So I’m back for more…yep this is post 2 and it took me less than 24 hours to get here! Well I say less than 24 hours it might actually be around 24 hours but hey who’s counting?!
So this blog is gonna take you back, firstly because I need to tell the whole story of moving and secondly having only been here for 2 weeks there isn’t that much to tell you about! So we’re going back…back to when the first ‘shall we move to America’ conversation took place between me and the German!
Now as you already know this question resulted in a ‘HELL YES’ answer…but what we didn’t know is that it isn’t as easy as you think to get across that big pond and start a new life in the states…mainly because of US immigration. Yep they’re tough nuts to crack! So the big mission to get Rachel and Toby to America began!
The big V – also known as a Visa…the word that was to come out of our mouths nearly everyday for the next 6 months. It appears for some they’re easy to get and Toby was one of them. Because he was transferring from one office to another in the same company his visa was just about sorted – yep he had to fill in a load of forms and go to the embassy in Frankfurt for an interview but he walked out with a big fat approved stamp on his documents and a few days later his passport returned with a lovely shiny visa sticker inside it – he was in!!
Now my visa was a different problem…if we were married (which we’re not) I would have been allowed into the states on the German’s visa and would be able to stay here for as long as him and go to work (the latter we’re not too fussed about – that one could have been left off the list!!) but as the German said he wasn’t marrying me to get me into a country – it’s not romantic! Not that he actually does romance…just today I popped a reminder into his calendar to get me a Valentine’s Day card – I even directed him to the nearest store (I’m trying to switch to the American lingo so I don’t look like an idiot over here!!) where he could get me one – whether or not that happens I’ll report back! Aaaanyway – went off topic a bit there! So the boy wasn’t marrying me to get in on his visa – there had to be another way…
And there was – a visitor visa! So I filled in the relevant forms and headed to the American Embassy in London for an 11am appointment – straight off the plane from New Year in Germany. Was I nervous…I didn’t eat breakfast in a hotel with a mahoosive breakfast buffet – if you know me then I you’d know that YES I nervous! I NEVER refuse food!! Turns out I should have had that breakfast – this was about to be one of the longest days of my life!!
So there I was outside the Embassy with a million different documents to prove who I was and why I wanted to be in America – I even had a catalogue of the cakes the German’s company makes! I was getting into that country if it killed me!! I handed my phone, keys and all other electrical equipment to Toby, said goodbye and went through security. Now I’d heard it could take awhile in there but I don’t think anything prepares you for the moment you walk through the doors with a number in your hand and the instructions to take a seat and wait for said number to be called…however there wasn’t a seat. It was so full every seat was taken…including the standing room around the sides. So the waiting game began.
Ticket number 248 to window number 12 please. Ticket number 249 to window number 7 please. I was number 364…this was going to be a loooong wait! Tick tock, tick tock, an hour and a half passed until…Ticket number 364 to window number 11 please!!! It was me…finally my turn and the nerves were worse than EVER! Everything rested on this window…would it be a yes or a no?!?! Was my life in America about to begin or end? Off I strolled to the window where the woman took my passport off me, took my finger prints and then said…wait for it….go and sit back down and wait for your number to be called for you interview!! WHAT?? No answer yet?? It would appear not.
So off I went…back to the seats – and this time there was a seat! Result! After another hour and a half of listening to various numbers being called out to various windows and watching people coming back from their interview with either a blue piece of paper (they’d made it!) or a face like thunder heading to the door (they didn’t – boooo!) it was finally my turn. Now. I. Was. Nervous. This really was the moment where I’d either get the blue sheet of paper or have a face like thunder.
I went to the window and said hello to a nice American man with the biggest ‘please let me into America’ smile on my face. He said hello back and went on to ask me why I wanted to be there…I told him that the German had a job there and we wanted to carry on our relationship together. He asked to see evidence of the relationship (yep proof was needed!) so I got out the rental agreement for the flat, bills, letters and of course that trusty catalogue of cakes. He looked at it, looked at me and then said do you have pictures? Pictures? I never thought about those…my reply to him was ‘No I kind of thought this official stuff was more important.’ With that question I thought my time was up and I was off with a face like thunder. He looked at them again, went quiet for awhile – well for what seemed like a long time to me but it can’t have been that long the whole interview only took a few minutes! Anyway in the end he looked at me and said I’ve got good news and shakey news – his exact words I’ll have you know! I’m thinking shakey is now an official technical term in the land of the big V (that’s V for Visa!) the good news was I was getting a visa (YAY!!!) the shakey news was the person on the border when I got off the plane in Atlanta would decide if I got in and for how long. Oh I thought. It’s not over yet. He told me to get pictures and take all my many, many documents with me to the border when I got off the plane adding that partnerships aren’t recognised in America and if he just married you…yeah, yeah, yeah we all know that if he just married me this would all be sorted – but as we all know that is NOT happening!!
But what did happen was I skipped out of the Embassy with my blue piece of paper – well I handed that beast in and paid for my passport to be returned – and went to find the German – we were off to America!!!!