Friday, May 07, 2010

Visa Saga Part Six - I'm Not an American Male

When I woke up this morning I realized that March 21 (the day my paper work is due) is a Sunday. That means I don't really have seven days, I only have five. I need to get the paper work in by Friday morning. It is time to come up with a 'Plan B'.

Monday morning I call whoever this guy is, (it takes about four tries before I get a hold of him), he suggest that I go up to the city police and see if they can grant me an extension until this woman is back from her vacation. The hour bus ride up to the city police turns out to be fruitless, since she can't do anything without a stamped paper from the district level office. She makes a few calls on my behalf and tells me that Wednesday afternoon after the political meeting the woman will be back in her office for an hour or so.

Tuesday I went with my friend to her private English school to look into a job. They figure they could get a visa in one day if I needed it. In fact, I could come in as late as Thursday afternoon and be all set. So I promised I would call her Wednesday night when I had news.

I was not the only one who got tipped off that the woman would be in her office for about an hour on Wednesday afternoon, the place was packed with people waiting. I'm still not good at the cultural thing of pushing to the front of the line (I use the word "line" loosely, it is more like a mass of people who push and shove in on one another), therefore I am the last person she serves. When I finally get my letter I stuff it in my bag and go skipping outside, texting all my friends with the good news that I have my paper work finished and with still two days to spare.

That night before going to bed I decided to pull out the letter and gaze at it with gratitude that I was finally finished. BIG PROBLEM - the letter is not mine. I have some American guys name on it. None of the information is mine. She printed a second copy of the guy in front of me as my letter. I'm in trouble. I already told my friends boss that I didn't need the English teaching job, and thanked her for all the help.

I was just about at the end of my rope. My roommate could tell I was about to lose it, so she took over.

"Here is what we are going to do. Tomorrow we are going back to that woman's office, if they tell us she is around, we will try to track down her personal phone number and go to her home if we have to."

Thankfully she was in the building, covering a different job. When I found her and pointed out the mistake she promised to fix it when she had a moment. An hour later I was leaving with a letter with my name on it. We took a taxi straight up to the city police and I got all of my paper work turned in.

7 days -week end - 1 day calling and finding no solution - 1 day interviewing for an English teaching job - 1 day getting some American guys letter - 1 day getting my own letter = getting my letter turned in with only 1 day to spare.

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