It is always the case when arriving to a new place to be faced with a little
amount of bureaucracy, in order to get properly settled.
You think I'll be used by now. I have lived in France, Britain and Austria before coming to Brazil (trying to be a mathematician takes you
to lots of places!)
Finding a place to live is a most. As is establishing a bank account and maybe getting some sort of local ID.
After they stamped my Brazilian visa on my passport I was told I would need to register with the Federal Police upon arrival.
I have done similar things in Paris and Vienna, with different degree of pain. (By the way, I never got round to de-register in Austria, I tried twice but the queues where absolutely horrible, like hundreds of people, it was the beginning of the academic year. I hope it doesn't matter!)
But the Brazilian one has to rate amongst the highest in degree of complication, frustration and waiting times.
At least in Rio.
Tried as I might to find info on the Internet about what was needed to hand in, as well as downloading the forms and paying the
corresponding fees, I just couldn't.
But I am blessed by the Maths gods, who created IMPA (Institute of Mathematics: Pure and Applied).
I am not officially working there this time (sadly!) but my previous stints there mean I am well known and received.
They have been really my saviours.
They simply know everything related to receiving foreigners there.
Paulinho there helped me filling all the forms and told me where to go.
Today I finally plug the courage to do the full-day excursion that going to
Centro of Rio is, at least if you started in Gavea.
The day was scorching and I was advise to dress in long trousers- apparently they don't let you in otherwise.
No air conditioning...no advice...four queues.
I asked the people waiting...found MY queue and started queueing...and queueing...except that the queue didn't seem to be very respected...
But this is apparently no place for anger, so you let it pass, a couple of times.
After two hours I finally got to the desk. Yes everything was smooth: sign there, there and there, and take this form to that back room, to take your
And off I went with my form. An officer receive me brandishing a pad, full of some sticky black gunk...
the texture of car grease: they called it ink! He proceeded to plaster my fingers with that ink.
All of them!
At that moment I even offered him a hug: he was wearing a whitish flowery shirt. He refused.
Print print print...back again to the original desk, hand in form.
Nice good-looking officer this time informs me that my passport needs to be registered, and so, I have to wait to get it back.
Except that the person that usually registers the passports has not been around for the past two hours...
so there's already quite a QUEUE.
But this is no place to let your blood boil...at least it has gone reasonably smooth for me.
Alfonso, the Chilean marrying Joana, had to come three times last week to get an extension on his tourist permit...
Apparently, every time you come they might ask you a different document or photo...
So, it was ok, I could wait a bit for my passport.
And the wait wasn't that bad, true I had no water with me, and I was almost falling asleep so hot it was,
but in the queue next to me I met a young Argentinian, who has just started working at the Federal University.
He's a Philosopher, but...the world seems so small some times: He's friends with some people from IMPA I used
to be friends with. They have a small musical group and sing in the bars of Santa Teresa.
We exchange emails and phone numbers.
I got my passport back.
My all-important ID card will be ready in 5 MONTHS!