Saturday, August 27, 2005

WAS KAFKA ARGENTINIAN?

Latest major wedding crisis successfully averted! This week the Civil Registry Office here refused to accept Roberto’s official original copy from the neighboring province of Cordoba of his prior marriage and divorce. They wanted “legalized copies” instead! That involves taking the original plus a photocopy to the Tribunal Office, where a chain-smoking easily-irritated bureaucrat compares the original with the copy for accuracy and then (if the copier was working properly that day) stamps it as a legal copy. At the same time, the Civil Registrar also rejected the sheet listing our basic personal data NOT because it failed to show my parents´national identity card or passport numbers, but because we had both written on the document! Only ONE person’s handwriting can appear on the document, though of course there are no instructions.

Someone’s been reading too much Kafka! It is enough to drive one crazy. And wear one out.

We've spent over a YEAR submitting ridiculous documents (including a letter of good conduct from the Police Chief of the U.S. town where I last lived, legal proof of ex-husband's address at time of divorce, a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires testifying that the U.S. does not maintain vital records in the same format as the Province of Buenos Aires, etc.). And of course all of these had to be stamped and sealed and translated. As social psychologist Festinger would predict, we are destined to live happily ever after because we had to overcome so many obstacles just to get married.

Do you think I should send the head of the Civil Registry flowers after the wedding?

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