What is the first thing you want to do on a Monday morning? If your first response isn’t to go to the Aluche Police station to collect your identity card, then you’re priorities are all wrong.
Yesterday I set off on what I was hoping would be a quick end to getting my identity card. That was serious wishful thinking. When I first arrived to the police station the line to get in was already half way around the block. Although slightly peeved that there was such a long line, I thought no worries you just have to hand a piece of paper over and then receive your card. How long can that take?
Worst words to ever think. After about an hour of waiting outside the building I was able to get into the gated section, only to find that the long snaking line around the perimeter was only for those picking up their cards. Again, I figured since this was a simple procedure there was no way that it could take a long time. And once again I was wrong.
We waited in line for about thirty minutes without moving until a little man came out to tell us that the computer system had been down for an hour and that they could not give out cards. He said they were working on fixing the glitch and would keep the office open until 6 (their usual hours) and try to give out as many cards as possible. I thought about leaving and coming back the next day, but I was already there and quite frankly did not want to waste another day waiting in all of those lines. Furthermore, upon this information over half of the people in front of me left, which made it more likely that I would get helped.
The police then ushered us into a side room. It is important to note during all of this we are corralled outside and this side room is a tent with walls lined with benches. We huddled on these benches hoping to leave successful. We waited for another 35-45 minutes without anyone being served. Then the same little man came out and said that they could process members of the community cards and student cards. Hallelujah! I got up and started to make my way to the front. So did everyone else. Most of the people in line had specifically asked for Monday off from work to pick up their legal documents. They could not just come back the next day, it was Monday or no card. And not having a card in the country is rather precarious so you can imagine their desperation and frustration to get their cards. Since my card was for students I was served rather quickly and wallah I got my identity card.
Technically, there are two problems with my card, the first being that I am moving tomorrow and therefore the address will be invalid 48 hours after picking it up. Secondly, my program is for two years and not one so I have to ask for a renewal in June. Since I was already at the police station and there was no line to meet with the information people I walked upstairs to ask a few more questions to make sure that I do the next steps properly. I finally have a firm grasp of the next steps to take and am happy that for the time being I am officially legal!