visa….

I finally walked out of the FRRO office with my visa. We had a big meeting at my bosses house but I wasn’t going to leave there without he visa. I had to go to the bank to pay there visa fee. It’s a ridiculous system there too. I had to walk to counter 15, which didn’t open until 11am. I didn’t pay thee but rather go someone’s signature who then told me to pay at another counter. Counter 15 guy took 10 minutes to just set up his desk, turn on his computer, take out HS tiffin and organize his head. After I got his signature I had to wait in a seemingly short line except each person on the line took at least 8 min; at least. Each person had several transitions or payments which the banker had to laboriously enter into the computer and stamp, one by one. Leaving with my payment done and my paper stamped and signed, I went back to the FRRO. They told me to come back in the afternoon. When I looked at them with the, you’re kidding me look, they said I could wait for some time. I waited almost two hours. They took the receipt and told me to wait; they took my new contract again and told me to wait; they took my passport and told me to wait; they came back and told me Sir was busy and told me to wait. Finally, not able to take it anymore, I went to check in on things. Sir was still busy but they allowed me inquire about what was happening. Outside of the office of Sir, Shetty made small talk with me. Looking at my helmet he asked what kind of two-wheeler I drove. He, as most here are, was surprised I drive a bike with gears. He asked about my family, what they do. He was really excited to hear my sister is an actress. After a few questions here and there he asked where I was from in the US; he said New York was the best in the world. I was impressed because many folks who I’ve met don’t seem to understand the difference between New York and the rest of the US. Then he asked what I was going to get him from the US. I looked at him almost dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe he was asking such a questions. After a few seconds he asked if I would get chocolates. Chocolates in this context mean some little candy. I smiled and said that if I got this paper signed and everything went ok, I would walk into their office the second week of January with chocolates for anyone who helped me along the road.
I walked out of the office with my visa in hand.
I’m coming home in 2 days.
Part of the coming home is leaving home. It’s definitely a weird feeling. I’m home now. This has become home. It’s been over a year. I’m not really sure how to feel about it all, but the easiest thing, as it’s always been in this mini adventure, is just to go with it.
See you home!

    • kanch
    • December 12th, 2011

    Safe Travels Ana! I arrive in FL on Wed, 14 Dec too 🙂

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