After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Paper Chase Conundrum

Yesterday we got up really early to go downtown to the Registro Nacional de Personas Extranjeras to make an appointment, which is my next step in obtaining a long-term visa. The document from Imigracion said to be there yesterday between 8-10 a.m. (Read the preceding installment on the paper chase from hell here.)

We went on the Subte and crossed Plaza de Mayo where there was a huge gathering, with tents and police and the media, for a demonstration. There was also a huge gathering of folks outside of the Registry office on 25 de Mayo 145, a pushy-shovey crowd all trying, like I was, to just make an appointment. There was one official in attendance who was telling everybody quite rudely that all the turns were gone, and that you have to line up (there was no line but a stampede) before 6 a.m. to ask for an appointment. One man was exiting the building after getting his appointment which was for next August, 2009.

I wasn't feeling well but used all my strength to make this effort, which was for nothing.

When we returned home, Ruben tried to call, as I insisted, because surely one only needs to telephone to get an appointment. There was no number on the form, but he got one from information. And nobody ever answered.

As far as I'm concerned, at least for today, I don't care to ever try that again. I will NOT go down there at 6 a.m. and wait for 4 hours to get an appointment for next year. I am disgusted. Maybe they'll send the police to my house to arrest me and toss me out of Argentina, and at this moment, I couldn't care less.


n a n c y said...

To friends and family who wonder why I don't move to BsAs or spend more time there................need I say more? And it isn't the big things either. It is waiting in a check-out line for ten minutes for the manager to get you change for a $30.00 bill when your items cost $20. Disorganization and inefficiency are a way of life. The life of a porteno is one of resignation.

Sallycat said...

Hi Cherie,
I understand. I've been 4 times now and not yet achieved an appointment. So far I haven't managed to get there before 6am.
After my 4 attempts, I too lost some of the heart to get back down there.

Every time I go it is absolute chaos, and as you say, a stampede. I can't help thinking surely there must be a better way: just to offer the people a chance of a little dignity in the whole process.

I keep telling myself that I will go again, maybe on the way back from a milonga one night...

I am fascinated to hear that the guy was given an appointment for August 2009... Bloody hell!

You know you published this post at 11.11 on 11/11. 11's my lucky number so I hope this wonderful combination of multiples of it brings you some good fortune into this process.

Anyway, am thinking of you.
Beso. SC

Tina said...

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again:

It sounds exactly like Italy!!

Exactly to a T.

I guess we know where the Argentines got it from, considering the amount of Italian immigrants ;-)

Sounds like it's a good excuse to get together for a drink soon, don't you think?

tangocherie said...

Tina, baby, we don't need no excuses!

Let's do it! And let's go someplace that has cocktails!

Sally, that's pretty clever that you noticed the ll/11/11 thing going on. It's gotta be good luck!

And n a n c y, I can never be resigned so maybe that means I'll never be portena.

Elizabeth said...

Oh for pete's sake. I doubt if they are organized enough to find you and arrest you!
Well, It sounds pretty frustrating.

tangocherie said...


Of course I was being sarcastic regarding the possible penalty for not going to the next step in this process. After all of the time and hundreds of dollars I've already spent, I can't give up now.

But I sure have lost the will.

miss tango said...

I feel your pain.

suzy vegas said...

IM feeling the pain. I have residencia but I dont have the ganas to go to the office for DNI after the hassle I endured to get a couple of boxes of books. They told me I need to go again in 09 to renew my guarantia for my boxes or else... the police will come to my house etc. GET A GRIP on what is important Argentina!!
ps If you girls are going for cocktails can I come????

Anonymous said...

Estimada Cherie:

Sigo con simpatía su Blog, y siento un profundo disgusto por el trato desconsiderado que reciben las personas que desean radicarse en este país. La burocracia ineficiente es una peste que no hemos inventado los argentinos (aunque sospecho que la hemos llevado al límite de la perfección). He leído en otros Blogs los consejos de extranjeros que han pasado por el mismo problema y lo han podido resolver con éxito. Uno de ellos está en esta dirección:

En ese texto figura la página de una gestoría especializada en esos trámites. Esta no es la solución ideal porque nadie debería ser obligado a contratar a un tercero para obtener lo que el Estado nos tiene que dar sin otro cargo que algún impuesto de sellos. Pero a veces uno tiene que llegar a estos extremos para conservar el equilibrio emocional que este trato indignante pone a prueba. Espero con impaciencia el día que Vd. pueda anunciarnos el final de la pesadilla burocrática.