There really is no other way to describe my travels and trials for the ever-sacred Visa. You might say “pointless journey,” “waste of time,” “epic journey” or possibly even “LONG,” but in the end it really was, quite simply, an adventure.
This adventure started Monday night, when I left camp to go home so that I could leave for Chicago from there. Everything was going quite normally and fine until, all of a sudden, the traffic came to a dead stop. I was concerned first for my own safety, then for whoever may have been the cause of the stop, then I was just confused. You see, once traffic began to move smoothly again, I found that there was no crash. In fact, I could find no explanation for the stop at all. Looking back I might have taken that as some kind of omen.
Yesterday I woke up, got all the paperwork together (there is a MASSIVE amount of paperwork for just one little visa) and set out with my dad on the four-hour-ish drive to Chicago. With an extra hour left for traffic and finding the place.
It all went really smoothly until Chicago. Then it became an adventure. Expectedly, we hit massive, crawling traffic. Then we got into the city and it got REALLY crazy. (You should know that I hate cities. Mostly because of their penchant for one-way streets.) The first time we missed the road we need to turn onto, my dad lost it. END OF THE WORLD. Of course, that meant I had to be extra patient (which is a special skill of mine. Actually, I thought it kind of entertaining). Long story short, it took us a LONG time of litterally driving around in circles to finally find the Consulate AND parking.
Once we had, we discovered that our extra hour of play time was COMPLETELY EATEN UP and we had to run to the consulate office. Where my dad promptly went in the out door of the security machines. In his defense though, they weren’t marked at all. So we got there, went to the Consulate and then my dad left to go to the bathroom while I turned in my paperwork. PROBLEM. Don’t have a stamp for the envelope. So after my dad comes back from being LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM (true story), we take the map from the woman at the desk and go to the post-office to get the stamp. My dad, ever the wonderfully impatient man that he is (honestly, its not always a bad thing. It means he’s also very assertive which is quite a boon to me), didn’t wait at the line for the lady to call us. However, she was nice enough to us. Probably because I was ecstatically happy and enthusiastic and sincere about EVERYTHING.
The one stamp: $18.
ANYWAY, we got back, turned in the stamp…and that was it.
SO, we drove the four hours back and that was that.
Is there a more effective way to do this? There HAS to be. But I guess it wouldn’t have been near the adventure it was otherwise.
AND it gets me here: