Monday, 12 May 2008

Moving my passport

I've discovered a new hobby. It's called 'move your passport from one embassy to the next until you need it to fly back home'. Obviously I'm doing it because I need several visa's for my holiday in July (holiday, not touring). I have to do it here because this is the only time I'm in one place for long enough to let them have my passport for a few days. So last Thursday I went to Kenya. The consulate was in one of several buildings at the East Side of Manhattan in a place called United Nations Plaza. It took me a while to figure out which building I needed to be in, and when I finally found it, I nearly didn't make it back out.
Not because of the Kenyans, they were very nice to me. It was because of the building. The receptionist told me to take the lift up to the 4th floor and go to room 4014. That was easy. Got out of the lift and followed the signs that had room numbers on them - like in a hotel. Went in, gave them the paperwork, photo's and money and walked back out. And I couldn't for the life of me remember where I'd come from. All the corridors where light grey, all with the same dark grey doors. So I walked for a while, turning corners, going back, trying different directions. I didn't meet anyone, so I couldn't ask where the lifts were. Also most of the doors had no signs on them, so I felt it could be wrong to just knock on any door to ask for directions.
I made it in the end, got out safe and sound.

Today I went back there to pick up my passport. This time I paid attention and found the elevators easily. This is my visa.

Then I moved on to Tanzania and happened to be in the lift together with the consul. I didn't know it at the time, but he opened the door for me into the consulate and welcomed me in. There was a big picture of him behind the receptionist with a plaque underneath saying he was the consul.
The Tanzania building was a lot easier. And it had one of those cool lifts that skips the first 12 floors.
On Friday my passport will be ready and then I'll take it to Zambia.

No comments: