With my PIN number in hand, I walked to the ATM and successfully robbed myself of the 100 Euro needed to file the application. Upon arrival to the Czech Embassy I promptly sorted all of my papers in an orderly fashion and waited patiently. I am not stranger to Czech offices, waiting is half the battle. The first thing I was told was that the red application form was wrong – they use a different one now. Upon hearing that that’s what they gave me at the FP, the lady just laughed. Nice to know she has a sense of humor about it. It all went well except for one piece of paper that she said was not an original. I convinced her it was and she took it saying that I might have to go to the FP with the original. No problem, I assured her.
I was interviewed extensively for the first time ever when applying for a Visa. I had to remember that I have a new passport that has no stamps and that it might be to my benefit to not let on that I had been here for four years already. i tried to be charming and speak a little broken Czech and I smiled a lot. I was asked about previous employment (I did not mention JCL) and I was asked if I plan to stay in the CZ “forever”. I didn’t know how to answer that so I just said, “Sure.” It was an experience that not many American’s probably get the chance to have. American’s seem to think of immigration as somebody else’s problem. We think of it purely in terms of people wanting to come to America. I think if more American’s had to actually go through the twisted, sticky red tape that is immigration they might have a different view on the matter.
After I filed I walked to the McDonald’s and had a bacon McMuffin, a hash brown and a cup of joe. I was feeling pretty good since I did what I came here to do. I took another walk around town and did a little shopping with the Euro that was burning a hole in my pocket. The only warmth I had, to tell you the truth. I found a couple of cute little tops that were on sale and that made me happy.
I still have to go back to the embassy once more in a couple of hours to pick up a Visa for a co-worker. Hopefully that will go alright as well. After that, I wait just a few more hours before boarding that big yellow bus back to Praha. It’ll be 11:30 by the time I get home so I’ll most likely go right to bed. Silvester is tomorrow so I need to save up some energy.
So, happy new year to you all. And be careful out there. The man is everywhere.