On Wednesday, we went for my carnet in the Santiago Center. There are actually two things that every missionary needs to stay in Santiago: a Chilean identification card, and a visa in our passport. We have to do it twice because they expire in a year, and like me, the normal pattern is to go about at 6 months for my first one. My comp has done this once, and he warned me that it was going to be long and hard. He also has been warning me of the same things for summer, neither of which really help me, so I just decided to ignore him. He was just grumpy, because that was actually his 3rd time going, and he will have to go once more, and basically what a visa run means for us is a LOT of waiting around.
We got up at 6:30-ish and showered. I made sure to shower because I heard I was getting my picture taken for my RUT card, and I put on my Mathewson tie that I left with. We then headed over to the Metro, with the idea to get to Plaza de Armas in time for our appointment at 9:30. But the platform was packed, and when the train finally showed up, it was packed as well, so we realized there was no way we were getting there that way. We ran all the way back down to the bus stop and took Micro all the way to the city central, which took about an hour. If there is one thing that I learned about myself, it is that I hate buses. I always get car sick in them. It didn´t help that the bus was packed as well, so there was no chance of sitting down, and one little kid standing not far from me agreed that buses sucked by vomiting beans all over the floor about 20 minutes into the ride.
We finally got to the center and had to run another 20 minutes to show up at our first place, where we waited in line and checked in. This was about at 10:00. That all worked out fine though: I still got my visa in my passport, so I´m finally here legally. And it turned out we made the right decision to take Micro, because some other Elders showed up after us, and they had left from about the same place and taken Metro.
We ran all the way back the way we came to the PDI, avoiding the people and the news stands with the pornography, took a number, and paid the police department 800 pesos. I don´t know why. At this point, we ran into Elder Barton and Turner, as well as several other Elders from the CCM, so that was cool. We were number 560, and it was on number 130ish, so we decided to take our lunches to a plaza and sit down a while. We were still pretty sore from the futbol we had played last p-day, so all this running and standing kind of sucked.
The plaza was pretty; a long one right in front of the capital building. We sat for a while, chatting, until Elder See and I decided to see if we could find a guy who had a tie stand we had heard about in the area, and everyone else decided to just go back and wait at the PDI. We went off, and although it took us a while and more pornography dodging, and actually having to get around a demonstration for some disgruntled employees marching in the street and blowing whistles to show their rage. Apparently, strikes are quite common in Chile, especially with taxi driver. Eventually, we found the stand and bought ourselves some ties. They were like 2 mil each, so we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.
We got back, and it was like 390 or something, so we just gave up and decided to sit for a few hours and wait it out. It ended up taking 5 hours from the time we pulled a number to when I actually got to go up and talk to someone, and all they did was print a piece of paper and take an ugly warped picture of me. By then, it was after 4 and Registro Civil had closed at 2, so we had to go home without going to our last place and actually getting my RUT carnet.
We were going to go on Thursday the day after, but apparently the employees at the PDI went on strike, so I think it will be this week that I actually finish up.
On Saturday, we did the Feria again. That down there would be a picture of our table with Elder Anderson. We got 12 directions this time. We blame the worse performance on the weather, which was the first and probably last cool day we have had for a while. It was looking a little… chile out there.
This P-day we made something kind of special. We found a Thai sauce in Jumbo, so we bought some chicken, corn, Italian noodles and peanuts. It was the fanciest thing I´ve eaten in a good while. I had to cut up the chicken myself, which I made a good mess of. Turns out to be way harder than I thought it was, getting meat off of a chicken.