Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Got all my paperwork for my visa application to India in order and ran it over to a friend of mine who's going to have my passport and application sent up to Taipei this afternoon. I still don't have my flight officially booked though since my travel agent is in Korea until Thursday! Things are finally underway I thought, with everything being so last minute.

Just over a week ago, I was up in Taipei without any of my official documents, trying to coordinate travel dates and arrangements with "M" for a trip to Bangalore, India. Thus started the flurry of phone calls and emails between "M", myself and my travel agent in Kaohsiung. After discussing all the different dates and scenarios, it still didn't seem real when my travel agent reserved flights for me. She said she'd confirm everything and arrange for payment when she returned from Korea nearly a week later.

Today I was feeling relieved that my visa was going to get done in time. I was all set but then we ran into a slight snag. Though all of my documents will arrive at the embassy later today (Tuesday), my paperwork won't get reviewed until Wednesday and for some reason the Indian Embassay would be closed on Thursday, so my visa wouldn't be ready until Friday.

Therein lay the problem. My friend was sending my passport up through another travel agent (mine being on vacation). After picking up my passport and visa on Friday the travel agent couldn't guarantee sending it back down right away since Saturday is Lunar New Year's Eve. Basically at the close of business on Friday, the travel agent and most businesses would be officially on vacation and they'd remain closed until the following Wednesday! That is just days before I'm supposed to depart (on February 3rd!) I tell you, everything here stops for the Lunar New Year!

I was in a panic. It was ridiculous to think I might have to actually personally go up to Taipei just to get this done! Fortunately, I remembered that I had a friend "F" up in Taipei who had mentioned that she would be coming down to Kaohsiung for a visit on the 1st of February. So I called her and asked her to do me the favor of intercepting my passport and bringing it down for me next week- just days before my slated date of departure!

I knew that I could count on "F"! What are friends for?! Boy am I ever glad for this coincidence. No one ever comes down to Kaohsiung for a visit- they just always say they're coming, but never seem to make it. Two consecutive cancellations around the holidays in December come to mind...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Just back last Thursday evening from my latest trip to Taipei- the "appetizer" of my winter vacation travels- as my friend C so affectionately called it.

I could have, I should have looked into this on Friday, but I waited until today (Monday) to contact the Indian Embassy up in Taipei about applying for a visa. So I've lost one day, one day in which I could have gotten my visa processed sooner. Even still, if I'd gotten the forms all filled out on Friday, I not sure if I would have been able to courier up the papers to Taipei from Kaohsiung until Monday anyhow.

The Indian Embassy emailed me the visa application forms earlier today. Tomorrow I'm going to have to arrange to have them couriered up from Kaohsiung to Taipei. I need to get this all done by Friday because I'm cutting it pretty close to the notorious Lunar New Year holiday. This year's Lunar New Year's eve is on Saturday the 28th. So starting January 27th, businesses will close for 5-7 days. And I'm slated to leave February 3rd!

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's on! It's just the news that I've been waiting for. There were plans to go to Maldives, India or Bali floating around for my winter vacation, but none seemed to be coming to fruition. So I went into my winter vacation thinking that I might just end up staying in Taiwan, trying to get some much needed work done on certain projects. But I finally heard from my friend M in San Francisco. The trip to Bangalore is on!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Through people that I did know or through things that I did touch, I am connected with everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. Everything hangs together with everything. So when the limitations that time and space impose on me are removed because my time is up and my space is no longer there, then I will be in touch with all that ever was and ever will be. That's something to look forward to.

--David Steindl-Rast