the tedium that pays off-they call it red tape

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Outside of my comfort zone I drove from Baltimore to Rockville (to use our car-being the one car family that we are) in order to fulfill some final hoop jumping required in the ongoing process that is land possession in the bahamas. Yes we signed a contract way back in July but like all things tropical even legal stuff happens on "island time". So having finally received the thick multi-signed document that will ultimately declare my ownership in this beautiful piece of sand I found myself wandering around the circuit court of montgomery county this particular friday. Notarizing, sealing, and various other requirements had me asking complete strangers about what I needed to do with the documents in my hand.

This is the tedious part of fulfilling a dream. And yes, it is just the beginning.

But considering that I had ultimately braced myself for a DMV kind of experience I was pleasantly surprised to have a day that was simply a series of steps that were not too painful.

Like driving an hour, going through security, getting the first set of directions to the notary's office, going to that office only to find that their notary was "out that day" but to find that there was another to be had at the "Sir Speedy" a block away. This little piece of info came from a humble civil servant manning the info booth in the court office. Before declaring the day a failure I bothered to ask this woman where I could find a notary outside of the court building, figuring that she may in fact be the wisest most well informed person in the entire building. I was right, she had the info. Onto "Sir Speedy".

So the notary at Sir Speedy made her mark, and me having need of a witness employed the only other person at Sir Speedy as a witness (again a total stranger). Keith, made his mark as witness to the notary.

2 dollars please.Transaction complete.

Back to the courthouse for the next hoop.

Through security (again) and into a long bleak room with a man in a blue shirt behind a big bleak desk with a gadget hovering over his head, "take a number". My luck that day had not another person in the room, so I sheepishly approached the man in the blue shirt clutching my precious documents like dorothy meeting the wizard.

"I need a authentication from the County Clerk, please, am I in the right place?". Until this moment I didn't know the function of a "County Clerk". The man lethargically grunted, took my document, attached the appropriate pre-stamped certificate declaring the approval from the elusive County Clerk. The contrast of his lithargy with my excitement was only punctuated by the muffled applause heard in the next room from the wedding that was being officiated (weddings 25 dollars). He completed my document...

That will be one dollar. (I felt like I had stepped into Terry Gilliam's Brazil.)

Wow, this part of the legal process is really cheap.

So with two of the three hoops jumped, I walked the two blocks back to my car. The next hoop involves the Secretary of State. Again another office that I have no clue what their function is. This hoop however, involves FedEx. So filling out the appropriate cover info I release my precious document in hopes that they come back to me soon so that I can forward them off to their final destination.

This particular day only highlights what has been an interesting journey in dialog with attorney and realtor regarding this property. It has been an up and down sort of experience so far. But one of the ups came while I was pouring through the documents and came across the survey of our little piece of paradise. What was originally supposed to be 1.18 acre...

was 1.54.

Someone made a mistake...

in our favor.

Here's to red tape.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on January 12, 2007 2:14 PM.

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