Monday, January 03, 2011

It takes a forest... of patience

Getting proper quantities of documentation to do ANYTHING in this country is like wading through concrete. I seriously don't think the word "efficient" is listed anywhere in our brazilian portuguese translation book. If it were, it would read:
Efficient: please see Incompetent.

Ok a little mean but I need to air out some frustrations.

We have an air freight box coming from the US that was packed back in early December complete with sheets, towels, pillows, dishes, silverware....etc. Things we well kinda need. The box was supposed to arrive Dec. 23 and instead landed Dec. 27th. Fine. We could wait a few days without those necessary things since we were still living in a hotel. However once we moved into our apartment we have a floor, a mattress, paper towels... none of which help with any of the desired things we enjoy doing like shower and sleep. We didn't want to buy stuff because we thought the box was here and would be delivered any day!  All documentation was said to have been done, notarized and approved. Dec. 29th we received an email when we inquired about receiving such box, requesting more documents. No, they needed "three" copies of our airline ticket each notarized, not one notarized and then copied two times like we were told. They also needed "two" copies of some "DOU Gazette" which I am not sure what that is but something must have gotten lost in translation. Once we get this all figured out, printed and notarized it will take a day to send to the correct people that will then take a day to approve it and then another day to send us our box. Or they will realize we need to cut down another tree and have that notarized as well, just in case.

This comes on top of the fact we have no local bank cards either. Itau bank screwed up Alex's information and its taken over three weeks for him to be able to pick up a temporary card. He was told last week they would have this "rushed" for him to pick up Monday. Well today is Monday and they said, sorry we are rushing it for Wednesday. We have been using our american cards for the past six weeks that work 50% of the time. Usually we go through 3 visa's and an AmEx to find out this just isn't going to work. Our back up plan is cash or realizing we have run out of cash like the other day when I poured out all the change I had on the counter and had to put back the groceries that I couldn't cover while a line of confused people waited. It will get fun if that happens at a restaurant. "I thought you said you got cash? No, I thought you HAD cash? Sir could we wash dishes?"

We also have a container coming that left Chicago in early December. That is supposed to take 1 month to get here by boat and then another 2 months in customs. IF our mini rainforest of documentation is correct.

Brazil I love you but this is a bit ridiculous.


Jim said...

Honey bunny - sweetie pea - calma.

You cannot push the river. Trust me.

Don't go there. It will just drive you crazy.

Some things in Brazil are very efficient. Some things not so much.

Sleep on the floor. Eat on napkins. Pay in cash.

Calma -- it will work out, but probably not in the time frame you imagine.

Go enjoy a chopp bem gelada.

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Jana,

Like Jim said, not worth getting all stressed about it.
If you think Brazil has a lot of Bureaucracy, you should see what we have to go thru every time we have to deal with the Italian Consulate in Boston or what I went thru dealing with the Spanish Consulate for a work VISA.
I think this is one more thing we Brazilians "imported" from our European ancestors, ridiculous bureaucracy.
Just a tip. If you ever need to ship anything from the US to Brazil again, I strongly recommend using a Brazilian Moving company. They are supper efficient, they are familiar with the bureaucratic steps, they guaranteed deliver of your stuff and they honor their dates of arrival. Your stuff will be delivered to your door in Brazil and you don't have to deal with the paperwork BS plus they are pretty reasonable in price as well.


Stephanie said...

Sorry i know how frustrating it can be!! Especially in the beginning! Soon enough, you will roll your eyes and shrug your shoulders :) but for now, try deep breathing. Personally, I do ice cream, it always makes me feel better! You'll get there!! Good luck this week!

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Thank you guys for the encouragement and advice.

Jim - a good cold beer def does the trick, as does remembering that every country has problems.

G+R -I am sure its just as bad on the flip side in the US, thanks for the advice on moving... even on the hard days, Im still so glad to be here!

Stephanie - Thanks, I discovered the best ice cream bars the other day, some italian brand but boy it will make a gloomy day bright and sunny in only a few bites =)

Gil and Ray said...

What Italian brand? Please do share! This is my favorite thing in the whole world... :)

Jana @ Paper plains said...

G+R - the ice cream bars are called, "Diletto," and here is their website

so far every flavor is my favorite!

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