Wednesday, September 06, 2006

... Getting the VISA ...

We're on a roll here: second day straight of blog access and this is even a different computer! (#1)

Today is Wednesday, which means no classes (for me) and normally an afternoon visit to the university for Internet. Usually I get here before 5 p.m., at least on days that we (international students) don't have to visit Immigration to obtain student VISAs.

We had to arrive at the university at 8:30 a.m. to take a bus. However, we stood or sat around for probably half an hour before.... either before everything was ready or before the bus arrived.

First stop was a different office in town where we had gone the week before to get our fingers all blacked up. That stuff was hard to get off. They had bottles of lemony-something gel and it took at least three batches to get most of it off. They needed our fingerprints in order to give us today's form announcing that we aren't criminals. So we showed up at this building and formed a line that was constantly being broken by other people trying to pass. It didn't take long to shout out names and hand out the forms, but afterwards some of us stood outside close to an hour while they finished up with a few students. It wasn't really cold, but just enough to be a little uncomfortable.

Then we took the bus to Immigration. This was more interesting. First we had to sit and wait for them to call us up to the desks one by one to fill out a form and cross-check information; then go stand in line at the cashier's to pay the 200 pesos; then return with the receipt to the desk of the same immigrations agent; then go stand in line to have our picture taken; then return to seats and wait till our particular agent was free to finish up with us; ... only to receive a form that we're instructed to keep with our passport till the day we can come back to receive our VISAs. Somehow I thought this was just a two-visit process. Oh well, nothing like the joys of waiting! Those of us who finished first were lucky. We only had to wait about an hour for the bus to arrive to take the first load of students back. Many of the others were still standing in line for photos, some of them at least an hour. One girl hadn't even been called up for the first time when we left!

I just hope the day we go back is another no-class day for me, or I may have to resign myself to actually missing.

Now that's quite enough sitting for today, time to head back home!


los mamá persona said...

(I'll try this again since I thought I'd commented on the last post but it didn't take...)

Bonjour, mi cara :-D

You sound very patient. My post after all that waiting would have been dripping in vitriol. Where did you get your niceness?

Thainamu said...

Been there. Done that. Paperwork is a pain.

Sharon said...

You mean I didn't get it from you, Mommy? I thought Daddy was the cynical one.

Yep, paperwork's a pain. But life is too short to not get some enjoyment out of it!