We went to the Office for Naughty Tourists at 8:31, one minute after it opens and were given number F62. Turn up one minute after opening time and you have to wait behind sixty other people. The line moved quickly and we were soon called in. The first thing the man behind the counter asked for was the girls’ birth certificates. We knew we had them somewhere, just not on us. We told him we didn’t have them but he said that we had to prove they are our children.
Of course they’re our children. Who else would travel with them?
He went off to have a chat with his supervisor and came back and said that we didn’t need to show the certificates. Then he looked into his computer and asked about my work visa. He told me this was a good thing. I had a visa so I could leave. But I didn’t have a visa because several months ago we decided it wasn’t worth the US$250 to finalise it and during our final pack this week I threw it out. Here is a valuable lesson in common sense (something I’m going to buy in the near future) don’t throw out any papers until after you leave the country.
The official pointed to Talluah and the girls and said they can leave but I can’t. Indiana started crying and I was ready to find out how to fix this when he said he was just joking. All of this was taking place in Spanish. He continued with his magic computer, wrote letters of permission for Talluah and the girls and gave me a copy of my work visa with an extra stamp saying I was leaving. The good news is that we weren’t charged for overstaying our visa with the condition that we don’t return to Chile within the next three months, or that we would have been charged if we’d overstayed by three months, or he’s retiring in three months… The only thing that we understood was that we weren’t being charged and something about three months. Either way we were grateful and are currently sitting in the airport filling in several hours waiting for check-in and seeing if we, or more specifically, if I can get through border control this time.
Even though today is, hopefully, our last day this won’t be the last blog. We have a few more things to talk about upon our return to Oz.