My Official "Ugly American" Post

So I didn’t intend for this posting to be of this nature, but it happened and I feel like this was such a ridiculous experience that it would be a disservice to myself not to post it. And writing it was pretty therapeutic when I had nothing else to do for 7 hours. So here goes, the complete version of my meandering thoughts whilst trapped at the foreign police….

A true rarity today: a situation where Americans are lumped in with Russians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Indonesians, etc. Needless to say, something we aren’t used to. My head theme all day has alternated between “what I wouldn’t give for EU/dual citizenship,” (Ok), and “I am American, and this is bullshit” (Not Ok). I admit that once again my sense of entitlement reared it’s ugly head. But, this is ridiculous. In line for 1.5 hours (which should have been longer, I accidentally skipped), only to sit here and wait. And the numbers I need to move are changing maybe every 20 minutes. At this rate, being that we are at numbers 30/33 at 12:30, there is no way they’re getting to me at number 63 before they close at 3. I want to shoot myself. All I need to do is hand them papers, this cannot be this hard. Really.

I’ve also spent the last 3 hours trying to identify the smell in here. Mostly I’m just happy it’s non-smoking because otherwise we would have been fogged out by now. Enough smoke drifts in from the open door to make it have that delightfully ashy scent. Also, I don’t even know if I’m waiting for the right thing. I google translated “I need to renew my visa,” showed it to the policewoman at the information window, she gave me a number, and here I am.

It would have been nice to have someone with me as I sit here for hours contemplating why people insist on wearing nylons with open-toed shoes. Or someone who spoke Czech. Or someone who would do this for me in general. But can’t have it all. Really, I would have even rather (cost aside) gone to Germany to apply again. To have an appointment and be in and out in 10 minutes would be amazing. Why isn’t this by appointment too? I mean, really? Because I love having to take a whole day off in my current financial state to sit in a smelly room all day. Grumble.

…. Sounds like fun, right? In follow-up, I did get to apply, but I didn’t end up leaving the FoPo until 3:45 that day. Had to cancel one private lesson and fly to my second. Good times. In addition, despite my friends being under the impression that a renewal only takes 2 weeks, I was told to come back in 60 days to pick it up. Which means there will be a lapse of a little over a month in between my old one and new one. Supposedly we get another 90 days as tourists when they expire, but I haven’t verified this anywhere and am a little nervous about wanting to travel anywhere. I was also hoping this would be good until next May, but I’m thinking it will only be good until January as my passport expires. Annoying. But I guess these are the prices you have to play when you’re trying to play the living abroad game. Which overall, I’ve been winning at. So shush.

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