This has to be one of the most stressful days of my life.
We planned to visit New York and everything seemed to go quite swimmingly - until this morning. A friend who is going with us phoned and asked about whether or not we'd read through the information and whether or not we'd applied for a visa. Well, no because the last three times we'd been to the USA we didn't have to. So we checked it out. Evidently things have changed - as of last January - 2010. So, we phoned British Airways, we checked the new ESTA site and everything pointed to us needing a visa. Oh, and you should have applied 72 hours before going.
We're going tomorrow.
We've applied online and paid a fortune and then found out we DON'T need a visa, we need a "non-visa waiver" and we should have applied from a different site. It all got very fraught - at one point the computer looked like it was going to take flying lessons. I won't go in to the full details but I must admit that at various stages today I have assumed that we probably won't be able to go. After all, there is nothing at point of sale that tells you that this stuff is necessary. Anyway - we have managed to sort it all out but what really leaves a nasty taste in our mouths is the fact that had we not found out today, we would have turned up at Heathrow tomorrow only to be turned away at the gate . . . it's quite sickening. Nothing is fully explained and it's almost impossible to discuss it with a human as it is all "automated" - to make it easier one supposes!
Yesterday was Mrs Dave's birthday and we went out for a very pleasant meal at a local hostelry. My swordfish was superb but Mrs D, once again, went for the benchmark fish pie. Always a mistake, I feel. Why order something you do well yourself at home? Mrs Dave's fish pie is always excellent and I never choose to eat one whilst out. The White Burgundy was excellent. Anyway, once we got home, we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's as we are (hopefully) about to visit the Big Apple. It's been a very long time since I watched it and I'm sure that I have never noticed before the absolutely racist performance of James Cagney as Mr Yuniashi - Audrey Hepburn's landlord. It would appear that a pair of large glasses and a some out-sized teeth are enough to portray a Chinese person - in all honesty, he looks more like Penfold from Danger Mouse. Check it out, it is unbelievable! Well, I'm off to bed, I might have a plane to catch tomorrow . . .
Can't get rid of stupid white boxes - all adding to stress levels. Even blogger won't work properly.