Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Day With America!/yerkruT htiW yaD A

This is inspired by a story book I read as a kid, A Day with Mommy/A Day With Daddy. The book told two stories, one about a girl monster tooling around town with her monster mom, and the other (if you flipped the book over and started from the other end) about a boy monster cruising with his monstrous dad.

So you want to visit Turkey!/So you want to visit the United States!

First step--Your Plane Ticket
Buy a plane ticket. No matter where you go, you'll have to go through Istanbul and it's a nice city anyway, so just make that your destination.

First step--Your Plane Ticket
Book a plane ticket. You will need to do this well in advance of your visa application. It will easily cost you your whole month's salary--so start saving in advance. Stock up on perishable foods for at least a year in advance so you can devote all your money to your flight. Sell some family jewelry. Perhaps do a contract for the mob (But be very very quiet about it! It would be an awkward topic at your visa interview). Once you get a copy of your ticket, have it notarized. You will need this for your visa interview. If you don't have definite and paid-for proof of return, your visa application may be rejected. Of course, if you buy it and then get rejected you lose the aforementioned month's worth of salary. Sucks to be you, but then there are people dying of war and famine and all sorts of ugly things in Afghanistan and those other places, so don't whine. Compared to them, you're very very lucky.

Second Step--Visas, Part 1: Documents.
You'll need a passport.

Second step--Visas, Part 1: Documents
First, you must set up an interview with the U.S. consulate. Do this early because the appointment times can be completely full months in advance. You will have to pay one hundred and thirty-one dollars each time you apply, and take a day off of work because it's almost always a weekday morning (Call in sick the first time, because you may be back several times and if your boss won't give you the day off, it's better to pretend your sick the first time than the last, since they will already smell what's up.) The visa officer is going to assume you are trying to become an illegal alien--they are instructed to believe this in their training--so you're job is to prove you're not lying about wanting to only stay temporarily. It's a little like trying to prove you're not crazy when someone already assumes you are. "Oh, so you were muttering to yourself the other day? Perhaps you were hearing voices in your head. No? Well, of course you would say that. A crazy person always denies they're crazy. Oh you DID hear voices? See? You're nuts." Or maybe it's like proving you're not a witch. If someone ties a stone to your foot and throws you in a river, but you don't die, then you're a witch. If you die, well, then, you're a God-fearing Christian woman and oops...well, we were wrong. Wish we could say "sorry", but you're dead. That's life, as the saying goes. Or that's the end of life at least. For you. Next!

Anyway, to prove you're not a liar, you'll need to gather a lot of paperwork from your job. You'll need a bank statement (If you don't have at least 10,000 dollars in your bank account, your visa could be refused). You'll need something stating your salary. (If you don't make at least S3000 a month, you could be denied). Try to get a letter from your boss swearing that you are indispensable to the company and must return (This could be tricky when you are timing it with the fake sick day). If you are taking care of any sickly grandparents or children, get medical reports and take pictures of them looking helpless or sickly. If you have friends in the states, have them write invitation letters promising to pay for you and go to jail for you if you have any problems. They will ask lots of personal questions about anyone that invites you, so make sure you intrude upon them and embarrass yourself by asking them first. Most importantly, know how much money they make per year!

The rules change all the time, especially the unofficial ones, so surf the net as much as possible hoping against hope that someone is putting up the latest requirements.

Third Step: Visas, Part 3: The online application
There is no visa application, dipshit. Just make sure your passport is up to date.

Third Step: Visas, Part 3. The Online Application
You will need information about your entirely family, including their birthdates and salaries. You will get to answer all sorts of interesting queries about how you amuse yourself, such as "Have you ever participated in a genocide or do you plan to conduct a genocide while in the states?" "Do you plan to conduct terrorist activities while in the U.S.?" "Have you ever, or do you plan to, engage in prostitution while you are in the U.S." Answer no to all of these, even if you have just come back fresh from the killing fields. Don't attempt any cute answers like, "Well, no, not genocide. I just want to kill random people." They frown on sarcasm.

Fourth Step--Visas, Part 4: The interview
You don't have any interviews! God, get it through your head. Maybe make sure your passport is up to date again?

Fourth Step: Visas, Part 4: The Interview

You will not be able to take anyone with you, not even your American friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend though they are American citizens. They will be stopped at the door. All of your answers will be given into a microphone and the entire room will hear you as you answer all sorts of personal questions about your relationship with your American lover whom you are obviously using your the free visa. But don't get nervous! As the website points out, any signs of being nervous can result in an immediate denial. Also make sure your voice is not too loud or too soft, this will also result in a denial. Sound confident, the official consulate website advises. "Though," and I quote, "ultimately the decision to grant or deny your visa is up to the whim of the visa officer." If this seems arbitrary to you, then take comfort in the fact that, again, as the website explains, "Our visa officers are highly trained professionals and have learned to make complex decisions with a minimum of information." They do not specify how one is trained to make a decision on a random whim--but have no doubts or show no doubts because you will be denied. Probably. Unless their sixth sense, or the spirit they channel during past life regression, or the invisible midget who lives in their purse tells them otherwise. If you are denied, you most likely will not be given a reason more than "You are not appropriate" though everyone in the office will swear that you must have been given a reason. They often deny you right then and there, sometimes they let you stew a while in your own filthy hope. If denied, you may start this whole process all over again by paying another 131$ (you don't get that first 131 back, so don't ask). At the second or third or fourth interview, if they don't hate you immediately, you will be told to wait for your answer. You will be mailed your answer in a few days. Sometimes, they will mail you a request for extra documentation. After you mail this back to them, it could take up to sixty days for them to process it. Buy some booze to kill time and emotions, and keep in mind, they can still say no. If you haven't paid for your ticket, do so now, because, damn, those prices are going up!

Fifth Step--the Airport: Remember, stand in the visa line and pay your 20$! After that, just hand over your passport and wait for the guy to stamp it. Welcome to Turkey!

Fifth Step--The Airport: You'll be asked a lot of questions like "Oh you're from the Middle East, does that mean you get all your oil for free?" Though you are from Turkey (a country the U.S. depends on for bases to conduct its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) and not from the Middle East at all, and though this is a silly question no matter where you from, you may not make the smartass answer you're dying to make. Just smile and say something friendly or they'll turn you away and send you back home at your own expense. You're bag may be thoroughly searched in a random profiling of Muslims. Once you're over this hurtle, you're in!

Welcome to the U.S.!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"İyi seyyah, nereye gittiğini bilmeyendir;
mükemmel seyyah, nereden geldiğini bilmeyendir." (Lin Yutang)