Kelly Pendergrast - on the internet, Wellington

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

And that’s why they call it Bureaucrazy

I'm feeling pretty bitter right now...

Excitingly, but perhaps illogically, I’m leaving good-ol’-nuclear-free NZ soon to go hang out in the “Land of the Free” for a couple of years. As a reasonably benign grad student from a reasonably benign country with no WMDs (in fact, without much of a military to speak of), I thought it would be pretty straightforward.

I was wrong.

After filling out official forms and reading fine print till my eyes bled, I was recently informed that I have to fly to the other end of the country (well, Auckland) just attend a twenty minute interview at the American consulate, where I will be fingerprinted by dudes with guns. People don't really have guns in New Zealand. But hey, the consulate is officially American soil so I guess they can have guns and pledge allegiance and watch reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond to their hearts' content.

The final indignity, however, was the fact that I had to pay $3.49 a minute just to call the consulate and make my appointment. $3.49 a minute! I know America is all user pays and stuff, but hell, I can get phone sex for cheaper than that.