Friday, February 24, 2006

Crazy Day

So, let me tell you about my dull existence.

I went to work this morning, and the receptionist Roy, who sits near my cube, says jokingly, "So, does anyone here speak Portuguese?"

"I do," I said. Roy looks at me with a quizzical look. "Seriously?" he said. "Um, yeah," I return. "Well, see if you can help this guy," he counters, and transfers the call to me.

The man on the other end of the line is visiting from Brazil, and is living in Aspen. He explains to me that he has a work visa, and it's about to expire, so he has to go home on March 9, when his flight is booked, and he's lost his passport.

"Will they let me out of the country," he asks. "Can I go home without my passport?"

Being that I'm not working for Immigration, or The Department of Homeland Security, or the Brazilian Consulate for that matter, I have absolutely no clue.

"Well," I said. "Let me take a look and see if there's a consulate office here in Denver I can find for you," I say in the most rusty Portuguese possible.

We talk for a few minutes, during which time I'm frantically Googling "Brazil Consulate Denver" on my computer (he asks me where I'm from and where I learned Portuguese, since he's thrilled to be speaking his language), I keep ending up with the Embassy in Washington DC, and the Consulate office in San Francisco, where I got my passport.

Finally, Marco asks a question, "Are you the consulate office?"

Nope, I say. This is the Denver Post -- we're "O Jornal do Denver".

He laughs.

Turns out he thought he was calling the Consulate in Denver, but instead he got me. I gave him the number to the Washington DC Embassy, and he said, "Thanks for all your help."

Bye Marco, thanks for making me dust off my Portuguese.

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