Just as in Brussels, Brazilian bureaucracy excels at making the easy difficult through the means of the unnecessary.
Bureaucracy is the art to transform the easy in the difficult through the means of the unnecessary. Quote: “Hello. How can we disturb you today?”
Above all, the respective administrative systems share their delight for long waiting queues, the incapability or refusal to speak other languages and, of course, for endless lists of documents all of which have to be properly legalized, authorized, stamped, signed and translated.
Oh, and not to forget, a good dose of arbitrary decision-making due to the unwillingness (Belgium) or the inability (Brazil) of the administrator to actually do his or her job.
In hindsight though, living in Brussels was in that sense an excellent preparation for Brazil. If the bureaucrazy in the first doesn’t drive you crazy, there’s a fair chance of surviving its pendant in the latter. Especially if you take into consideration that the weather has improved tremendously.
Indeed, Belgium is not world record holder in taking the longest time to form a government as wrongly published in this blog and various other newspapers before. At this moment in time (Belgium: 292 days), Cambodia still keeps the record with 353 days (2003-2004). You need to acknowledge however the efforts made by Belgian politicians to win at least this record for their country.
I have been thinking about this fritten revolution called for in Belgium at the celebration of the 249th day waiting for a government. Besides fries, there is obviously one other important Belgian symbol: Beer.
Even as a German, I have no problem admitting that Belgium beer is very good, especially the abbaye ones. And not only this. It even seems that beer initiated most inventions in human kind:
Beer – the origin of agriculture, the wheel, maths & writing. Who would have thought? But coming back to the real issue: Why not to make beer the national symbol, change the name of the country to Beergium and elect a beer king/queen every four years? Once you are drunk enough, language barriers won’t matter. At least this much is for sure.
As of today, Belgium holds officially the world record of the country waiting the longest for government: 249 days.
Without nation-wide TV, newspapers or political parties, it is all but too easy for Flamish and Wallonian politicians to serve only the interests of those whose language they speak. ‘Belgium’ as such is at best a second priority of minor importance. But still, resistance is growing and it choose the one symbol that unites the country: Fries.
For the first time ever, there was an ID control on the Thalys travelling from Brussels to Paris. As I am not registered in Germany any longer, I can’t have my German ID card extended neither get a new one. All I got is the German passport and my Belgian ID.
Only, as I kind of knew and got lectured about by the Belgian police in the train, this Belgian ID is not more than a residency card for non Belgians. It is not a valid ID proof outside of Belgium.Or so I have been told.
What I don’t understand is why I got on a plane with this card three times this year: to Vienna, to Ljubljana, to Berlin and back. Honestly, I did not even have my passport with me these three times. And what is the point of the Schengen zone and me being fully registered in Belgian, paying taxes and all the etcs included, if I can’t even travel with the only official document I got?