Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Fingerprinting and Biometrics

Today Ana was so generous to drive me to Portland for my fingerprinting and biometrics, both for EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and AOS (Adjustment of Status). Going there is still fresh in my memory from the last time I did with Gary, so although we left at 6:30 a.m., we arrived there at 8:30 a.m. Ana did her best to speed up to 5-10 mph beyond the speed limit at the interstate highway and still stay safe, and she did a terrific job! (I was telling her that I might probably not try that long drive when I finally have the license to drive).

Well, we got there ahead of my appointment, which was at 9:00 a.m., but they attended to me anyway. It went smoothly and fast, it took me less than an hour to finish my business. Ana had her passport stamped as well. Digital imagery/scanning of fingerprints was used, and there was a polaroid camera so we did not have to go outside. I was told by the one who took my fingerprints that I should have my EAD card mailed to me within 90 days; if not, I will then go back to the INS office to obtain a temporary permit then wait for the mailed card. As for my AOS, their target processing time is 3-4 months. By then I should be waiting for my interview appointment.

After that, we all headed for the address of the Filipino store there. However, when we finally got to the street we could not find it, so Ana called the shop and asked how to get there from where we were. She was told that the new address was (from Deering Ave.) 51 Washington Ave. The store person could not give clear directions; just that we head for downtown Portland and we would not miss it. Yeah right....we drove and drove, trying very hard the (lack of) details in the small maps of Portland that we were carrying with us. Until we just felt lost as if we were in the middle of the ocean with only the waters on the horizon...Ana drove and drove until we finally found the I-95. Another distance of driving in an attempt to see the store (we managed to get to Washington Ave.) proved futile. WE finally headed back home, with Ana so tired especially at her back, and me very sleepy from lack of sleep the previous night.

We cheered ourselves for having accomplished at least what we really wanted to do there. But we were nonetheless frustrated at not having shot two birds with one stone, and having wasted time and gasoline for the store search instead of having used the money for goods instead of the gasoline. Sigh....

Well, another reason to celebrate was Ana's success at the long drive! We went home safely, all four of us (with her two daughters). And that is no small feat.

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