August 18, 2003

I've got my visa!
I went into the consulate today, expecting that I was going to have to leave my passport and other documents for a day or two while they got my visa ready. I gave the security guard all of my documents, and took a seat with several other people who were also waiting for visas, and looked very bored. Some people came in and out with photocopies of documents that they needed for the visa. After an hour, I was hoping that I had all of my things in order, and that I wouldn't have to go hunting for a photocopier, or documents that I had forgotten.
Around noon, several other people in the office started packing up to go for lunch. I could just see the visa lady getting up and saying, "I'm going for lunch now and we're not open after lunch. Please come back tomorrow." Luckily she didn't. The waiting room slowly (very slowly) emptied, while I just sat, bored almost to death.
I knew that it was taking a long time when the security guard got up, moved the chairs around, and straightened out the magazines. He then went into a room, and changed into his normal clothes (i.e. out of his security guard outfit).
It ended up taking almost three (3) hours to get my visa, but at least I don't have to go back again in a day or two.
Now I just have to buy my plane ticket!

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