Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Elderly readers of this blog may remember the Immigrant Song from Led Zeppelin III. At the start of the song, Mr. Robert Plant kinds of yodels or hollers or makes some kind of painful noise (I realize that most of what he did was A Painful Noise, but work with me here), and I, an immigrant, understand his pain. Mona and I have been here in Panamá for over seven years, and we are in the process of renewing our visas. Normally we go to the Lawyer's Office, fill out forms, pay our fees, and spend maybe twenty minutes at Migración getting our pictures taken for our tarjeta. This year, Migración decided that we had to start the entire process over again, as if we had just come off the boat. In May, when our visas expired, we had to take a Migración Vacación to Costa Rica for a few days, and then enter Panamá on tourist visas. These are good for three months. Since we were going to the U.S. to see the new grandchild in July, we were told to get new tourist cards when we returned, and then we would begin the Visa Process. Well, we have been told that we need police reports from the U.S. because we were there for a month. I told the lawyer that we were visiting family and that I stayed at our "permanent address" for only two weeks, and that is the first time I have been there in three years. I don't know if there really is a police department in Lewiston, California, from which to get a police report. I'd probably have to go to Weaverville like you do for everything else in the Trinity Alps. Plus, one can't get police reports by mail, one must request them in person at the police station. I really can't afford to fly to California to satisfy some bureaucrat's strange request. They don't seem to want to budge on this one, and we are very frustrated. I guess they must think that we go on a crime spree everytime we return to California; how else can we pay for the trip? Well, you know what they say: "We come from the land of the ice and snow where the midnight sun and the hot springs BLOW."
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