Arrived in Chicago’s O’Hare around 7:30 am. Went to the hotel first to drop off the luggages. The cab ride was probably about 15 mins from the airport to get us to Ho-Jo. Couldn’t check in yet, still too early, but managed to have the concierge take care of our luggages. On the run again to find the Indonesian embassy. After the cab driver drop us off at the nearest subway station, we rode for about 45 mins to downtown. For waking up at 4 in the morning, the kids seem to be in a happy mood. No crankiness at all. Lucky me.
Holy crap, it’s freezing outside. From the subway station to the embassy, we had to walk for almost 6 blocks. Chicago’s way colder than Ames this day… plus the wind gust. We had to walk in and out buildings just to stay warm. Hubby didn’t bring a hat and mittens, he was miserable.
There were 3 gentlemen at the embassy that morning. I approached the window and talked to one of them. I was planning to give them a brief introduction about my situation and to see if they’ll be able to speed things up for me; to see if they’re willing to have it done in one day instead of 2 or 3. To be honest, I was doubting the system. Indonesian government workers are notorious for moving too slow in taking care of stuff back home. But my guts telling me these guys mean business.
“Pagi, pak. Mau memperpanjang paspor.”
“Morning, Sir. I’m here to renew my passport.”
“Ya… mana paspor lamanya?”
“OK… where’s the expired passport?”
Mean while, my kids decided to practice their Bahasa to the man.
“Hi… apa kabar?”
“Hi, how are you?”
I hushed them immediately but the man smile and say hi back to Davi and Dante.
“Sudah isi form online?”
“Did you fill out the online form yet?”
“O iya, ini dia.”
“Yes, here you go.”
“Ini ada beberapa bagian yang tidak diisi.”
“There are some parts you’ve missed.”
Shit. This doesn’t look good… Are they going to make me redo it?
“Ibu kasih tau saya aja jawabannya, biar saya tulis tangan.”
“Why don’t you answer these questions and I’ll handwrite it on the form.”
Hubby was fidgeting behind me; reminding me to tell the official about my situation. That if it’s possible at all, to rush the process. Instead, I asked him:
“Kira-kira bisa selesai hari ini, nggak Pak?”
“Do you think this will be done today?”
“Ya… ya… kembali jam 12 siang, yah?”
“Sure. Come back at noon, okay?”
So off we go merrily to get a bite to eat; then to The Sears Tower just to kill time. Quarter after noon, we’re back to the embassy again to pick my new passport up. And what do you know, they didn’t actually make a new onw. Instead, they stamped my old one stating it’s still good for another 2 years. And the fee? Nada.
I’ll sleep better tonight. Tommorow we’re going to Mexico *finally*