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Bolivian bureaucracy

I'm still waiting for the racks for my bike. Today I went to a DHL office in La Paz to ask whether they have an estimate when it might arrive. According to the tracking by DHL, the racks are presently in Miami, Florida, in the United States...

They told me that they could probably arrive on Wednesday or Thursday, and that I have to register with the national customs office of Bolivia as a “non-habitual” importer for the payment of the import tax. And so I went to the office of the national customs of Bolivia, where they told me that yes, I have to register, and that I need to provide a copy of the passport, a letter from the hotel that I'm staying there, and two copies of a form of the customs office to be filled in and printed via their website. Why didn't DHL tell me that? The DHL office was much closer to my hotel than the customs office.

And so I first went to an internet cafe to fill in and print the forms, and to make a few copies. I then returned to my hotel to ask them to write me the letter (which they did immediately), and then I returned to the customs office. Luckily, there were not many people, so I didn't have to wait, and after a few minutes I was registered as non-habitual importer.

With the form (duly stamped by the customs office) I went back to the DHL office, so that they could enter the registration data into their system. They told me again that the racks could possibly arrive after three more days – which means Thursday. I don't know why they told my friend in London that they could arrive on Monday... What a pain.

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