Saturday, 27 March 2010

Visa Time!

Well, yesterday I went to London to get my visa. I am quite worried by how obsessed I got about my fingers and not getting any papercuts in the last 2 weeks!! I think it's more because I am doing my dissertation a lot at the moment, it involves a lot of paper and it would have been such a pain in the arse to have got a cut on my finger and have to rearrange the appointment.

Anyhow, I successfully managed to keep 10 lovely, cut-free fingers for my appointment. I set off at about 9.15am and managed to miss the bus by about 30 seconds because it left early! So I had to get the more expensive non-uni bus to the train station which came at about 9.35am... so I cut it a little bit fine for my liking seen as the train was at 9.55am! I think I must have been walking around yesterday with a sign saying "Talk to me" attached to my forehead because whilst I was at the bus stop a random guy started talking to me about the lack of buses then rambling on about the university... blah blah. Then I got on the bus and sat down with my 'Vote Mickey' bag (mainly because it was the only bag I had that would fit the magazines, paperwork and my stuff in it... not because it had mickey mouse on it!) and the women who was sat next to me commented about it and then it transpired she loved Disneyworld and we ended up chatting about it all the way to the train station which was nice :-P

Got to the station and the train came after about 4 minutes of waiting so hopped on that and sat down for a very boring 2 hours with no mobile phone and no ipod.... it felt very wierd not having my phone on me, what did people do before mobiles?! I thought I had been very clever, making sure I had all my paperwork and not having any electronics on me... I'd even taken my house key off my main keys and just put the single key in my purse so that I didn't have my electronic car key on me which is also not allowed... so when I was on the train and I reached into my bag for my drink and glanced my bunch of keys it took a few seconds for me to realise that I wasn't supposed to have them!! It transpires that I must have grabbed them as I left my room, as you do, when actually I wasn't supposed to have remembered them! ARGH. The most annoying part was that because I ended up putting it into the left luggage (£8!!) at Waterloo it meant I could have taken my phone and ipod all along! How irritating!

Anyway, once I arrived in London I grabbed a sandwich from M&S in the station and got on the tube. Made my way on the Northern line and then Central line to Bond St. As a side comment, it's wierd how 'normal' it feels being on the tube and being in London now... it has no special feeling at all. Just as if I had driven into Bristol and was wondering around. Maybe that's why I find London so boring now! So, got to Bond St and walked to the embassy. It seemed that whilst I remembered the keys I didn't want, I also forgot the map I printed off that I did want! So I wondered around a bit and then found Grosvenor Sq... even though I didn't have my watch or phone, I got there bang on time at 12.30pm... my appointment was at 1pm. As we walked through security I ended up chatting to a girl with a Disney book called Katie, she was going the same day as me but on a different flight! Literally, as soon as I got into the actual room of the embassy where you have to wait I had only just sat down when my number came up onto the screen straight away! So I lost Katie when I went to my window because she got called up too and then sat down in a different place but it didn't matter... at my window she just took most of my documents and my fingerprints and then I sat back down.

I had only been sitting there for a few minutes when Chris appeared... I met him on facebook when I saw he had the same visa appointment time as me... so that was good because he's on my flight and doing merchandise so we chatted about Disney which made the time go a bit faster! I ended up waiting for about 2 hours at this second sitting stage but eventually got called up to the next window at about 2.30pm. Literally, all the man said was "Have you got any family in the USA?" (No), "Where are you working?" (Disney), "Have you read the guidance document about your visa?" (Yes). Brilliant, we will grant you your visa. Easy peasy!

So, after saying goodbye to Chris (and Katie who I saw again at this point) I paid my £14.50 (!) to get my passport back in a few days and then left the embassy to go back to the train station. At this point the heavens decided to open and I got absolutely drenched walking back to Oxford St. If it hadn't been so horrifically busy I would have popped into Primark and got an umbrella but it was horrible in there with the amount of people... I am not one to suffere with panic attacks but I could easily get one in there, it's vile. Bring on the Bristol Primark any day... less busy and more tidy. :-D

So, after retrieving my keys from left luggage and eating a McFlurry, I got the train at 16.05 back to Bournemouth and got home at about 18.30. What a thrilling day. :-P

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lucky post no. 13

I can't believe this is my 13th post on this blog and I still have 3 months to go!!! So apologies for my boring ramblings... the only reason I felt the need to post today was because I am getting distracted from writing my dissertation. Out of interest, I went onto my blog from 2008 (Click Here) to find out what day I got the email that I was accepted because I knew it was this time of year... it will be 2 years ago on Friday! And then of course I started reading my other posts through the visa application to flying out to Orlando and my first couple of days there and it has made me insanely excited!!

This is a bad thing when I should be writing about very miserable events to do with media violence for my dissertation, especially considering I should be handing in a chapter draft by Friday and I start filming my major on Friday through to Sunday. Basically, I am totally bogged down with work and this is the crappiest week in the whole three years of BATV I think... it was wierd to read about the build-up to Disney last time, when I was just finishing first year! Everything seemed stressful then but it's nothing compared to now! Over the next 8 weeks I have to film my major, write another 3200 words of my production analysis, write another 7000 words of my dissertation and do the shitty PDP essay... sounds like hell. But, after that it will be only a month until I leave and go back to the world of the Mouse! YAY. x

Friday, 5 March 2010

Visa Appointment Booked!

Well... time is moving on pretty fast! Just over 100 days to go now until I'm flying to Florida and I am soooo excited! I have to say, I think I am more excited than last time, maybe it's because I know how much fun I'm going to have and how different to working in the UK it is...or maybe just because it means I've finished University!!

So I got back to Bristol for a few days yesterday and my Disney Pack had arrived! Very exciting stuff. It contains all sorts of important documents and instructions on how to ensure you get to Florida with the  correct documents and have paid all the relevant fees. So, I got stuck in this morning with the Visa application which I swear has got a lot more complicated since 2008! Firstly, I paid the SEVIS fee ($35) which was pretty easy and then you print off the receipt of that. Then I phoned the embassy (£1.20/min!!) which took 9 minutes (so almost £11 phone call!) and booked my appointment which is a lot earlier than in 2008. They are enabling you to book your appointment a lot earlier this year which is good because it gets it out of the way. Last time I didn't go to the embassy until May but this time I have booked my appointment for the 26th March which is in 3 weeks time. I had to pay for the visa over the phone with a credit card ($131) so all in all, today has been a pretty expensive day! I also had to book the train ticket to get to London that day which was also a rip-off at £30 with a young persons railcard... meh. The problem with the embassy is that you don't know how long you're going to be... last time I was about 3 hours I think, but you could end up in there for longer. I think they shut at about 5.30pm so the longest I'll be is 4.5hrs I guess... seen as my appointment is 1pm.

So... in total I have spent $166 and £30... so about £140 today :-O but it's all worth it! The only things I have left to pay for now are the housing assessment fee and my insurance which in total will probably be another £200.... better get some shifts done once all this Uni work is handed in!