I am pleased to report I don’t need to head to Dominica this weekend. While I’m not 100% that my extension has been approved, I got the sense that it will be. At any, Barbados Immigration has my passport and I can’t travel anywhere for 3 weeks. Let me fill you in on today’s chapter.
My alarm went off at 6:35 am. I was up, showered and ready to go by 7:15 am. However, there was no point in leaving before 7:30. I didn’t want to loiter outside Immigration’s door. At 7:30, I was all ready to leave..and wouldn’t you know it, it started to POUR. So I waited until it stopped. Luckily it only last a couple minutes. By 7:35, I was out the door and on my way. I even got on an empty bus! We picked up some people along the way, but the bus never got crazy busy the way it can. I arrived in Bridgetown with no trouble and made my way back to Immigration. I joined the small group of people outside the door (it was 8:31 am). At 8:32 am, the door opened and everyone went in. Some went to the main floor for Barbados passports, and some of us went upstairs for extensions and visas and whatnot.
I got in line for the front desk (I was the 4th person). After only a couple of minutes, it was my turn. I handed the woman my form, she stapled my picture to it, looked at my passport, wrote down my name and asked me how to pronounce my last name. She then handed my form and passport back to me and told me to go wait by the cashier to pay the application fee. I had to wait there for a few minutes because I guess the cashier’s desk doesn’t open at 8:30 am like the rest of the office? Anyway, at 8:45, the cashier opened her wicket, I paid my fee and got my receipt. I then went and sat down to wait for my name to be called.
While I waited, I flipped through a newspaper I had picked up. I waited 40 minutes or so and then my name was called. I was directed to Door Number 1. I went into a small cubby, that opened up into a larger office area that was FULL (and I mean STUFFED FULL) of filing cabinets and folders and papers. RDIMS would be super useful here. Anyway, the woman on the other side of the desk didn’t appear to be super friendly (she very abruptly answered my good morning). She took my form, passport, and plane ticket. She asked me what I did in Canada, if I was renting a place here or staying with friends, and how I was supporting myself. All of my answers were noted on my application form. She handed me back my plane ticket, wrote my name down on a sheet of lined paper and said, “You can collect your passport in 3 weeks.”
Uh…that’s it? I’m pretty sure I had one of the same faces from yesterday. After all the people who had told me I’d be there all day, that they’re are sticklers for formality, I was shocked. It was WAY easier than I had expected. And cheaper than a trip to Dominica.
Stay tuned for Part 4 when I go back in three weeks to collect my passport. And hopefully find another 3 month stamp in it.