Isn’t the job of a consulate to assist people in applying for visas/passports/other official documents?  That was my understanding, but then again, I’ve been wrong before.  Clearly, the Bulgarian Consulate in L.A. is not there to help anyone.  Not.a.single.person.EVER.  So here’s the story:

Yet again, we drove up to L.A. to attempt to apply for work visas.  This time, we were sure we were adequately prepared with all our paperwork.  We had them all checked before we left Bulgaria, made sure we ordered fresh “original” copies from the U.S. lawyers and Secretary of State, had new pictures taken at Kink0s, and so on…

We were wrong.

We turned in all our papers and the ladies again insisted they were fraudulent or fakes.  They couldn’t be originals, she explained, because the stamps were not in the right place on the papers.  I tried to calmly tell her that perhaps someone should notify all the Bulgarian attorneys and accountants how to stamp their papers, because that is the way we got the papers.

Oh no no.  They know what to do and if it isn’t done, it must mean we forged the documents and we are really just trying to cheat the government in some way or other.  On and on this went.  Until we called the people who helped us back in Bulgaria, who then talked to the Consulate (at the rate of $2 a minute) to explain that all the documents had been shown to the appropriate ministries and previously approved.

Ahhhh……so we know people.  Muwahahahaha.  We thought we had her.

But no. we did not.  She kept yelling at us that they were making a BIG exception for us, blah blah blah.  I asked her for some of my original documents back (she insisted before that they NEVER keep them), then she refused to give them back.  She told me I didn’t need them.

Well, this was the end of my patience.  I yelled back.  YELLED.  I told her to stop yelling at me and that it was her job to be helpful.  Then……silence.  She stopped yelling at me, collected our money, moved the process forward.  Apparently these Consulate flies DO like vinegar more than honey.

Maybe it’s their mullet hairdos that prevent them from thinking clearly or answering any questions in a helpful, kind tone of voice…


But my favorite part…we owed $50, we handed over $60, and in true Bulgarian fashion, they did not have change.

“I’ll give you the difference when you come back to get the visas”, she said.

“Okay.  Could you just write me a receipt then?”

“I wrote it on your file.  They will know when you get here.”

“But I have no proof. I want something in my own hands that says you owe me money.”

“What? You think we are making a deal here?”

“No.” I said. “ I think I want to make sure you aren’t stealing from me”.  Huff, puff, and BAM! I got a receipt. (Get it?  She had been accusing us of stealing from the country all along and then I accused her of stealing from us…get it? Get it? Pure genius on my part!)

I will have the last laugh.  I hope.