Visa interviews

I’m in the US Embassy for my Visa interview. One of us is sick and the others have all gone through the machine already. The lady at the booth didn’t like my photo. I had to go and get a new one. Exactly the same thing happened to the person before me in the queue. I suspect she is just overly fussy. £6 and a delay. Now I’m waiting for my interview.

This is the controversial new site in Vauxhall. Probably a lot more practical, but lacking some of the charm of the old place. Security is much more relaxed though, which is why I have my mobile phone. You couldn’t take it in with you to the previous place. There was a newsagent round the corner asking for a tenner just to put your stuff in a lockbox for a couple of hours. Glad that’s not happening anymore, although someone misses the extra cash you can be sure

I say a couple of hours… I arrived here at about ten past ten. It’s now ten past twelve and I have a feeling I’ll be here a while yet. Two of the others have already finished and are in a café outside enjoying a second cup of coffee.

I’m with lots of people sitting disconsolately in a big sterile custom built hallway. Occasionally a stern woman moves us arbitrarily from one part of the hall to the next. Every few seconds there’s a “bong” noise and a number that isn’t mine pops up on the screen. I’m tired. At least it’s an opportunity to rest. I didn’t get to bed until near 3 last night after the journey back and a hot bath. I might experiment with sleeping in Oxford tonight.

Nobody speaks out loud in this hallway. Everybody whispers. Men and women in uniform patrol among us. Most of us are buried in our phones but it’s grey outside and there’s not much to see. I’d love to just go to sleep but I’m a slave to the bong. Every time it sounds I hope it might be my turn at last. Every time it sounds it isn’t my turn.

Last time I had one of these interviews it was over in a flash. The guy conducting it was lovely. I’m hoping that when my number comes up it’ll be smooth again and then I can get coffee. Right now I’ll just sit here and doze…

Yep, he was lovely. “You’re going to Notre Dame! I’m part Irish.” he tells me, to the sound of 5 million people facepalming. The college football team is called The Fighting Irish, and it’s a great team. Last time I went out I watched them play. You can buy little punching leprechauns that sit on top of your pencil. Got to love the USA. We all got through the interview!


The reality of the fact I’m going back out to there is dawning fully on me now and I’m super excited about it. It’s a lovely company and could be a lovely show if we can get specific enough about it. Lots of work to be done though.

It’s tiring, rehearsing in the day and doing a show in the evening. One of our number is sick so we are reduced… Hopefully it’ll work out.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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