Monday, January 28, 2008

Am I back?

Alvaro was 15 minutes late! I wasnt in a hurry, but the wait seemed a little too long. The trip to Zaragoza Bridge wasnt unique except the meter in Alvaro's taxi read $32.xx. That is the most I have ever paid for a taxi and the knowledge that I had to pay that same amount on my way back was ... well, lets just leave it at that.

I have stopped expecting people at the DHS to be nice or even anywhere near that. The first officer that called me to the window was really nice, but then he had to leave for a shift elsewhere. The guy that came in after him was from another world. I forgot to get a copy of my parole/deferred inspection Form I-546 and had gotten an OK to get a copy from the first officer. The guy that came after he left for his shift did not even want to listen to why I needed a copy, but atleast he gave me my passport back. He then said, "You know you cant come back without a visa, right?"

Thao was with me, so we called Alvaro from the other side of the Zaragosa Port of Entry. He showed up some 10 minutes later and drove us to the US Consulate in Juarez. It was quite far judging by $$$ displayed on the meter. Well, I was also anxious to get there and get things over with.

Since I had done this before, it was easy finding my way to the non-immigrant visa section. I was in there for less than 15 minutes. They gave me a green piece of paper that told me to come back at 2:00pm. It was about 10:45am. By the time I came out, Thao was gone for a walk or something and was going to show up some 45 minutes later as we had agreed.

I decided to take a walk ... there was not much to see around the Consulate. I had seen everything three weeks ago. So I came back to wait for Thao. Soon, she showed up and we decided to look for a place to eat. Some guy pointed a general direction to "The Mall." It turned out to be some strip mall and it wasnt what I expected.

Soon afterwards, we were sitting in some place eating a burrito. I have eaten burritos for five days straight now ... I am maxed out.

At 1:45pm, I was standing at the Consulate's gate. The security guard turned me away and told me to come at 2:00pm. So I crossed the street and waited from the opposite side. At 1:57pm, I was standing at the gate again. He had closed the gate as there was no one waiting there anymore. So he signaled me in, but I waited until he came a slid the gate to the side. I didnt want to do that.

Some 3 minutes later, I had my passport back with a two-year visa and my Form I-20 attached to it. The wait is over. I have my "student status" documents back!

I am currently editing photos of these documents and will post them soon.


Jim said...

Congrats on getting the visa. Now onto the Club Challenge Ten-Miler in late February.

I will not be a factor, except in a negative way. I too have been maxed out by Will's insistence of Chipolte's for lunch, thus the extra ten El Bees.


THE KRIS said...

glad you got that straightened out, you had me worried for a minute. probably not as worried as you were, but worried none the less. welcome back. now i can sleep in and let you guys win columbia on your own.


Guinnessrunner said...

Great news Kip! Looking forward to a Guinness with you.

Whew! I guess I can take the ring back and you have two years to look for someone more appropriate to help you with dual citizenship.

Watch out, I'm training to kick your butt in the Harbor 7 this year. (Well maybe the first two meters.)

Happy to have you back!

TSP said...

Congrats. Welcome back!

kipchirchir said...

Thank you all for your comments!


We will see about the 10 miler. I havent run seriously in the past three weeks and I dont think it is going to happen anytime soon either. I hope there are enough people to represent.


You are probably in a much better shape than I am not. I say you should run the 10 miler!


Sometimes I wish Kenya allowed dual citizenship.

Can I borrow your ring for a while? I cant afford one now with all these trips!

Guinnessrunner said...

So, are you back in Charm City?