I got up early (noon) and took a forty minute cab ride to the embassy district.
With the new regulations for the biometric passports in the EU, I needed to get a special picture for the application:
Which somehow seemed to resemble a mugshot.
I showed up at the consulate at about 14:20:
Their opening hours today were from 13:30 to 16:30.
I thought that left plenty of time.
My, what a silly thought!
So anyways I made it past the security check and the flag pole:
And then I was in the middle of all the Chinese folks applying for German visa:
Luckily, there were only six other Germans in line in front of me.
Cool, this should be no problem at all, thought I.
And was being completely asinine of course.
After two hours of administrative constipation, I was finally called inside:
Okay, no photographs beyond this point, so here’s the text version:
There is this nice lady working behind a thick glass wall.
She types with her two index fingers, unless one of them is busy adjusting her glasses or sorting out paper work. Then she only types with the other one.
I am just beginning to understand why this has been taking so long when the door slides open at 16:25, and one of the Chinese guards slides his face in.
His right hand makes the Chinese signal for “6” that looks somewhat like this:
His broken German is indicating that there are six more people outside waiting to get in.
The lady looks up from her computer screen, one of her index fingers moves up to adjust her glasses.
She looks at the guard for a second, then she shrugs and says one single word in English: “sorry.”
Then, with the faintest of smiles, she shrugs again and goes back to her typing.
I get out at 16:35, all the Chinese visa applicants are gone, but the other Germans are still sitting there waiting.
“Are they still allowed to get in now?” I ask the guard.
“No,” he replies, “of course not!”
“So you didn’t tell them that? Or why are they still waiting here?”
“I tried, but they wouldn’t listen!” A smile on the guard’s face.
Oh my poor fellow compatriots: The lady who came here only to pick up her new passport, the friendly older guy with the excellent Chinese, the couple with the baby in the belly-holster, the business dude with the sleazy hair and the nice suit, the quiet guy in the back…
Well, what the hell, my passport application is through:
The early bird gets the worm, for that matter.
And I’m outta here.