annnnndddddd here comes the rush.
Within the last few days, I have received:
- My visa letter of invitation (hurrah!)
- A handbook entitled “Advice on Advice on Advice” from past Fulbright grantees in Russia (yay!)
- Another handbook with all of my visa processing information (finally!)
- Notification that I got the Critical Language Enhancement Award (what?)
- A whole lot of nonsense to do in the next few weeks (wheee!)
Add this to the fact that airlines are actually selling flights as late as I need to return to the US, and I am one busy bureaucrat (I would say busy bee, but I’m convinced that red tape is harder to get around than waxy hives, plus all the bees are dying now anyway).
So, without further ado, steps 15-23:
- Check your email. Find there a whole bunch of documents you’ve been waiting for forever!
- Choose your flight. It’s like choosing whether to get hit over the head with a rock or a baseball bat. Loads of fun, I promise.
- Wait. …for the flight you want to go from $2100 to $800. Because if you wait a few more days, it will. I have evidence! Look at June 13 on screenshots of my Lufthansa search (same search, run two days apart) for the return trip:
- Call home. Daddy knows everything.
- Get HIV tested. Actually, get this done earlier so you don’t need to do it now. If you’re going on a student visa, you’ll need valid test results from within 90 days of applying for the visa.
- Pull your hair out. Because how exactly are you supposed to take care of your visa at the DC consulate when you live in Ohio?
- Buy those plane tickets! Baseball bat it is, then? Well go on and get it over with, because depending on what visa agency you go through, you might also need tickets to apply for your visa, and you need to receive your visa at least 5 days before you fly. I mean, no rush.
- Send all of your documents to some agency who will hopefully get you your visa on time. “Documents” include your passport, so please don’t plan on any international travel in the meantime.
- Wait. …a little bit longer, because, come hell or high water, you’re going.
(Disclaimer: I have not myself completed steps 19-23, but it seems that those are the things that need doing.)