Archive for October 13th, 2005

October 13, 2005

I don’t know Anamar Gonzalez. I just saw the following letter in
today’s Tal Cual and knew I had to ask her for her permission to
translate it and post it. It is written with humor and intelligence and
it reflects the incompetence of this Government. If it was difficult to
get a passport before, now it seems as if a virtual barrier has been
placed on the process. Oh yes, corruption reportedly has been
eliminated, but so has the possibility, briefly available to those that
opposed the Government in the recall referendum, of obtaining this
travel document.

Misión Passport
Anamar González

Starting eight days ago, my life has been turned upside down and all
because of my
in requesting a passport through the new service of the Onidex. I-who would
wake up after six hours of refreshing sleep, would have breakfast, would go to
the gym and would start my work day- now wakes up at unusual hours of dawn and
come and sit in front of the computer, trying to catch that magic moment in
which the server will allow me to be one of the 6,000 elected for that day to
request the blasted document. I now drink one coffee after another, the bailoterapia
classes are now history, my clients demand their translations and –to add
insult to injury- I am about to suffer from tunnel carp syndrome due to the repetitive
task of pressing the left button on the mouse.

At last I
got in! I empty my data to “compose the Request Form” and I click on the “Save”

I forget
my religious skepticism and I entrust myself to Saint Christopher (The patron saint
of travelers), to Jizo-san (a Japanese deity that accompanies those that begin
long journeys) and to Ulysses (the mythical Greek hero of the Odyssey). The
dreaded message of error appears once again. Time continues to go by and a huge
ominous threat closes over my necessary visit to Spain, No, it is not a leisure

I am going to a Workshop about literary translation in
Tarazona and to look for new professional and work horizons. No, I am not
pretending to return to the land of my grandfather. I want to offer my services
as a translator to a number of Spanish publishing houses and continue working
from here, my country. No, I do not know discouragement, nor I give up. I do
not wish anyone to provide me with the name of the patron saint of lost causes.

I keep trying it and I remember four Government clerks comfortably laying in
their chairs, as well as the tour girls, uniformed with brown vests and red
berets, fighting the anti corruption battle, in the recently inaugurated office
of Onidex in Maracay, and I ask: Why in an office as modern and full of workers,
by all indications idle, can’t they process, let’ not say 6,000 daily requests,
but all of those that are presented? Meanwhile, in a box on the left side of
the screen, I see the image of the President and some words that I assume are
his: “The strength of a Nation resides in its identity”. I swear, I never have
felt so weak in my life!