Well hello again,
First, the good news: I passed my embassy interview!
Honestly, the hardest part was standing outside the building in the -17C weather, waiting for them to open the doors. We got there at 7:40, they let me in at 8:00, and I think if I’d had to wait 10 minutes longer frostbite might have been a serious danger 🙂
Once inside, the game began… first a check that I did actually have an interview that day, then a security screening, then another check that I had my passport, then a line-up to get a number (A4 — which meant I was 4th in line that day), then a wait for my number to be called, then a check of my paperwork where I got to hand in passport photo set #4 (seriously, what are they doing with all these tiny pictures of me?!?), then digital fingerprinting (which for some strange reason was really hard — the machine didn’t like my fingerprints, maybe cuz they were covered in cold clammy stress sweat?? 😉 haha), then back to the hard seats to wait for my number to be called again… then the mind games as they called numbers: “A1”, then 20 minutes later, “A2”, then 25 minutes later “A3”, then 20 minutes later “A9” (wtf?!?), another half hour, “A10” (seriously?!?), another 20 minutes “A11” (thankfully A5, A6, A7 and A8 were sitting close to me, so we all commiserated over their lack of numbering equality together). Finally “A4” was called and my interview was up.
The interview itself was pretty straight forward — a man in a salmon-coloured shirt with a polite but scary smile asked me all about our relationship (“where did you meet”, “why did Jon go to UBC to study house-painting?!?”, “so you’re a real legitimate marriage then?”, “did you do a cake tasting for your wedding?” (<— cuz that’s definitely going to determine if you’re a legit couple or not), “is there enough painting work on an island to support the two of you?” (people always seem concerned that Jon lives on an island — I try to explain that there’s this thing called a bridge joining us to civilization, but the concern remains)… and then those blessed words: “I am approving your visa”.
*HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF*
We had celebratory Indian food (cuz nothing says “WAHOO!” like samosas & naan), followed up with some candy cane cheesecake (it was on sale), and then started the next (and almost final) step of this whole process: Waiting.
See, the thing is that even after you’ve passed your interview, you don’t get to just move on down to the USA and set up a life. Instead the embassy keeps your passport; they take it away and do some fancy business to give it a visa (not exactly sure what that looks like, but it’s clearly complicated because it takes days to do), and then they courier it back to me. This step can take from 2 to 14 days (“within two weeks,” they promised), so that’s where we’re at now. Trying not to compulsively check the visa website every hour, on the hour for an update 😉
The good news is that Montreal is a pretty awesome place to be ‘stuck’ waiting, even during their record-cold temperatures, and especially with the stress of the interview behind us! Plus I think I’m the master of $35/night apartments (www.airbnb.com is my best friend). Our first place had the bonus of a cat, our second apartment is very tastefully decorated in purple, and — bonus! — we’re practicing living in small spaces again. That’ll be good for Brio, right? 🙂
A few pics from the last week… starting with the (very beautiful) drive from Maine to Montreal… the highlight of which was a stop for the best pecan-pie I’ve ever tasted at my cousin’s husband’s parent’s house (got that??) in Vermont!
Arrival at our first $35/night apartment (neon green, so we never got lost)…
Jon shoveling the driveway out…
The bonus cat that came with the place (…well, we traded cat-sitting for parking actually, so it was a pretty good deal all around :D)…
This cat was seriously friendly… he liked to jump up on Jon’s chest and lick his beard. Even I don’t like to get that close!
Dressed up like eskimos for the verrrrry cold temperatures…
A gorgeous day ice-skating on Mont Royal…
This was my first time ever skating on an outdoor rink!
Apparently there are downsides to real outdoor ponds…
But that didn’t matter… the rink was amazing, with giant outdoor speakers playing music while we skated…
We don’t want to over-book apartments (just in case that passport shows up early!) so we’re now on to $35/night place number two (how many of these places do you think there are in Montreal?? We may find out!!)…
This one is *slightly* smaller inside… we’ve worked out that it’s 9′ wide by 16′ long. No joke, Brio might have more square footage 😉 I’m standing at the front door in the kitchen taking this picture:
This is a fuzzy pic, but I’m demonstrating that you can reach the kitchen counter from the “bed”. Hahaha a very good house-feature, if you ask me!
And the mantra of the month:
That’s it for now!
oh my gosh, I love that mantra! Stealing!
Steph if you love it then you HAVE to watch “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” — it’ll seem weird at first, but it’s one of my favourite movies EVER!! <3