(It’s October 5th.)
We all took a trip to the American Embassy today. All of the other embassies in Budapest you can just walk in and be among people who can listen to and deal with your problems. Not so at the American Embassy.
First of all, there is a HUGE gate around the whole premises which makes it totally terrifying and impossible to get into. What you do, is you talk to some guards who ask you what your business is. If you don’t have an appointment or if you aren’t coming for an informational voting meeting, you can’t go in. And, if the voting meeting is at 3:30 and you’re there at 2:50, you still can’t go in. You have to come back at 3:30.
We come back at 3:30 and the guard lets us through. After that, we walk in and go through security, where the guard makes us take out all of our electronics and then take a sip of the water that is in our bags. You know…just in case. It was bizarre. So we get there, get a number, only to realise that the info “meeting” is really just a one on one chat if you have any questions about an absentee ballot. And the whole passport renewal…yeah, she couldn’t take me even though I was sitting in a chair with a passport ready to renew. I have to make an appointment. The funny thing is, on their business card, it says “Public Hours: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY”…soooo, are those really public hours?!
Anyways, it was an adventure and it was incredibly nice outside today, so no love lost!