An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Line of Dance





Today I didn't dance, I didn't talk about tango, I didn't write about tango. What I did was wait in lines. This is not a tango post, but a post about living in Buenos Aires.

First thing this morning Ruben drove me to the Departamento Documentacion Personal in el centro to get my police clearance. I've been collecting documents to begin my application for a long-term visa, because I'm tired of having to leave the country every three months.

There was a line outside the building around the block, but I didn't have to wait in that one. I waited in lots of other ones, including a locatorio a block away, where I waited in two other lines to get my passport photocopied and a photo taken. Suffice it to say that after several more lines inside the Departamento (where there were hundreds of people waiting in lots of lines), I got my receipt for the application and was told to come back after forty days and wait in line for my document.

The other thing I had to do today was to pay some bills. Here in Argentina you can't simply sign on to your online account and pay by clicking your keyboard. Nor can you write checks and drop them in the mail. Here you have to pay in cash and of course wait in lines to do so.

Today the RapiPago line at the local pharmacy was out into the street with more than twenty people waiting with their bills clutched in hand. Sure it was late by now and it would have been better to have paid the bills earlier. But I couldn't because--drumroll, please--after waiting in many, many lines in as many banks, there was no cash in any ATM machine I tried until dark. And then I had to do the operation three times because lately the withdrawal limit here has dropped. (Yes, I tried yesterday too.)

But I feel good. I waited in lines and finally accomplished what I needed to do, it just took the whole day to do it. This is the way it is here, and after more than three years, I'm finally getting used to it.

Caroline wrote of The Waiting Game recently, but she was talking about tango.

I waited in a million lines today so that tomorrow I can go to a milonga and dance. The waiting is over--at least until Monday!

1 comment:

Tina said...

Wow, you could be talking about Italy in this post! It's all too familiar. Paying in cash at the post office, waiting in line at the questura (police office) to get my stay permit, being told to come back and wait some more. My favorite thing about Italy is that no matter what you do bureaucratically you have to go buy a tax stamp for EUR 14.62 to submit with your paperwork. And where do we buy our tax stamps? The tobacco shops of course! Because that makes total sense, LOL. Kind of like how we buy bus tickets at the newspaper stands. :-)

Thanks for the memories :-) I can't wait to do it again, hehe