To my dismay, I discover that I now need an FBI crime report. Understand that before I came I checked several times with the attorney as to what I needed and the specific report needed. I was informed that the county I lived in the past 6 years or more was where to go. SO I did, And I had it legalized, and went to Raleigh to get an Apostille. But now it’s changed. Now I need an FBI report. When I was still in the USA, no problem. Cost about $16 and peace of cake. But now, being out of the country, the cost is $65, PLUS the apostille of $195 PLUS international shipping. So now I have to come up with about $300.
So now what? I need to get fingerprints taken that will be accepted by the FBI. If they reject, I have to pay again. There is also a time limit. In about 5 weeks my Visa runs out, and without that report, I will have to leave! No pressure!
I try to find out where I can get this done. I discover the FBI has an office in Bogota, Colombia! So I check flights. This time of year, around the holidays with no notice? Over $2000! Nope.
After days of research and discussion, I jump in a taxi with an address in hand. I arrive and of course, no one speaks English. I whip out my translator and we have a back and forth until they eventually send me away. I go to two more places with the same result. Just as I am leaving, someone hands me a paper with yet another address. Off I go! I arrive at the “Criminalista”. Looks promising!
I arrive to find a line and the office closed. This is about 2:30PM. So I wait, enjoying the beautiful weather. I notice a crystal clear sky with puffy clouds.
The guy shows up and about 8 people flood in. Turns out that five are there on appointments for some sort of national ID, and it takes 1/2 hour each. The FBI guy tells me to come back manana at 3pm.
Of course, I come back the next day at 2:30 being compulsive on time kind of person. I wasn’t there but 5 minutes when he came and opened up. Another guy was having a fit because I was being taken first. I understood the argument! Progress! The FBI guy explained how I had been there before and it was 2 days now, and I was going first! But… nowhere around was a pen with black ink, needed for the form. When will I learn to expect the unexpected? So he leaves and comes back nearly 20 minutes later with a black ink pen. Off we go stamping my fingers in ink. One at a time, each hand, then 4 fingers at once, thumb again, etc. This went on for two copies. My hands were an inky mess! While he signs and stamps I go into his bathroom. No soap. No warm water. No towels. No toilet paper! I find a slip of paper on the floor and wipe best I can. I then put my hands in the back pockets of my pants and scrub them semi-clean.