Reno, NV to Redwood City, CA

It is not everyday that I get a personal phone call from a deputy ambassador!

Yesterday morning was spent dealing with the hurdle described yesterday. I phoned the Sri Lankan embassy and talked to a very nice young man who explained the embassy’s understanding of the visa fee situation, that Kris had to pay the $100 visa fee. The US Sri Lankan Fulbright Commission had provided me with some material to back up the opposite view overnight and advised me to speak with the deputy ambassador if I continued to have difficulties. I gathered all of my courage and called the embassy and asked to speak to the deputy ambassador. Much to my suprise, this important official took my call immediately. He was very earnest and told me to send him an email explaining the situation and promised that he would look into it.

He was as good as his word and was kind enough to call me personally on my cell. It was a little awkward as I was driving down I-80 in modestly heavy traffic when the call came. But I was honored that he had taken the time to research the situation, but I was disappointed that he determined that we needed to pay the fee. Worse, the only form of payment that they could handle involved transferring an actual piece of paper from us to them.

So, we swung off the road in Roseville, CA and located the main post office. Conveniently the US Post Office is a one-stop shop for situations like this. They sold us a postal money order and it was send by express mail to Washington, DC. So the errand actually only cost us about 1/2 hour out of our trip. Unfortunately, even express mail effectively takes two days and since we must get our Chinese and Vietnamese tourist visas before we leave the Bay Area, it looks like our departure from the Bay Area will be delayed at least by those two days. We will know more once the passports actually arrive back from Washington, DC.

But we arrived in Redwood City without further incident and are staying with friends in their lovely house with a view of Stanford University. Today I get a tour of the campus while Kris relives her college years at UC – Santa Cruz with her college roommate.



1 Comment

  1. May 3, 2009 at 11:21 am

    […] Long time blog readers will recall that we did have some trouble getting our Chinese visa. The Sri Lankan visa process was tricky, but then we were applying to reside in Sri Lanka, not just be tourists in Sri Lanka. […]

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