Thursday, October 20, 2005

American Consulate: Scary

Well, i spent my morning applying for my US visa. The security at the consulate was scary. My phone got swabbed (for explosives residue i can only assume) twice, and my gate remote once. I had to take off my belt twice, i got paddle-scanned twice, i had to lock a bunch of stuff in a locker and couldn't take it into the embassy... hectic. At least i was warned beforehand and didn't have the usual amount of junk in my handbag (like, i don't know, my knife for example). Some people were having stuff hauled out, and being forced to show that their lighters actually lit and their hand cream actually produced cream. And before they searched us, they made us queue in the stairwell. You know, just in case we accidentally blew ourselves up, i figure it must be the safest place for us to be.

Anyway, it took at least 20 mins for me to be processed so i could be allowed in. From there, it was go to window 2. Then sit down and wait for half an hour. Then go to window 4. Then sit down and wait for half an hour. Then go to window 3 and be quizzed about why you're going to the US. I was all ready to deliver a straight-faced 'no' if asked if i was a terrorist, but alas they did not ask. When filling in the form at work, next to the question about whether i had ever been a member of the Nazi party, i was disappointed to discover that 'Nein' was not an option. You could trip up a lot of Nazis that way.

So the visa will be ready tomorrow at 3. To be honest that's pretty swift, but i did have all my ducks in a row so that was in my favour. Also, here's the fun bit: You have to pay for the visa at a nedbank branch before you even apply. You have to hand in your application with the deposit slip. R660. Joy. I am so glad the company is footing the bill for this.

In the good news department, the boss has said i need to speak to him before buying any new clothes for the trip (the clients are super formal). Maybe i will get a little clothing allowance. w00t!

In the bad news department, i will most likely be on my way by the 28th, which means i will be missing the opportunity to go see Night of the Living Dead (original edition) at the Labia on Saturday! And sushi with Schpat and Elisabeth! Suxxx!


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