I made it to Korea!!!! I am on limited connectivity so bare with me as I am transitioning to seldom internet access and getting setteld in. I will be back with plenty of post soon!!!
I want to leave ASAP!!!! I can leave as soon as I get my little hands on my passport…however I have decided on Wednesday evening that way when I’m leaving it will already be Thursday afternoon there, and I will get in early Friday morning…enough time to get me adjusted just in case they want me at the school front and center Monday!!
It’s finally here folks after 6weeks of waiting– my recruiter called me with the news about my visa code being granted!!!! I subtly screamed and let out a “YESSSSSS FINALLY I’M SO HAPPY!!!” we both laughed cuz its been one hell of a process, next he told me he e-mailed me with the number and a list of directions for the next step–which is getting the actually stamp in the passport…
This process has to be done at your nearest Korean Consulate…pray that yours is close, thank the lord I just had to drive up to LA… but still– that’s no hop skip and jump for me, It takes a half-a-tank,(luv my Honda) and 6hrs…there and back. mind you I still have to drive back up there and pick up my passport on Monday–to a lot of people that may sound excessive.. but to me it beats trusting the postal system and the consulate to get this right. For those of you wondering you may mail the visa application, along with your payment, passport, and consulate checklist….however after all that I had been through I felt more secure with me just walking it in there myself…
Of course with my luck I bolt out the house with just me and the money completely left the application and passport photo, I remembered right as I turned out of my street…so I turned around and got the application, I still managed to leave the passport photo at home so… aha there was a passport/photo copy store right across the street, I had to pay $10.98 to get passport photos taken yes I know it was highway robbery with those prices but I had no choice the picture has to accompany the application. So I go and take my picture and guess what I Miss jessie’d my hair and it was under a very cute knitted cap but the gentleman say NO hats…damnit..so I tell him sir you don’t understand I look a mess without this cap (i was looking very erykah badu as my homeboi would say) he said no hat so I took the cap off and I looked a DAMN MESS…oh man it was tragic I looked like a Rastafarian gone bad. my hair hasn’t completely gone kinky.. so just for imaginary purposes my ends were not curling…they were straight and straight not a good look for the two strand twist….my pics came out SO tragic..even the guy was like damn—I felt like crap but what could I do???–so I threw my cap back on styled my hair to how it should have looked, paid the man, told him his prices were highway robbery and stormed outta there…now on my way back to the consulate this dude had the audacity to holla at me..I gave him the side eye cuz he just saw me in the store lookin half crazy…anyway we chopped it up while I waited for the light found out he is going to South Korea as well but what was more crazy is that he had just drove up from Diego too!! Anyways I walked back in there submitted my docs..she then told me to go to the interview room, in there they asked me if all the information I stated was correct, they asked me what I was going to Korea for, they asked which city I was teaching in and then he asked me why I chose South Korea to teach??? Simple as pie… he gave me my pick-up receipt and I was outta there. $4 for parking
BTW just so everyone is clear you may not purchase your ticket let alone enter the country until this process has been completed…unless you go in as an illegal and I DO NOT ADVISE THAT..immigration is cracking down majorly on that
So I have been on hiatus due to there being no REAL big updates on my visa status…however it has leant me LOTS of time, time that I have to tie every single last loose end I have tying me back to this country. Let me tell you the strangest things have occurred to me—it’s like the universe’s last attempts to hold me back…..IT AIN’T HAPPENIN.
Well I scheduled an appointment with my travel vaccine Dr., I knew of her from last year when I went to Africa. Let me tell you potential overseas teachers: DO NOT GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND IGNORE YOUR SHOTS!!! It’s the most overlooked step of this process but the one you will be happy you did, remember– you’re leaving to go to a NEW country!!! Your body is not acclimated to their countries sicknesses nor is your body accustomed to the new YUMMY food!!!!! For these reasons the vaccine acts as a safeguard to protect you from such diseases and insect bites.
Since I went to Egypt last year I had already started the TWIN rx vaccine which is a double agent of the Hep A & Hep B virus’s very common to catch overseas. So this time around I only needed to get the 2nd installment of the shot….better safe than sorry I will not be returning to the states because I got sick from a kid, the second shot was for typhoid; Typhoid is not common in the US and most US citizens receive this due to travel. Typhoid strikes about 21 million people a year around the world and kills about 200,000.(quoted from the CDC). These two shots were not cheap but my health comes second to none so…..the only vaccine I did not get was the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine WHY??? Because it cost $235-I don’t have that kinda cash right now so we’ll see….I will definitely get this shot probably once I’m settled and been in South Korea for quite some time, this shot is necessary if I will be traveling to Japan and I won’t be immediately so that’s fine.
I have two sore arms but I’m vaccinated and ready to go!!