Tomorrow is the day that we fly back to Asia.
Today we are supposed to return our rental car,
pack our bags,
say our final goodbyes,
and then leave in the morning.
Well, that WAS the plan!
Yesterday Justin’s father woke up early in the morning, and left before 5am, to make the four hour drive from Dallas to Houston. Once there, he headed to the Chinese Embassy to stand in line with Justin’s work application papers and passport. Even though this is the fourth time we have done this, it has never been more complicated. Getting a work visa for South Korea is easy. You can apply for it in any country that you may find yourself in. China likes to complicate things, so they allow you to apply ONLY in the country where you are a permanent resident. That would be NOWHEE for us right now, but being American, Justin had to use the Houston Chinese Embassy. We filled out all the paperwork, sent the passport there, and then we waited for news from his father. The longest wait was for the work permit from China. It took almost a month to issue and send them to Dallas.
We had done this all before but last time Justin and I were in Dallas, so we made the journey to Houston ourselves. Justin’s dad, Bryan, had to take off work to do this for us. The visa can only be processed in Houston, so they offer a one day service for a “rush fee” of $30. We paid this last time, and stayed in Houston for the day, meeting a friend for lunch. At 2:30pm the visa was ready. We picked it up, and then started driving back to Dallas.
As Bryan stood in the line yesterday, he chatted to us on iChat. He told us that the officer was telling people they don’t do a “rush service” and that the visas could only be ready on Thursday (3 days). Upon hearing this, Justin went completely quiet. He continued to chat to his dad, trying to explain that the officer must be mistaken because even the website states that they have this one day service. When Bryan got to the front of the queue he tried to reason with the officer, but there was no use. He said that without a “death in the family”, the visa could not be ready in one day. We can’t see why you would want an emergency work visa if you had a sudden death in a family, but regardless… we had to admit defeat! With only two days until our flight, and 3 days until the visa would be ready, we had to accept that we would once again have to extend our stay in Cape Town.
On the plus side, our friends will be happy to hear that we get to hang out for another weekend. On the downside, all these flight changes are costing us a fortune! Bryan has to take another day off work to drive to Houston on Thursday. He will then be able to mail the passport back to us, hopefully by Monday. Our flight has been moved to next Wednesday.
So, here we are… Another week in South Africa.
We will try to keep a good attitude and the most of it.
At times these hiccups are frustrating, sometimes even enough to make us go crazy, but we will keep exercising patience. It will all be worth it once we get to our new home. For now, we need to appreciate the extra time we have been given. I guess we were not meant to leave South Africa this week! We trust that this is all part of the ‘bigger plan’, and that we will get to China when the time is right.
Thank you so much dad!!!
We really appreciate the fact that you do things so lovingly, and without any hesitation.We don’t know how we would be able to organise this if you were not there to help us. It means so much to us that you would take time off work, and make the long drive (twice)!!
Love us, xo