Visa trip to LA

Yesterday I went to LA to get my Visa for the Netherlands. The day just flew by, and I was dead tired by the time I got back. But it was an interesting trip nonetheless.

For one, I really really regretted not having a license or even knowing how to drive properly for the first time during my stay in the US. If I had a car, it would have been such a hassle-free task. But without the car, it was a major PITA.

I had to get up at 5 in the morning. Shave and bathe, and bother a good friend to get up and drop me off at the Greyhound stop in downtown San Diego. I was surprised to find that the bus was late, and even more surprised to see that everyone took is so coolly. I was expecting someone to come up and shout threats to sue Greyhound, but nothing even remotely like that happened. The scheduled arrival time in LA was 9, but the driver and everyone else just took it for granted that this was a flexible deadline depending on the traffic conditions. I had not expected such a indifferent attitude from the Americans.

Finally, after much chugging along, I reached LA at around 10. Thinking that the bus might take too long to get me to the embassy, I risked taking a cab. My first in the US. Big mistake. Big big mistake. Let me put it this way — it cost me **twice** as much to get from the LA Greyhound bus terminal to the Netherlands embassy as it cost me for the **return** trip from San Diego to LA and back. Beat that!

The embassy was mostly empty, and the application process hardly took more than 10 minutes. They said they’d FedEx the stamped passport to me early next week, so I should be all set for my trip well in time. On the way back from the Embassy, I decided to take the bus (naturally). Much to my chagrin, I realized that taking the bus on the wayward journey would have been a much better idea — it would have cost me all of 3 bucks for a whole day Metro pass, and since the Embassy was empty anyways, there wasn’t really any rush.

Anyways, I got back to the bus station by 12:45. I had a ticket for the 4pm bus back, but I requested them to put me on an earlier bus and luckily I got a place on the 1pm bus itself. The traffic was worse this time, and by the time I reached SD it was already 5.

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