My parents and my sister took me to the airport on Wednesday morning. We got there around 4 a.m. and I had to check in three bags. You used to be able to have two pieces of luggage ÃƒÂ¡ 32 kg, but they have recently changed that to two pieces of luggage ÃƒÂ¡ 23 kg. Remember when I bought this HUGE suitcase, because I thought it would be great to be able to fit as much as possible in one single bag and not have to worry about excess baggage. Apparently, my plan didn’t quite work out. I had fitted everything nicely in the big suitcase and when I tried to lift it up, I was instantly sobered. There was no way I could take this suitcase as it was, since it was twice as heavy as it was allowed to – so I had to re-pack everything and there was no way around it, I grudgingly had to pay the excess baggage fee.
It was really hard to say goodbye to my family. I had promised myself not to cry, but when we went to the gate and I hugged them for the last time, I couldn’t help it. It really was a very emotional situation.
After I went through the security check, I felt better.
When I arrived in Amsterdam, I had 5 hours of time to kill and I decided to make use of the wireless connection at the airport. I wrote some emails and chatted with Sanna, who serendipitously was online while I was waiting for my connecting flight :) Thanks for keeping me company, hun!
When I walked over to the gate, I sat down next to a girl who was also flying to LA. Shortly before boarding, we started talking. It appeared that Inga is from Berlin and when I asked her what seat number she had, it turned out that she had the aisle seat across from my seat. What a funny coincidence!
We really had a good talk and it was great to have some nice company on this long flight. We were both kind of nervous, she, because she was going to spend 5 days with a guy that she had previously met in Germany and I, because I was a little anxious about what was going to happen at Immigration, and we were able to distract each other from the approaching situations.
The flight went smoothly and we were both able to sleep a little bit. I love KLM for it’s great seats with really cool head rests!
When we finally arrived, we had to wait in line at Immigration for about 40 minutes which wasn’t bad at all. As I was walking up to the officer behind the counter, I had a funny feeling in my stomach, but it was totally baseless. The officer was really nice and he walked me over to a small waiting area where another officer took my passport and sealed envelope, the one that I had received from the embassy. I waited for a short while until I was called upon to give some fingerprints and the officer was joking about my last name, which in this case was totally fine and made me feel much better in this tense situation.
I was asked to collect my luggage and then take a seat again. After about 20 minutes and officer called upon me again, handed me my passport with the CR1 ((Conditional Resident Visa)) stamp! in it, and told me I was all set :) They didn’t even check my luggage, which was a fortunate circumstance, as they weren’t going to take away the “Teewurst ((https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teewurst))”, my favorite German spreadable sausage, that I had in my suitcase.
I can’t believe that Immigration was such a breeze this time. It only took about 1,5 hours for me to get out. I am a [conditional] resident now. Nobody can send me away anymore! :) J had been patiently waiting for me outside and it was so wonderful to hug and kiss him again after such a long time of separation. It just wasn’t right, but we put this time behind us and everything is going to be perfect from now on :)