Today I went to the Syrian Embassy to start the month long process of getting a visa. It doesn't seem to be so much of a process, as much as it is just waiting for a month after you fill out all of the paperwork. In the past, Americans could go to the border and obtain a visa. The catch is that you would most likely wait about 6 hours before getting it. Word on the street is that the regulations recently changed and it's not possible to get a visa at the border anymore. That's fine with me, I didn't want to wait 6 hours at the border anyway. Especially in August.
Everything was going smoothly until I was told that I needed to have a form typed. This wouldn't be a problem if I could actually find the guy who could supposedly do this for me. When I went back and asked, they told me to look for the guy next to the car with the umbrella. Ohhhh.....why didn't I think of that before?! I walked out of the embassy and sure enough, there was a car by the side of the road, with the door open and a huge beach umbrella wedged between the door and the car. There was a little boy sitting next to the copier on the front passenger seat and the father had his typewriter set up on a table. While the man was typing away (pecking at the keyboard, looking for each letter) I tried in vain to strike up a conversation with another woman who was also waiting. She said she spoke French, and I thought, "Great, I can speak French." Well, great unless my mind freezes and goes into Arabic-only mode because it's been so long since I practiced my French. I could understand her but found myself struggling to remember simple words in French and ended up replying in Arabic. I'm 99% sure I sounded like an idiot. Yeah, I know French. Oops, just kidding!! I blame this on the heat.
The best part was when I looked at the finished document and saw that instead of being born in 1982, I was supposedly born in 982. My last name, Perne, was spelled correctly, alhamdulila, but the guy spelled my mothers last name Porne. Yeah, so apparently I'm over 1,000 years ago and have a last name that is......undesirable. Ah...Jordan!