So we had an interview with the US consulate at 8:30 AM. They suggested we arrive 10 minutes early – which we did.
I was hoping for a nice cup of coffee with the US consul who would exchange pleasantries - welcome me to America and thank me for my interest in coming to his great country.
It was a complete Goat Fuck. The lobby was crammed with hordes of desperate souls clutching their pathetic scraps of paper which they hoped would admit them to the Land of the Free.
Apparently – as we discovered – all appointments are made for 8:30. The security guard told us there were 30 such appointments.
Clearly they have modeled this on the Austrian system – which we have experienced on a number of occasions.
We lined up for 20 minutes to get through security – then joined another line to get a hearing with Frau Grimm as to why we were intent on bothering the very busy US Consulate on this particular day.
Eventually we were seated and were then able to listen to the pathetic stories of all those who went before us as they gave their pitches to the Consul – who stood behind a (no doubt bullet-proof) glass screen listening to their tales of woe.
Hmmm…. No sit down in an office – no cup of coffee.
My favorite was the man whose house was being repossessed by GMAC although he had paid as much as he could and was down to his last dime and desperately needed to get to the USA for a hearing on 26 April to stop his house from being sold for a song. He got his wish.
Our turn – when it came – was extremely pleasant. The very nice man had a few jokes with us – asked a few questions – approved our visa applications and gave us back our passports so that we could go house hunting.
Unfortunately I have to go back there on 8 April to drop in our passports. At least now I know what to expect.