Friday, November 13, 2009

The land of flowing soda and M’n’M’s

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.


kessia reyne said...

It's funny to think of that building really being American soil, but I'm still glad you got to visit it!

Andrea said...

Wait, when did you go to Iceland?!

Rachel said...

So, because I got my passport in April of 2001 do I need to renew it? Yikes! I better check! You never know when I might need to unexpectedly travel to the Galapagos, Oslo, or Singapore.