Today was most certainly one of discovery.
After a bit of research, I learned that the Indian Consular system has out sourced most of the routine administrative tasks having to do with visas, registrations and passports. Navigating through the links between the two sites was a challenge to put it mildly. There were forms, questionnaires, check lists and photo specifications.
I had wended my way through the site yesterday and carefully worked my way through forms. Printed them. Noah kindly reprinted passport photos for me when the precious ones I had taken in Germany right before I left proved illusive; being secure in the safe place in which I had stored them. Unable to figure out their appointment system software, I headed into the city this morning secure in the knowledge that walk-ins were 1100-1300.
Wrong. Today is the 13th. As of the 11th of this month – June – walk-ins have been discontinued which was posted on the door and confirmed by the kind two working the desk. The reason I say kind is that they were still willing to check my forms, pointed me to their bank of computers and assisted me in filling out two more forms that I required. While I was at it, I went ahead and paid for the visa, this time managed to make an appointment for the next day. I thought I was all set till the gentleman mentioned proof of being from this particular office’s catchment area. California driver’s license would do it.
Don’t have one of those.
Ok, rental agreement or utility bills – specifically water, PG&E …. Um, we own the house and the utilities are in my husband’s name. And they don’t take credit card billing addresses, library cards, shipping labels or any of the other things I could potentially produce. However, I am obviously not the first person who has faced this challenge – bill in my husband’s name and a copy of our marriage license would do just fine.
No, just xerox or printed is more than adequate.
After that bit of exhaustion and with appointment for the morning logged into my phone I left for the next task on my list – a new Clipper Card.
The regional public transport system is not anywhere near as fussy. They will take federal IDs as well as state IDs as proof of having passed that magic threshold of 65. DD2 (retired military) would do just fine. Ten minutes later I had my new white, clearly labeled senior, bit of plastic in my hand ready for my next adventure which turned out to be a wander over to the Embarcadero prior to headed back to the East Bay.
The Clipper pass works for the BART, the MUNI, the whole bus system. I just didn’t have the energy to hike up the Euclid hill while hauling a couple of new, rather heavy cookbooks. What is more, if it is raining, it is much drier inside a bus.