I went down to London with my Dad for a couple of days to have my Visa interview. We travelled down on the train on the Tuesday afternoon and after navigating the underground like pro's ("we need the light blue line going towards the North..."), we found our hotel which was really nice! We quickly dropped off our bags and headed back out to catch a show. When we got to Leicester Square we decided to watch the Phantom of the Opera because we had both always wanted to see it. We bought the tickets at the theatre, got some tea then headed back to watch the show!
On the Wednesday morning we were up early to head out to the American Embassy, and of course it was pouring down! After a bit of help from google maps we found the embassy and I went to get some spare passport photo's done in case the digital photo that I had uploaded to the website wasn't right. Then I went to queue up outside the embassy.
We had to queue up on the street in front of the embassy and have my paperwork checked by staff, then queue some more and have my paperwork checked again by a security person. This is where my Dad had to leave the queue because only the person applying for the visa is allowed into the embassy. Then I had to go through a security hut. It reminded me of airport security inside, lots of security guards and we had to walk through a metal detector type thing while our bags went through a scanner. After this I was inside the gates of the embassy and had to walk round to the visa entrance, walking past lots of armed security men. It was all very strict!
When I got inside I had to show my paperwork again to the receptionist who gave me a number and told me to take a seat in the next room to wait for my number to be called. The waiting room was huge and was very, very busy. I managed to find a seat and sat waiting for my number to be called/show up on the screen. You are not allowed to take your phone, i-pod, camera or anything electrical at all inside the embassy so it was a bit boring waiting. I did take a book in with me but I was scared of missing my number on the screen if I read it! After a while my number was called and I was asked to go to window 5. Here I was asked for my paperwork and passport for the final time and was then told to take a seat again to wait for my number to be called for my interview.
This was a longer wait but not as long as I was expecting as I had heard of some people being there for 5 or 6 hours! This time I was called to window 20. Even though I knew there was no reason for them to reject my visa I was still nervous walking to the window! When I got there the man was really friendly and asked me what role I had been given at Disney. Then he asked what I was studying in the UK and what I planned to do when I got home. The he simply said 'that's great, I've approved your visa. Say hello to Mickey for me!' And that was it, after all the waiting and worrying about the interview it lasted no longer than 60seconds and my visa was approved! I organised my passport delivery and left the embassy, I couldn't believe how easy it was! I arrived at the embassy at 10.15 and was out by 12.00.
Because I was finished so early at the embassy, we decided to watch another show as out train home was only later on that night. We made our way back to Leicester Square and decided to watch Les Miserables. We had both seen Les Miserables before but both really love it so we wanted to watch it again!
Les Miserables was fantastic again! I could watch it over and over and never get bored! We still had some time to spare so we did the tourist thing and visited almost all of the London landmarks in an afternoon!
So in just over 24 hours we had watched 2 musicals, had a visa interview at the American Embassy and visited the majority of the major London landmarks! I really enjoyed it, thanks Dad! :)