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This morning my friend got up early and in a very good mood. She needed to undertake a long journey and she knew it. She needed to send her cousin, who lives outside of our planet a birth certificate. Fearing long walks—public transportation gets worse and worse with time—she put on a pair of sneakers.

Using those acrobatics she had learned so well during her years as a dancer, she was successful boarding the first bus that stopped. The buses that had passed by before had not even come close to where she was standing; they would stop way before or way after the bus stop and a run would have been required to catch them. Experiencing all sorts of different sensations, she was able to squeeze in and tangle up with the other riders so that she would be able to get off the bus quickly at her destination.

Once there, she of course needed to continue on foot, as the office she needed to go to was a few blocks away from the nearest stop. Once at the office, and after getting the last available number and waiting for another two hours for her turn to come, she finally asked the employee behind the desk for the certificate she had come for. The employee, with a certain amount of idleness, and moving like she had all the time in the world, grabbed a big ledger book, leafed through it for a long time, and finally told her: Sorry, girl, we don’t have that document here. You need to request it at the Registry on Acosta and 10 de Octubre streets.

With all the cool that one can keep in a case like this, my friend embarked once again on her mission to trace down the document she needed. After walking for quite a long time, once at the new office, she requested the document from an employee. And this woman, after the volume and page of the ledger was confirmed, finally told her: But, sweetheart, that is not here. It’s at the Registry you were at before. Tell them there that I ask that they look for it carefully. I don’t know what’s wrong with them; they keep sending me people by mistake.

My friend tells me that, at this point in the saga, her blood was boiling in her veins, but keeping in mind the Chopra book she had read, she decided to sit quietly at the edge of the sidewalk and count to twenty. Little by little she managed to calm down. But she suspected that the worst was not over. That the worst would happen when she finally had possession of the document and made the call to her cousin to ask for the hundred-fifty dollars that it costs to legalize the certificate, as he lives abroad. A long road lied ahead of her. And all of that for a freaking document, one you can request online in other places, and one you receive afterwards through snail mail. And for no charge, on top of it all.

January 29 2011

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