Wednesday, July 22, 2009

18 days and counting!

I'm leaving in 18 days...unbelievable...Though I know I'm leaving and I'm so excited, I have no idea once I get of the airplane and start a new life in Louisville. In way I think this is good since I have no high expectations (maybe I'm lying here) but it bothers me that I can't see past all this stuff to do before I leave.
I managed to sort out my visa drama and my passport with the visa should arrive this week. So that's a relief and a blessing. I still have a lot to do before I leave namely organising my mother's birthday as well as getting a few last minute things.
And then...I have to pack....
For those of you who don't know, I HATE packing. I'm the most neurotic person about my clothes and the size of my (body) bag. It as though all of my stress and anxiety fixes itself onto the bag and I'm reduced to a quvering wreck. If this happens when I'm only living in another part of the country for two months at a time, what am I going to be like when I'm living in another country for five months with a totally different climate!!! Can someone please pass me a brown bag I think I'm hysterical.
Here are a few fun facts about Louisville to distract me from myself:

1. The first cheesburger was invented here.
2. Leaning across the entrance to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is the world's biggest bat. The “Big Bat” weighs close to 68,000 pounds, is 120 feet long and nine feet in diameter at its base.
3. The Kentucky derby takes place here every year on the first saturday in May.
4. In September is the Bluegrass Balloon Festival, the fifth largest hot air balloon festival in the nation. The festival features early morning balloon races, as well as balloon glows in the evening.
5. It was the home of Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
6. It is the hometown of actors Johnny Depp & Tom Cruise
7. Thunder Over Louisville is North America’s largest annual fireworks show

Hopefully, by my next post I'll have overcome my neurosis regarding packing...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Visa Drama

Oh my gosh, getting a visa is the most complicated experience ever! Getting all the documentation together for the aplication process resulted in a mad frenzy of payments and frantic searching for the mysterious 1-20 form which was generated by Bellarmine. However, I never received the form in the post and only realised this two days before I was due to go the consulate. What followed was a constant stream of emails and phone calls to Bellarmine. Finally, the form was sent electronically which meant that we could pay the SEVIS fee as well as apply for my visa.
The drama didn't stop there....
The US' embassy is the most intimidating building ever. I was shaking as I went into the building, though this may also have beeen attributed to the huge cappucino which I had just gulped down. With the fear that i would be denied my visa for whatever reason, the long line and security checks didn't help my anxiety...As if i was a national security risk, maybe to the American male population but certainly not a security threat ;)
Anyway, after going for my visa intervew which was all of 30 seconds long it turned out that there was yet another cost for the actual visa which I wasn't aware of it (this on top of the $131 appliaction fee plus the $200 SEVIS fee!. Aaah, so I didn't have my mother with me to pay as you're not allowed to have relatives with you! So right now my visa appplication is on hold until we pay. So lame. But at least I'm not a national security risk!
On a brighter note; 36 days till I leave :)