Up a creek without a passport: A chronicle of despair, perseverance, and redemption. (Part 3)

Fast forward two weeks. I am in Quito, attempting to get a document which states on what day I arrived in Ecuador. Don’t ask me why I need this; I just do.

First thing Monday morning, I go to the inconveniently-located Immigration Office. I arrive innocent, like a newborn, unaware of the long waits filled with interminable number-taking and line-standing that I’ll have to endure. Soon enough, the innocent newborn in me is clubbed to death, and I become a soiled, cranky crack baby.

The problems are manifold. The place is crowded so I must wait for hours to be seen. The Immigration Office inexplicably has no record of me ever entering the country; therefore, I must go to the airport to pick up proof of my arrival from the American Airlines office. That single piece of paper costs me thirty dollars, but to be fair, it is on high-quality American Airlines letterhead, and it takes over ninety seconds of someone’s time to produce it.

I return to Immigration, which has now closed for two hours for presumably the world’s longest lunch break. Several Ecuadorians and I elect to pass the time in the lobby by watching some hokey Mexican talk shows. Two hours is a long time to watch puppets interview real people, especially when you don’t understand what the hell anyone is saying (though perhaps that was for the best). My contemplation of suicide is interrupted by my number finally being called. Ten minutes later, I have everything I need, and I walk out the door at 3:30, after first arriving at 9:00.

[Tomorrow, part 4.]