Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Red tape and London

I've booked a holiday ...yay me...and its all very exciting, coz we are off to a SUNNY (hopefully) Greek Island.  I've been dreaming about going on holiday to a Greek Island (seriously, it has had to be a Greek Island) for a good while now, so imagine my excitement when I came out of the travel agency last Friday with a booked itinerary in my hands.  Oh I just couldn't wait to get home and google all kinds of tropical Mediterranean beaches and get satellite images of the hotel where we are going to stay.

There was just this little issue that I needed sorting though, before I would allow myself to get overly excited and that was to sort out the visa's for the kids.  Lucky for me, I already have one from my previous trip to Chamonix in February so I knew I was all sorted.

Imagine my disappointment then, when I read that Greece wasn't as accommodating as France and that it required a visit to the Greek embassy in London - this after a semi panic of hearing that the earliest appointment I could get is September 2nd! (false alarm).  We would have been back from our holiday by almost 2 weeks by then!  Luckily, being family members, we get to skip the 'make an appointment part' and come straight on in, and therefore we are all off to London tomorrow to try and get ourselves some visa's.

I am not looking forward to it.  I remember what it was like when I applied for my first extension visa in the UK (the one that you apply for after you marry, where you get 1 years further grace to live here).  I think it was called a spouse visa, but I'm not so sure now.  Sitting there, waiting to see somebody, reminds me a bit like an A&E only with 5 times the amount of people.  Mostly, everyone is speaking a foreign language (I guess they will all be speaking Greek tomorrow) and you feel a little bit like cattle or sheep being herded from one stall to another.  And then you play the waiting game.  I will be taking my book along, there is about 100 pages left to read, but its a good thing Ive got a kindle too coz once I finish that book, I can just download another. 
Well, I say that as if I'm hoping to be waiting around for something.  The best case scenario is I leave tomorrow with 2 x new schengen visa's in my hands.  (That would be the payoff for the sitting around waiting.) Worst case, is I wont have them before August 5th when we leave because a) they don't somehow see me tomorrow or b) they do but the visa's don't get here in time.  So, as far as I'm concerned, just having them, anytime between tomorrow and August 5th is a result. 

I really hate all the red tape and bureaucratic drama involved whenever you deal with a government department like that.  I know I should seriously start considering looking into citizenship and getting that all behind me, but that's another nightmare I always prefer not to deal with yet always comes around to haunt me in times like this. 

So, wish me luck tomorrow.  Ill let you know how it went.


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