So one week ago today, I was in Edmonton at the British Visa Application Office. This was a truly terrifying experience that I am about to recount for your reading pleasure.
Upon arriving at the Manulife Building in Edmonton, where the visa office is located, you are required to take the elevator up to the thirty-fourth floor. Now, heights don’t bother me. Not even a little. I recently went up to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building while in New York. No biggie. I even posted a picture to prove it.
No, the problem comes when the elevator is a giant steel death trap.
So there I was, taking the elevator up to the highest realm of hell, when the door opens and BAM! There is nothing there but a wall. Naturally, I think “This is the end. The elevator has broken and I am about to fall to my death”. I was seconds away from having a full blown apoplexy when fortunately, the elevator closed and I pressed the button back down to the main floor.
After figuring out the elevator and successfully arriving in the first circle of hell (Limbo, for those of you who are not well versed in the paintings of Dante Alighieri), I filled out all my paper work and discovered that I had misplaced my visa photo. By the time I gave up on looking for it, I was informed that my appointment time had come and gone and I’d have to go to the nearest Shopper’s Drug Mart to get my photo retaken, and then return to the office to wait (possibly hours) for another time to become available. Joy.
So I left, and headed a block over to the Shopper’s Drug Mart. To my utter delight and amusement, this particular SDM did not open until 10am. I looked at my phone. 9:31am. So instead I ventured over to the nearest Second Cup where I enjoyed a fruit smoothie, despite desperately wanting a peanut butter marshmallow bar. I’d just had my wisdom teeth out less than a week ago and was still unable to eat solid foods.
At 10:01am (so as to give them sufficient time to open the store) I went back to Shopper’s.
“I need to get a passport photo done please.”
“Certainly, have a seat right here.” I sat. After prepping the camera, he took my photo. “Oh, it looks like there is a smudge on your face, I’ll have to take another.”
Remember the wisdom teeth? Yeah, the right side of my face had this hideously atrocious bruise on it. Not a smudge.
After calling over one of the girls from cosmetics, we fixed my face and took a somewhat decent picture. I paid for the picture (much to my chagrin, as I was certain I would find the original one as soon as I looked in my suitcase) and headed back to the visa office.
I took the elevator to the visa office, praying and biting my nails the whole way, and sat down to wait for an appointment slot to become available. Luckily, it was not a super busy day and I only had to wait for about ten minutes! Imagine my relief.
So they brought me into a tiny office, literally the size of my downstairs bathroom, with two employees each working from a desk so close to the wall that I literally don’t know how they got into their chairs. They then preceded to take my phone away, pat me down, and charge me $100 in addition to the $300 I’d already paid online.
All in all it was a pretty successful day. I suppose I’ll find out in a week whether or not I actually get the visa…
-Moose ❤ ❤