Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Immigration Story

So today I went to the U.S. Embassy with Yaow for her interview to get a visa to visit the U.S.  The interview, originally scheduled for May 14th, has been postponed twice due to the red shirt protests.

We arrived at exactly 8:30, thirty minutes before the scheduled interview.  There was a line of about fifty people already queued up for the 9:00 appointment slot.  As a U.S. citizen, I could go to the front of the line and get in, but I hung around with Yaow. If it had been raining or really hot, maybe I would have left her on her own.

After about forty-five minutes, we made our way inside.  I went to the ACS (American Citizen Services) to get pages added to my passport while Yaow waited in a series of lines.  Apparently I misspelled her first name on one of the forms, but fortunately that didn't sink the application.  It was 11:00 by the time that she finished her interview.  To our surprise, the interviewer told her that she would have her visa by next week.  I wasn't surprised that she would be approved, but my understanding is that they wouldn't usually tell you outright, but might hint at it.

You often encounter an interesting collection of individuals seeking services at the ACS.  Today's entertainment included a black clad shirt gentleman who had to tip the scales at close to the three hundred pound mark.  His graying goatee had a tinge that made it look like grooming was an essential part of his daily routine.  I saw him when I was waiting in line, but didn't think a whole lot of it.

I was waiting for my passport pages, when I heard the aforementioned gentleman speaking to another American waiting for some service.  He was discussing his latest trip to the U.S., and how everyone there was unhappy, miserable, and wanted to leave.  Apparently this was the reason that he had lived in Thailand for the last fifteen years.  The guy next to him agreed that the U.S. had become a police state, but was still anxious to go back.

I just rolled my eyes as I listened to them.

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