Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Residency, networking, and job searching!

What a day! I have to recount everything. It was so full and I am so exhausted but if I don't write it all out now I may never get it out. Here we go!

Today started at 6am for me and 5:30am for Marco. I got up and dressed quickly so I could make birthday breakfast for Marco before we left for work and for immigrations. I made him scrambled eggs with hot dog and fresh squeezed orange juice. We headed out and I made my way to the Metropolitano where I took a bus to the center of Lima. I had to go to Immigrations to finish my carnet retrieval process.

When I got to Immigrations, I was told that information wouldn't open until 8am. I waited in the main lobby for a few minutes before realizing that other foreigners were heading to the back. I made my way to the back where I found 30 people sitting in a waiting room. I was ushered into the line and I waited for 20 minutes. This cute baby girl was sitting next to me in her mom's arms. The couple was American but I caught a glimpse of their forms and it said Iquitos. I didn't ask them what they were doing in Peru because I was so tired and closing my eyes was much more pleasurable to me at that point. I later found out they were getting a carnet de extranjeria for their daughter.

At 8:10am I was told to go to the third floor. The security guard at the entrance asked if I had paid my form fee and I told him I had but I don't think he believed me. He had another security guard come over and verify that I had paid. They got me worried that I hadn't paid something even though I was told by the people at Interpol that I all I needed to present was the letter they gave me stating that I was not an international fugitive. The security guard made me go downstairs to the bank. The lady at the window was really nice. She said that since I was from the provinces I was good to go but if I needed to pay anything else she would tend to me immediately. That's right! Line cutting!

After going back upstairs I waited a good hour before being seen. The lady was super nice and she told me all I needed to do was pay the difference for the form fee. It went up 14 soles this year and I paid in December. I gladly went downstairs and paid my fee right away. She also expedited my carnet making process and I was called in first to get my picture and fingerprints taken.

While waiting for the carnet to be made I made friends with a man named Jose from Argentina. He is in Peru with his family because he works in mining and they relocated him. He was super nice and talking to him made the hour long wait after taking our pictures bearable. We were finally called to the window and I got my super cool multi-colored carnet de extranjeria.

On my way to the metropolitano I got a call from a man named Leo who was interested in the headsets I had put up for sale on the expats facebook group. I thought he was in Lima so I told him I would go home and check the address and be able to get him the headphones this afternoon. I later found out he was in Lima. It didn't end up being a total loss because another person in Lima was interested. I went out to meet him at a Starbucks in Surquillo but he ended up not being there because his student cancelled on him last minute. I also didn't have his correct number. That was entirely on my because I didn't make clear plans with him. I did get the benefit of seeing a new place in Lima though. On my way back I stopped in Barranco where I solicited work at Sofa Cafe and looked into another cafe down the block. Claudio is going to be in town in a week and I want to try and book us some gigs.

My adventure today is not over yet!

I hopped on a bus that ended up taking me to the front of Lima Sur Shopping mall. I had plans to go in and buy lomo (red meat) to make lomo saltado tonight. I had chatted with my cousin earlier in the day. (I managed to make it home after going to Immigrations before heading back out to sell my headset.) She told me I should look into a steady income job like Starbucks or a cafe of some sort. I took her advice to heart and inquired about a job at Starbucks. Low and behold, the manager was giving interviews at that moment. He told me to come back in an hour and we could chat.

I did exactly that.

After chatting with Alfonso for 10 minutes I decided that the job was not for me. The starting pay was less than 6 soles an hour. That converts to less than 3 dollars an hour. I would be making less than 500 soles a month and working 19 hours a week on an ever changing basis. My time is better spent working on improving my writing skills and violin skills. The gigs might not be as frequent but with two of them I can make more than what 80 hours of coffee drink making would make me. I should focus on them.

I finally made my way home and proceeded to make lomo saltado for Marco and chocolate cookies with M&Ms. was a long day but I got a lot done.

Oh! I almost forgot. I also did some networking. I went into the music store in Lima Sur Plaza and checked out their violins. They aren't terrible. The full size ones are 860 soles (345 dollars). I told them I teach violin around the corner and they said they would be happy to pass my information along. They get frequent requests for violin teachers. I will take what I can get!

Ok, that's it! Time for bed!

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