Tramites y mas tramites

Alternate title: Reasons why Peru is poor, number 936

The absence of posting over the past 2 weeks (bad, bad blogger) was because we were in Lima working on a bunch of tramites, or loosely translated “applications”.

Tramites are basically a bunch of cumbersome bureaucratic paperwork. Compared to the US or Europe, simple things such as getting a driver’s license or incorporating a business require much more paperwork here in Peru, and cost a lot of otherwise productive time.

Worse yet, some tramites either have to be done in Lima or take a lot longer if done from in the provinces. This of course tends to hold back economic opportunities in the provinces as compared to Lima, while any well-fed monkey (but apparently not the idiots in suits who run Lima) can tell the provinces are exactly where more opportunities are needed in Peru.

Also frustrating is how some parts of the process that you expect to be straightforward can take so long. For example, it took us 4 days and 4 trips to downtown Lima to get our marriage license stamped by all the relevant pencil pushers.

So we were running around Lima like mad, spending half my earthly kingdom on cab fares and “pagos” at the Banco de la Nacion. But we didn’t do too bad on our tramites, really:

  • Getting the Peruvian convalidacion of my pilot’s license – struck out, more on that later.
  • Brianna’s Belgian passport – check
  • Patricia’s Belgian visa – check

I started to lose my patience with the required español to holandés translations at the Belgian embassy… since there’s hardly anyone at the embassy who speaks holandés, but thankfully the really nice people at the embassy didn’t fault me for my rather skinny tolerance for bureaucracy 😉

We were lucky to be able to stay in our cousin’s apartment in San Borja, so the logistics of traveling with baby were well taken care of.

A little R&R after a hard day of tramites

A little R&R after a hard day of tramites

Av. San Borja Norte, a nice area of Lima

Av. San Borja Norte, a nice area of Lima

4 thoughts on “Tramites y mas tramites

  1. I had to travel by myself with my then 2 year old daughter to Arica, Chile for my residency. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating that was.

    Anyway, if you want to see a spitting image of Peruvian bureaucracy try to find the Japanese movie “Ikiru” by Akira Kurosawa. It was made in 1952, but its identical to “modern day” Peruvian bureaucracy and its useless pencil pushers.

  2. I know that exact corner I think at the corner of aviacion 🙂 I use to walk there alot. I stayed close by at san luis y los artes. I love san borja

  3. Matt – I agree that San Borja is great. Very clean, a lot of nice green areas, and not too crowded by Lima standards.

    Rachel – I heard that nowadays you no longer have to leave the country to get your Peruvian residency (carne extranjeria), not sure if that’s true. We had to travel to La Paz back in the day to get mine 🙂

  4. Pingback: Baby’s got passports!!! « Life in Peru

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