A few days ago…
What to begin with? People, don’t be stupid. Don’t be like me. Don’t book tickets to Budapest while your passport is at the US Embassy and the flight is in less than two weeks…
I mean, I knew there was no hurry and I didn’t have to submit my documents straight away after filling the application and paying the fee. But once I decided there’d be no Budapest because the prices went up, I handed my sacred folder over to the visa service. And then, suddenly, I saw the very same tickets at the same low price and in a spontaneous act of wanderlust booked it together with my friend Siranush, who, I’m sure, hates me right now, because in the worst scenario she’ll fly alone. Because the consulate usually processes the documents in 2-3 weeks.
What this story teaches me (and it’s so much better to learn from someone else’s mistakes), is that you can’t be inattentive when planning a trip. Even if it’s a spontaneous trip. And the first thing you have to do before booking a flight is laying your passport and cash (or bank card) next to you. In the end you can cope even without money, but not without passport. I was sure about my bank account, but the passport… Oops. A little serious oops.
Now the embassy guys told me I couldn’t withdraw my passport earlier than 11 days after the application date, and that’d be April 18th, whereas my flight to Budapest leaves April 15th. Of course, now I can only hope and wait that maybe a miracle would happen and the embassy issues my visa earlier than usual… Which is pretty doubtful.
A few days later, I’m walking to the visa office to get my passport. My visa got issued super quickly… With a help of a dear friend. So, again: be adventurous people, but don’t be stupid. That applies to everything.
Don’t go bungee jumping if you have heart issues. Don’t dive 20 meters underwater if you got problems with blood pressure. Don’t wander around the streets of Salvador, Brazil alone at night if you don’t know any martial arts (well I did that and was lucky, but every Brazilian I tell that makes round eyes and says I’m crazy). Choose your battles. Sometimes it’s better to pay a dozen bucks more for the sake of your parents’ peace of mind. Even if that’s more than a dozen bucks.
Nevertheless, I’m going to Budapest, and I’m excited. Only after booking my tickets I’ve realized that I’m going to Hungary, that very Hungary empress Elisabeth of Austria loved so dearly. It’s a curious thing for me after visiting Vienna and diving into the history of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It’s even more interesting because Vienna kept giving me the strongest feeling of deja vu.
I’ve already secured two couches for both Siranush and me, and made plans to hang out with my folks on the first day which will be their last in the city. Let’s see what happens!