Adventure in Amsterdam

Goedemorgen! Only 8 days left. In 8 days, I will be driving to the airport to go to the United States of America. It’s crazy how fast time went by. I remember saying that there were only a 100 days left. Now it’s down to 8. I got my student visa approved and I picked up my ticket, so I’m ready to go! As mentioned before, getting my student visa approved was quite a happening. Today, I’d like to tell you a little about my adventure in Amsterdam.

‘Get your visa approved as soon as possible’, some wise words from my contact person at EF. Yeah, I’ll do that later. Uhu, suddenly it was the end of April and I still hadn’t made an appointment at the United States Consulate in Amsterdam. Since I’m going for three weeks to the US and I’m doing the intensive course, I need a student visa. So on a Sunday morning, I decided that I couldn’t procrastinate it any longer and I decided to apply for my visa. I paid the online fees and had to make an appointment at the US Consulate. The only date left in May and June was June 7th, so June 7th it was. The only time available was 8.20am. It turns out, if you want to get to Amsterdam from Groningen and be on time for your appointment, you should take the train at 5.32am… So I did.

I had to bring several documents to the US Consulate, and of course, ’cause that’s how I roll, I forgot one of the most important documents at home. I had to call my mom at 4.30am and she is absolutely my hero. She got in the car and drove to me with my document so I still could catch my train. That being said, I arrived at the US Consulate with 10 minutes left. Plenty of time, you would say. Well, think again. There were about 15 other people waiting outside and another good 20 people inside. Luckily, a guard from the Consulate asked if there were any people with an appointment at 8.20am. That was my cue, thus me and another girl stepped forward. Yeah, it turns out that you’re not allowed to bring a laptop with you into the Consulate, little did we know.

The guard asked us if we did bring a laptop and we both did. We were told that we had 5 minutes to store our laptop or we would have to make another appointment. Where can you store your laptop in Amsterdam at 8.15am?! A girl outside was waiting for her friend and she offered to watch our laptops. We basically had no choice, but to trust her, so we took the risk. Getting inside the Consulate was a happening as well since they do checks on you. Eventually, we got inside and the application had begun.

A good 30 minutes later I was called to go and do my application. The lady behind the desk seemed very friendly. She was. In the beginning. Little did I know that they would take your passport and would give that back when they approve your visa since your visa is sort of stamped in your passport. Since I didn’t know this, I kindly asked whether I’d get my passport back or not. ‘I just had to read the paper the lady gave me and then I’d understand it perfectly’, the lady behind the desk told me. Okay, so that’s what I did.. The little piece of paper said that my application was approved and that they would send my passport with visa within 3 or 4 days to my home address.

I decided after this adventure in Amsterdam to get myself a coffee. Actually, I really had to use the ladies room, but where could you find a clean bathroom? The Rijksmusem! Yes, that’s right. I decided to go to the ladies in the museum. And I decided that I deserved a coffee (or two)  afterward, in the Rijkscafe. Damn, my visa got approved, I only had to receive it now and then I’d be ready to go!

The next day, the US Consulate send me my passport with visa. Hell yeah! Now I can really go! My flight leaves thus next week. On Saturday at 00.15am. I’m going via Moscow since that was the second-cheapest option. The shortest flight was via Iceland. I decided not to go for that flight since I only had 1 hour transfer time, and I thought that’d be a little too short since I’m not familiar with Iceland. So now I’ve got five hours to kill at Moscow before I fly across the world, literally across the world, to D.C.. I’m excited though, now I get to see both Rossija and the USA on the same day! I arrive at Dulles Airport at 12.50pm. My day is already 18 hours long even though in the US, the day is no older than 13 hours if I land. So somewhere, somehow, I gain five hours while traveling from Moscow to Washington D.C..

So, that’s the adventure in Amsterdam. Quite a happening to get your visa approved, considering that the actual application interview took about three minutes, max. So, note to self: in the future, whenever you need to do a visa application, just get it done right away, ’cause that saves you a whole lot of stress, and probably, you can get a better time than 8.20am…

Stay tuned!

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