Our appointment was for 7:40 am Tuesday. We stayed up the night before reviewing all the paperwork and requirments over and over. (Here one can see our neuroticism and perfectionism especially when dealing with Immigration Offices -we have had to in the past and we get such mixed results...we don't leave anything for chance). We felt prepared! We had our paperwork fully done and we set our checkbook with the paper so as to not forget it.
We pulled ourselves out of bed, bright and early to make the 40 minute trek north. We arrived about 30 minutes early (again - neurotic). We waited patiently and we were promptly called to the window at our time. The man who helped seemed like he too had been pulled out of bed early and did not seem to happy about that. He barely glanced at our paperwork and then asked for the money order. In the paperwork it says we could use a moneyorder or a check - we had chosen to go with the check. He looked at us and said "Money Order only." We were dumbfounded. He stamps our appointment paper, hands us back our paperwork, and said "Come back when you have the money order."
We ran to the ATM across the street and started pulling money out. It soon denies us from withdrawing (We now know that our bank protection against stolen cards and large ATM cash withdrawels work). We were unsure what to do. We aren't too familiar with the area and unsure where to go. We go back to Western Union ask if they would cash a check. They will cash a personal check - for 5% of it! That was out of the question.
Then an idea! Where is the nearest Wal-mart? Not too far actually. So we ran over there and with no trouble or questions, they use our Visa and make us a money order! (I know some of you readers are anti-Wal-Mart but sometimes they can be quite the lifesaver)!
So we run back to the Office and we wait a few minutes before we are summoned back to the window, and to the same man.
WHAT?!?! Others can use personal checks but we had to take over an hour to hunt down a money order. I try to keep a smile on my face...don't want to upset the man who stands between us and our future!
We drive over to the office and are fingerprinted in no time at all. I thought it was weird that they set up appointments etc. because they are busy...yet there was NO-ONE there to be printed except us!
After we were printed and climbed into the car, Pabbi looks to me and says, "Do you realize that filing the paperwork and getting printed took less than an hour and yet we spent over an hour just tracking down a money order?"
The irony of that one!
All in all...we are done with this step and are now ready to put together our dossier! I wonder what new adventures this next set of paperwork will present. We will be sure to keep you posted!