Some of you may recall my mention of a few weeks back that I needed to head off to the American Embassy to sort out my ITIN with the IRS for my publisher so I won’t have to pay tax on my royalties in two countries.
Well, today was that day … and what a day!
I dragged my poor pal along because I have a habit of getting lost. Said pal then dragged my arse from place to place and on the London Underground.
But most important stuff first, we made the American Embassy our first port of call. Was I intimidated by this? Um … ever so slightly. Not sure why, though. Could have been the vast, imposing building into which I knew I needed to enter. Could have been the last minute worry that I’d not brought all the correct paperwork I needed to get this sucker sorted out. OR … it could have been the police dudes guarding the place with machines guns in their hands. Either way, this is pretty much how I looked prior to entering:
But, once I got in there, and past the Brits at the entrance who looked at me like I had secrets I ought to be telling, I had a hoot of a time. The American guy who took my paperwork and checked my forms and whatnot was a real entertainer. Not only did he tease me about the blown-up image of my driver’s license (yeah, it was THAT bad!!!), but he also tutted over every little thing. Then, coz he couldn’t write small enough to fit my license ID number on the form, he made me do it … whilst he … disappeared for a few minutes—and whilst he was gone, an American voice boomed over the loudspeaker that they were going to be testing the “Duck & Cover” alarm system. Damn! I thought the duck and cover sounded ominous enough, but when they started ordering people to “step away from the windows”, I’ll admit, my eyes got a little shifty. The security there is pretty high. I read on another blog post about visiting the Embassy for your ITIN that you have to remove your belts. It’s true. So, for goodness sake, if you have to go … DO NOT WEAR TROUSERS THAT CANNOT SUPPORT THEMSELVES! Anyhoo, the very nice American guy came back, wound me up a little more with his very witty wit, and sent me on my merry way with the knowledge that my ITIN should reach me within 3 months … but not before he took one last opportunity to bring blush to my cheeks by shouting POLICE! POLICE! when I asked him how I got out of there. It was fun … really!
This is how I looked after I left:
And from there, my friend (you, know? The poor one I dragged along with me?) took me to do a little sightseeing. From Marble Arch to Buckingham Palace. Pics to prove it below: