Permanent and indeterminate
So it is official. I am now permanent and indeterminate as far as Brazil is concerned. I collected my “cedula de identidade de estrangeiro” today from the federal Police here in Niteroi. Otherwise known, I suppose, as my permanent visa, or identity card..
The second thing Fatima said (and to be perfectly fair, the FIRST thing she said was “congratulations”) was that I can now go and get my driving licence. She has been looking forward to this so that she can relax when I am driving, instead of permanently looking for speed limits.
One of the strange things here is that if I am driving and I do not adhere to the speed limit (or any other driving law) properly, it is Fatima that is penalised, because, if I do not have my permanent visa I cannot get my driving licence and therefore, as the owner of the car, it is her licence that accrues the penalty.
I may have commented upon the generally poor driving skills here in Brazil before but the speed limits have been continually strengthened since I have been here. Nobody sticks to the overall speed limit, of course, (we do live in Brazil!) but if there is a speed camera, everyone slows down to the appropriate speed (which could be 40, 50, 60 or 80 kph – or 25, 32, 37.5 or 50 mph) for the approximate length of the camera area which may be about 100 metres. After that it is every man for himself – and I am being strictly accurate in that comment, not at all sexist, by the way, and everyone dashes off at great speed again.
I have to be honest and say that I have occasionally transgressed, mostly because I have thought myself OK at 60 kph when the limit has been 50 kph. The other thing that happened when I was first driving in Niteroi was that I did not know that in a certain area it was “Buses only” and Fatima was not with me to correct my mistake and point out signs which I had missed, so SHE was clobbered with points on her licence which should rightfully have been mine – We did try VERY hard to get the officials to put them on my International Driving licence but they refused point blank to even contemplate it.
The other key thing that can happen now I have my permanent visa is that I can open a bank account, which should make our finances easier to manage. More than once we have had to queue for ages in a bank in order to explain what “this” money was transferred for and “no it is not subject to a tax – it has already been taxed in the UK”. I will not go on at great length today about queues but Brazilians must waste a huge amount of people`s time in queuing – I am sure it contributes a significant negative figure to the quality of life and the standard of living in real economic terms.
No doubt I will have other things to say in due course about yisas and the process associated with getting them but for today it is merely enough to say I am indeterminately permanent. Well, as permanent as any human being can be – in the light of my recent blog posts! Greetings from Brazil.
Finally, especial greetings to the very newest member of my family. You may recall I visited England in October 2012 to “give away” my niece Debbie in marriage to Andrew. I was really proud to be asked to perform this delightful task and I am now equally delighted to announce to my readers, the arrival just a few days ago, of little Eleanor Lily Rose, my new Great-Niece. Welcome to this strange world, little one.