Friday, March 29, 2013

Unfortunately I have to go back

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. 


  1. Is it any wonder people hit other people in the head with rocks?

  2. "head in the sun's" comment made me laugh. I think it is a new nickname for her, I forget the old one (?).

  3. I loved your winter road trees snow picture. I thought I noticed an arc on the right lower side from maybe a windshield wiper remnant stream. StiLL veRy pretty.

  4. Your experience at the US Consul will be useful should you have to present in person for a US Driver's License, or find a parking space at a shopping mall in the days preceding Christmas. You'll probably want to bring your own coffee to both.

  5. Long time not see you!!
    That US consul line is always too long.
    As least you got the passport, and Im glad you got it. Many people doesn't have anything after 2 or 3 hours lined there.

  6. I was hoping against hope that the big goat would mean they are moving Ducky Farm to Vienna (perish the thought, I know how you can't wait to finally leave this hardship post). ;-)

    May I add a helpful note to VictoriaK's warning about Christmas parking: you may want to have a dry run on the Friday after Thanksgiving. If you make it then into a free parking space, you'll make it anytime. Just saying.

  7. I remember the consulate in Shanghai, the only thing that made it bearable was U.S. citizens were treated slightly better. We did have to stay on the sketchy side of the bullet proof wall though. I remember when I handed over my passport I almost cried, they were quite good about however and took care of things quickly.

    The stories I have heard from expats in the U.S. were not so favorable however.

  8. hits: and massacre each other with guns

    esb: Yes I was lazy and took the photo through the windscreen

    VictoriaK: I can't wait for the drivers license thing - we have to do a written test.

    Gaviota: Yes there were some people who came up empty handed.

    Merisi: I have been warned

    fmcgmccllc: I imagine all consulates are much the same - but I expected more from the USA