GDL Pt. 2

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ok, so off I went to the US Consulate. A consulate is like a little Embassy, it has a lot of the same faculties (gives passports to citizens, helps them out if they’re in trouble, gives visas to foreigners), but none of the really big ones. Anyways, there I was. The neighborhood is this beautiful old part of town, full of enormous prehistoric palazzos. One of them is the consulate.

So after getting a quick bite to eat, I went at my pre-disclosed time. The line wasn’t as long as in TJ or MTY, so that was good. Once inside, tho, it was HUGE. And apparently the consulate workers were at their lunch brake, so had just resumed operations after practically halting them completely. COME ON! That’s so third world. I remember I went to get an internship visa and they did the exact same thing and I was all stressed because I had a final in the afternoon and feared I would be late. They eventually came back and all was good. Same thing happened here.

So after like 2 hours of waiting, I got my digital picture taken and my fingerprint scanned (that is SUCH a nasty feeling, damn gringos; I hear Brazil is also forcing just American citizens to have their fingerprints taken… like criminals… HA!). SO, off I go to wait for my interview. It’s a funny thing, but the people who take your fingerprint and photo and normal Mexicans, but the visa interviewers are all gringos… and they’re also encased behind this huge concrete wall and you can only see them behind these glass windows, and you have to speak to them via microphones, and you can only hear them via a speaker. So they’re physically cut off from us dirty and poor Mexican people. Yes, the Mexicans who worked there could also go behind the barrier, but it was just an odd first impression.

While I was waiting I saw this guy get rejected and it made me all nervous. I honestly think I’m a really easy case, I’ve had a visa all my life, I have a good job and I’m making decent money, I have an engineering degree, I’ve traveled a lot, I’ve held a working visas before, etc, etc, etc. But still, the doubt was there. For other reasons as well, which I won’t go into right now. My mom told me to go using my suit so as to look really sharp and professional. I laughed at the idea; but she said my cousin had taken his unmarried unemployed single-mothered sister to get a visa (really hard case, honestly) and, according to my mom, since they had dressed really nice, they had been treated very well and given the visa. I really doubted that was the reason, but I decided to respect my mom’s wishes. Being there, I felt like a stuck-up dork next to a bunch of normally dressed people. Yeah, there were like 3 or 4 guys in suits… but we were like 300! Sheesh...

(to be continued...)

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