Yesterday was the exact definition of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that could go wrong will go wrong.”
Since I’ve been unemployed, I’ve had the luxury to sleep in until 10AM (almost) every single day. Yesterday was an exception. I woke up at 5:30AM to head to the Chinese Embassy. I left the house at 6:30AM and arrived before 8AM. (Yes, it takes me an hour and a half to trek to NYC’s Chinese Embassy even though I live in the same city!) There was at least 50 people already waiting in line.
At 8:30AM on the dot, the security guards began checking our paperwork to make sure we had the correct documents. When they got to me, I was informed that I filled out the wrong form. The security guard showed me a hard copy of the correct one and I pointed out to him that the form letters and numbers are exactly the same. The only thing missing was the footer. He said they won’t accept it without the footer.
Frustrated that I got woke myself up at the crack of dawn for nothing, I called my mother to tell her that that the form she gave me was incorrect and that the embassy wouldn’t accept it. I then proceeded to call my boyfriend to rant. He suggested I head over to my mom’s office, which is about an hour away via the train, to fill out the correct documents and get all this taken care of today.
When I get off the phone with him, my mom calls me back immediately with the same idea. So I trekked back into Brooklyn, walked 12 blocks under the blazing sun to get to my mom’s office and filled out the correct form. Half an hour later, I retraced those 12 hot blocks to the train station for another one hour trek back to the embassy.
The walking distance from the train station to the Chinese Embassy isn’t a breeze either. It’s about a 20 minutes long. As I endured the sun beating down on me like there was no tomorrow, I thought to myself, “Would I rather do this or be chained to a desk for 10 hours a day?” I still haven’t come to a conclusion. That was a tough one.
By the time I arrived to the embassy again, the line was gone and I walked right in. When my turn came around, I eagerly shoved all my paperwork to the lady behind the counter. For a split second, I felt a tinge of relief. Then she looked up and said, “Do you have your old passport?” I replied that I didn’t. “I sent in my old passport when I applied for a new one.” I thought to myself, “Isn’t this something she should know?”
She flips through the paperwork and then slips a piece of paper through the window slot. “You need to submit this, this, this, this and this because you have a new passport.” Infuriated at the time and energy I wasted, I turned around and walked right back out the door I went in 3 minutes ago.
Bottom line: Do your homework!
By the time you read this, I’ll be on Trek #2 back to the Chinese Embassy. Hopefully everything is in order this time otherwise I will seriously have a conniption.