Friday, September 29, 2006

Sacha and U.S. Consul

When my youngest daughter was 7 years old, I needed to take her to the U.S. Embassy to apply for a visa.

I brought with me all the documents that I was expected to show, if and when asked, to prove that we have ties to our country that would make us come back – land titles, business papers, bank statements etc. I had two briefcases of such documents.

When her name was called, we approached the counter. The interviewing consul very formally asked – “Your daughter’s name is Sandra Jean Chua?” I said yes. “Do you have her birth certificate?” So I looked in one briefcase and then another, frantically shuffling through the papers, but could not find it.

While I was in panic-mode, my daughter tiptoed and asked with a sweet smile on her face - “Why do you need my birth certificate? I’m proof that I was born.” The consul smiled at her, and asked, “Where do you want to go?” “Disney” was my daughter’s quick reply. “Well, then, have a nice trip” and stamped her visa application – “Approved.”