You can never be too sure

uzbekEmb

This is a picture of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington DC. Who knew that it takes 3 business days to get from one part of the building to another? Let me explain.

Unable to trust that everything would be processed normally, despite paying an extortionate $240 to rush the processing of my visa, I was unable to reach anyone when I called Wednesday. For some reason, this didn’t bother me much. So, I sent an email to the consular section asking for assurance that my passport was being processed and would be in the mail no later than Friday. It’s now Thursday afternoon. The hours (3-5PM) in which the consulate will answer the phone are upon me, and I still haven’t heard a response. So, I decide to call again. To my utter surprise, a person picks up the phone. I steady my thoughts to ask about the status of my visa in my most professional and cheery demeanor. He asks my name, spelling it out. “I don’t see you in the system,” he says. He asks for the spelling of my name again. No dice. I offer the number of my passport to cross reference. Still, not in the system. I start to get that sickening feeling that only comes when you see a reckoning coming without time to avoid it. He then offers to look for my application and returns in less than a minute, declaring “We just got it today.” I explain to him that the embassy signed for it on Monday. He retorts, “Yes, but we are the Consular Section.” At this point, I know that reminding him that they are in the same building won’t help me. So, I tell him that all I want him to do now is put all of my application materials, including the money order, in the prepaid envelope and send it back. “You don’t want me to process your application?” I ask him whether he can promise to process it and send it back Friday. He can’t, of course. So, I remind him to just sent it back to me. He then assures me that he is sealing the envelope. As disappointing as that was, I am happy that I know my passport is on it’s way and I will have it on Friday (today). It just means I have to go through the waiting process again while on my adventure. Not cool.

Given how smoothly things have gone, I checked the tracking number well after the information would have been updated. It hasn’t been picked up. So, will it take another 3 business days to get out the door? With Friday being the Muslim holy day, I’m not sure that I will have a chance to talk to someone to make sure that it has been sent. So, today will be a nerve racking day periodically checking usps.com for updated information. If it isn’t sent today, I certainly can’t leave Monday and who knows how expensive changing my ticket will be. Fingers crossed, folks! You know what?! Send your positive energy or something else. I have proof finger crossing doesn’t work. 🙂

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