Thursday, December 21, 2006

Grandpa's trunk - coachman's license

A note in the papers informed that a new Portuguese law would make it easier for grandchildren of Portuguese citizens to obtain Portuguese nationality. I'm interested, of course, so I did a little research. Unfortunately, it's not exactly as reported. The new law only facilitated the naturalization of grandchildren, that now can request it even if they don't live in Portugal. As for Portuguese nationality, it is still given only to children of Portuguese citizens, and grandchildren can obtain it only if their parents do it first. And the bureaucratic requirements are many: for example, Brazilians must present their birth certificates authenticated by the Foreign Relation Ministry in Brasília...
Brazilian bureaucracy ir really inherited from our discoverers. And this reminds me of an item in my trink: my grandfather's Coachman License (I don't have the original one, this copy was gently given to me by my uncle):

Notice that:
  • The License is signed by the mayor of Campinas, Heitor Penteado. He's the same man after whom avenues in Campinas and São Paulo are named. You can learn more about this illustrious Brazilian here.
  • The License had categories already, like the current drivers' licenses. In this case, he could drive "any vehicle harnessed by two animals".
  • The bureaucracy was already very "advanced" at the time, what shows that it is really an historical characteristic of our society. Notice that each time he changed vehicles or bosses, the coachman had to register this fact on the License and pay 2 thousand reis of fees for the registry. Also, notice the well planned design of the form. For instance, the space at the end of the word anima_, to be filled with the end of the word in the singular or plural. I always say that American forms are usually poorly designed, with insufficient space for filling the fields, or not allowing for exceptions. This happens because, there, bureaucracy is not the rule, but the exception, as opposed to what happens here...

No comments: