It seems to me that if you’ve just inked somebody’s fingers to hell and back for the purpose of obtaining fingerprints, giving them something large and wet-ish to clean their inky hands with would be kind of a nice thing to do. Not something that’s, say, roughly the size of a gnat’s nappy. In the interest of globalisation, I’ll repeat that for my US punters—not something that’s, say, roughly the size of a dragonfly’s diaper.
But you don’t get a decent-sized thing at all. You get a moist towelette. Like the ones you get from KFC. A Colonel Sanders moist towelette. One. It’s the size of a postage stamp. And I got inked twice. Once to get a ‘Certificate of No Criminal Conviction’ in Singapore, and the second time to get a set of prints to send back to Australia. To be fed through the criminal system just so at the end, there will be confirmation that I am a good, wholesome, cherub-cheeked person. A clean skin. A very model citizen of a very model society.
It has all been rather dramatic lately. If I’ve neglected to speak to you, I’ll speak to you now—I won the Green Card lottery last week. All you actually win, if you care to know, is the chance to apply for your Immigration Visa without going through the whole pain-in-the-butt drama of convincing some US company to hire you, or even more difficult, some poor US gentleman friend to kneel before you and say ‘Let’s marry our fortunes together, stranger’. Oh well. No more marriage of convenience for me! Oh, and before anyone gets too, too excited, there’s still a chance I might not get my green card. But let’s wait for the interview to roll the dice, shall we?
I got a phone call last Monday. I wasn’t really listening to the dude, truth be told. I was in a fog-haze of work, waiting for someone to turn on a fan so I could interpret the clues, and this guy was going on about being selected to proceed to the next stage or something. He said something about Kentucky, then ‘Green Card Office’. My brain woke up and quickly pulled the cotton wool away from the stirrup, hammer and anvil of my phone ear. But I still couldn’t quite comprehend what he was on about. Just kept saying ‘yep’ and ‘uh huh’ and in a very nonchalant manner. Then Tobias, for that was this dude’s name, seemed a little puzzled about just how nonchalant I was being.
“You know,” he said. “This is actually pretty exciting. You’re very lucky.”
Then I twigged it. Ahhhhh. I get it. I’ve won the Green Card lottery. Ohhh, right. Crikey.
A few stats for you:
- 11 million people entered. Well, 13 million actually, but 2 million of those couldn’t fill out a form properly and their application promptly cart wheeled into a round filing cabinet.
- 55,000 green cards or immigrant visa spots are allocated, but about 70,000 people are told they’ve won. That’s because some people won’t bother with the next step and others will have ‘reject’ stamped on their foreheads in the immigration interview.
- 220 Australians won a chance. And I, luser Noo-del, was one of those Australians.
- Not a stat, just general info—it’s held with the express purpose of creating a bit more ethnic diversity in the United States. If I should choose to accept the mission, I will show them all just what it means to be a Blundstone-wearing, dinky-di daughter of a sheep farmer.
The upshot of all this is that now I have to get all this junk together for the interview. Things like criminal record details, evidence that I don’t have the Ebola virus or a penchant for wearing explosive footwear—the usual crap. Oh, and I have to get some headshots with my right ear visible, but I’ve yet to experience that particular photographic adventure yet. I remember Tiffany’s hubby telling the right ear story once when we were at Filthy’s in Canberra (Irish pub) for Wattie’s farewell. I didn’t know whether to believe him or not… but it now appears that he wasn’t telling porkies at all. Hmmm.
I just went and had sushi. Noticed, as I arced my chopsticks out toward the sashimi, the slight inky residue on my fingers. I have had a wash. It’s just not coming off very effectively. But I’m on record now, I guess. And why? Just so that one day, if anyone asks how I got my green card, I can say I got it off a cornflake packet. Which won’t be true of course, but I think I’d like to say it just once, just to make me giggle. It’s all terribly exciting.
Toodle-Noo. Here endeth the missive.
©Janeen McCrae 2002