Best day ever.
May 20, 2010 § 12 Comments
[Nick and some colourful fountains last night, downtown Montreal]
As I flew to Toronto from Montreal this afternoon, I was fighting off tears, thinking about what took place this morning, but these were tears of joy and relief instead of the tears of frustration I’d been dealing with for the last 8 months.
Today was not only mine & Nick’s three year anniversary, but also, coincidentally my visa interview at the American Consulate in Montreal.
We woke up at 6 am at the hotel I purposefully booked 5 minutes away from the consulate. We arrived just after 7 even though my interview was for 8 and there were already about 10 people ahead of us. Nick went to get us tea and muffins, but we barely had time to eat them before security started opening the doors and leading in people to be searched.
The whole process was impressively orderly and organized. We were split into groups and given letters. We were taken upstairs to a high floor where we waited about half an hour before I was called for them to review my documents and take my fingerprints. They charged me a “machine readable visa fee” (AKA a “give us this last bit of money please” fee) and I waited some more. I was then called into a booth to be interviewed by an officer. For the first time in the history of my travels, I was face to face with the nicest immigration officer imaginable. The dude could have been a kindergarten teacher. I told him my fiance was also here and he told me to please go get him so he can be part of this too. He asked us how we met, to which we looked at each other and laughed, then I told the briefest version of the story possible. He asked about the company we both worked for, how often we visited each other, and really not too much else. After about 10 minutes, he declared “Based on the information you’ve given me today and that I have here, I can tell you that you’re approved for this visa.” Nick and I looked at each other like our heads were going to explode out of pure happiness and relief. We thanked him very much and left and Nick planted a big kiss on me as soon as we got into the hallway.
Now here’s the part of the story where you’re gonna think I’m starting to make things up – we take the elevator downstairs to leave and as soon as the door opens, there stands Steve Herman – mine & Nick’s old boss! The very same man who, when I asked him two years ago to be transferred to our New York office, he tells me “I’m sorry, I just can’t do it, it’s too risky. Maybe you guys will work it out and stay together and get married and prove me wrong, I just don’t know!” We were all shocked, but said hi and hugged quickly before he was ushered into the elevator with the next group of wannabe-Americans and can only assume he is thinking back on the same moment.
The whole experience was really great. I’m so glad Nick was there with me and it went so smoothly. We were back at the hotel, eating breakfast at 10:00 and were able to catch early flights home. Now I’m back in Whitby and just spent an afternoon with my wonderful sister and her amazing kids and will probably drink a beer with my Dad when he gets home from work in 20 minutes. I can’t wait to see friends next week and enjoy my last bit of time in Canada for a while.
Best day ever!