Expatriation #4 | Let’s go to New York
(Ok, we’re not quite there yet!)

vvMonths ago, I read on a fashion blog that two things could help you when you have to be shot for ID pictures: wearing way too much more make up than usual and adopt a specific posture: seated, rotate a little bit your torso while looking directly at the photographer. (I am not gonna talk about the part when you put your tongue on your palate, so your smile will be a Scarlett Johansson’s one. It makes me look like a ridiculous teen taking a duckface selfie.)

Among the ton of things we need to do / know / fill to obtain the precious visa, there are the pictures. But be careful: the criteria are really specific (the top of your head and the bottom of your chin must enter perfectly in a specific square. What if you have a big head? I don’t know, my friend, even though I’ve asked it, no one could answer me!) And, above all, you have to choose your photographer in a list given by the embassy.DSC_9432So, my make-up and I found a photographer, and I seated in perfect posture, the hair skillfully put of my left shoulder (took me hours to get the perfect wave). At that precise moment, he told me with his weird English: “sorry, but you have to face me”. “Gné”, I answered and turned myself completely in his direction (hi, double chin!). And five seconds later: “I also need to see your ears. Both.” “Whaaaat. Are u fucking kidding me??? Do you imagine how much time it fucking took me to be that fabulous?” (I am a mess when it comes to be polite with people!)

I finally gave up, put my hair behind my ears, and did not smile to the bad man (partly because he was mean to me, but mostly because you are not allowed to smile on visa pictures). Then we paid for it, laughed sour at our prisoner’s faces and  put everything in the envelope for the embassy.

After all those “twists and turns”, we had to do some paperwork (“some”). As a “spouse” I had only (!) 7 pages to do, but filled with difficult and/or weird questions. At first, they get your confidence by asking you the easy ones: name, date of birth… But it becomes difficult at the fourth question: “All other names you use”. Because even though I am not using my maiden name anymore, I have to write it down. Ok.DSC_9443Then you have to list your last 5 trips to the US, with the date of arrival and the exact duration of your stay. (Be careful if you took off from your home in a night and then arrived on a morning, for instance. Better not to be wrong!)

When you thought the worst is done (me and numbers…..!) they ask you to make a list of all the schools you attempted at since you’re 11. Names, addresses, dates. If, like me, you moved a lot when you were a kid, I wish you good luck. I am also not going to mention the perfectly accurate questions for people who did not grow up knowing their father and his family: “father’s date of birth” or “does any of your extended family live in the US”. I have absolutely no idea, but let’s say no.

And since you know a little bit the guys at the American government, you don’t really want to bullshit them, because you know for a fact that it is going to come back directly into your face, sooner or later. 

So when you wasted spent enough time filling all the papers, you send it to your lawyer (whom I renamed “Thanks for living”) and you wait for the next adventures.DSC_9444

Pictures : MET, New York, 2014

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