Tag Archives: visa

speed bump? all you gotta do is jump!

last year i visited 292 of my then 325 facebook friends.   i went to thirteen countries, the four tips of the united states.  i visited a strip club in cincinnati because my facebook friend owned it.  i went hiking in the topanga mountains because a facebook friend persuaded me that the mountain lion warnings were just for show.  i had dinner in a home in calabassas that is in the same gated community that has within it a gated community that britney spears lives in!  i went fishing, golfing, to a casino, to dinner at everything from the chili’s in morgantown, pa to the pizza place in nome whose delivery team uses planes. i wore out the tires on my car and my patience with airlines and the transportation security administration.  two hundred and ninety two out of 325 is 90% and the remaining ten percent were dead, spambots, ignored my invitations, or declined my conditions.

in the albany, new york apartment i was told by a t.s.a. agent that she would put her hands on my ankles and feel me up until she “reached resistance”. like a good catholic girl, i put my knees together. in her own little braille, she was able to establish that i was wearing a tanga panty and that it had been several weeks since i had brazilianized myself.  everybody stopped to watch.  i was chagrined but i think anything a t.s.a. agent is going to do to you in their offer of a “private” room is going to be much worse.

 

my passport has a lot of stamps and looks like i’m either a terrorist, a drug mule, or  a war criminal who is confused about which countries have extradition policies.  most countries, i got off the plane, paid a customs official some money, got that magic stamp on the passport and went on my way.  the exception was india which required three weeks notice, a money order and an appointment at the consulate.

this coming week was set aside for brazil.  i had managed the visa application.  no problems.  but then my two chaperones had their visas denied.

captain reginald gholston was the 32d facebook friend i visited last year. he also chaperoned me on two facebook trips. i was planning to go to brazil with him and last year’s facebook friend #57 vince peters.  it’s important in meeting any new friends that you have safeguards:  for instance, take a trusted friend, meet in public, and NEVER agree to meet someone in their home or to invite them into yours.  out of the ten percent of facebook friends with whom i didn’t meet, two were gentlemen who would only meet me in my house or theirs.  so i didn’t. but i would have if i could have brought a chaperone.

 

a week before a scheduled trip, a brazilian visa speed bump.   reggie and vince can’t get visas.  i’ve got one.

my choices:  go it alone, reschedule, go to the next place on the agenda and come back to brazil another time, or cry.  i did the cry thing.

reggie is being deployed to afghanistan next month.  he has been deployed to iraq twice.  i feel like he’s a son–er, younger brother–to me.  i had hoped he would have fun in brazil.

in mexico city, reggie and i met my facebook friend #79 yoshi maeshiro whom i knew because he admires my grandfather fritz leiber, jr.’s science fiction novels. long after i was asleep at the hotel, reggie went out to a samba bar. it was a photo finish getting to the airport for an eight a.m. flight back to the states. reggie was smiling. i wanted him to smile after he had seen brazil!

 

after the nice, long cry, i remembered what one has to do when there’s a speed bump —

we strike west for los angeles and las vegas.  this is going to be like a combination of three musketeers, driving miss daisie and the hangover. except i don’t want to be the dude who loses a tooth!

 

 

obrigada brazil–i will reschedule and be there soon!