On Wednesday, I trekked to downtown Oakland's Federal Building to take my immigration test. Remembering the last time I tried to get my citizenship in SF, I was worried. The SF federal immigrations building in the 1990's was hot, humid, filled with humanity. It almost felt like the US embassy in the Philippines.
At any rate, I was informed by the sister that I need to pass this test because next year, the fee will be $900. Damn. It used to be $90. Then it went to $300. That $300 was so expensive, it was not until I could get a real job at a real company that I could afford it.
I spend about an hour studying inside the atrium of the federal building. I sang the star-spangled banner many times. I read the study brochure multiple times. I was ready!!!
I dropped off the appointment notice and waited. It does not take that long, maybe fifteen minutes. A gentle, quavering voice called out my name. The interviewer did not know how to pronounce my name. It's alright. He could have called me a Chinese name and I would have responded.
He checked my information. I had to be doubly alert when it came to the crime section. What with all those double negatives that sometimes pop up in questions.
Nope, never been arrested. [That's why I missed the demonstrations in Berkeley.]
Nope, never had a felony. [I'm a delicate rose petal. I don't do the dirty work.]
Yes, I will bear arms for the United States. [Who do I have to kill for America? For my citizenship, I'll do it.}
Nope, don't know any Communists. [American communists are living off the fat of the capitalist market. Filipino Communists were turned by Marcos into businessmen who live off the fat of the people. Chinese communists are capitalists hiding behind a communist flag. Nope, no communists in this world. Communists only live in the books.]
Nope, Never been outside of America. [Only once in Canada, but that is part of America. Why would I need to go to Mexico? It looks like the Philippines. It's also a lot poorer. And with that leftist guy trying to become president, you never know how stable that place is.]
Nope, never had the desire to travel outside of the US. [I got warm water in the plumbing. I got toilets that work. I got tissue paper. What else do I need to see in the world? They won't have tissue paper or you will have to squat to use the toilet. I'm just not that flexible.]
So yeah. I will be an American. Now, I just have to choose which background I'm going to be:
Southern evangelical. Knocks on doors of neighbors. Tries to bring the kingdom of heaven for only $199.99. Can't get heaven any cheaper. Well, the Catholics offer heaven for free, but they always collect during Mass.
Finnish Midwesterner. I could then represent the Philippine team for the 500 meter speekskating event.
A Texan Cowboy. I am a Republican. So if I choose this, I can be just like George W. Bush. Hoo-hah!!!
An Asian from California. Wait, isn't that what I am already?