SO…. you know how I reported that this last couple weeks each day has been filled with more things than fit into a day? Multiply that by a factor of 12 and you get our last 36 hours.
Wednesday morning David got up early to pick up his prescriptions from his diabetes doctor who had been out sick for the past week. When he got there, the office staff informed him that his doctor had just died. That was the auspicious beginning of David’s Very Bad No Good Terrible Day.
I will skip the details and hit the highlights. By the time I got home from my errand running for the day, I was greeted with “I finally heard back from (our HR guy). He wrote me and said ‘Don’t Come Yet, the visa paperwork isn’t done!'”
Wanna repeat that for me? One more time? What did you say? I am not sure I understood you correctly. WHAT?!
I am told David’s exact response to that email was “Motherf–“! Which seems appropriate all things considered.
Ummm.. Yeah. That was 5 days before we were expecting to be on a plane. Main Movers arriving Monday morning. Car going back to the dealer Monday. Apartment returned to the landlord Monday. We are pretty much down to packing the kitchen and our actual luggage for the trip. And suddenly, no?
I am told there was some raging at that point. There was a bit more later. And a whole lot of “what the heck do we do now” thrown into the mix. Contingencies upon contingencies. Questions upon questions. Bosses were contacted, VPs were looped in. Phone calls were had. To their credit, the company hired an immigration lawyer. By today, we were talking with him directly, scanning and sending paperwork, and basically trying to do everything from a 2 month process in 2 days. Folks were definitely working to correct the situation. But, it is still a huge big ball of crazy-making absurdist bogglitude.
In the end, if we are lucky, this is what is going to happen:
- We are headed to London, as planned Monday. This is necessary because we need to take possession of our house and our moved-stuff. BUT, we cannot stay there. You can’t convert a tourist visa into a work visa while in country. In fact, we have to get special paperwork saying that we are only there for a couple days as tourists, won’t work during that time and will leave. Apparently the English government is worried people will show up on a tourist visa and look for work while there. And apparently that would be a Bad Thing.
- We get confirmation that David has been approved by the government for this month’s allocation of work visas. That should happen in the next couple of days (PLEASE). It is a quota system. He *should* get priority treatment because of his job skills, but there are questions about how the paperwork was handled prior to the lawyer’s involvement. If this part goes south, I am not sure our next step. So, if you are the praying sort and feeling like giving us some help, this would be where to concentrate your energies.
- Once that is confirmed, we have to go to one of the three cities in Germany that has a consulate (still not sure if that is an American or British consulate). We picked Berlin because it is less expensive than the other two (Dusseldorf and Munich), and because we have actually never been there!
- We stay in a hotel in Berlin for about 2 weeks filling out forms and waiting for our paperwork to be ready.
- Assuming it all goes through (PLEASE), we can then return to London and start living and working there as planned. Well, not quite as planned. David won’t get to work until probably at least a week after his scheduled start date. And that will, of course, make the move in process trickier. But, we are just gonna roll with it at this point.
There are more than a few monkey wrenches even in this scenario (the delayed start date, our rental car has already been paid for for 2 weeks, we won’t be there to set up our cable, etc). But, at least now we have a lawyer smoothing the way, and the company will pay for our travel and hotel costs in Berlin.
So, we are trying to look at it as a Partially Paid For Berlin Paperwork Vacation! Woot!
- As for everything else, we are chugging along. My Physical Therapist practically wrapped me in Kinesio-tape in anticipation of having to move without a therapist to help me recover. I look rather like a blue-green mummy when viewed from the left side.
- Our Hausmeister gave me a big unexpected hug good-bye.
- The little old lady I talk with at my PT’s office gave me guardian angels- as did my PT. Apparently this is the thing one gives acquaintances going on journeys. We can definitely use their help!
- Friends came today to help move out stuff to the dump and take a few of our items that are being re-homed.
- In practice this means that our bed and couch are now gone. I will be sleeping on Audric’s bed. He and David will both sleep on the floor. It is like camping! Only, you know, more like sleeping on floor.
- We arranged to get British Pounds from our bank.
- We got the kids’ school records.
- We said good-bye to almost everyone (Kerstin, will come by Sunday
- I cried. More than once. Since- Good-bye!
- And, as said before, we are down to packing just the stuff we use day to day.
We have some more cleaning to do. We have to check out from the City government (you do that here, tell them you are leaving before you go). We need to change our address with the bank (who won’t let us until we check out). And we have a few more little paperwork and phone check-offs to complete.
Since we will have 2 weeks instead of 2 days in a hotel, though, we need to consider how/what to pack. For instance, I will need to take some of my work materials with me. And, we will need to be a bit better about layering as the weather changes.
Also HOLY EFFING MOTHER OF DARKNESS WHAT IN THE BLEEPITY BLEEPING EVERLOVING CRUDMOKEYS JUST HAPPENED!?
Ehem. Sorry. That was about as far as I could get without that seeping out.
So, Apparently this little blog will have a little detour in the coming week. Knock wood. Stay Tuned!
In the mean time, we are all pretty much tethering our sanity to our wrists like a run-happy toddler at Disneyland, because those puppies are just looking for a crack in the fence and Away They Go!