This is just one of the many amusing books to be found in Emily's parents' house-- aka one of my favorite places in the whole world. One of the only places I feel one hundred percent absolutely comfortable. And I could definitely use all the comfort I can get at the moment because I am about as worried as I've ever been.
You see, I'm not very good with administration. Admin tasks... I don't like 'em. I read fine print or complicated instructions and... I clam up. I'm sweating just thinking about them now. So... I may have messed up my visa in the first place. I was so stressed about several things. And no one I knew or asked seemed to have any answers. It was another one of those moments where I so wished to not be alone. Just stewing in alone-ness and frozen in I-don't-know-what-to-do-ness. (It was often this way when I was packing up my life, thinking this is why people aren't supposed to be alone. So they don't have to go through everything they own in a move deciding what to do with it. I wished I had anyone around to just hash everything out with.
Well I didn't. And so I obsessed about any number of variables. With no answers. So here is what I've learned and maybe someone else one day will avoid the mistakes I made while obsessing about the way I proved I had funding, about the picture that it asked me send, and about whether they wanted my actual passport or just all the numbers and proof I had one.
1. I could not fathom, nor did it explicitly say that the reason why they wanted my passport was to actually stamp it with my actual visa.
This was confusing to me for several reasons. 1. I don't want to give anyone my passport. I need that. Not that this is nazi Germany or anything, but I don't have a valid driver's license (another extremely long story demonstrating my lack of admin prowess). For a long time, that passport was my only form of valid ID. I don't like to let it out of my sight. 2. Why did they want another picture then, if not to put on some form of additional paperwork? Again, not that this is nazi Germany or anything, but...I sort of thought...they would give me, like, papers or something... and that would be my visa.
But that's not the case. They need the actual passport. (They said that-- it's definitely my fault.) So they sent all my paperwork back to me. But I was not at my house. Because...I'm a nomad. Which was not such a good idea on my part.
2. Don't let anyone else be responsible for your mail. Their priorities are not yours. That's ok, but when your visa denial just sits for about 10 crucial days, you could end up (as Peter would say) "Spring Awakening style, totally f*cked." Your visa doesn't matter to anyone as much as it matters to you. Not your friends and not the consulate.
Even when you send it immediately back to them, after reluctantly parting with your passport, they will also sit on it for 8 days before even beginning to process it.
Yesterday, I receive this:
It doesn't take a genius to do the math on this. I "leave Tuesday morning." That's way less than 5-10 business days from now. And of course, now I'm obsessing about how I proved my funds, and if my lack of stone cold face in the photo I sent will be perceived as "slight smile" and they'll reject again. Which, of course, isn't even the worst issue, which is time. I gave them a pre-adressed, prepaid overnight envelope and an explanation of my situation. I have emailed them. I have emailed my school. Please send good thoughts that bureaucracy will actually work, read my notes, and mail that thing to me by Friday at the latest. Or the nine months I've spent preparing for this trip are going up in flames, and I may have to pull out this book of Insults & Comebacks on the consulate and (I fear) anyone who comes near me for the next 6 months if I don't get on that plane.