Saturday, July 27, 2013

T minus 13: victory is mine!

Behold, ye mortals! The E-1 professor's visa:

I did a lot of driving today (Friday). My first errand was to Alexandria, where I met my brother Sean and we did the "assumption of liability" changeover with Verizon. Sean is now the primary account-holder; my phone line is secondary, and I can deactivate it at any time for no penalty because (and this was news to me) I'm not under contract. I'll deactivate my account on August 12, the day I move out.

My second errand was to the Korean Consulate, to pick up my passport with its new visa. I once again parked on Decatur and walked over to the consulate. There were several people in there this time, but the place wasn't crowded, and the Visa window had no line. I strolled over to the window, saw that nobody was there, and waited. In a few minutes, a different gentleman from the one I had encountered last week appeared. I handed him my yellow pick-up tag; he looked inside a shoebox full of passports for mine, asked me in Korean if this truly was my passport and, when I said yes, handed it over to me through the slot at the bottom of the bulletproof shield. Never asked me for ID. Strange.

And that was it. I thanked the man, exited the consulate, got back into my car, took a moment to marvel at my passport's spanking-new visa, and drove back along a traffic-jammed Route 66 to Appalachia. Before I left, I asked the man whether the "M" on the visa did indeed mean "Multiple Reentry." It did. That made me even happier: I had thought that, in paying only $45 for the visa, I hadn't paid enough to receive an "M" status.

So with thirteen days to go until the end of my job, I'm technically ready to leave the country this very instant: I've got my plane ticket, I've got my visa; all that remains is to store my possessions and pack my bags. It's still unbelievable to me that this is really happening. From CUD, I hope to find out (1) my residential status, as there's still some doubt as to what sort of studio I'll be lodged in; and (2) who my driver from East Daegu Bus Station will be.

On August 13, I start my new life.