Tuesday, May 02, 2006
A DAY WITH IMMIGRANTS
Update on India: After many calls and many hours on the phone with United's incredibly patient Mileage Plus folks, I managed to get a flight to Bangalore during high season. If all goes as planned I leave for Mysore on May 23 and return July 21.
So today, my first day off in what seems like years, I rode my bike down to the Indian Consulate at NBC Tower (above). Many immigrants were there. I took a number (43) and a seat and waited. And did some work. And waited. And when my number was called I went up to the window and asked for not a six-month, not a one-year, not a five-year but a ten-year visa.
Then I headed over to the Savvy Traveller and purchased a couple of travel clotheslines -- probably a good idea during monsoon season -- and pilot earplugs and a luggage scale. I noticed that they also sell very costly disposable panties called OneDerWear and expensive one-packs of quick-dry underwear that you can re-use for an entire few-week trip. One couldn't help but wonder whether they had a cotton panel, and where they keep the yeast infection meds.
While cycling back to pick up the visa a few hours later I ran into Miss Y, who was instrumental in getting me to Mysore in '02. There she was, right in the middle of downtown Chicago. Auspicious? I think so.
The waiting area was nearly empty when I arrived; only men, including a fellow firang who sported a red liberty spike mohawk. I picked a number (86) waited a short time and when I got the visa I checked and it does indeed expire in 2016.
I'm hoping it's not like when people come to yoga diligently once a week for months, paying for one class at a time, and when they finally do purchase a series or a monthly unlimited they suddenly stop coming....
Time will tell, Madam.