Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lines, Fixers, and the NBI

Here there are very few (actually I do not think any) government institutions that we go to without a friend who works there or knows someone who does. Anytime we need a document from a governement authority, we find a friend or a friend of a friend that works there to expedite the process as well allowing us to skip all lines.

This remained true when we visited the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation). The NBI seem like it is the same as the FBI, the exception being that any security clearance that is needed for an individual, including employment, requires a trip to the NBI. Apparently once you are on the blacklist of the NBI, there is little you can do to get off of it. For example, our architect team has a painter that they love and use on all of their homes but they can't get him clearance into our subdivision because he cannot get NBI clearance. Everyone told me once you get arrested (regardless for how minor the infraction), it is difficult to work anywhere.

We went to the NBI and were happily breezing through the process. Then we came to the fingerprinting portion. We got into line and were contentedly waiting for our turn until a lady cut in line and about six people decided to follow her. We (along with two ladies behind us), started to make a stink and were telling the lady to get back to her spot, etc. At this point, our friend comes up to me, asks me to follow him and takes me to the front of the line.

This was quite embarrassing. Here I am making a ruckus over someone cutting and then I proceed to cut the ENTIRE line! It is also worth noting that not only am I quite tall, but I was the only foreigner in the entire NBI that day. This means my cutting was VERY evident to the people I had only moments before been figuratively cussing out.


Anonymous said...



Christine said...

Hehehehehehe... HILARIOUS!

kikas_head said...

I know.....ugh. I am such a goober.

Brian said...

I experienced the same thing when I got my NBI as well. Knowing the right person comes in handy, especially when the wait takes all day, though I also felt a pang of guilt about it.

Your post about 1,500/mo for a helper being very low really needs to be qualified with a reference to location. 1,500/mo is low in Luzon, but is a good salary for provincial Visayas, which is where I live.

Nice blog, take care.


FilMasons NSW said...

This is so funny, being overseas for a very long time makes me wonder - some things never change.

I think the red tape is there so those who have precious time (and do not want to queu for a day!) will be "forced" to; by necessity, to dole out grease money.

Very ingenuous people indeed!