The Definition of a Terrible Day – Embassy Woes

Often in life we are cursed with the foreboding feeling of impending doom and gloom. Now as a show of good faith, the universe likes to throw a few hints here and there to sort of give you the “heads up” and make itself feel better for all the calamity that is bound to ensue in your miserable life.

For example, the morning traffic. Finding yourself cut off by a inconsiderate fool whose soul purpose in life seems to badger you by not allowing you a clear exit towards your road, which is completely clear, so that they can stick to the car ahead of them and prolong the traffic they are in.

Fine. It was a moment, and it passed. Turn on the radio, Miley Cyrus on one station, annoying breakfast show duo on the other…

Woe is me.

On this very day you happen to be heading towards the embassy to apply for a tourist visa, you have (or a tleast you think you have, or you have tricked yourself into believing) all your documents are in order. You dress nicely for the occasion, incorporating aspects of that country’s flag into your dress so as to give a pleasant subconscious message that you are deserving of their time and stamp.

You are told to be at the embassy by 8:30am, you manage to get there at 7:45am, only to find yourself in a spiraling line beneath the relentless sun, beating down on you like a boxing champion at the first ring of the bell.

By the time you make it towards someone that can inspect your documents, who if logic prevails should pass by everyone to ensure that they have the proper documents PRIOR to their standing in line! So, by the time you get to someone who can review your documents, you have already lost 45 minutes! And of course, the universe pops back in and says, “hey, SCREW!”

Sorry sir you seem to be missing a form.

The form requested is a preliminary form, without which you could not print or proceed with the rest of your application and you know, book an appointment, pay the fees etc. which you printed a confirmation for, but we require the confirmation BEFORE that.

Oh, you waited for 45 minutes in the line in the blistering sun? Well now you only have 45 more minutes to go get your paper printed and get back here, otherwise you will have to reschedule.

At that very moment, having just spent 45 minutes listening to the people around me talk about their hopes and prospects for university, and realizing that the majority of them were soon-to-be freshmen, I thanked the heavens I merely went to university back home, and was spared the grueling requirement of having to wait in lines to apply for a visa to go somewhere to study.

Faced with the logistical conundrum of where to locate a printer at such short notice at such an early hour, only one answer came to mind: Work.

Zoom from Bayan to Kuwait City, all the while telling myself, i’ll just reschedule, no way I can make it back in time.

The universe, in its infinite playfulness, decides to tease me, despite arriving late to Kuwait City, I still managed to find a perfect, superb parking spot. Maybe my luck was starting to turn (lol said the universe).

Fortunately the document was easy to print, and a glance at my watch showed the time to be 8:56AM. I could still make it!

So, leave the office, leave the superb parking spot, get stuck in traffic. Usually you have to pass through two traffic lights, which always operate at opposing ends, so if one opens, the other closes. Luckily (or so I thought) for me, the lights were synchronized and I managed to pass both.

YAY! Thought me.

Hehe, said the universe.

I arrived back at the embassy with a few minutes to spare, and luckily, no line. It was not really luck, the line had just moved inside now.

I reach to give my paperwork, finally complete, to the embassy guard at the gate and he goes…

I’m sorry, this photograph is not as per our specifications.

See, where as the rest of the world has agreed that the standard measurement for a photograph to be used for all official purposes is dubbed as “passport sized photograph” which is 4X6, we being special and all want you to give us a picture that is 5X5. Also, please forget the fact that you have already submitted a soft copy of your photograph, which we accepted and even affixed to the very form you went back to print out for us in the first place! We just want that physical picture for reasons unknown.

Kind of like this:

country vs world

And to place the final nail in the coffin of this day; rescheduling turns out to be more of a hassle than previously thought – for they “lock” your receipt number, and have to “unlock” it prior to you rescheduling, which will most definitely take time during which the appointment window gets farther and farther away.

Universe 1: Me (-1).

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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