Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Foreign travel on short notice

or how to get an expedited passport for the cost of a normal one plus your sanity.

On my way home one day last week, I was ambushed my advisor who decided to send me to Germany in the middle of August. Uh... ok. Small problem #1: being as fond of traveling as I am, I have no passport and apparently, it takes 10-12 weeks or some similarly outrageous amount of time to get one in the normal way. Now, I sometimes struggle with math, but I do get that the middle of August is not 10-12 weeks from now. Explaining this to my advisor and then consulting the secretary it turns out that I can get reimbursed for the cost of an expedited passport - which only takes 3 weeks. That's still cutting it close, but it might work. Small problem #2: I had neglected to bring a copy of my birth certificate with me when I moved. So, the dear rental units sent one overnight and I was able to complete my application and take the needed documents to the post office yesterday morning. But before I left, small problem #3: Credit cards aren't an acceptable form of payment for passports and, oops, I left my checkbook at my apartment. Luckily, my new bank is conveniently located between my office and the post office so I simply went and withdrew the majority of funds available. I then went to the post office, stood in line for twenty minutes, signed some stuff, and returned to my office where I realized - small problem #4: I *did* have my checkbook (it was at the bottom of my backpack), but I now had no cash and basically no money left in the account connected to said checkbook... Then, small problems #5: it was time for lunch and I hadn't even started doing work yet.

Then the afternoon was spent figuring out which cities I need to be in on which days (taking into account that I *have* to be in Madison for various events immediately preceding and immediately following my trip) and which airports are closest to and easiest to get to from those cities and what times the trains run so I know how early or late a flight I can be on and instructing the travel agent accordingly. Gah!


M. Guru said...

So, like, did the adviser crouch behind a bush and jump out and say: "Christine, you're going to Germany!"?

Anyway, viel spaƟ! Wiederbringen die Diabetikerschokolade.

- mg

Christine said...

What, you decided signing comments UA was too obvious??

Anyway it wasn't a bush, it was the conference room next to the elevators.


m.guru said...

Correct. I was going for incognito.

- mg