Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's Your Price for Flight?

Dear Chinese Consulate of New York City:
Please do not lose my passport and visa application before I come to pick it up next week. I am pleased that I was in and out in 15 minutes, but a little iffy about your application process. So please just file mine away in the V's and I'll see you next Wednesday! I really am looking forward to visiting your country in the upcoming months.
Sincerely,
Laurie

On Thursday morning I schlepped myself and my passport and my Visa application over to 42nd Street and 12th Avenue (a Loooooong walk in the rain!) to finally obtain my Chinese tourist visa for Semester at Sea. I went to get the Indian one last month, which was basically a piece of cake, speaking of which- the Indian visa place was close to the Buttercup Bakery, which made the process even sweeter. If you remember the blog about the "golden delicious" cupcake......that was the place.....so upon retrieving my Indian visa, I also retrieved some cupcakes. Each one just melts in your mouth. The buttery sweet frosting, the flaky soft melt-in-your mouth cake....mmmm.... heavenly blisss....ummm... Where was I? Oh, right. Chinese visa.
So this was my conversation with the Consulate employee....aka Chinese Visa Nazi:
Chinese Visa Nazi: You not list a hotel.
Me: That's because I'm coming by ship.
Chinese Visa Nazi: You go on cwuise?
Me: Not exactly a cwuise, it's a study abroad program, an educational thing.
Chinese Visa Nazi: You need STUDY visa, not tourist!
Me: No, no no....Semester at Sea comes to your country all the time, and this is how I was instructed to fill out the application, according to their guidelines. I'm not really a study-abroad thing for *me*, because I'm working as a staff member.
Chinese Visa Nazi: You need a WOK visa?
Me: A what?
Chinese Visa Nazi: WOK visa!!
(She is getting frustrated and yelling this. The people in line behind me are glaring at me.)
Me: Oooohhhhh.....work visa? No, no no...that's not it either. I'm working for an American University.
Chinese Visa Nazi: You go on cwuise?
Me: Yes.
Chinese Visa Nazi: Okay, we give you passport back and visa next Wednesday.

Phewwww.....

Aside from arranging travel plans to China, I've been arranging my holiday visit to Ohio. I was going to stay in Hoboken over Thanksgiving or maybe go upstate with Dara or to Connecticut with Holly and Jay, but instead I'm going to see my own family. I rented a car and will drive there and then fly back to LaGuardia. Since I waited until last minute, the prices have gone up for flights, but my mom booked it for me. (Go mom! Thank you so much!)

My head is spinning. There is so much to be done in the two months before I leave. Travel immunizations, Hepatitis vaccines, malaria prescriptions, get new camera with points I've earned on my credit card, possibly a new laptop if I'm not broke from the doctors visits and malaria meds, organize my files at work and get everything in order for my "substitute" during the four months I'm gone, straighten out my tax forms and mail forwarding situation while I'm gone, tie up some loose ends with my volunteer position with Alpha Gam, try to work a few liquor promos (in case you didn't know, I work champagne, wine, and liquor tastings as my side-gig.....it's decent money and the most fun job in the world....only I haven't done one since like July, so I need to get on the ball with it during the holidays to earn some extra cash)......what else? Just a million things at work, etc.

All good things. I love being busy, because it means I am preparing myself for something wonderful. I would do these tasks a thousand times over to go on this voyage, that's how excited I am for Semester at Sea.

I've noticed during these busy times I've not been dating much at all. But I am starting to get bored and maybe want to throw in a few dates too. Is this realistic? You guys know anyone? Tall, smart, and single? If you do, send 'em to The Rime of the Modern Mariner, Inc. and I'll show 'em a good time. Must love blogs. Must love fluffy gray cat named Isaac. Must want children. Potential suitor should be willing to part ways for four months starting in January or be compact enough that I can fold him up in my suitcase. On second thought, better not....I am thinking I might be finding Mr. Right on my voyage. ***Can you tell by the title of my blog and the reference to "finding Mr. Right" that I've been listening to Night Ranger? I looooove that song. I heard it in the grocery store this morning and couldn't help singing along.

Sister Christian, oh the time has come
And you know that you're the only one to say, OK
Where you goin', what you looking for
You know those boys don't want to play no more with you
It's true......(and this is where the giant crescendo starts......ba ba ba ba ba ba...)
You're MOTORING!
What's your price for flight
In finding Mister Right
You'll be all right tonight

Uh oh! People were staring. But come ON! You can't BLAST that at a grocery store during the mundane task of shopping, which I already HATE to do, and not expect me to start jamming!

Speaking of "motoring", that's precisely what I've gotta do right now. I have a four month voyage to plan already!!!!

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