I am stressing out.
It's been a month since our package that was supposed to arrive in 9 business days was mailed. Still no sign of it. When I call the post office to find out what's going on, they send me to an invalid phone number. Inside that package are the two documents I need to complete my visa application.
But only after they've been translated, which I can't really have done until they arrive. Blast.
Double blast, because my 2 passports (old and new) are currently at the translator. That little job will cost R$1,254. Oh, and it's going to take another 12 business days to translate the passports, owing to the fact that the American government decided it would be a smart idea to put an uplifting quote on EVERY PAGE OF THE NEW PASSPORTS. EVERY PAGE. Thanks a lot, you've just created a bureaucratic nightmare.
Then every page will have to be copied and authenticated at a cost of R$5 per page. What's that, another R$300? Then we have to count the other documents that need the same treatment. Police record check, Brazilian background check, proof of residence, letter from the American consulate (US$50) stating my mother and father's full names.
Oh, but we're not finished. There's the public statement of maintenance, which my dear husband must do for me at a notary's office, to the tune of R$130, plus authenticated copies (there's another R$5 again per page) of both of our identity cards or passport pages, proof of residency and CPF (Brazilian Social Security-like numbers) cards.
We need a letter explaining why I have to apply for this visa in Brazil instead of in my home country. Hm. No one has been able to give me a sample of this letter and what I'm coming up with isn't particularly impressive. Because I can't live without my husband? I'll "morrer de saudades?" Will that work for the Brazilian government? I hope so.
I also need proof that I have health insurance. Hard to do when I've NOT had it for the past month. Even though the HR department assured us we were covered, they didn't actually send out the paperwork until Wednesday. For a plan I still don't know anything about. Not deductible amounts, what's covered and not covered, whether dental and vision is included...though we do know they don't do pre-existing conditions for 6 months, so the RA is still on us. For all we know, this plan might only cover leeches, ibuprofen and bonesetters. But not to worry. Information is in the mail. Within 6 days. Riiiight.
It's no wonder my muscles are knotting up. This is frustration taken to whole new levels. Now, thankfully the company will reimburse us for all these visa expenses. But since we weren't paid last month because it took too long to get my husband switched over to the Brazilian payroll, and doing a wire transfer will incur penalties of approximately 20% or more when it's all said and done with exchange rates and whatnot, we're stuck using ATM cards. With daily limits that are under what my translations cost. So do we visit the ATM's repeatedly over the next few days, or do I just wait until the end of the month when the salary should come in, realizing that it's going to incur another month's worth of waiting for this visa? And since I'm at the end of my first 90 days in the country, do I go in to renew my tourist visa and risk being denied? Or do I wait it out and pay the fine for overstaying when we take a vacation in November? Will they even let me back into the country??? Will I be able to live with my husband or will our first year of marriage be long-distance as well???
I don't intentionally seek out drama. But it sure seems to follow me around. When does life go to something resembling normal?