Expatriation #5 | Travelling to an unknown land (US embassy!)

DSC_8587After we filled a lot of paperwork, did some ugly pictures and had troubles with the savings, we got a 3 cm pile of papers and an appointment to the embassy. A Thursday. At 9 am. And what if I had a job, some responsibilities? “That’s it or nothing?!” Ok, I wasn’t sure!

Thursday morning I woke up at 5 am, precisely THE thing to start the day beautifully. You must know that in 2013, as we went to the embassy for the first time, you did not have the right to take anything but the paperwork with you. And by anything I mean NOTHING, no phone, no bag, nothing. So, and even if we read somewhere that the rules were not as severe as before, we took the trip with someone to stay with all our stuffs.

I don’t think I am alone if I shamelessly tell you that I Google everything. You see the paranoid kind of gal who search all her symptoms every time she got a pimple on her cheek? Well that’s not a good example because when I get sick, I always wait until I am almost dead to start worrying, but you got the idea. So, before the appointment, I looked for some US embassy experiences. No need to tell you that I should not have! I found a lot of desperate people, almost traumatized, who spent hours and hours in tiny rooms before a quick talk (or should I say “wigging”) with an unfriendly guy. Add to that my own experience, the one when the “guard” in front of the embassy screamed at me because I was “seated too close from the building”. The one when I waited 4 hours almost seated on a 4 inches piece of wall. As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty reassured going back there!bb “So what happened” you are asking yourself passionately (!) Nothing to declare, my friend. It took us 2.5 hours and all the people we dealt with were really friendly. In fact, the longest part was the wait (but we got some amusement!) as the interview took us 5 minutes. We got back home with most of our paperwork and….. The magical stamp: “visa approved”. Yay! Next stop: New York City!!!!

I told you about “some amusement” above, let me just explain it to you: The Cher-et-Tendre and myself are true gossips, so we seated deliberately first row, with a perfect view of every little counters and the possibility to sneak on everyone’s little stories. Top 3

3) The lady who speaks really well English and thinks that the men at the counter is a psychologist, a friend or the guy at the information desk (not necessarily in that order). She stayed for more than 20 minutes, explaining all her life, talking about the problems you get when you have to travel without the kids, her history with her husband, her bonsai, and, when we thought she had run dry, she started to ask some random questions. The face of the men at the counter was really priceless, no need to say!

2) The (poor) guy who is travelling to attempt an English class in the US and does not understand a single word the men was saying. “What’s your field of study?” “California”. “No, what are you studying?” “3 months”. Believe me, it was quite long for him!cc1) But the winner is that guy, who is applying for a visa after he dropped his green card a few years ago (and who should have learn to shut up, as you will see!)

– Why did you drop your green card?
– I had some money issues and I did not want to pay the US taxes. But I am going to apply to get a new one!
– Ok…..I can read on your file that you have a criminal record. Can you explain me what happened?
– I had some troubles with my wife. But everything is ok now. (Stop talking and start thinking) (And should have shut his mouth!) She went to the cops but then she went back to withdraw her complaint. But… wait. Which complain are you talking about? June or September? (!!)
– It was more than one? You are not helping me, Sir
– Yes, but the second one, it was really nothing. We visited some friends with my wife and as it was just a matter of 5 minutes, we left the kids alone in the car, and someone called the cops.

The conversation was really funny, as the men of the embassy was really astonished by what he just heard and the guy in front of him was just pissed off by the fact that someone called the cops on him!

We got off the building with great news and having good times 😉

2 Responses

  1. T’es sûre que les gens qui ont fini traumatisés par leur entretien se sont pas trompés d’endroit? Parce qu’en lisant la suite, il avait l’air d’y avoir des cas à l’Ambassade donc bon, se planter d’endroit ne serait même pas étonnant ! :,)
    J’ai bien ri en lisant ton article ! Le dernier, c’est un sacré numéro ! Le gars de l’Ambassade a dû se demander s’il n’y avait pas de caméra cachée puis a dû finir par réaliser qu’il était sérieux. J’imagine le gars dire “je voyais que les gosses avaient l’air un peu pâlots apres avoir passé une petite heure dans la voiture mais quand même, appeler la police pour CA?! ”
    A l’Ambassade, ils doivent en voir des vertes et des pas mûres !

  2. Je te jure, c’était un vrai sketch!! Surtout le dernier, qui avait l’air complètement outré qu’on puisse lui reprocher d’avoir laissé ses gosses seuls dans la bagnole! En tout cas on a passé un bon moment et c’est passé très vite 😉

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