Waitin' in line, gettin' my visa.
I hopped up to Embassy Row this morning to get my Visa. Luckily, I'm freakishly overprepared for everything (I had like ten documents I didn't even need — my vaccination records, a copy of my vaccination record in case I had to give them one, etc etc). (I imagine some people at dcist could tell you right now how annoying this habit of mine is.) I got there at 9, pulled a ticket from their nonworking ticket machine, with the help of the six people already in the room who had to jerryrig it themselves. Every time a new person came in they'd wander around until someone said, "Get a number," Then, after they go over to the thing and see no ticket sticking out, four or five people: "No you have to lift the thing. Lift the thing. The red thing. No, like this. No, lift it up." Ah, India here I come!
The thing about being freakishly prepared is that while I breezed in and out (I was #5, I handed him my application, passport, and visa, and he gave me a ticket stub and I left), the guy in front of me got royally fucked. He drove four hours to get here (I know because he kept yelling, "I drove FOUR hours to get here! FOUR! And now you're telling me I have to come back?? FOUR HOURS!"). I don't know for sure what his problem was, but I suspect that he wrote that his intent was to go there for research, thus putting him under the auspices of a journalist visa, which is much harder to get than a plain vanilla travel visa. He kept asking, "What if I just change it to 'vacation'?" But the guy wasn't biting. I feel bad for the guy, but this is why you have to look into things before you drive FOUR hours to do something. Of course, I don't actually have my Visa in hand yet, so maybe I should knock on wood. I'm supposed to go back at 4:30 to pick it up. (I want to complain about the 1.8 mile walk from my office, or the $10 cab ride because Mass Ave is not metro accessible...but I didn't have to drive FOUR hours to get there, so). And of course, I rag on this guy, but here I am extremely unprepared (for me) to do, like, ANYTHING when I get to India. But I figure as long as I can get in the country, I'm golden, right?