Tia: Meditations On The New Dni


Apr 7, 2011
Oh, Rage, Muse -- Oh, Goddess Sing of the Rage of the Argentine!
That Wrath that Wrought Destruction on Countless people on the line!

(Throat clears, ahem ahem)

Men and women much smarter than me have been studying the nature of bureaucracy since long before Max Weber sat down to try to figure out the relationship between bureaucracy and charisma -- one of his lesser known (no simple slogan like the 'Protestant work ethic' there) theories but of profound importance. Trying to understand why, how bureaucracies operate.

History gives us manifold, almost endless, examples of bureaucracies to study to try to figure out the wh-/h- words (or cu-/qu- words in Spanish, isn't that odd?) about bureaucracies.

There's the infamous bureaucracy of the Louis-es of Late -- in fact, their bureaucracy was so painful for the average froggy Frenchie that, they say, it was one of the leading, subtle, causes of la Revolution Francaise. (Imagine La Marseilles being played very slowly in the background... Serge's version!)

There's the infamous bureaucracy of middle-China, possibly the earliest example of a bureaucracy-gone-meritocracy. Go China: like Zweig's Brazil: up-and-coming and always will be!

There's Andrew Jackson's famous expulsion of the bureaucracy upon his election to the Presidency -- already, the USA was a half-century old and had already developed a bureaucracy that the awesome people's hillbilly president needed to clean house! Go Andrew!

But, mind you, the bureaucracy of Argentina might be in a class of its own, as evinced by my own story today, ladies and gentlefolk.

I got my DNI 2.5 years ago. The bureaucracy, I believe through their own bizareness, put on some random-ass address on my DNI. So I immediately applied to get another one, to fix the address.

Fixing the address and getting a new one issued has been a TWO YEAR long process. Two fun, fun, fun years. "Losing" my DNI and doing a police report so another could be issued. Getting policemen to confirm my address is my address. Waiting home for postmen that never came then being directed to offices to retrieve it that don't have it. For years and years and years.

And finally... after two years... VICTORY. Oh, I was so joyous today! I felt like young Pheidippides, remember him? We (the Athenians, the holders of light and justice!) just defeated Persia and send Pheidippides to run back home and tell everyone, he arrived, announced "NIKE!" ("Victory") and then dropped dead. Oh men and women and children (male) and children (female) will remember the battle of Marathon for thousands of years! NIKE! VICTORY! THat is how my heart thumped and jumped when I got my DNI today.

There it was: I held it in my hand. That's my photo (albeit a two-year-old photo). The huge new stamp "EXTRANJERO" which I'm happy that it didn't stamp that in German. But I don't complain, I am grateful for that they have let me into their country -- it is their country not mine, and I am a guest; thus I try to treat everyone here with the utmost respect and thanks: employing people happily, tipping as much as I can, thanking everyone, running various Argentine Shakespearean societies (mail me if you want more info haha!). There exist various forums online (ahem ahem) where many people gather to complain and if you read my collected posts on all, you will find hundreds and hundreds of references to Greece and Rome of antiquity and nay a complaint. I'm just not a complainer by my personality. More a joker.

So, where were we? Oh, I got my new DNI, after two years of battling the bureaucracy. I battled them--but I won.

And then.

And then, I looked at the dates. Let me reproduce it:

Fecha de emision : 23 SET 2011
Fecha de vencimiento: 24 APR 2013

Yes, you read correctly: it took so long for me to get this DNI that THEY GAVE ME AN EXPIRED DNI.

Oh, Zeus! Hera! Artemis! Dionysus! Yes, Might Dionysus! I need you today! Please give me some grapes and ferment them, ferment them very, very, very quickly. Malbec grapes, please!

I mean, lets us (via praeterition) not comment on how a permanent resident ID card expires after TWO YEARS. My friggin' CREDIT CARD expires every THREE years!

Let us still not comment (still via praterition) on how the official abbreviation they use for the month of September (see the month of admission above) is "SET" and not "SEP": Yes, in informal usage, we all know that it is pronounced "Setiembre" but to write it like that as the official abbreviation? My portero also says "lune, marte, miercole" -- perhaps we should update the spelling of the days of the week, too! (And no comment that they made the mistake in the English translation, on the ID itself, writing "SET" in the English part as well! Yes, the new IDs are bilingual, at least mine is.)

Let us still not comment on the fact that there's a friggin' QR CODE (or something resembling it) on the national ID!)

Let us not comment on how the labels and the information are the same font, same color, same size -- making it hard to read anything

Let us wonder, how they choose this information to include:

- They include as one of the 10 pieces of information on the front the "Tramite number" for the issuance of this ID card. You could think that would, if needed at all, be a small number in 4-point font on the back.

- They don't include:

* Blood type (what if I'm in a friggin' accident!)
* Organ Donor (I am an organ donor in the US so if I die, I can help others!)
* Height (you can't tell my height from the photo)
* Hair color
* Eye color

A piece of information that might be useful to a non-bureaucrat... just not there. Hey, I WANT TO help, I want to be an organ donor!

Friends and members of this forum, we are in this mission together. We have chosen to try to survive in this universe on the Silver River. When the bureaucracy strikes back at us, how do we best deal with it?

Here is what I do: I pick up one of my trusty old friends. Milton, Chaucer, Dante -- I'm looking at you. I've neglected you for far too long. You have wise lessons to teach us. Dante will help teach me who will rot in hell, and how painful it will be. Chaucer will teach me that we need VITALITY to survive and enjoy life, to be brimming with life, with enthusiasm, with passion -- oh, the Wife of Bath, we will remember your lessons forever more! Milton not just the value of forgotten allusions in what I write but that even as we go blind we can produce better, and better and better awesomeness. Although, I think that Milton's Areopagitica could use a re-reading in Argentina of 2013. Yes, Areopagitica -- the most eloquent defense of free speech that I have ever read -- I will pick you off of my bookshelf and re-read you this evening. I will blow the dust off the top, sit down in front of my window and read you again, trusty old friend.

Old books are like old friends: reliable. You know what you'll get. But, the more you you get to know them, the more layers and depth and subtlety you find. You are reliable, and help me make sense of this bizarre alternate universe we now inhabit.

SO, let us raise a toast to Argentina for letting us into her country -- bureaucracy and all! -- to thank you for welcoming us -- let us make this brindis to Dionysus -- and sip the wine while re-reading Milton. This is how I deal with "one of those days" bureaucracies.

Humbly yours,


Aug 7, 2012
It used to be much worse, years to get an appointment, getting up at 4am or sleeping outside to get a turn, waiting for there to be paper. . . yes, sometimes there was no paper to make DNIs!
Mine took a few months-longer than a DNI for a native citizen, but shorter than your time.
You should not have complained about your address, if you ever need to show your address you are asked to bring another proof or you can just do a change of address.
Sorry it took so long, but ask anyone who had to get there´s redone before 2008.


Apr 17, 2012
My DNI has some weird address on Corrientes. Someone told me they think it was the old address of the attorney that my employer used to arrange my paperwork, but long before I came here. I never bothered to change it. Now I'm glad I didn't.