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passports, visa and chennai June 29, 2007

Posted by Abishek in Uncategorized.

A year back i had struggled to get my passport, as i decided to apply directly without using an agent, i was one of the unfortunate guys to fall into all sorts of trouble in getting the passport. First of all, my application forms got lost in my local passport office, next the police verification was reported adverse (probably coz i din bribe the police dept.), next the DD got expired, so i had to go to chennai and spend an awful day at the chenna passport office to get things sorted out. Finally i was promised my passport will be issued in a weeeks time… But again they missed to process my application in chennai office, my dad had to visit again to dust back my application from the trashes and finally i got my passport 11 months later to the date i filled the forms ūüôā¬†

Yesterday was the day for my visa interview. Earlier i had filled online forms, took print outs, checked all documents and was perfectly ready to visit chennai again in pursuit of an US visa, This time I had my office to back me in getting a visa so it was clear the process was going to be relatively easier. Around 70 of us were traveling to chennai from bangalore seeking visa. The Kingfisher ATR aircraft was a medicore experience, unlike the other kingfisher airbuses, this tiny craft managed to transport us¬† shaken but not stirred. The ATR took 50 minutes to propel into chennai airport. Luxury is what u call while on office travel, we have airconditioned cabs to transport from airport to the hotel. Chennai was drizzling and cool, the sight of tamil banners and boards was quite refreshing. Next destination is the PARK. The entrance to the park hotel looked average, i was told that it was a 5 start hotel and expectations were quite high. Open the doors and the lobby wore a majestic look, the hotel was lavishly furnished, bamboo ambience with jasmine fragnence to arouse the nerves. My room was pampering as well, the bed would sink several inches and was the coziest cot i ever slept on. Internet, television, wardrobe, mini-bar everything was there. The buffet that night was held in a conference hall and was satisfactory. The night we strolled a bit, the disk was crowded so walked into chennai streets a bit only to find all shops closed as it was almost midnight… We returned to the 8th floor of the park, it had a good swiming pool and the best part was it had cots around the pool with curtains flying in the cool breeze. It was great experience, a bunch of friends chatting on a cot on the side of a pool, 8 floors high, looking down at chennai at mid night!¬†


Next day is the d-day… Had to wake up early, checked all the documents for the visa interview and I proceeded to the 601. Breakfast at 601 was stupendous, the entire range of cusine one could imagine was on the table… from vadas to non-pronouncable dishes… Rarely do star hotels have a restaurant where food tasted good, but the park was amazing. The US consolate is adjacent to the hotel, so we quickly moved in to the consolate. I passed the initial scrutiny and interview easily as the consolate were aware we are going to travel as a team. The reputation of our company ensured everyone was granted a visa with interviews lasting only less than a minute each. Finally i was granted my B1!¬†

Back to the hotel we were debating where to go out… finally we decided to go jacoussi! The spa was located at the 9th floor of the hotel. We din have much idea what a jacoussi is, however decided to try that out, we were given hillarious g-strings which made us laugh out heartily… the jacoussi was a turbulent helbal bath tub that heals the body and relieves stress… Apart from the jacoussi the spa was equipped with steam bath as well… jacoussi infused a great apetite into me that noon. I was overwhelmed by the lunch the 601 served… It was the most stupendous lunch i ever seen, shrimps, sea food, schezwan noodles and more than 20 varieties of dessert itself, i had more than i could… with swollen bellies i sank into my bed and slept untill evening. With a heavy heart we had to check out the park. It w as a great hotel, very expensive though, like a buffet costs 820 bucks, my friend had a dosa and coffee for 300 bucks! however we had a great trip, successful visa stamping n great stay as well… The return journey was better in the airbus A321, kingfisher hostess were as charming as ever! A memorable trip!