meantime, I got my 'Green card' for Brazil and lived , worked, paid taxes and contributed to society for the past 12 years.My record should have been expunged years ago,but for some unknown reason, it showed up when they did a background check on me...How is it that I could get a resident permit if I had this 'record' in the first place???
I will miss Carnaval(thats good thing),but I have so many pineapples to peel when I get there. My neighbour has 'adopted' my parking spot, and put my car exposed to the elements in his parking spot. I have this visa/protocol to deal with. Bills to pay, custody orders to sign and notarize(thus my obsessive interest in the David Goldman case).And maybe if I am lucky, I will be able to take my 6'9' lover(my surfboard) for a ride on the waves at Prainha...

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