Monday, April 30, 2007

Yes, I'm NOT a morning person, merci beaucoup

Any day that starts out with me waking up at 5AM is bound to be a bad one.

So what made me, Ms. Needs-3-alarm-clocks-and-hits-snooze-on-each-several-times, drag my ass out of bed at such an unholy hour? The French. The French embassy, to be more precise. My parents, my sister and I had to make a personal appearance for our Schengen visa application, for our trip to Europe in May. Based on the dizzying number of requirements our travel agent had us prepare, I was expecting a very thorough interview. I even made the effort to wear something nice, so as to make a good impression.

I shouldn't have bothered. First, they made us wait... in the parking basement of the building. There we were, seated on long benches, with no ventilation except for a small industrial fan blowing carbon monoxide fumes into our faces. THIS was the waiting area for a First World country's consulate? After some time, we were let into the building... but there was no semblance of order, and people who had arrived later than us but who dashed ahead managed to get served before us.

Remember, I woke up at FIVE.

When we got upstairs, we were made to wait some more in a room with rows of hard plastic chairs. When it was our turn at the counter, to my incredulous, sleep-deprived frustration, the guy behind the window didn't even bother asking for HALF the documents I had busted my butt obtaining for purposes of the visa application. He also asked very few questions, and barely glanced at all our faces (much less what we were wearing).
Then he asked us to go back downstairs to photocopy the pages of our passports with old visas from other countries. So Hanks and I went, and then went back up. When I approached the counter with the photocopied pages and asked the guy politely (with as much politeness I could muster with the one Starbucks latte in me keeping my brain functions going) if I could give him the papers already, he snapped at me to go sit down and wait until he called us.

May I remind you again that I. Was. Up. At. Five. A. M.

So we had to wait some more while the snappish guy processed our papers. I hated myself for not bringing a book or a newspaper to read. I couldn't even talk much because for most of the time I was seated beside my mom and another woman who's part of our tour group, and they were chatting with one another. I had to twist around in my seat just to talk to my sister and dad. Then for some reason, the security guard walks over to us and tells us to keep our voices down. WTF!?! People around us were buzzing in conversation, but we exchange only a few sentences and we get reprimanded for being noisy?

I got out of bed at effing 5AM, goddammit!!!

By the time we got called to the counter again, it was already close to 10 (we had arrived a bit before 7, as per our travel agent's instructions). We were then informed that we wouldn't know if our visas would be approved (take note, not released, but APPROVED, meaning we could still be denied) until May 14. It didn't register on us until later (after another interminable wait for an elevator to bring us down to the lobby) that May 14 is Election Day and therefore a holiday, which means we'll probably get our visas on the 15th... and we're supposed to be leaving on the 17th. I'm not comfortable cutting it that close, but we really have no choice. Apparently, it takes even longer if you apply at the Spanish or Italian embassies. Rawr.

I know I shouldn't be bitching so much because a) I'm going to Europe, which is #3 on my list of things to do before I die; b) I'm not paying for anything; and c) I'm going to Europe!! But this spoiled little rich girl tantrum is not so much because I'm an insufferable ingrate, but because I have PMS, and oh yeah, did I mention I WOKE UP AT FIVE ON A MONDAY MORNING?

*stomps off in search of a cup of coffee, or a nap*


At Tuesday, May 01, 2007, Anonymous Christa said...

If that was me, nasiraan na ako siguro ng bait. I'm not a morning person either. :)

At Tuesday, May 01, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

It pains me to get out of bed before noon. I can't believe I used to wake up at 6:30 every morning to get to ICA by 7:00... then again, that's why I usually arrived at 7:29, with hair dripping wet and uncombed. Hahaha.

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Anonymous ange said...

Their service isn't that nice, but some of their personalities suck even more. But then, people applying for visas should be extra nice to them since they could have some kind of power on whether your visa will get accepted or not, if you know what I mean.

We also had to wait long before, and we even had to photocopy some documents too. I remember we arrived in school around recess time (or a few minutes after). I think I even missed a quiz. Haha

In the end, even if applying for the visa was kind of a hassle, it's true that getting that chance to go to Europe is a BIG consolation. :)

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

"In the end, even if applying for the visa was kind of a hassle, it's true that getting that chance to go to Europe is a BIG consolation."

-I know, I was trying to keep that in mind all throughout. It was just hard to be in a positive state of mind when I woke up so damn early. :p

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Blogger Jen said...

European embassies are damn inefficient. I only got my Schengen visa a MONTH after I applied for it. They couldn't find my passport as it was buried under loads and loads of rubbish :P

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I wonder if it's just the European embassies HERE that are inefficient. So maybe it's more of a Filipino thing (the guy at the counter who served us was Pinoy).

At Wednesday, May 09, 2007, Anonymous meme said...

hehe ms lim, im such a snoop! this is a funny post, i remember going to that embassy too or was it the italian one, anyway they couldnt scream at us much because the embassy guy broke my moms passport. we had to wait for a new one to get the visas. but its all worthit! europe was great! next time, go to russia! its reaaally beautiful!

plus mornings became my forte since college started!hahaha i thought ica was bad enough. but now i have 7am classes everyday in UST.. so just imagine how i would live if i werent a morning person! haha sorry for being a snoop! take care!

At Wednesday, May 09, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

You are a very welcome snoop! :)

I don't think I will ever be a morning person, I treasure sleep too much. I like waking up on my own terms, no pesky alarm clocks summoning me to life. I hear we're going to be getting up early a LOT on this trip to Europe. Gaaa.

At Thursday, May 10, 2007, Anonymous jenica said...

Lucky you. Going to Europe. I was at New York last week after an internship. It was FANTASTIC. Now, I'm on another internship. Having taken a short vacation was so worth it.

oh, and I wake up at 6 every morning so I can be at work by 8. I'm fine with it as long as the sun's out, but sometimes I do get a bit grouchy.

At Thursday, May 10, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I LOVE New York. New York, I'd gladly get up at 5AM for (as long as I can grab a cup of coffee along the way, hehe). Did you go see a musical? :)

At Thursday, May 10, 2007, Anonymous jenica said...

Of course I did. :D I went to see Les Miserables and Lea Salonga was in the cast. I so badly wanted to watch the Wicked, but they weren't selling discounted tickets for that one. :( Maybe next time.. coz I'm going back there someday. Oh yeah, I will. :D

At Thursday, May 10, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Oooh, Lea in Les Miz! How thrilling! How'd she do as Fantine? I've never been a big fan of her Eponine... the singing's fine, it's the acting that I find wanting. Seeing as Fantine is a much heavier role, I don't know if she can handle it.

At Friday, May 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA the last line is so cute! "stomps off in search of..."

oo nga. it must be HELL to wake up at 5am. never mind if you're up for a breakfast date with gerard butler. 5am is 5am is 5am and whatever happens during that unholy hour is hell.



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