Fuck in all the possible ways the word may be used.

I'm trying to stay cool. I really am. I am trying not to be engulfed by a fiery ball of passionate rage.

If there's nothing you can do about something, there is nothing you can do about something. And you shouldn't let it get to you. Right? Right.

So. Yesterday, after trying all day on Friday to get through to the Korean Consulate in Dallas, we had decided just to drive down there, when I thought I would try calling information and see if they had a different number. Information had no Korean Consulate listed in Dallas. To make a long story short, there is no Korean Consulate in Dallas. I don't know why there is a phone number listed for one. I don't know why there is an address listed for one. Because it doesn't exist.

The only Korean Consulate in Texas is in Houston, which is six hours away and currently ravaged and destroyed by Hurricane Ike.

So, despite the fact that the Dallas Consulate is listed on every ESL website, and if I had known it didn't exist, I could have handled this all a month ago, I find out that if I overnight my documents to Houston, they can have them back to me by Friday or Saturday. And probably have my visa by the time I'm supposed to leave on Monday. At this point, I'm not taking any chances -- not only do I listen to the automated message about what documents I need to send on the Consulate phone line, I check the website AND I call and speak to someone in the office. They all list the same three documents. No I don't need to send anything else. They are sure.

This evening, I got a phone call from Houston saying that they need three additional documents. Just in time to completely fuck my chances of leaving on Monday.

And that's not all, folks. Mike called to make his appointment with the Korean Consulate in New York today -- apparently, they have no operating phone lines at the moment. He'll have to call back tomorrow.

Deep breaths and the serenity prayer are the only things I have left. That, and cigarettes. And Mike's not even here to smoke them with me, in a haze of seething-rage-turned-dilapidated-apathy.

What did I do wrong in a former life?


MikejGrey said...

We are perpetually screwed.
Let's hope there are no phantom consulates in New York.
I'm going to call tomorrow and hear from them that I must wait a week until getting an appointment.

I'm no Picasso said...

The rage keeps building up and I keep trying to squash it down. It makes me want to snap my twig and become some sort of militant communist who rants in the streets about Marx's theory of alienation and how we're all bureaucratic robots who are apathetic about our jobs and the way they affect real people's lives............

MikejGrey said...

The government is monitoring us.

It's like they don't want us to leave the country. They're not through toying with us.

I'm no Picasso said...

It's entirely possible. This is ultimately a google site after all....

Seriously, though. They'd do well to just go ahead and let me out now.

cherry garcia said...

all the bad luck ever.

how you're managing to not get angry is beyond me. but, its for the best.


I'm no Picasso said...

No point in getting angry. Doesn't change a damn thing, except put me in a bad mood.

I had a few boiling moments tonight though. I'm past it now. Que sera sera and that.

Kel said...

I came across this googling Korea expat blogs... don't usually post on strangers' blogs but I'm intrigued by your visa situation. I will be going through the same thing in the near future and I'm trying to prepare myself for the frustration. Is it the recruiting company you are having the problem with or just the Korean red tape in general? I just mailed about a pound of documents to Korea,(It took me almost 2 months to collect them) and I feel like the process is just beginning!

I'm no Picasso said...

Hey Kel.

I wouldn't say it's the recruitment company in particular, so much as all of the institutions involved. Funnily enough, when it came down to time to deal with the Korean government, they were fantastically efficient and I got my notice of appointment just a few days after I shipped all my documents off.

It's the Korean Consulate I'm having trouble with now. The thing is -- and I'm sure you've already learned this lesson, if you've gotten this far -- you should check, double check, triple check everything with everyone. Always talk to someone in person when you're looking for what needs to be sent where, but even then you're likely to be told different/wrong things. As I was in this case.

The best thing to remember is don't count on a solid date for departure and don't book your flight until you have your visa in your hands. The oddest things have a way of going wrong with this. And you know... I'm not kidding about the serenity prayer. Patience is the most important thing I think.

Good luck.


Elizabeth said...

What were the documents that they told you to send after you'd already sent the first 3 things? I'm in Dallas and this is the first I've heard that there's no Dallas consulate. So I'm trying not to freak out. I just got my visa number and need to send my documents to the consulate.

I'm no Picasso said...

Uh I believe what I sent was my contract, my notice of appointment, my passport, two or three photos? and the visa application form.

I know it basically does no good, but you might ask and make sure there's nothing different, because I'm working for a public school, so I didn't have a visa confirmation number -- just a notice of appointment instead. Anyway, if you include all of that I think you will be okay.

That Dallas consulate rumor sucks, huh? Sorry you fell into the same trap I did, but it only took them a few days to get everything back to me with the overnight envelope I sent for them to mail it back in.

And don't panic if your contract doesn't come back -- the school will give you a new one you will sign when you get here.

Good luck, comrade.