European Hoop 1 - The National Visa Center sent our approval to the consulate in a timely manner and we didn't have to make much dreaded phone calls.
European Hoop 2 - The Medical Interview
The branch of medical providers that the US Embassy uses for their medical exams is the same one that is used for pediatric services.
Imagine me and my friend (who kindly accepted to share with me this "amazing" experience) stepping into a building full of screaming kids at 8:30 in the morning. Ok, maybe I was the one crying the loudest but the sniffles were all theirs. I didn't do the fainting, but it was close.
"Needle time" was so nerve wracking that the nurse (a nurse that usually works with children, mind you) was snickering at my arm jerking. So I turned to the adult equivalent of "I want my mom!" which was "Can my friend come in?". When my friend came in she joined in the nurse's giggles and my remaining pride was taken with the blood sample.
European Hoop 3 - The Visa Interview
This was probably the decisive part of the process and in retrospect it seems like it was the easiest part. The interview was scheduled for early February and the U.S. Embassy is located somewhere outside the city in the middle of an open field. For security reasons everybody has to wait outside the embassy's gates until the time of the appointment, so imagine Mickey (and 8 or 9 other people) shaking in the brisk February air under a bus stop-like shack across the street from the actual building. This whole set up leaves you with the choice to either shiver in the cold or tremble with anxiety about being late.
The interview went quickly and the Consular Officer politely asked me about ten questions, all of them about our relationship. She then said that she had issued me the visa and I should have it delivered by the end of the week. The hard part was that I was the last one on their list so they called me last to give the paperwork, to pay the fee, for biometrics (fingerprints) and for the interview. I was feeling so anxious and all the waiting certainly didn't help. All in all I was inside an hour and a half with the last 10 minutes being the actual interview.
Trevor (coaching me before the interview): Remember, when they ask you questions answer seriously. No jokes!
I managed to go through the interview without any jokes, which is not easy for someone who uses humor to diffuse anxiety.
|Mickey waiting for her interview|