Technically this post could go on the baby blog, but I'm putting it here because I find it more interesting as a tourist than a mother. And really, isn't that blog just a thinly veiled excuse to put up as many pics as possible of my baby?
We're still here in the Himalayan country - but fortunately we're leaving today! The visa process for baby actually took less than 12 hours! We found that very strange, considering in our current country, just to receive her visa to exit the country, it took 2 days, not including the 6 weeks of official documentation leading up to that. Actually, a funny side story to that, while baby and I were sitting at the overcrowded station of a visa agent, a South Asian-Canadian man began to yell at the neighboring agent about how ridiculous the whole process was. "I am proud to be a South Asian, but I hate coming to this country, because you harass the foreigners! In Canada it only took me one day to get my visa. Here, it is purely harassment!" All I could do was nod my head at the man's shouts because yes, that is very true. If you think I'm wordy now, you would hate to see a blogpost about the head-scratching process for baby's exit visa, but luckily for you, I'm not gonna even go there.
So we arrived at the Embassy around 11am, and noticed there was already a very long line to the visa desk. First of all, how cool that there was a line? It's been awhile since I've seen one of those! Husband asked an agent if this was where we should be, and when they saw we had a newborn, they told us to go to the front of the line. I was very relieved, seeing as it was really cold and the entire visa process takes place outdoors. However, I was very nervous at how all the people waiting in line would react. As an American, I'm used to people being very orderly, very first come, first serve, no matter what. And I can't disagree with that philosophy. But miracle of miracles, not one person grumbled! In fact, they looked at baby and smiled warmly. A French couple laughed at her all snuggled in my sling, and an Austrian couple came over to meet us and see the baby and ask how it was giving birth in a foreign country. (shameless plug sidenote: in Austria, like many, many countries, it costs absolutely nothing to have a baby. Yes, you heard that right - watch Sicko and you'll be just as shocked as we were) The visa agents even told all 3 of us to wait inside the office with them where there was a heater!
I've begun to realize what I've heard rumors of already - Asians and Europeans absolutely love babies! First the very kind people on the bus, and now this. Makes me a lot more at ease for more travel with baby.