Wednesday, May 30, 2007

US Consulate Lobby Story

I've been traveling on a way-more-than-full passport for some time. At this point countries have been stamping on top of other stamps and on pages that aren't supposed to get stamps.

So it has been time to get the extra-pages insert. I didn't realize it was an all day event. Besides taking an hour to arrive at the US Consulate (which is like an offshoot of the US Embassy, which is in Brasilia), you have to wait well over an hour in line. Then you have to wait while the officer contacts the embassy and runs your records.

Anyway one interesting bit was I was talking to this guy in the lobby. He clearly had something wrong- either he had some disorder or had something really bad happen to him. Also, when I asked him where he had been in Brazil, he said a small town. I asked where. He said, "I'm bad with names." I dropped it.

But he had no money to go back, and his visa in Brazil ran out. He was there getting the consulate to buy him a ticket home. And then 30 minutes later (he had already been there 2 hours) out they came with a ticket.

I get the feeling that the consulates and embassies say they can't help on anything, but that's just so people don't take advantage of it. Also I know an American that got arrested in a fight 2 years ago and the consulate gave him legal help and such.

Anyway now I have not just pages 1-24 in my passport, but pages A-X. Who knows where I'll be when I fill page X.

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