Bank Blowout

A little escapism in these difficult times isn’t all bad, and so last week I was devouring a copy of  Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Escapism is all well and good, unless you live in a third-world country. And Parable of the Sower is an excellent novel; I recommend it highly—UNLESS, that is, you […]

Fotocrônica: Import Taxes

I nearly cried in the post office. My mother sent us a box of used Legos, used baby clothes and other assorted items (none worth more than USD$10 each). The Brazilian Customs upon x-raying our box re-valued the items, deciding that in total they were worth R$350. They issued a tax based upon that worth. […]

P.S., Bureaucrazy and Bank Accounts – Part 3

P.S., After all that, the bank account STILL didn’t come through immediately. How many of you saw that one coming? My account remained blocked for some unknown reason, even after the requisite waiting period. The post office branch where I made the account sent me to the main bank. The main bank looked in the system and said the post office hadn’t entered […]

Bureaucrazy and Bank Accounts – Part 2

(This story is a continuation of a bureaucratic miracle whose history started months ago.  Part 1 started last week.) As instructed, I called the Federal Police back in April.  My vacation-loving contact told me that my paperwork had been submitted to an office in Belo Horizonte with so many initials in its acronym that he […]

Bureaucrazy and Bank Accounts

Today a miracle happened. A miracle of monumental proportions, the kind you write home to mom about, the kind that changes lives. To understand the miracle this story has to go back a ways. But don’t all the best stories? We were married in March of last year. At my Federal Police residency interview a kind […]