For those of you who only keep up with my life via this blog, so sorry I have kept you in suspense about the red tape I’ve been wading through. Turns out I got my visa from the Italian consulate two days after I had turned it in (while some folks in NY had to wait 2 weeks), so hooray for efficiency in Philadelphia (who knew I would ever type those words?).
I definitely felt vindicated when I heard about the delay in changing the passport rules because the passport agencies were backed up. I heard all these stories on the radio about people who missed their own destination weddings (thank goodness we stayed in the country!) because of the backup and a myriad of other, much worse stories than mine. It is a little weird that there are only 15 passport agencies in the entire country that you can go in person to fix a problem with your passport, most of which are on either coast. What about all those poor people in the middle of the country? The only non-port city agencies are Aurora, Colorado and Chicago (although technically Chicago is a port city, too, just not on an ocean). I guess you’re just out of luck if you live in Kansas or Wyoming and you need to talk to a real person about expediting your passport. Once again, I’m very thankful Philadelphia is so close (even if their agency doesn’t honor the appointment system).
Most of my shopping is done. I have good walking shoes, sensible clothing, and the last thing I have to get is a nice concert dress (I have lots of concert attire, but nothing really super formal). I’ve just got one more week of work, and then I’m out of here! (until I come back, of course)