A few reasons why loosing a passport in Brazil is a very bad idea!!
A month ago I lost my passport on a plane in Brazil. I noticed my passport was missing two days after flying to Salvador.
With no passport there’s no way I could fly home, so I had to make a new one. And that was a long eventful process!! One of those things everyone should avoid.
I’ll give a few reasons why loosing a passport in Brazil is a bad idea!
1. People will be very nice to you, but they couldn’t care less about your passport.
I called everywhere looking for that passport – the airline company, the airports and all possible Lost & Found departments. People were extremely nice and understanding (as always in Brazil); but they did nothing to try and find it.
2. Policeman can be very stupid.
I was told I needed to make a “record of occurrence”, so I went to the Police. I explained my situation to the policeman and he intelligently says ‘Ok miss, just show me your passport document so I can register in the system’!!! In my mind I thought ‘Are you stupid? I just told you I lost it’. But instead I calmly explained (again) why I couldn’t do that – here, things always work better that way!
3. The easiest thing to do is to ignore the fact you don’t have a passport
I was worried for about 2 days, especially considering that I wasn’t very legal in the country. But then I decided to ignore the problem. Taking care of the passport would give too much work and I still had three months before I needed to fly home.
4. Eventually, the time to face the passport problem will come. Unfortunately.
This week I went to the Portuguese Consulate and asked for a new passport. On the phone they told me it was an easy and simple process. But obviously wasn’t. It’s Brazil. And even worse, it’s the Portuguese consulate. There’s no chance things would work appropriately.
5. The consulate will make you lose your precious hours of sleep.
It opens at 8am; I got there at 8.15. The funny little man at the door, sent me back home saying there were no more numbers to give out. Apparently, there are only 10 numbers per day, so people have to queue up really early to try and get a number. They obviously didn’t think it made sense to mention that on the phone, when I called the day before!
6. Dealing with the consulate will become the cause for being in a bad mood!
Imagine how happy I was to go back there the day after – this time at 6 in the morning. I got the last number, a very sophisticated piece of paper all patched with duct tape with a yellow number 10 on it. I waited for six long hours to be my turn!
As if that wasn’t enough, I was the only Portuguese in the queue (weird!), so all those Brazilians around me seemed to be super interested in knowing why I was at the consulate. They were all trying to make a conversation with me – at 6 in the morning!!! They picked the wrong day, I was sleepy and already in a bad mood. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t a very nice person that morning.
7. The bad mood will grow worse by the hour spent at that place.
Despite my poker face, which I was trying really hard to make evident, some people still thought I was up for chitchatting. There was an old lady trying to know as much as she could about me. She ran in front of me to get the number, I was furious but I said nothing because she was old. There was a woman who thought it was perfectly normal to ask me if I could buy her some stuff in Portugal and ship them to Brazil. And there was also a very annoying child, chubby and covered in make-up and jewelry, staring at me as if I was an alien.
The funny old man at the reception also made sure I wouldn’t feel lonely. He would come to me every 3 minutes, to remind me of how many people I had in front of me.
8. When you think the problem is over another unexpected bad new comes!
As I finished the application for my passport, the lady tells me I’ll have to come back in 10 days to pick up the passport, and for that there’s a new queue. This time for the green numbers!
In the end, everything will be okay and I’ll be able to fly home. But the worst thing of this whole situation was loosing all the stamps and visas I had from the trips I’ve done the last years. Now I have a lot of pages to fill in!!!