For those of you following my saga of trying to get a long-term visa (I've lived in Argentina for 4 1/2 years, but leaving the country every 3 months), here's the latest:
Last Friday I went with my big box of papers to Imigracion, ready to be "OK-ed". and told all was in order, por fin. Bueno. But now for the first time, I was told that I needed a bank account in Argentina. Que? Come again? No one had told me this before. I always needed "one more paper," but in order to get a bank account, I told the baby girl in charge of my destiny, I needed a DNI. She countered with, Not at HSBC.
I was very doubtful, but ok. Ruben and I took a cab to the nearest (well who knew where was the nearest to Imigracion, certainly not the taxista, but we kept driving until we found one) HSBC.
The manager, a young blond, wasn't even polite. No, sin DNI, no! Punto final!
But I can't get a DNI without a bank account, I said pathetically. (Really, I wasn't pathetic, just MAD, but I wanted to maintain a low profile for Ruben's sake.)
I suppressed all of my I told you so's, and Ruben guided me into a bank down the street, Banco Frances. Argentines, I find, have infinite patience.
No problem, the tall handsome young banker said as he helped me fill out the forms.
High from success, we taxied back to Imigracion with papers in hand. Where the snooty baby-clerk said when she glanced at my documents, But this is a savings account! You need a checking account!
At this point, even the unflappable Ruben was frustrated.
Why not tell me this from day one? (I have lists upon lists of papers necessary to get my visa, but each list is longer than the last, and of course, none are legally binding. I remember as an undergrad at UCLA, I was so thrilled to get the final tally of units and classes and a legal contract that I would graduate in June upon completing certain courses with a passing grade.)
It seems that each time I go there the kids in charge of my destiny in Imigracion do whatever they can to avoid starting the tramite of my DNI.
But surrounded as I am there, always by people seeming to breeze through the process, people from Bolivia, Paraguay, el MicroSur, or China, or young beautiful people, I try not to take it personally.