July 11, 2008

The moment of truth has arrived. The embassy guy told me that the judge’s document was the only issue preventing the visa. Before I came they said they had the right to do a special investigation even though the central office did one already.

I only slept a couple hours and was ready by 6:30am. I wait in the main lobby. I have all the papers read — 7am I move outside and see a monster size beetle. By 7:30am, perhaps the driver overslept, so now I start thinking about a cab but I have no idea how much that would cost so I wait until 8am which was my original time. By 8:05am, I ask the hotel manager how much a cab would cost and he says around 100 rupees are less than $2 USD so I flag a cab and it costs me 120 rupees. I give him 200 for good luck. Buy the embassy bus pass and head out. Then I got into the embassy around 9am. They called my name almost immediately. Fortunately, it is the same nice guy who took my documents the previous day. We go over what I have and then he told me an immigration agent will call me. I ask if it is the same guy as the previous day and says that guys is off today. I figured that can’t be good. New person usually means a new issue as they can interpret the documents as they wish and even though the previous guy said only one document needed a change, this one can bring up any new issue they want. I only have to wait a few minutes and my name is called. The guy is Desi. There are some Desis (Indo Paks), some whites, some blacks. I don’t know which one works in my favor. He says it’s his first adoption case so that scares me because I’m worried he’ll start digging for obscure laws to protect himself and cover all his bases and require us to get more documents. The guy sounds American looks to be in his 20s so I ask if he is from the US since he does not have an accent. He says he is from the New England area. I tell him I am a Tom Brady fan and so I root for the New England Patriots since Tom Brady went to the University of Michigan, where I went to undergrad. He said he is a big Patriots fan. I ask his name but he says he is not allowed to give it out. We get on to business but I am happy so far. He says he sympathizes with the process we have gone through especially since there is no official process in Pakistan and so it can be difficult but he says from the notes, only one document needed to be fixed which we did so it looks like everything is in order. So I ask to be clear, does that mean Jamal has received his visa and he says yes. I thank him possibly about 20 times. He also says today is slow so he’ll process the visa right now and to sit tight and he’ll have it for me shortly. He was not joking, about 30 minutes later, he called me back, had me verify the information and it all looked good. He handed me a packet that won’t fit through the slot so he met me at the door, we shook hands and he handed me a packet of documents to give to customs upon arrival in the US. I took it and headed off. Mission accomplished. What a relief.

I took the bus back to the embassy parking lot and just took a cab instead of calling for a driver. I want to get away from the embassy as quick as possible before they can change their mind. I don’t know the name or address of my hotel so I have the cab take me to the Parliament Houses where Jawad stays. I go to the security office and give them the names of the people but they need their address so after a few minutes I borrow a stranger’s cellphone and Jawad happened to be leaving at the same time so he picks me up and drops me off at home. I celebrate with a full order of chicken kudiyi sp? It is greasy but I try to avoid the grease. I call Tannu and let her know. I am mentally exhausted and took a long nap. Later, I just study and relax in my room. Now, I just wait to go back home with Jamal.