The DAY I have discussed in countless emails, in too many in-person conversations to recount, and occasionally on this blog, has come to pass. While I was drinking orange juice and watching the 56th episode of Ugly Betty because my partner is on a TV watching marathon certain she will never see American television again, the Czech Embassy called. In a very dry voice, that just a hint of a smile, the voice of the woman who had been shepherding me through my Visa journey for the past six months, “Ms. Terrell, you have been granted your Visa…” The rest was blah blah blah that barely penetrated my stunned brain. After over ten thank you’s I turned and looked at my partner; “&^%$#@, now we have to go.
So, the heat is on, the deadline set. Target Date of Launch – first week of November. Equipment must be evaluated, reviewed and sourced. Virtual protocols must be agreed upon and put in operation. I’ve got to start Skyping more and my partner will have to say goodbye to the five year old HP laptop that she stubbornly holds on to for the random occasions she checks emails or watches Czech movies on YouTube.
Next hurdle is a Brazilian Visa. Visa Fees Czech Republic $ 0.00
The difference between our upcoming journey for me as an American, and she as a Czech citizen are already apparent. The motivation behind this difference is nicely explained in this text from the Brazilian Embassy:
U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil are required to obtain a visa prior to entering Brazil. This requirement is in reciprocity to the U.S. government demand that all Brazilian citizens hold a visa in order to enter the United States. Citizens of countries that do not demand visas from Brazilian nationals usually do not need visas to enter Brazil. If you intend to enter Brazil with a non-U.S. passport, please check here to verify if you need a tourist visa.
The US Embassy Brazil website is equally welcoming to Brazilian Citizens.
So like Olympic Athletes, as I enter the global arena I am at the mercy of my government, its whims and capricious choices, its past sins and future threats.
Here comes Thomas the Tank Engine again….I think I can…..I think I can…..