My Passport, She has Arrived!

Who cares you say… Well, it does matter, folks, as I sent her off in a little FedEx envelope with a check, an application, and two photos to the Indian Embassy’s outsourcer (yes, they use an outsourcer) a number of weeks ago to apply for a tourist visa to India in anticipation of the Urbanista Diaries trip.
The Outsourcer kindly had an online passport tracker to let me know how it was progressing along a line of desks on Mission St. in San Francisco (hey, if the Embassy is going to outsource, mighty kind of them to do it to my home state). Within an hour of my passport’s arrive, it was “On Hold”. Yep, “On Hold”.
After a few weeks, a few emails, a few phone interviews to clarify my intentions, and two letters on my part, the upswing is that if one is a “Freelance Artist & Designer” from California, one’s visa application will be on hold while the Outsourcer susses out if you are a journalist (no), a filmmaker (no – but you are from LA, no, I am not a filmmaker), a web designer seeking work in India (no, got enough right here at home in California, thanks), or ….
Anywho, after writing the second letter assuring that my intentions for travel in India were honorable and that I will be conducting a whimsical photo tour of India that is a continuation of an ongoing mobile photo project, my visa was approved and my passport returned.
Good thing that the Nokia Urbanista Diaries are merely a global mobile photo and geo-mapping project to showcase the Nokia N82’s abilities and not a film project… ;o)
Today, Jay arrives in Singapore.
Tomorrow, Devin completes his leg of the Urbanista Diaries trip and passes the baton onto Jay, whereupon Jay trots off to Malayasia & Thailand.
Two weeks from today, I will be in Chennai, India.
Two weeks and one day from today, Jay will pass the baton onto me.
30 days from today, I pass the baton onto Ryan in Vienna…