One year to the day after Brian started this job, we’ll make another run to London to pick up our passports with their shiny new visas. If you’re keeping track, this is my fifth Brazilian visa, and the third one in this passport alone.
Holy cow do I know the ins and outs of dealing with Brazilian consulates by now.
Rule number one: Have every possible piece of documentation from your life ready to go, already legalized by their respective Brazilian consulates, notarized letters explaining anything at all that might be relevant, a smile on your face and a willingness to talk your way past every employee who gives you an initial “no” on any issue at all.
There was a small mix-up with our appointment, and when we showed up yesterday we were almost denied entry. Can I just tell you that the woman who works in reception at the door to the London consulate is a bit of a Rottweiler? Four times I’ve been to that place, and every time she has some kind of attitude to give me about something she believes is not right. Taking too long to get your appointment confirmation paper out of your folder? You are holding up the line for these people behind you! Show up early for your appointment? You should have gone to the back of the line to let these other people in first! Appointment not showing up in the system? You are an idiot who is trying to pull a fast one on her and she’ll have none of it! Get out!
(I’m sure she has a very difficult job, and I’m sure that sometimes they actually need a guard dog at the door, but wow.)
Luckily, there are some very nice people who work there too, and if you can talk to one of them they will do all they can to get you in and help you. Phew!
We were treated really well once we got upstairs. The clerk who took our documents was cheerful, helpful, and totally pleased that we had every document she asked for, duly legalized, our postal money orders for the fees, our photos properly sized and even extra documents for “just in case”.
With a happy flick of her wrist, she gave us our receipt so we can go back on Tuesday next week to pick up the visas.
And the next day at o-dark-thirty we’ll board another plane and fly off to start our lives in a new country.
Here we go!