You know how, sometimes, everything seems to be going your way?
Even though the first few days back home were tough, from the moment Anne and Steve
kidnapped me offered to take me in, everything has felt like smooth sailing.
Maybe I didn’t sleep much, right after I booked the embassy appointment that would take place in only two days time. But that was so much better than the August 11th alternative, which seemed like it was going to be the next free date.
And then, even though they told me it might take up to 5 business days to receive my passport back, I knew it would only take the minimum 3-day timeframe.
I wasn’t entirely sure my brother would be awake in time, despite his insisting it would be fine, so I planned to come back home after the school drop off, and camp out until I heard the knock on the door. I thought my little brother and sister would be there, but the house was quiet when I arrived. Nothing in the mailbox, yet.
My little sister said she had slept over at a friend’s house and would be back in the afternoon, but she soon messaged me to check I was still there. She’d received some bad news about a young friend of theirs, and was on her way back. When she arrived, we called my little brother, to make sure he was okay (he wasn’t far from mum, so had gone to meet her at uni), and arranged to pick them up – making sure our other brother was listening out for the door while we were gone.
When we got back home, I called the bank (they’d blocked my credit card, because I misremembered my password to confirm an online payment), but I had to leave after 20 minutes on hold, for after school pickup. It was just one thing after another.
Mum took over on the call (it’s all sorted out), and on the way out the door, I flipped up the mailbox. It’s a habit, I didn’t expect anything, but there was a “sorry we missed you” note from the delivery company.
I was furious.
My passport, my entire life is in that package. And they didn’t even knock on the door. (Or my brother wasn’t paying attention).
If I don’t have that passport in my hand tomorrow morning, I have to wait another whole week for my flight.
We called the 1300 number listed, to find out which option would be quicker, a local delivery point (it wasn’t even 3pm yet, if they were still doing rounds, it could be there in a couple of hours) or the nearest depot (in the city, an hour away, but the call centre said they’d be open until 8pm). The staff were very close to useless. This is a company whose whole purpose in life is to take packages to places. You’d think they would have some understanding of logistics. A way of tracking items and knowing when trucks are expected back at the depot. If they were really good, maybe an ability to contact the driver. Not so, my friend. In fact, though apologetic, they didn’t sound surprised that the driver probably hadn’t knocked – and certainly hadn’t filled out the entire “sorry we missed you” slip. I was lucky to have a consignment number.
I was mostly frustrated that I have no control over any of this, and although many people have been great (the embassy, the au pair agency we switched to after the first ones were not very helpful), there are times like this where it seems like those who have my immediate future in their hands just don’t care.
So. Finally, at 8:15pm (the depot closes at 9pm, would’ve been nice to know), I have confirmation that my passport is at the depot in Port Melbourne.
Immediately after school drop off tomorrow, I’m on my way. I have to double check the visa is printed correctly, and then I can email everyone to confirm my flight for Sunday.
It will be nice to have a moment to breathe, between that confirmation, and the mad rush to pack and organise everything, and then get to the airport on time. The next time I’ll breathe is when I’m in Seattle. (Though being breathless in NYC should be the good kind!)
Phew. Wish me luck!