Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ireland 2012, Part 1: The Journey

Of course we will begin where we ought. No, not with the drive to the airport, but with obtaining the visa.

I mentioned before that we made the plans to fly to Ireland to attend a wedding. It is actually the union of my best friend to her beloved which was also quite the journey spanning Japan, the Philippines, Ireland, and many others in between.

In our case, my husband's and mine, we had to wait for a month after our wedding that we may be able to present our marriage contract among our application documents. This made us among the last to present our visa application documents, processing for which would take a maximum of 6 weeks: just enough time to pack and fly off.

Or so we thought.

Enter the Filipino reputation for entering a country illegally that they may work abroad for whatever reason they deem it fit, however they find it easiest to do, whether to enter as a tourist and then find work, or enter as a student and then find work.

I understand why you do it but I have never hated you so much.

So many others have obtained their permits to work abroad legally. Because of you, we almost did not make it to Ireland and you caused my best friend, getting married in two weeks at the time we received the visa results, unnecessary stress.

There is no way to describe how frantically we all scrambled to get the appropriate documents together but in four days' time, our appeal was on its way to Ireland. A week of tense waiting passed and then we received the message that all visas had been approved!

For myself and my husband, it also meant a mad scramble to book our flight and accommodations, and do some last minute shopping, mainly for spring gear. Two pairs each of warmers, and some pajamas later, I was ready to pack us up for the trip.

I must admit I've gotten rusty as far as packing goes. It's been nine years since my last trip abroad and the stress of the visa application, appeal, booking, and packing (plus collateral issues) made me go a little crazy during the five days we had to prepare for a two-week trip.

Because I was so insane then, I hadn't thought to take pictures of what it all looked like as I piled in our clothes. People who've seen my bedroom know it's normally a disaster area. (I'm not exactly proud of this but it is the truth.) More so as I packed myself and my husband up. On the other hand, our closets never looked neater. Bitter, bitter irony.

It was in this manner that I spent the days between 29th March up to 6th April. You cannot guess how relieved I was to finally be on our way to the airport that Friday afternoon...after I'd just finished unpacking and repacking our luggage completely.

P.S. Some folk might notice the sudden appearance of location tags on my posts. This is completely temporary and merely a tool to illustrate our movement during Ireland 2012.

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