Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
This morning, I woke up at 6:00am to get ready for my appointment at the US embassy for my visa application interview. It was really painful waking up at that hour to brush my teeth in the cold air.
As with yesterday, I took a cab. The driver took a detour but we reached even faster than the cab yesterday.
My appointment slot was the earlier at 7:00am. About 20 people were already queuing outside (and not including those already in), waiting for the multiple checks.
Standing outside in the dark, I could see my breath when I breathe out. It was really really cold.
Anyway, let me tell you more about the different queues and checks at the US embassy:
The first check was outside of the embassy gate. Our passports and a form were checked. Then, we stood in another line next to the first one.
The second line is to queue for the X-ray machine and metal detector. Afterwards, there is a third line before the proper building. Here, we give the fingerprints of four of our fingers, either the left or the right, depending on which the lady behind the counter wants.
Finally, we go to the inside of the building where the air is heated. Here, we are told to sit in chairs to wait for our turn to queue.
When I first reached the room, I noticed that there was only two counters that were open. TWO! There was about 50 people inside the room but only 2 counters?
I decided to stop worrying and begin reading the only book I bought. I actually finished reading Mafalda while I was waiting. Of course I only understood about 20% of the content but I finally finished reading one of the books I’ve bought.
After I finished my book, I read all of the fliers within my eyesight for about 5 times and kept my mind blank.
Then I noticed that there was 3 counters. Later, that turned into 5 and it was my turn to queue.
My counter was 9 and I had a young man who interviewed me. He asked a lot of questions about my travel plans, my previous trip to the US, what my father and mother do for a living and so on.
When the interview ended, the official said he was giving me a 10-year tourist visa for the US. What a great surprise! I was expecting a US$160 transit visa but it turned into a 10-year visa. Woo!
Then I hurried to the bus station to catch the bus. I had a class to catch and I have to check out before I go to class.
I managed to reach the hostel at about 9:05am. Everything I had was about packed so I just stuffed them into the cupboard before telling the receptionist that I was checking out.
I reached class a little late and spent most of my time forcing my eyelids to stay open. The lack of sleep feels like being drunk as I was talking louder than usual.
When class ended, I had a strange feeling in my chest. Was it sadness? Anyway, I couldn’t tell.
Lunch was again empanadas. I headed back to the hostel and like an illegal squatter, used their ameninities and finish writing this post.
Heading to Iguazu Falls
I’m joining a tour group to Iguazu Falls, up in the north-east of Argentina. It’s supposed to be a really gorgeous place. I’ve packed my mosquito repellent so I think I’ll do fine.
Unfortunately, since my passport is still with the US embassy, I will not be able to go to the Brazil part of Iguazu or even to Paraguay. I’m quite sad about that but you win some, you lose some.
I really hope I have internet all the way so I can complain to update you about the party tour bus.
PS Last night, I cut my hair at the back of my head with a razor because it was growing into a mini mullet. Urgh.