My day started with me being unexpectedly snarky to strangers on the 7:15 bus into the city (suburban based commuters have an entirely different perspective on commuting that I have a hard time adjusting to). I then battled fires on the metro, eight city blocks of cold, canceled a doctors appointment last minute and still managed to somehow still be at the visa center in time for my 9:20 appointment.
Where I stood between a college girl and a middle aged Indian man and next to an elderly Sikh who kept on trying to jump ahead of us despite him having a 10 am appointment when ours was in the 9:20 slot. I half listened to the Indian man and the Sikh chatter in English and Hindi (the Indian man had been here the day before, drove all the way in from Northern Maryland and they sent him home because he didn’t have an appointment, the Sikh was there for his daughter’s visa. The Hindi I picked up was mostly the usage of formal pronouns and a few family vocabulary) and half listened to the girl in front of me.
Who was flat out rejected. She didn’t have proper proof of residence because she was a student and was trying to do this as a DC resident and not as a resident of her home state, which was not within the jurisdiction of this consulate. She got a stern lecture on buying her airplane tickets before getting her visa, was basically told that it wasn’t their problem because she wasn’t in their jurisdiction and she left looking shaken and near tears. Her flight leaves in two weeks.
On that note, I show up with my neatly organized folder and my English translation of my Québécois birth certificate and breeze through two unsmiling visa people upfront and another (slightly more friendly, if brisk) person behind a window.
Later that evening, I made my way back. They “close” at six, so I left work early, not really in a rush. I’ve picked up Indian visas for others and was not expecting it to be ready. I rolled in a little after six. Almost an hour after they had technically closed and a good three inches of knitting in line with two dozen other people1, mostly Indians, I have officially procured my six month visa for India.
It expires when I’m in Ireland.
I get the feeling that these six months are going to go by wicked quickly.
1 I was largely entertained by the moaning and groaning of the people in line with me because I imagine that if I ever have to wait in line in India like this, it will take me twice as long (or longer). I considered it practice.