I survived the American embassy without frostbite – I think… I haven’t taken off my double socks but the feet feel ok, despite them being very cold this morning outside the embassy on Djurgården (island in Stockholm with lots of embassies).
I was waiting together with a family from Gothenburg with two children, the 5-year old was complaining as well of being cold… and the parents were also quite nervous, just like me. They asked me if I had managed to get a photo with the size of 5×5 cm and I said that the local Expert shop (photoshop) had helped me, however I told them that I thought that their photos which were normal Swedish size would be ok (I hope!). Then I freaked out as my bar code on the third page of the DS 156-form didn’t look like a normal bar code but we compared, and their looked the same… Talk about freaking out over details! But, like I have told O many times, the details are important. The guard actually told me that maybe they shouldn’t call it a bar code as it doesn’t really look like one, and people get confused.
Once inside it was pretty quick and painless, a Swedish woman checked my forms and told me that even if she is from Skåne herself (she didn’t have an accent but looked really posh so I guess she was an upperclass Skåning) she would have had problems spelling my place of birth – O’s company had misspelt it on the form they had to fill out and had had to send me a second one (Verbod sounds like a mix between vedbod (firewood shed in Swedish) and verboten (prohibited in German). The American civil servant asked me which division of O’s company he works for, and it turned out that this embassy guy had worked for O’s company in Connecticut, and continued to tell me lots of anecdotes about his life in the company while he stamped my forms and told me to enjoy myself in Puerto Rico! That was it, the only question I had to answer had nothing to do with the visa! I was told that I will probably have my visa already by Monday in the mail, maybe even before I come back to Skåne as I stay in Stockholm until Monday morning!!
At the bus stop a Chinese girl asked two ladies standing beside me for the Chinese embassy, they replied that they were from Denmark so she asked me – I answered that I had no idea but suggested that she would ask at the American embassy. The Danish women repeated to me in Danish that they were from Denmark, I turned to them and said “and I’m from Skåne”… Ha ha, some people would say that I am half-Danish!
Now I am babysitting in a Stockholm surburb while my friend E is shopping for dinner – she’s making vegetable soup and pancakes as it is Thursday (Swedish tradition is to eat yellow peasoup and pancakes on Thursdays)! It’s great to be a guest 😉 (and the baby is fast asleep)…