Yesterday my couriered package finally arrived from my Mum, containing the much awaited university certificates that my employer needs before I can start work. So, this morning...off I went to the British Embassy (there isn't an Aussie one here, so they do most of the stuff we need, rather than sending everything to Riyadh in Saudi) to have them attested so my visa can be processed.
I get there and go through the usual security rigomoral and given it was raining this morning and therefore really humid, upon arrival to the main gate I looked like a wet dog shaking myself off to dry. Humidity is my nemesis or kryptonite some would say, my curly hair frizzes and my face shines so brightly that I tend to reflect light for kms. Its a whole lot of fun I tell you.
Then off to the consular visa section, where they proceeded to tell me that they could only attest my Aussie degree and that I would have to take my US one to their consulate, down the road. And RO 16.5 later (AUD$45) tomorrow I should have 5 copies ready to pick up. Seriously, do they really need that long to check me out and stamp my bloody paper?
So I trek off to the US Consulate and passing the Indian Embassy it looked like something big was going down = >300 Indians on the grounds queuing and hanging around + Omani police patrolling...not sure if it was a National Day for India or if there were protests, but unfortunately in that area of town no photos are allowed. So if anyone knows what was going on, feel free to enlighten us all and leave a comment below. Cheers.
After reaching the US Consulate I went through the security rigomoral again and was sent through a big steel door and left to roam around the grounds on my own. But not before an American (we call them Yanks or Doodles, as in Yankee Doodle) woman got pissed off because she apparently had been waiting to get something notorised and yelled to the security guard "but hey, I'm an American and SHE gets to go in first?" to which I replied "Sorry but how do you know I'm not American? And I don't think it has anything to do with where I'm from, my query is probably different to yours". She shut up briefly as she was getting stared down by the guard, but then said " I can tell your not American because of your look, unless you are Hispanic"...ha. As if I haven't had that said to me before, but seriously you knew I wasn't American because of my look? Maybe it was because I don't walk like I have a carrot stuck up my a$$? I didn't say that but God I wanted to. I was just real tough and chuckled to myself instead, but loud enough for her to hear me. Real tough right?
So once I'm in I get escorted to the right area and the woman takes my certificate, leaves for 10 minutes and then comes back with 1 attested US College degree and 1 copy for my employer. And how much you ask? FREE! That's right, the Yanks did something for free, whereas the Brits try to squeeze as much time and money out of you as they can.
Now, you may wonder why I felt inclined to post about this, but the whole process irritated me. Australia is a part of the Commonwealth and therefore the Queen is our Monarch. You would think that The British Embassy would cut us a break and consider an 'us' mentality where they would help a fellow Commonwealther (I agree, thats not a word) out, in a time of need. But instead they told me to come back in 24hrs, and took my money in exchange for a whole lots of papers that I don't need. I only need 1...not 5. And whats with the charge? Where is the money going?
But it was instead the Doodles who came to my aid and regardless of whether I was an Aussie or a supposed-Hispanic (I guess I did walk in looking like I just crossed the Mexican border), they gave me what I needed with no fuss, no delay and more importantly FREE! Hooray for the Doodles :)
So far, between these people - arrogant Brit couple in our apartment block, the British woman I met @ Al Fair, and the Embassy...the Brits are severely losing the Brit vs Yank Battle.
Ok so the smart a$$ American lady was obnoxious but she can be forgiven since the US Consulate didn't charge me or make me wait for the sake of waiting.
Just another day in the sands of Oman...
- ► 2010 (24)