Thursday, July 26, 2007

Colombia, International Drivers License

As fate would have it, Angelica got a call from the US embassy during my trip. It seems that after all this time they finally decided to grant her a visa to come back to work in Illinois. It also meant that I got to finally check out this embassy that Ive heard so much about. I inquired about any possible tours by email to the embassy's website with no meaningful answer, unfortunately. I was amused to find a small industry had developed surrounding the US compound, offering things like visa photos and various documents. When we finally got to the front of the visa line, the bastards wouldn't even let me go in the gates with her because I didn't have any visa business of my own. Something about a Colombian telling me that I couldn't enter the US embassy bothered me pretty bad, but I understand that why they wouldn't want people strolling around without any real business. Whatever. I was consoled by the fact that it didn't look real interesting inside anyway.

I could smell the delicious freedom emanating from our embassy.

Angelica at one of the numerous visa repair shops.

There was some sort of widespread demonstration not long before I arrived in the country. It was a protest demanding the release of some lawmakers kidnapped by revolutionaries some number of years ago. I occasionally ran across some evidence of these protests.

I visited the national post office to pick up some souvenir stamps. Some patriots had recently redecorated the building.

Today I went to pick up an international drivers permit from AAA. I showed my current license, gave them some passport sized pictures, slipped them $15, and voila! Instant drivers license, good in Japan for 1 year. No test or anything. Sure I cant read most of the Japanese road signs, and maybe Im not used to driving on the left side of the road.. but who cares! I have a piece of paper from my local travel agency! Hurray!

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