Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visa madness

So last weekend I got my visa for Japan.  I got all my paperwork together (an application form with a photograph, a letter from Fulbright, my grant authorization form, photocopies of all the documents, and my passport) and then drove an hour up to San Francisco.  I got there at 11:00, and the checklist Fulbright had sent me said they closed at 12:30, so I had plenty of time.

...of course, when I finally made it into the consulate, I found out they actually closed at 12:00.

...and then I made it to the desk:
Guy: Where is your second application form?
Me: Um, right there.  *presents the photocopy*
Guy: No, we don't accept photocopies.
Me: Uh...
Guy: Where's your resume?
Me: Uh...I don't have one?

...so that was why I wound up running around like a maniac until I found a FedEx and then paid $15 for a single photograph and then hand-copied my application.  And then I had to go home and write up a resume.  Moral of the story: NEVER TRUST CHECKLISTS.  Also, always bring a second picture.

Fortunately, the visa pick-up went much more smoothly.  The visa is very shiny and has pictures of cherry blossoms on it!  It looks pretty cool.

Still no word on my housing, which is vaguely worrying.  Hopefully I'll hear something soon.

Six weeks 'til departure!