Thursday, 14 June 2012

Fed up of Brazil!!!!!!

This country is beyond insane.

This week, and last week, has been all about Detran (the organism dealing with driving licences, vehicle registrations etc…).
We went through all the hoops for our licences.

Then I had to deal with my new bike. When I went to pick it up at the shop it had no number plate! I was told to pay some tax and get an appointment with Detran.

I paid the tax on Monday in a bank. I then called Detran and I was told that it takes 48h for the payment to be processed. So I called again on Wednesday morning. I could book my appointment  online but the appointments are only starting next Monday and I flying off on Friday for 3 weeks.

So after spending all morning trying to speak to someone, and being hang on, or redirected to nowhere, I manage to speak to someone for more than 2 minutes before being cut! I am told at Detran that I only have 2 weeks from the date I picked the bike at the shop (showing in the bill) to get the registration done. Otherwise the police will take my bike away (where????).

Over the phone I manage to get an appointment for Thursday 14th morning in Barra. We get there early with Alistair. I was told to bring an Id, CPF number and proof of address. Anything else? No just that!
After being given a piece of paper at the triage I am sent to a shabby building. I take my number and wait.
The girls working there know to take their time while people wait. 3 of them get their clients off and start showing each other their mobile phones and chatting for a long time while people wait. This seems rather usual in Brazil and I have seen it even in shops, while you wait to pay in a big queue!

 I grind my teeth.

After a very long time, my number is called.  

I give all my docs and everything else I could think to bring. I know Brazil by now and brought originals and copies of all the docs that I have and could possibly be asked.

Then the girl takes the copy of my passport and goes away. She comes back and tells me that I need a translation of my passport! What for? Translate the passport number and name?

I’ve never heard of passport’s  translation, but there you go. I ask to speak with her boss who backs her up. I know she is inventing and it is a lie, because Alistair went to Detran for his bike, in another location, and he was not asked for that!

I am livid. There is nothing to do but go home and deal with the bike when I come back from holidays.
I am so furious I tell them “Fuck you” ! Childish? Maybe, but there is only so much anger and frustration you can take. Especially as you notice how much they enjoy this situation!

Unfortunately, although there are many very nice Brazilians, there are also many Brazilians who really don’t like foreigners and resent them. They see foreigners as stealing a job from a Brazilian. They forget to notice that a multinational would not pay expat expenses if they could employ someone locally. The fact is there are just not enough people at a level of education and professional experience to fill the gap!

It is the same issue if you try to look for a job. If you are a foreigner, don’t even bother. No company will give you a job. The foreigners I came across, who came here without an expat deal, seem to be teaching English, usually. Or having the sort of jobs where you can work for yourself like psychologist, physio, etc….
Ok, this is a bad day, and I just want to go home to a civilised country where rules are clear (and not invented on the spot!) and you are not made to go back 3 or 4 times to the same place for a piece of paper and people treat you like a human being!

As many expats have said before me: “ Brazil is not for the beginner” !

Alistair had to go 3 times to Detran in the end, for the registration of his bike. The 1st time because he turned up with original docs and no copies. The 2d one, I can’t remember!

Ha yes, and the best part is that once I come back and book an appointment with Detran again (and have a copy of my passport translated and certified!) I also have to pay a fine, because I will be over the 2 weeks limit. The fact it is entirely Detran’s fault is totally irrelevant of course!

I am going to forget about this now and go pack my stuff. Tomorrow, I am off to the States for 3 weeks. I can’t wait!

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