susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Meanwhile, I'm getting demob happy, as the release date gets closer:

21 February 2006: Had to have Bean, my cat, put down. Very old and poorly, but ate a huge breakfast of salmon and purred to the end. Sad, but ...

Mid March 2006: Thank God I'm British! So good at queueing! I certainly had plenty of practice, waiting in the coldest March for decades outside the American Embassy, Grosvenor Square for a couple of hours. Met a couple of peeps - left one queueing on my behalf, and got the other one to show me the way, not to Amarillo, but to McDonalds' basement loo, a short walk away! Eventually let in, waited another hour - in the warm - couple of mins talk with an official - waited another couple of hours - had another couple of mins talk with another official - waited a quarter of an hour (speeding up!) to pay yet more money for return of passport + visa.

Total time waiting: 5 hours
Total time seeing officials: 5 minutes

And why the visa? I'm only spending a week in NJ with my brother before catching the boat, and the UK and the US have a special relationship (??) which means no visa for up to 3 months' visit. But it's the method of transport which is the problem - it's not a cattle cruise liner - all pre-processed. No, no, I'm pretending to be an individual, possibly returning more than 3 months after leaving. Intriguingly, Newfoundland is classed as an offshore island! Really! So, I'm not leaving the country and it's waters, but counted as not leaving the States at all. I am quite surprised at the somewhat cavalier attitude of US bureaucrats towards their neighbour. But, hey! They do it, because they can!


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