My Outing to the Consulado de Brasil...
March 5, 2007

Dare I say that this was a bit too easy? Well, I probably shouldn’t say such things since I don’t actually have the passport back yet
with the Brazil visa in it. But as far as turning paperwork in, it was…well…a bit too easy.

I was probably smart to do a bit of research regarding this whole thing before actually arriving at the Consulate. Yesterday I ran an
errand (it is so surprising how much I love being able to have ‘errands’ to do while traveling) which basically consisted of finding a
place to print out all of my flight information into and out of Brazil.

Back to the Brazil Consulate experience…

I arrived to the 15th floor of an office building and was let in by the security officer. I got there a bit before they opened (10:15am)
and found that other people arrived even earlier. Definitely pays off to be a bit ahead of the game…

When it was my turn to go to the counter, they fetched an English-speaking employee who was as sweet as could be. In one big
chunk I handed her:

  • My passport.
  • My photo.
  • My copy of information regarding my flight heading out to Brazil.
  • My copy of information regarding my flight out of Brazil (technically, it was a flight out of Iguazu Falls on the Argentinean side
    but I am sure that they are used to this).
  • My yellow fever vaccination proof (though she didn’t need this as it is only necessary when a person has already traveled to
    Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, etc. – none of which I have been to yet).
  • A business card of a hostel in Salvador (she didn’t need this but it was necessary when filling out the visa form of the address I
    will be staying at).

She gave me the visa form to fill out. Then she told me that she would also need a copy of my passport. It was by absolute luck that
I actually had this with me. I handed it over. She told me how efficient I was. Awwww, shucks! I love getting compliments from
Brazilian officials.

She gave me a form that I had to then take to the bank (they told me which one) so that I could pay my money there. I then would
have to come back to turn in everything.

I headed to the bank. I paid my 70,000 Chilean pesos (Ouch! That is $130. The things I do in order to sing ‘Copacabana’ while on
the Copacabana beach). I went back to the office building. I was let in again by the security officer.

I waited for a few minutes. During this waiting period, I was eavesdropping on a guy (who was either Canadian or American) who
was turning in his paperwork to the English-speaking official. I heard him say that he was there last week. I deduced that he didn’t
have all of the requirements then and was now back having retrieved everything. The next part of the conversation kind of shocked
me. He was expecting to get his passport back today!

Let me repeat that… Today! But that isn’t the extent of his cluelessness. He booked a ticket out to Argentina for tomorrow. Now he
was shocked/stunned/speechless about what he was going to do since, well, one needs a passport to cross into a different country.
He spent time contemplating what to do. This all affected me since he was talking to my lady. The longer he sat there in stunned
silence, the longer I had to wait. Luckily I have gained some patience-skills in the past ten months. But still. This was bothering me
since it was all about one person’s stupidity.

He finally decided to go ahead with the visa and said he would change his Argentina trip.

Finally, it was my turn. I turned my stuff in and she told me to come back in 3 days. I plan to get there around 10am on Thursday.
My goal is to have the passport saying ‘Jennifer Nathan’ be the first thing that any Brazilian official touches that morning!

Now I’m just crossing my fingers that I don’t receive an email from them stating any delays. This was all just too smooth.
Something about it isn’t settling…

March 8, 2007

Now I can officially say it…

It really
was that easy to get my Brazil visa! I got there early this morning at 10:10am (before they officially opened) and was let
inside. I gave my receipt to a man who worked there. A couple minutes later he came back with my ‘ticket-to-the-world-with-the-
exception-of-Cuba-and-some-places-in-the-Middle-East’. I was out of there by 10:15am.

I guess it is now time to brush up on some Portugese…
Back to Chile.
The flag that I hope to see in person!