Indian Visa

Off to the Indian Consulate today to get our visa’s. Had the forms filled in, pictures etc. Just had to stop at the bank to get a bank draft for payment. Luckily Michael noticed that was the only way to pay – bank draft. No problem, planned to drop the kids at school at 9:00 and go to bank here in White Rock. Haven’t actually been into a bank in a long time. Who knew – they don’t open until 9:30. Decided to head downtown and go to bank there.

Michael had mentioned that there was a Bank of Montreal at Seymour and Georgia which wasn’t exactly close to the Consulate (at Canada Place) but decided to go there. Easy drive in, no traffic, parked on Seymour and walked up to Georgia. Looked around – no BMO. Phoned Michael to find out address – no answer. Frustration sets in, drop phone, battery falls out. Put battery back in, phone freezes. Take a deep breath, relax. Turn phone off, then on – good it works. Text Michael “I need BMO address now!”

He phones and tells me it’s not right at the corner, it’s actually at Homer and Georgia – another 2 blocks east. I’m getting further and further from the Consulate and by now it’s 10:20 and it closes at 12:00 – I’m getting a little worried as I know there are usually long lineups at consulates. I finally find the bank and I walk in and it’s no bigger than my bathroom – what country am I in? I’ve never seen a bank so small but the good news is there’s no lineup. Easily get the bank drafts and walk very fast towards the Indian Consulate.

Finally get there at 10:50 and see a well dressed Indian man with a turban and a caucasian woman wearing bright orange pants and a flowery blouse – yes, this must be the place. Up two flights of stairs and into the consulate. About twenty people in the office waiting. I look right away to take a number, then find a seat. Everyone else is of Indian origin, wearing colorful sari’s or turbans. I’ve brought a book and a newspaper to keep myself occupied. I look at my number – 46 and then warily look up to see what number they are on….45! What? I look around at all the other people – how can that be??

The security guy comes over and says something to me. He has a heavy Indian accent and I don’t understand him. I smile and say “Visa.” He says, “Papers, pictures, bank draft?” I say, “Yes, yes I have it.” He looks at me disbelievingly and says, “let me see.” So I pull out the applications all filled out with the pictures attached and he looks surprised. He smiles and motions for me to sit at the front. And then he motions for me to go to the wicket. I can’t believe I just got here and I’m being served!

The Indian man at the wicket is nice – he likes the fact that my husband has to go there to work and the kids and I get to vacation. He too is surprised that everything seems to be in order. But then he says, “your husband needs a letter from the Vancouver office saying that he works there and is going to India on busines.” I swear under my breath because Michael specifically said that other people got visa’s without that letter.

I phone Michael to have him fax a letter – no answer!! I text him, “You need that letter, phone me now!” He phones and then quickly has someone write and fax a letter. Everything is in order, I pay and will come back tomorrow to pick up visas. Very efficient and nice people at the Consulate!

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