Oh hey there! We are at the 2 week countdown before I finally leave on my Thai voyage and boy, things are getting real. All of the little things are finally coming together and I’m beginning to feel the excitement I felt when I first made this big decision. I’ve crawled out of the rhetorical hole I was hiding in to avoid responsibilities and have started all of the necessary steps to move my life to Thailand.
First things first, and the most exciting news of all, my lease has officially been transferred to my best pal, David. We have known each other our entire lives… seriously… since birth, and he is like a brother to me. What better person to take care of Penny than good ol’ Davie. It took a while to get everything figured out. He recently signed an apartment lease with best friend and has been promoted to director at his job so he’s been very busy. Meanwhile, I’ve still been working and trying to prioritize all of the little things I need to take care of. After weeks of back and forth, we finally set a date to head to the dealership and sign the papers. Last Wednesday, August 29th, everything was finalized. We arranged that I would hold on to Penny until the 15th of September and he’s promised to take care of her and I know she’s in good hands. This couldn’t have worked out better. My car insurance contract actually runs out at the end of September so I don’t even need to cancel it, I just need to stop the renewal. I called my insurance which is located in northern Quebec, aka frenchville, and managed to take care of the whole process completely in French! Needless to say, I’m proud of myself.
There was one day in particular last week where I felt very productive! Although nothing was really done, I had a lot of questions answered. I’ve been most concerned about all of my monthly payments once I move away. I’ve taken care of the car and the insurance but I still have phone payments and other silly subscriptions. I cancelled my beauty subscription online with the click of a button so that was simple enough… but how am I going to take care of my phone while I’m in Thailand? I have full intentions on getting a Thai SIM card once I’m there. Last time I visited, I was able to get 30 days of unlimited data for $20. I’m not going to have that expense on top of a Canadian phone plan that I’m not using, so I went to the mall and spoke to my phone provider. For $15 a month, I can cancel my plan and still hold on to my phone number. That’s something I didn’t even think about! I’ve had the same phone number for years so I can’t exactly go and risk changing it. Looks like $15 is the way its going to have to be. A small expense for a big payoff.
On top of figuring out what to do with my phone, I finally paid off my laptop. I bought this bad boy a few months after starting work at the pub. My old laptop was an outdated PC that would shut down and take literally 15 minutes to start back up. Best Buy offers 0% financing so I had nothing to lose and invested $2100 on the new MacBook Pro. It’s my first Mac and so far, its done me good with the exception of some minor keyboard issues. I’ve been paying it off a few hundred dollars at a time and had about $700 left. I paid the whole sum and I can finally say that that’s out-of-the-way.
The last two major responsibilities I have are to find travel health insurance and to apply for my Thai visa. But Kristen… you leave in 2 weeks, how do you not have your travel visa yet? Funny you should ask. Buckle up because you’re about to learn just how blonde I can be. I went online, printed, and filled out all of the necessary documents for the visa. Online, it says the embassy is open from 9:30am-3:00pm Monday to Friday. Last Friday I was already going to be downtown so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and finally get the visa done. Allow me to present some crucial evidence that will later prove I’m not completely stupid…
Please take note of the hours and the address found online at the official Canadian Thai Embassy website as they will be relevant in a few moments.
So I’m near the old port of Montreal, enjoying a nice afternoon caesar before heading to the consulate. For those non-Canadians that are reading this blog, a caesar, or bloody caesar is a Canadian staple! The drink consists of vodka, tabasco, worcestershire, salt, pepper, clamato juice (tomato and clam juice), and a celery salt rim. It’s delicious. Might sound gross, but trust me, it’s delicious. I’m definitely going to miss these when I’m away. Anyway, my sister had a friend visiting from London so we decided to take him to a little place that serves caesars with little snacks on top.
I lost track of time and by the time I left, it was 2:07pm and I still needed to get a passport photo taken for the visa. I found a nearby pharmacy, got a quick little photo, and rushed in to the part of the city where the office is located. Miraculously, I find parking about a five-minute walk from the office and run as best I can – in heels no less – to the building. I speak to the reception and he tells me that they’ve changed addresses and that I would need to go across the street. I have less than ten minutes to spare. I run over, take the elevator to the 25th floor, and speak to the receptionist who says: “the consulate is only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am-12:30pm”… what?
WERE THOSE HOURS NOT CLEAR AS DAY?? IS THAT ADDRESS NOT CLEAR AS DAY???
Not only was the address wrong, the hours were too. I had broken into such a sweat by the time I got to that office, and it was all for nothing. But whatever, what was I going to do? I had no choice but to come back Tuesday morning.
Tuesday rolls around, I set an alarm to get me up at 10:30am. I work late Monday nights so I was exhausted. I got dressed, grabbed my keys, and walked out the door. Traffic getting downtown wasn’t too bad. It took a while for me to find parking but I made it to the office at around 11:45am. Everything was perfect. The consular calls me into her office, we sit down, she asks a couple of questions and then proceeds to ask for all of the appropriate paperwork. I pull out the visa application form, the picture I had taken at the pharmacy, and my license. “Perfect” she goes, “I’m just missing your passport”.
Passport. My passport.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen. The one and only Kristen forgot her passport on her bedroom dresser. I knew exactly where it was. I EVEN LOOKED AT IT BEFORE LEAVING MY ROOM! How could I be so stupid?! The woman was looking at me as if I was the biggest idiot she’s ever met. I’m pretty sure she tried to rub it in by telling me in all the years she’s worked there, only 2 or 3 people have forgotten their passport, me being one of them. So ya, I felt pretty stupid. I still feel pretty stupid. Now I have to get downtown yet again on Thursday morning to officially apply. Oh and might I add that Thursday is the absolute last possible day for me to do this. It takes one full week to process which means that if I get the visa done on September 6th, it will be ready September 13th. I plan on leaving around the 15th. Talk about cutting it close. Let’s all just pray that tomorrow things go smoothly and that I don’t forget anything.
Aside from that whole fiasco, I have a few options for travel insurance that I’m looking into. All I need to do is call one more place and choose which one.
So that’s it! All of the major things to take care of here are pretty much set in place. Just a couple more little steps and then I can be on my way. My mom wants me to go through my entire room before I leave and get rid of anything I don’t need. I’m probably about halfway done. The most exciting thing about this is that while I was cleaning, I found an envelope with American and European money inside. I just went to the bank to convert it back to Canadian currency and I have a whopping extra $770! What a bonus! I’ve started looking for job opportunities in Thailand and I also had a little going-away shindig at work last Sunday where most of my friends were able to attend. I definitely feel grateful for the people in my life.
The next time I post will probably be when I’m deep into packing. My last day at work is September 10th and I will officially be unemployed for the first time in 8 years. Everything is beginning to feel so official! I can’t wait for this adventure to begin.