Saturday, 12 October 2013

Intellectual and Downright Dumb

Over the last three weeks, Lee and I have mainly been holed up in our hotel room, settling in to our MA (Creative Writing: Imaginative Practice at UEL, in case you were interested). I'm finally getting to finish the course I started in London way back in 2010, and Lee has joined the first year. It's fun reading a lot and writing for a purpose, although I've already slipped easily into the role of tortured, procrastinating student. And the tutorials happen from 12 midnight till 3am here, which makes the intellectual topics of conversation rather challenging (although when are they really not a challenge?) And that will only get worse, as in Korea they will be 3am to 6am, eek.
Having received our visa number, we went to the Korean embassy last week to get everything sorted. I won't bore you with the details, but it was horribly stressful and just felt like there were a million hurdles intent on getting in the way. By some small miracle, after being at the embassy for four hours, we got our visa processed with ten minutes to spare before closing. Boom! We are due to get our passports back on Tuesday (fingers crossed please).
There was one thing, however, that made the whole experience in the embassy sooo much better. There was an unexplained, unowned, teeny, tiny kitten running around under the seats. It was the smallest cat I'd ever seen and I totally wanted to steal it and test out the 'will anyone notice the meowing coming from my bag as I board the plane' question. And if we weren't flying to America I really might've tried it.
On Thursday morning we leave for LA. We're hiring a car and plan to go on a mega crazy road trip that includes San Diego, Tijuana, the Grand Canyon and Vegas.
Yesterday we were looking at visas, as last time we went to America we had to get one last minute at the airport (another not entirely stress free situation). We couldn't find the exact website we used before, and ended up filling out an about 50 page questionnaire, which crashed right at the end, causing us to lose everything. Luckily it turns out we don't need to do it again as this painful process is reserved for people from more 'questionable' countries, or something like that. The form included work history, spouse details and of course plenty of yes/no questions relating to your intent to take part in illegal activity. Now, I understand that no government wants bad people entering the country, but seriously these questions were on a different level. They were so hilarious in fact that I couldn't resist  copying a couple for your enjoyment. 

  • Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?
  • Have you ever engaged in the recruitment or the use of child soldiers? 
  • Have you ever been directly involved in the coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue?
 Needless to say, there were also countless questions on the topic of being a terrorist/being in a terrorist group/financially supporting a terrorist. 
What I really can't understand is why on earth-if you were any of these things- would you answer yes?
For goodness sake.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment!