Daily Archives: September 3, 2009

US Embassy, London: No electronics means isolation

HAD TO HEAD out of here very early this morning to seek a visa from the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

For somewhat obvious reasons, lots of armed UK coppers patrol the queue watching carefully lest we suddenly all go bananas.

The last time I applied for a US visa was five years ago –  the rules have changed a bit since then. You are not allowed to bring any, and I mean any electronic devices into the Embassy. Understandably. Terrorism hit London on the Tube and on the Buses.

The young woman in front of me fell foul of the rules.  She had a charger for her mobile phone and the security guys told her to put it in the bin. But, she remonstrated very lightly, “that’s not electronics”. Into the bin it went. It probably didn’t rain by the time she got her visa so that’s all right then.

I “got processed” very quickly.

But during the day,  I thought long and often about the isolation I felt, unable to use my Crackberry and having to leave my PC at home.  Once the authorities had granted me a boon, I headed out and tried to make a phone call in something called a telephone box. It gratefully swallowed my money and didn’t allow me to make a call.

How did we all manage to meet for drinks before the mobile phone and the interweb made things easier? I’m sure I haven’t a clue.