Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What next?

This morning I left my hotel in Brentford about 5:30 and set off for a long journey of getting out of England. I ended up paying about $900 to check out of the hotel after an internet charge, food charges, telephone charges and the changing nightly rates. As of Sunday night I was stranded and unable to change hotels even if I wanted. Had I not gotten in contact with the embassy Saturday, I would have likely been sleeping on the street tonight (unless I could have convinced the hotel to let me pay a quarter of the price to sleep in one of the chairs in the lobby). The hotel was completely booked for tonight.

I arrived at the U.S. Embassy exactly at the time of my emergency appointment. In less than two hours I was in posession of the emergency passport and some answers to about half of my questions. When I get to Spain I will be able to apply for my new passport through the consulate in Sevilla. Or worst case, I can call Madrid and send everything by mail. Because I already paid $135 for the emergency passport I will not have to pay for the new passport as long as I do it within the next week or two. So I know I am in Spain for at least another three to four weeks.

My mom called the Spanish consulate in Houston for me and got some information about the visa for me. Apparently I will not be able to pick up my residence number without the old passport/visa. But they told me to go to the police, explain the situation and they can confirm the visa by fax. The consulate said local police but I am not sure about that. I think she meant the local office of the national police. So I will write out a letter in Spanish to give to each of them explaining the situation.

So the next several weeks will be very busy for me: applying for a new passport, possibly getting another copy of the visa, talking to the police and making up the hours I missed being stranded here in England. I can't wait to get back to Spain and out of England.

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