Monday, June 04, 2007
On my way to Europe!
Blogging from Jacksonville Airport waiting for my flight to New York and eventually to Geneva ...
It has been a frantic last couple of weeks. After spending a better part of my time being on hold and trying to get hold of some live person to talk to in national passport information center telephone helpline about my ten week old American passport application, (yes, I was born here) and being assured that it would be in my mail soon, nothing happened. Then got in touch with my local congressman's office, they tried their best to help, but nothing happened still. With only a few days left before my travel date, I had no choice but to drive down six hours to Miami office.
Due to a change in travel regulations, there is a huge rush for passports now and the agencies are just not equipped to handle this overwhelming demand. There were hundreds of people lined up outside the office, around the block from early morning and just getting to talk to someone ressponsible was taking hours. Having gone through a similar experience in Passport office in India, it did not feel much different. And it almost seemed hopeless after first day - there was some complications with my application, but they worked with me next day to get my passport just in time in my hand. That part was indeed impressive, in spite of the general incompetence of a typical government agency, when I could get to deal with a real person face to face, she went out of her way to help me out. I doubt if that would have happened in India!
Next post will be from Geneva, hopefully.