Home > aquavit, bbq, visa > (Not?) Going Away Party!

(Not?) Going Away Party!

4 June, 2007; 9:52 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last night was a fantastic going-away party with a metallic theme: we began at the beach at Golden Gardens and ended at the Scandinavian bar The Copper Gate. Luck ruled the evening: we found a parking spot straight away and instantly secured a grilling spot, and before long we also had the picnic table next to it.

There was a short spell of rain, but after the hot week, it was actually sort of refreshing. And the rain came right after a brilliant crack of lightning, just across the Sound from our beach — all very dramatic, with the sun setting in the background, partially obscured by the humid, cloud-scattered sky.

Thanks to all the friends who came, particularly David Hsu who organized it. To mostly everyone I chatted with, I said something along the lines of “Well, I hope to leave on June 10th but I’m still waiting for my visa.” Since last night, however, I have a bit of new information.

We tied up the evening at about 12:30 a.m. at the Copper Gate, a recently renovated bar with Seattle’s best stock of aquavit. But when I got home, instead of collapsing into bed, I willed myself to stay awake and take advantage of the time of day (and free cell-phone minutes) to go ahead and call the Swedish Migration Board about my visa case. It was all quiet in Melanie’s house in Bryant, just me and my phone and the monotone “beep…pause…beep” of the Swedish ring tone, periodically interrupted by a voice in Swedish asking me to hold on until the next available operator can help me. Finally I got an operator, and it took me a second to snap out of my half-dozing and sputter my reply “hej, kan du pratta engelska”? (Of course she could speak English, but I figure it’s only polite to ask.) So I explained my question, and she replied by asking me to wait while she transferred me. Then, 5 more minutes of “beep…pause…beep”, when finally I got another answer. After the same conversion to English, this next person asked me my date of birth, my surname, and my nationality, and she found my file. Now I was ready for some action to be taken on my case! But her response was only to say, “yes, the person handling your case is Innalie Strand, phone number ###, but she will be on holiday for this week, you’ll have to phone her next Monday.” My mind was racing…”next week? that means I have to cancel my flight! is there another way?” It was all I could do to get this person to repeat the name and number, when she suddenly said “OKThankYouBye[click!]” and that was that.

Well, so the bad news is I need to change my flight but I don’t know what date to change it to. Plus I’ll be couch-surfing for another week, possibly longer. And I won’t really know anything else until a week from now. But the good news is that I’ll be for a bit longer, offering more happy hours, more SIFF films, and more hanging out with the Seattle crowd before I go.

Categories: aquavit, bbq, visa
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