Although the week started with a healthy dose of the bureaucracy we have come to know and loathe, as the days passed we spent more and more time at the beach — which has to be a good thing! Plus we got to hang out with friends and celebrate San Juan.

Monday 18/6: According to the terms of my work and holiday visa, if I want to stay in the country for more than six months, I have to apply for a residency card after getting my work permit. Since I was getting to the end of the allowed time, I headed down to the Immigration office to find out what paperwork I needed to do to achieve this. Of course, there were dozens of people already waiting so I took a number then walked back to the town hall to get a bus card. After waiting my turn, I filled in a form and was given a bill to pay in another office about five minutes’ walk away. I paid, returned to the town hall, waited my turn again, and was finally given my bus card. And was then told that I couldn’t use it or put credit on it until the next day. Awesome.

I went back to the immigration office and only had to wait twenty minutes or so until my number was called and I got to talk to a clerk — who told me that I was in the wrong place, I had to go to the police station to apply for the card.

Luckily there were no queues in the police station, but that was where the luck ended. The clerk told me that there was no way I could get the card, that there was no process to follow for a person in my situation, that it just couldn’t happen. I couldn’t believe it. In the end she said she’d look into it and give me a call in the next day or so.

I dropped by the supermarket and library before lunch, and we went for a short walk after eating. I had to work in the afternoon and evening, and Craig headed to the train station to meet Griffin and Valerie, who were staying with us for a few days. We all got home at about the same time, and had a late dinner and chatted for a couple of hours before bed.

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