10 years ago we had surrendered our Swiss visas in order to move to France. We went to the French consulate in Zurich, and, with stunning efficiency decided we needed to wait several days to get our French visas. The kicker…
- We had already closed up our apartment so we needed a hotel
We were essentially stuck in Zurich for days without being able to leave*. Sure, we could wander the surrounding area but we had no formal proof we were okay to be in Switzerland as our passports were at the French consulate.
Needless to say when the person behind the glass window said “well it is August, maybe you get them back in two weeks” I considered a repeat of the attack on the Maginot line. Thankfully I realized that unlike the French Army the French Bureaucracy would never surrender and I better back down, make Bambi eyes, maybe get a kid or two crying (they were great), and just beg.
- I know, first world problems. I was a refugee of sorts, an illegal alien. But I knew at any moment I could head to the embassy and take my family out of there. While it was a weird feeling and not a lot of fun to be in Zurich when we wanted to move to Paris already… but not all that dramatic.