Thursday, January 8, 2009


This morning I sent an email to the Belgian consulate in Montreal asking what would be considered an acceptable copy of a passport, and asking if a letter of invitation from Belgium might speed along or assist my visa application.

I hadn't heard anything after about half a day and so I decided to call the consulate to see if I could find the answers to these last questions prior to mailing out my application today.

Belgium is a small place.  The consulate is even smaller.  I know this because the woman who first answered the phone happened to be the VISA OFFICER.  I'm so used to getting a secretary or something, I didn't even think as I asked to be referred to the visa officer that I was already speaking with her.  The woman on the other end sounded a tad annoyed: "yes, I responded to your email this morning... Jessica, yes?"  I said "yes" and apologized saying I hadn't yet received the mail and explained I'd thought to call in case my email was being slow to deliver.  The woman reiterated she'd sent it at 11-something this morning, and then proceeded to tell me "as I said in the email..." explaining to me that sending my real passport would help to speed things up because a copy is only sufficient to start the process, but in the end they'd need my real passport to put the visa sticker in if my request is approved.
I thanked her, trying to sound as grateful as possible for taking the trouble to answer me, (twice,) and upon hanging up the phone realized that I may have annoyed, or seemed like a complete tool to the person who will be processing my visa request.


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