Today marks a very exciting day in preparing for PashbyMaul’s future adventures. This morning, we went to the Uzbekistan Embassy in Rome, where we were planning on dropping off our tourist passports to have them processed for our visas. To our surprise and delight, the kind gentleman who helped us printed the visas right there and then, and we left with both our passports in tact AND our visas inside said passports. Since I (Alicia) have recently had to renew my passport, my new Uzbekistan visa is the first thing in there!
The entire process took under 30 minutes. We were the third people at the embassy and we were quite surprised to have received our visas in person. This worked quite well because of several factors:
- Tashkent International School, my employer beginning 1 August, prepared all of the documents and emailed them to us, also giving us specific instructions about what else was required. (Money order, 2 copies of passport, 2 passport photos although they only used 1.)
- Drew and I both called the embassy at different times to make sure that their information was correct, that all we needed to do was show up between 10-13 on week days excluding Wednesday. This took some careful listening as their telephone directory is spoken in either rapid Italian or Russian. I decided to go with the Italian as long as possible!
- Drew found an AMAZING hotel, the Guilio Cesare, very close to the embassy so that all we had to do was roll out of bed and show up to stand in line with our documents.
- Drew planned our trip in advance with train tickets and hotel reservations.
As you can see, obtaining a visa requires planning and isn’t as easy buying ice cream, but we made the process easier on ourselves by admitting to ourselves that we would need to stay overnight in Rome, as Rome is a 3-hour train ride from our current Casa di Maul, and there is only a 3-hour opening for passport drop-off and pick-up. And the thing that probably made the planning process better is that Drew is an amazing hubby and planner and he really stepped up to the plate to make sure that everything would happen smoothly.
And now for my personal PSA: if you’re planning a trip to Rome and you haven’t gotten there yet this year, you’d better wait until October to go! Rome and the Vatican get worse and worse in terms of crowds and obnoxious salespeople every minute, it seems! Of course, we still didn’t let that deter us from going by St Peter’s Basilica one more time, for nostalgia’s sake.
We’re now set to travel to Tashkent on 1 August and tell you all about what life’s like in Uzbekistan come fall!