Posts Tagged ‘SOAP’

Ahhhhh, summertime in Chile. Time for beach vacations, camping in the mountains, and sitting in long lines for your annual Permiso de Circulacion. This little slip of paper is basically a statement that your car’s shit is in order. To get it, you need a safety/emissions inspection, which takes about 30 minutes and costs about $30, and mandatory “SOAP” insurance, which for the BobMobile, costs about $20 per year. With these slips of paper you take them to your city municipality of choice, pay a fee of another $20 or so, and get them to breed them into new pieces of paper which nobody ever looks at anyways.

Well, that is, if the municipalities have their shit together, which they do not. Normally all of this paper breeding must take place before the end of March. And in normal Chileno fashion, everyone waits until the last minute to do it.

So my first attempt, on the 29th of January, there was no line. Great. However, after sitting at the desk and presenting my papers, the lady told me, “These don’t expire until February.”

Oh no, another desk zombie… So I say, “Yes, I know, but February is in two days, and I am here early. Let’s just get it done, please.”

“Sorry, I can’t. You will have to come back in February,” the zombie replies, as if it is some long-distant holiday months away.

“Seriously?” I ask her.


“There is no other way?” I ask her.


“Really? Come on now, this has got to be a joke.”


Well shit. So, resisting the urge to decapitate her so she cannot bite others and infect them with her zombie plague virus, I collect my papers and go home to mope and rage in solitude. Perhaps she should be boxed up in her coffin and sent to Uruguay where she belongs.

The following week, I go back to the same office, IN FEBRUARY, in an attempt to repeat the process. I wait in line for an hour. Then when it is finally my turn, a new desk zombie tells me that the computer systems aren’t even ready yet, the prices for the 2014 taxes have not even been decided yet, and that I should come back next week.

So I hold down my lid so it doesn’t flip, and ask the guy plainly, “Why do I even bother to be responsible?”

He shrugs.

“Seriously. You demand that we have all of our things in order, by a set deadline, and yet you fail on your end completely, making our effort worthless and effectively turning the responsible people of Chile into Argentines,” to which all activity in the office came to a screeching halt, all heads turned, and everyone started listening.

“This is a disaster,” I continued, “I have wasted hours of my time, not just this once, but this is the second time I have been here and you have been unprepared to do your jobs. Why do you even open this office if you cannot process anything here?” to which he had no answer. Deer in headlights. “Why don’t you have a sign out front?” no answer. “Why are you even here?” no answer.

So I left. It’s cheaper for me at this point to do it Argentino, scoff at the regulations, and just let the fines accumulate and deal with them when the government removes head from ass. If I ever deal with them.

Then there’s the new parking drama.

My deal with parking where I keep my car is that I pay the gastos comunes for the owner of the space, and he lets me park there (he has no car). I inherited the space from the seller of the car, when he left Chile to go back to Canada. I simply picked up where he left off. It’s convenient, close to my apartment, cheaper than any other available spaces downtown, and it works out fine. Well, it *has* until recently.

A few days ago there was a big whoop-de-doo when the gringo with the red jeep finally showed up to drive his car, having not been seen for a couple of months. Normally this would not have been a problem, seeing as how when I first took over the space there was a big whoop-de-doo concerning whether or not I would keep it, because despite notifying EVERYONE INVOLVED, nobody seemed to retain this information, and they thought I would be leaving and had already lined up another renter for the space. And, another “normally this would not have been a problem” details: they had my email address from that point forward, written down, so that they could contact me if anything should come into question.

“Dios mio, we’re glad we found you!” they exclaimed, “Your payments on the parking space are in arrears.”

Hmm, I think to myself, I don’t think so, but I’ll check when I get home. “Give me a list of the missed payments and I’ll have a look.”

So they do, and I do, and I find that like a responsible gringo, I have paid all the time, on time, never missed a beat, and I have receipts of all the transactions going back an entire year and then some. So I email said pile of receipts to the administrador.

This does not go over well, because apparently in addition to claiming the guy’s gastos comunes weren’t paid on time, they shut off his power and water a couple of times thinking that the payments were in arrears. Which is BS, because every time I sent the money, via the bank’s website, it sent an email not only to myself, but to the administrador.

So they claim they had no way of contacting me, yet they have several of those past email receipts with my email on them. And my email which I gave them a year ago during the first big whoop-de-doo. Anyways, long story short, they have to eat crow and fix their shitty accounting. HOWEVER–

Then I received emails from both the administrador and the apartment owner in stern language talking about how every payment must be on time and yadda yadda yadda. When I have proven without argument that it was never my fault. So I sent them both a reply explaining (for the second time) that I had never missed a beat, never had to be asked, and if there was any problem it was because of poor accounting, poor communication, and poor office organization in general, clarifying further points that any and all multas (fines) for late payment be refunded to those accused, and that my intent was to keep the parking space for eternity, until otherwise stated.

I then received a nice email from the owner, in agreement and accord, for he now knew the game, and an email from the administrador asking for calmer heads to prevail. Obviously the administrador was attempting to save face by blaming it all on the gringo, and had no idea he was fluent in Spanish and could dish it out as well as they could.