Okay, major update here… My life for the past six weeks or so has been a whirlwind of events that, even when the dust is settling now, I feel my head is still spinning. Some would say that a tornado had just transported me to the magical land of Oz, but let’s leave it at that
In chronological order, now. And limiting myself to a few events/topics at a time
Yes, my interview at the embassy went fine and I got the K-1 visa issued, no problem there.
Yes, I had some problems getting my passport back since the embassy insisted on using a private courier service to deliver this important travel document (instead of reasonably allowing me to pick up at a convenient time). And the local courier services don’t exactly love me, for they don’t care for my convenience at all while still stuck in the jungle.
As an example, during the month before my visa interview, Kathryn and I had to send back and forth a ton of documents through Fedex (hence the colorful title of this post)… and I ended up doing a lot of phone calls and a lot of walking (twice!) as the local branch basically doesn’t want to deal with the problem of delivering the parcel to me.
First, they argued the place I was in wasn’t in the list of “covered” areas. So Fedex washed its hands by relaying all the papers to another courier service… who doesn’t deliver to the rainforest either, mind you. Of course, this led to the initial flurry of phone calls, as the tracking service that this new company offered through its website was vague at best, and it was basically reporting that they were ping-ponging the whole silly thing between two different services. Finally (finally!) I was able to convince these idiots to drop the pack of documents in a final pick up point so I could be able to put my grubby ( 😉 )little hands onto it. Of course, this pick up point was in the most inconvenient of places; thirty miles away and with a typical Aleveznuan address that would make Santa swear off of delivering presents forever: Past the Fireman Station, past the Levi’s Wharehouse, next to the Pandock company. (And believe me, I was half considering Santa as my first choice to deliver these documents, but he only works on Christmas and he’s a fictional character… the same as a reliable Aleveznuan postal service is fictional. mind you). This was particularly. Also, a quick consultation of Google maps didn’t yield any results, as the data is severely outdated… or non-existent.
Luckily, one of my neighbors (a guy who sort of lives at the entrance of this abandoned housing development) knew where this place was and offered to drop me off there on his way to work. While he drove me there, I noticed that the Fire Station gave absolutely no indication that it was such, Levi had closed down its warehouse there and that the Pandock company was no more, If I didn’t have help… how was I supposed to figure that out?
Of course, I had to endure this trip (and all the phone calls it represented) at least two times more… with the main difference of having to deal with a wacky official website to get my passport back… I even had to ask Kathryn for some remote assistance for this!)… And some extra poignancy is in order: my passport was supposedly to be sent my way during the days right after Xmas… and a little before New Year’s Eve… when the entire country is shut down for good till January…
(BTW, this Little ordeal added up another 350 miles to my final mileage count!)