While living in Tchad we, the SMs, used to dream of the Embassy as we drove past it in the Capital. We would imagine that inside there was air-conditioning, plush couches, fountains flowing with CocaCola, AW rootbeer, and cream soda and bowls filled with MnM’s and soo much more. We visualized something of a cross between Disney World and the Marriot. After all when you are in the American embassy you are on American soil we are compatriots lost in a foreign country, we deserve to see something of our homeland. Nevertheless, we never went in, not even when there was a Coup on the capital and all that danger. Having never seen inside we just let our imagination believe what we wanted.
February 2001 I received my first passport. I was 16 years old and heading to Costa Rica for my first time out of the country. My picture was bad but the stamps I have received over the last d10 years are cool. I’ve got stamps from Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, United States of America, Tchad, Camaroon, Iceland, Bahamas and France. It’s a nice passport. The time however has come for it to be retired. A nice new picture is due. I was going to Oslo on a trip and decided to stop by the Embassy to renew it in person.
Once in Oslo the American Embassy was right across from the stop and we went over. I had to leave all my bags with Ben because you can only take a small, very small, purse/wallet in with you. When I went back with my friend Tzveta, who was applying for a transit visa, she got in line and the guard came over and asked through the tall metal bared fence what we needed and I said, “I’m a citazen and am waiting with her in line until she goes in and I need to renew my passport”. The citizen line was much shorter, actually there was no line. It was cool saying that I was a citizen as if that was so much better, but in this case it was.
Once I got all my stuff put down and only had my wallet and paperwork I went through security and passed into the golden homeland . . . I must say I was thoroughly disappointed. No soda fountain, no MnM’s, no plush couches. Just chairs, windows with people on the other side and and a burocratic feel. Ahh, it was nice to be on my homeland again. I got my passport taken care of and on my way out made sure to go potty before I left America.