What’s the Hurry?

December 9th, 2009 Posted in day to day

Written by Shanie

Today was another one of those days where we realize that Argentina has taught us the true meaning of “patience is a virtue”.

We have mentioned from time to time our long and laborious saga of trying to obtain permanent residency. We are quickly surpassing five years of being involved with the bureaucracy. Oh so much fun to be had. Let me tell you.

Anyway, today our precarios (the paperwork that holds you in limbo between resolutions and allows you to leave the country) expired, which always mandates a visit to the migraciónes office.

Well, yesterday was a holiday in Argentina and it was evident on Daniel’s face (Daniel is one of the three office clerks that has been there throughout our Bariloche chapter of residency) that there had been some serious fiesta-ing going on. Hair was scraggly. Hands were constantly being rubbed against the face in a hungover fashion. Dark circles of violet shadowed the underbelly of bloodshot eyes. It had been a good night.

As any partier knows, working while hungover is no fun. Jamie and I can sympathize and understand the reason for such lethargic reactions to our questions and the physical signs of a violent headache that Daniel was advertising. Understanding our intent for today’s visit, he disappeared to the back office. In all kudos to Daniel, I must applaud him for taking full advantage of his bureaucratic job.  20 minutes later Daniel returned with a small smile of pride that he had actually figured out what the next step was.

In fast, blurred Castellano he explained that it seems our original precarios are filled to the brim with rubber stamps, signatures and dates; front and back side. Our solution, to go for page number 2 stapled to the master. Of course, this will require another set of photos, kindly taken a few blocks away for 30 pesos.

Papers are shuffled. Another 20 minutes go by  to fill out Jamie’s information. An additional 20 to fill out mine. He is taking his sweet time, as well he should.

Luckily, Jamie and I are moving into getting our Masters in patience and laugh at the danglefest.

An American with beginner Spanish walks in. Daniel takes a break from our novel-size folder of paperwork to ask if the man needs something. His butchering of the Castellano language takes Daniel’s green face to a shade darker.

We try to help but are confused ourselves to what this guy needs (even in our native tongue). It is clear this is just too much for poor Daniel’s brain to endure. In desperation, he gives us a smile and runs to find his boss, Nacho.

Now, Nacho is a great guy. One of those type of people that just seems to be one of the world’s coolest bosses. And by today’s appearance I would say my assumption is right on the money. Nacho is just as disheveled as Daniel. It is obvious that the two had enjoyed a few rounds of Fernet and Cokes together last night. They seem more like two frat brothers than immigration employees. Nacho looks as if his buddy has just woken him from a under-the-desk deep slumber. His shirt is rumpled. His hair tossled. His eyes bloodshot.

It’s a good look, really. It reminded Jamie of the lead singer of  the Babasonicas.

Nacho gives us a big smile. Kisses on the cheek. We explain that we figured out the man’s question and he had gone on his way. Nacho gives us a look of appreciation and maybe a thought of, “Who knew the gringos would make my job a little easier today.”

As Nacho turns to head back to his office to enjoy a bit more siesta, Jamie and I can’t control ourselves and begin to laugh.

You just gotta love the Argentines. Things may take a bit longer. But what’s the hurry anyway?

There just might be a few jokes in life that we miss when in a rush.

  1. 8 Responses to “What’s the Hurry?”

  2. By Trey on Dec 9, 2009

    That is one of the few things I am grateful for in the US is that in most cases things run pretty smoothly(except any kind of legislation related to health care), although I’m sure there are exceptions to that. Do you guys think you’ll ever take the big step and become full Argentines by becoming naturalized citizens? (assuming the residency ever gets sorted)

  3. By Patagonia on Dec 9, 2009

    Hi Trey,

    Thanks for your comment. We don’t plan on ever trying for citizenship. For me, I love that I am an American, but I also love the beauty of other cultures. I can’t see any reason why I would want to. Also, Argentina does not allow you to have both.


  4. By Martin on Dec 14, 2009

    Brilliant article! I am argentine and can understand very well what you described…hay que tomárselo con soda!
    Argentina does indeed allow multiple citizenships, most of the people I know back at home (including myself) have two.
    I guess it is the USA the country disliking their citizen applying for other citizenships.

    Have a nice time in Bariloche!

  5. By Patagonia on Dec 14, 2009

    Gracias Martin!

    Hmmm, maybe it is the other way around…that because we are from the States, Argentina will not allow us to carry both. Benefits to being born in Argentina. (: Not to mention, your impressive ability to be patient people (:


  6. By changcho on Dec 14, 2009

    “Argentina does not allow you to have both.” Yes it does – I have a US passport and presently am renewing my Argentine passport…Of course, the latter will take a *long* time!

  7. By Patagonia on Dec 14, 2009

    Well, that is good to know…and I guess another example of if you ask the same question enough you will get the answer you need…we have asked officials, people assisting us and immigration employees, all with the same answer of no…ugh! Nunca se sabe!

    Not that I am sure it is necessarily needed for our situation.

    Thanks for setting the record straight Changcho. (:

  8. By changcho on Dec 15, 2009

    Well, it may be a case of naturalization vs. being born in the place…As I understand it, if you are born in Argentina, which I was (Lanus, to be exact), you never lose your Argentine citizenship. So the immigration employees may be telling you part of the truth.

  9. By immobilier on Nov 8, 2011

    salut les gens j’aime bien cette facon de penser ce commentaire mais l’ immobilier est mon hobbie.

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