Saturday, 04.18.2015 - 8:02 pm.
Hello. It's been raining all day, windy and cold. It's a great day to be in bed and indeed I am. Unfortunately, soon I'll have to get up because my two closest friends in this town (in this country), Karin and Ana, are coming over, while our partners throw a bachelor party for Karin's fiancé (they're getting married next week!). It's always great to see them, but I'd love to stay under the very thick covers and finish Wild, and maybe watch a movie or write.
We FINALLY submitted out scholarship application! We made the deadline! So many times I gave up, thinking we'd have to wait for next year to try. It's amazing that every weekend since mid-november I've been preparing applications. There was always a deadline, a missing document, a payment, an essay to write, someone to convince.
Last sunday, in the evening, I thought I was set. I was done, ready for submission of the scholarship form. Then Andrew comes into the room, "they're not asking for your residency certificate, they're asking for a certificate of validity of your residency". Oh, I say. That's ok, I go to the immigration office. There aren't many immigrants in this city so they'll give me the certificate right away.
I look up the requisites for the certificate of validity. Just one, the passport. My. Passport. Is. 800. kms. Away. DEARLORD, I DON'T HAVE MY PASSPORT! I'm pretty sure I wrote in here the whole process: it expired this April, and last August I asked to renew it at my consulate.
I submitted the form that month but they never told me I was missing a document. Communication back and forth, I finally got an appointment in November. They cancelled it a few days prior, saying they'd set a new date. I never heard from them. I called in January as there was no sign of my renewal application, and that was because the genius handling it deleted it entirely when my appointment was cancelled; nobody was ever going to call me. I managed to go to Santiago in February, a 1,600 km round trip to stamp my fingerprints. I received a call in March, my new passport was finally ready. So I had to make the same trip just to have it in my hands.
I'd been putting it off. Even by plane, due to the flight schedule, you lose a whole day traveling from here to the capital. But now I needed it. I yelled and cried and kicked doors, I was so angry. IT NEVER FUCKING ENDS! YOU THINK YOU'RE DONE AND THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING MISSING. Andrew talked me into going by plane and canceling my class the next day, Monday morning. My conscience was biting me but I had to. I needed to get my passport on Monday to ask for the certificate on Tuesday. The deadline to submit the scholarship form and all the documents was Thursday. I still could make it.
The trip was pretty much painless. Horribly expensive but I was paying, or Andrew and I were paying, to make it painless. I took a plane at 9 am, arrived at the airport at 11, arrived to the embassy at 12, by 1 pm I was hailing a cab back to the airport. I spent the afternoon in the VIP room, because all in all, it's the same price as getting a meal in the airport, except in a comfortable seat with an open snack bar, great coffee and wi-fi. My plane back home landed at 8 pm.
And that's it! Andrew and I feel so close to going abroad for our PhD and we're starting to make plans. "We could do X...if we get the scholarship". We always add the "if". But it's great that at least this time, after all these months of uncertainty and paperwork, we do have a chance.