Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One of Life's Mysteries

So, I may not have realized when I worked so hard to achieve this privelege, but ....

Having spent weeks of my time, having visited offices all over la paz, and finally having achieved the privelege of bolivian residency, I arrived at the airport only to discover that the privelege of Bolivian residency afforded me the opportunity to pay fifty dollars more leaving the country than I used to as an illegal.

There are two things I can't figure out. One is why Bolivians pay more than tourists to use the airport. The other, and I am still working away on the book about anthropology of the state, hoping it offers some kind of insight, is why the fees associated with operating legally are higher than the penalties for operating legally.

I am not even saying that it's cheaper to bribe officials, I am saying that the full penalties, completely transparent, are higher. One of life's little mysteries.

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