The art of fretting

5 Jul

Waiting. We do a lot of it – the checkout at the grocery store; at the restaurant when we don’t have reservations; the clinic where there’s a waiting room for the waiting room; in traffic; everywhere. Every time we have to do it, the seconds seem agonizing, as if our hearts are being squeezed into the size of a pea; our feet or fingers rapping a staccato rhythm, willing time to speed up.

This desire to speed things becomes ambivalent when dread is involved.

Dread is to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of

Dread might be an exaggeration when waiting for a US visa interview but I think it applies in my case. So, when I was waiting for my interview on Monday, June 27th, I was ambivalent about speeding things up so that it will be my turn:

  • I’m always afraid that I will be judged before I open my mouth; after all I have been denied 2 US visas in the past, have tried to apply as an Immigrant – these things tend to be glaring red flags
  • I was in extreme pain due to an infection and I really wanted to get it over with
  • There is hope in the yet-to-happen; in uncertainty and damn it, I wanted to keep hoping
  • I wanted to get to Window x because I was told by a fellow wait-ee that the other window was brusque with her

In the end, I ended up waiting an hour more than I had to for a total of 5.5 hours. I was given a wrong number for a different visa category; the woman ignored all my explanations that, “No, I’m not a tourist. My husband will be student, hence, I need an F-dependent visa.” When my number was called (relatively quick, ummm, yey?), I knew something was wrong when the officer asked me for my medical report. So, I had to go back, get a different number, as if I had just arrived, instead of 45 minutes earlier.

It was a two-step process from when I got the number. First window is just a show and tell of documents and possibly to weed out the obvious no-there-is-no-way-you-will-get-a-visa cases. I suppose, it was a great stroke of luck to wait yet again for the next interview. Between the first interview and the second, there was this white-knuckled, heart-pumping, dizzying stretch of time, where every person is scrutinized and discussed with my seat mate.

Did he get it? Do they look happy or sad? I really think that we’re gonna get to that window eventually. See, that person has A20 number, he was on Window x, now he’s on Window 5. That one is leaving straight from Window x which means he was refused from the first interview. And on and on.

That’s what happens when all you’re told is “Sit down, your number will be called.” So we sat and waited.

I was second to the last to be called. By this time, the waiting room was empty save for myself and another anxious looking applicant. When I got to the window, I was gratified to see a spectacled middle-age man with soft features AND a soft voice. When he finally said, “This looks fine, your passport will be mailed to you,” it was not the definitive stamping you’re-approved and good-luck kind of judgement that I expected.

Befuddled, hungry and in major pain (which I will detail soon) I went to the receptionist and received my DHL instructions page. I can be excused into, again, waiting anxiously for the arrival of my visa-ed passport which I finally got today. And the waiting begins again for the actual border crossing. I fear hardly anything and immigration and crossing borders is right up there.

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6 Responses to “The art of fretting”

  1. Rivenrod July 5, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Damned frustrating. Good material for a worthy tale though eh?

    RR

    • sussurus July 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      The best views are better appreciated when the road is a bit bumpier than usual.

  2. Tita July 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Your life in someone else hands… Difficult to understand. I was once sitting and waiting on one of those cold chairs, dark room, feeling that even a “wrong look” or yawning can be catch on video and be enough reason to get the petition denied…

    Now, your life after you got it! 🙂

    • sussurus July 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      You know it, my friend. But the results (the good ones anyway) make up for it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Level 10 « A Whisper - July 14, 2011

    […] brought me here. Or at least a few weeks ago right after a US visa appointment. You might wonder why and how. How stressful does one have to be in order for the body to say […]

  2. Hey stranger « A Whisper - June 5, 2012

    […] I had to go for another visa and got it! Totally different emotions from last year […]

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