Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Applying for Visa

With just over a month left for my departure, I have one very important thing to take care of: obtain my work visa to Turkey. I had hoped to check this off my to-do list before leaving Boston, but unfortunately, due to both timing and the poor experience I had with the Turkish Consulate in Boston, I decided to wait until I arrived home to D.C. Besides, I felt more comfortable driving to the official Turkish Embassy in Washington than having a small  consulate office in Boston mail me my passport--I'm a risk-averse person and I feared losing my blue key to traveling the world.

Turkish Embassy was easy to spot with its bright red flag.
On Monday, Baba drove me to to the Turkish Embassy located on Massachusetts Avenue. Without looking at the address, I could tell which building was the Turkish Embassy: a bright red flag with a white crescent and star waved outside the brown square-ish towers. I rang the bell to enter the heavily gated embassy, passed through security, and left my phone in a locker before being instructed to go downstairs, where the offices were. It was eerily quiet and a bit dark when I got downstairs, and wondered if the office was closed. After a few minutes of roaming around, behind one of the glass windows, I spotted two ladies sitting behind a desk so I approached them. When I told them I needed a work visa as part of the Fulbright teaching program, they verified my name against a master list they had obtained from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I submitted all the required paperwork, a $330 fee (so expensive!), and my passport. The lady advised that the visa would be ready next Monday. I was so relieved to hear this. Baba is right; these things should always be handled in person.

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