Welly trip for student visa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Did not realise the beehive was so close to the train station. This funny looking building is where the parliament is situated in the capital city of our country, Wellington. To get a student visa to France requires one to go to the embassy in person, to be able to get all the finger prints taken.. It's a hassle but at least it meant I got the chance to take an overnight trip, however expensive..
This was my third trip to the city, and my first wandering by myself. However, it wasn't that hard finding the Station. My good timing meant that it was time off work for everyone, so all I had to do was to follow the crowd. Plus, it was a pretty straight walk from the French embassy, which I'd located first thing I got into town, and the Station building is hard to miss in its grandeur.

Inside the building it's quite modern and spacious.
Out on the platforms the trains are also modern, and the ride was really comfortable, reminded me of those in Europe..
Heaps of people waiting to go home at the end of the day.

I stayed with friends in a little town an hour and a bit train ride from Wellington, in a wine town called Martinborough. Early next morning we took the train again into town. So tired...
Our station was at Featherston. The town is a bit further from this. On the way here we had to wait for two cow crossings. It's the wop wops, unlike what I'm used to :)
Since I got into town way too early for my appointment by about an hour and a half, I waited for a while at Wholly Bagel, this place that M had recommended. Ate half, kept the other for lunch. This was my 2nd breakfast of the day, so wasn't even that hungry to start off with..
I was so nervous about the whole visa appointment. What if I had the wrong documents, and had to come back? I could barely afford this trip! So many documents were required, including:
- signed application form
- another OFII form
- proof of diploma
- proof of acceptance from the host university
- proof of financial ability
- proof of accommodation in France
- proof of insurance
- itinerary
- valid passport
- passport photo
- prepaid courier envelope for the passport to be returned
- cash or cheque for the visa fee
See what I mean by so many required things?!
I would have thought the embassy would be a whole building in its own right, but actually the French embassy is only a two-floored space in a normal business building.

Another friend that is going to Paris with me told me that it'd taken him around an hour. He must have really got that engaged into a conversation, which he actually would have, he's just really talkative like that, but for me it only took 15 mins. I was so well prepared in my stressed state that the process went without problems. They went through everything, tick tick tick, parfait, took my fingerprints, took my portrait (came out looking a bit surprised, I think), took my money (good thing the Kiwi dollar is a bit strong at the moment, it didn't cost as much as I expected), then it was goodbye, really.
Out from the little meeting, I was finally in ecstasy. Even when I was buying the tickets I couldn't let myself be too happy because I was worried about what would happen today. Even though I would have to wait about two more weeks for the visa-stamped passport to be within my hands once again, I couldn't stop grinning foolishly and doing a little dance laughing out loud; of course winning a few funny glances from those walking past, obviously ;p
With all business taken care of but still so much time on my hands until the 4pm flight back home, I decided to make a trip to the national museum of Te Papa.

I like museums; I love looking at the different art works and displays, because I am always amazed and attracted by creative people and their works. I go hoping the creativeness will inspire me in some way. With this mission in mind I swept the whole museum from top to bottom, not kidding, for 4 hours, looking at everything there was to see. Made some notes along the way, and saw a few museum favourites, like Frances Hodgkins' paintings.

By the end I was so hungry, and my legs ached from all the walking. Even though it was windy outside, thankfully it wasn't as cold as the previous day, and I munched throuh my half bagel just outside the museum where there was a nice open space close to the waters.

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