Finally, at long last, I am getting on a plane tonight to Buenos Aires. I have been working on this for almost a year now, somewhat to my surprise. This is a case where my efforts over the last 30 years to lower my profile and live a quiet life, really turned around and bit me in the ass. I was entirely too successful.
However, I at this point, and I am about 98% sure that when I get to Argentina, the paperwork will be adequate to gain me my residency permit.
I have been speaking with my lawyer there, an incredibly nice guy, and I have a high degree of confidence that things will go well. But, as he said, there are no guarantees. I understand that. I’ve lived most of my life in countries where there are no guarantees.
The last two weeks, running around from government agency to government agency, to get very simple basic document authenticated and legalized, has been absolutely horrendous. Nobody in government actually wants to help. I have to say, I did at least in one case, run across people who were willing to help me. But, I should not have ever had to ask for special favors, or to reach out to my friends, who reached out to their friends, who had a contact inside these government agencies, who could actually get things done in a timely manner. That is absolutely bloody ridiculous. It took me one week to get a police clearance, that was already in the system (and they told me it would take 15 working days). And all they needed to do was print it out on a printer. The government agency that authenticated that police clearance? I can see that they are overwhelmed with the number of people that come into their offices, but it is also clear to me that they themselves have created enormous hurdles for themselves just in the way that they do business. But in the end, by pleas=ding my case, they did take care of me. The Argentinian Embassy was easy to work with though. A very simple request that I get it in one day because I was leaving on Friday, and the lady very nicely asked “Do you have a copy of your ticket?” I provided it and the very next day my driver was able to pick up the document and return it to me. **ADVICE – When you are in a hurry due to travel, always have copies of your ticket to give to people as justification for expediting. It seems to work wonders. **
Anyway, enough about that. A new continent and a new country. Even though I’m exhausted, I’m excited and nervous at the same time. As you can see from the photos, I have been packing. In fact, I have been packing for almost a week. This first visit will be about five weeks. And in fact, I will not be going just to Buenos Aires, but I have to travel with my attorney to a province and city called Salta, up in the north of Argentina in the wine country. I perfectly understand the reasons for doing so, and I’m looking forward to that as part of the trip and the experience.
Anyway, I have carefully selected my seats on my flights, I am packed almost to the final detail, and I am really looking forward to this trip. It will be the longest trip that I have taken in my life; about 36 hours airport to airport. I have a seven hour and 45 minute layover in Doha. They will only provide you a hotel room if you’re layover is more than eight hours. Apparently the 15 minutes makes a difference. I have loaded my iPad with Spanish videos and a few movies. My phones are all charged. And in about 12 hours I should be on the plane. I am really looking forward to it.
As a final note, I would like to sincerely thank all the people who helped me get to this point. There is no way I could have done it on my own. It really took the selfless help of some very good friends, and their friends to get me out of here finally.