Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How I Got My Tourist Visa

I got into a taxi at 8:30 AM on Davie Street, worried that I was going to be late for my 9am Visa Appointment. The taxi driver was *surprise* a korean, and he was very chatty and excited for me when I told him where I was headed.

I got into line behind a lot of Korean girls who were toting their oversize purses, and a man who was chattering away on his cellphone. There was also a Chinese couple with their daughter, also carrying purses. When the security guard came to let us in, she announced that purses and other electronic equipment were not allowed, and they had to get out of line to find a place to leave their stuff, propelling me to the head of the line. Honestly, there were instructions in the appointment letter, and I'm glad I followed them.

The staff there at the US consulate seemed really grumpy. No eye contact, harried looks, and super sharp voices as they herded people from one line to another. I guess if I had to work there, I'd be frustrated too as a lot of people did not follow instructions all the time, despite the LARGE and REPEATED signs and videos on the walls for them. On the other hand, 90% of the visa applicants were not speaking english (from what I could see) so this could account for that.

Four lines later, I was in front of this awesome woman who was really nice and friendly. She looked at my letter of employment and said, "Starbucks Metro Towers? On Seymour? No way! That's where I live! How come I've never seen you before?" Small world, eh?

So now I have to wait a couple of days before I get my passport in the mail. It wasn't the ordeal I thought it would be, but I am sooo glad it's over now. San Francisco in December, yay!

1 comment:

jestinemagness said...