The main thing which caused all of this unheard of chaos was one document: my Notice of Appointment aka my teaching contract. Apparently SMOE was having a very difficult time getting NOAs out on time for this fall. Don't ask me why, I don't know, it's just what happened, and it's not the normal state of things. My contract was not sent out until roughly August 1st. It was sent USPS, snnnnnaaaaaiiiilll maaaiiiillll. This would not have been that big of a deal except for one little detail...
Andy and I left Knoxville for a big New England vacation on the 19th of July
And the fact that I had neglected to tell my recruiter this pretty important factoid. If I had been, ya know, intelligent and not stressed as hell about packing up my life, I would have told RTT to send any paperwork to my parents rather than my apartment.
Why is the contract so important, you ask?
BECAUSE YOU CANNOT GET YOUR KOREAN VISA WITHOUT IT!!!
Yeah, kind of a big deal.
Also, the one thing Andy did to be super responsible and adult-like before we left was to put our mail on hold. All of these facts, the being gone, the importance and tardiness of the document, and the held mail made for the perfect shit storm. Once I regained my IQ about a week into our trip I had Andy take the hold off of our mail so I could receive the contract. However, since the mail is an antiquated system they neglected to begin delivering any of our mail until we called the post office to complain a few days later. The day they delivered our backed-up mail was Tuesday, August 9th... my departure date, you ask? Monday, August 15th.
Thankfully our next-door neighbors in Knoxville are the greatest, most wonderful people who understand how I can eventually lapse into the mental capacity of the common garden slug. They watched our mail like hawks and as soon as the contract arrived ran it to FedEx so I would get it the next morning. As soon as I had it in my hands Andy and I hopped into Fabio (my glamorous PT Cruiser) and sped down to the Boston Korean Consulate.
Anyone nervous about dealing with the Korean Consulate in Boston should heave a sigh of relief right now because I have nothing but wonderful things to say about them. Not only are they super nice, but the office is easy to find (right off the interstate), easy to park near (not that busy of an area, apparently), and very efficient. It took all of 10 minutes for me to give them my Visa paperwork and when I collected it on Friday it was only 20 minutes. Driving almost five hours round trip, twice, for such little work was the most annoying aspect of the experience.
So there you go! Andy and I's trip to New England was amazing, relaxing, and just what we needed before saying our goodbyes for the next few months [ :*( ].
Oh, and I'm writing this post from Korea... more on getting here and what I'm doing currently soon!