Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Time out from New York

"Unsolved murders mounting" read this morning's newspaper headline, with the first paragraph as follows:
"Calgary cops are working endless hours after a spate of violence and carnage in
the city has left six people dead in less than a week. With four fresh
murder cases since Friday, police now have six unsolved killings on the
books since August 1 in the wake of last week's shootings, beatings and
hit-and-runs."

It reminds of an alert that might pop up in my favourite game, SimCity, requiring more police stations to be placed. (I know, I'm a geek!)

For a city about one quarter the size of Melbourne, this is somewhat disconcerting and explains the feeling of unease I felt as I walked around the deserted downtown area yesterday passing mainly vagrants and youths hanging out in the city on the public holiday.

Of course, if I lived in Calgary, I'm not sure I also wouldn't have violent tendencies at times. It is somewhat of a non-entity with very little to differentiate itself from any other Canadian city except perhaps the absence of landmarks and attractions. The nine years that have passed since my last visit have not done much to enhance it's appeal. In fact, I don't recall the downtown area being so seedy.

But tourism is not my purpose for this visit. I am here for one and one purpose only - to get my US visa. You may ask why Calgary of all places to obtain a visa? Well, it was the soonest appointment I could get.

So, I went to the consulate and after an arduous 2 hours I think I got my visa. They didn't tell me anything, but apparently when then send you away and tell you to return the following day to collect your passport - your in! I must say though, that for an American consulate, there didn't seem to be too many people working there that were born in in the US, judging by the thick accents I heard.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Hey Audrey-

Your adventure sounds great!!! Congratulations on getting to NYC (second time lucky) the job, visa and apartment - you're all set now. Remember to take note of all the funkiest bars/eats for when I am in town. xxx