Tuesday, November 9, 2010

at the embassy

Pembroke Road-Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Today I had my appointment at the US Embassy. If you are interested, you can take the #7 bus from O'Connell Street bridge directly to the embassy. To get back, just take any bus labeled "City Centre".

Why did I go to the embassy? According to everything I've read I was supposed to check in at the Immigration office my first month here. Unfortunately, Pea Brain Ticket Man with Irish immigration wouldn't even allow me a ticket to get in line to attempt to check in. I thought maybe the folks at the embassy could advise me about what to do. I thought they could somehow force GNIB to follow their own rules when it comes to registering immigrants and make an appointment for me.

Unfortunately, the people working at the embassy are nothing but glorified DMV employees. They do not think for themselves, they just read the same information off the GNIB website that I read at home. The guy I talked to only confirmed what I already knew, saying I should have checked in my first month. I explained the situation but in the end he said there is nothing the embassy can do to force Immigration to check me in. He advised me to try again....Sure I'll make another attempt at standing in line for 6 hours just to be turned away. I'll get right on that.

entrance to the embassy AKA the holding cell
What about the fun part? I was surprised at how fortified the US Embassy is. As I rode the bus down Pembroke Road, we passed by many other countries' embassies. I saw Italy, France, and even Ukraine on the way. Every other embassy was a plain brick building facing the street with the flag flying out in front and a normal door at the entrance.

The US Embassy was surrounded by an 8-foot fence and the main entrance is a brick holding area. Once inside, it was worse than airport security. First, they confirmed I had an appointment and marked my name off the list after checking my passport. Then I had to remove all my jewelry and empty out my purse, which went through an x-ray machine. My jacket and brolly were also x-rayed but I was allowed to keep my shoes on, since the floor was made of concrete. Finally, they made me PUT ON every lip gloss in my bag to prove they weren't other substances. Gooey. I was not allowed to take my cell phone, camera, or flash drive inside the gates at all. They kept my things in a cubby hole labeled "18" and gave me a giant lanyard with an ID on it that I had to wear around my neck. I then walked through metal detector #1 to enter the courtyard and #2 at the door to the main building. Finally, with my bright red hooker lips, I was allowed to go inside and take a number.

I asked the security officer (who, ironically had an Austrian accent) if other embassies had such strict security. "Only us and the British Embassy," he answered. Hmmm. Come to think of it, I am probably on some sort of List now because I took these pictures.

2 comments:

  1. You're probably on a List due to your hooker lips actually.

    ReplyDelete