Final Visa Update and Travel Stuff...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

VISA UPDATE:  This has been a rollercoaster ride if I have ever been on one.  “Everything will be alright in the end, if its not alright, its not the end”-John Lennon
So I sent my passport in last Monday.  I had to change my ticket because I did not have enough time to turn around my visa to get it back on the 8th.

I was a good and tracked my progress online with the daily updates that were sent.  I was able to change the tickets to the following friday (surely that would be enough time to turn around a Visa). 
By Friday, hopes were high.  I was sailing into the weekend.  This was the update:

Friday: Date: 4/10/2015 Your Documents have now reached CKGS
        application centre from the Embassy / Consulate. Your document(s) is
        being sorted and will be ready for shipment shortly. Please continue 
        tracking your application status online. Your AWB Number is 

The weekend passed and for sure, I thought by Tuesday documents would be in my hand.  I called on Monday afternoon to have my heart drop only to get this message:

Monday: Dear Sir,  I have been forwarded your case. Please be informed that your visa is ready for collection. Kindly, scan and email us a copy of the prepaid label or reprint the label and email it to us. Once received, we will dispatch your passport as soon as possible. Regards, Amanda

Tuesday: I called to find out that they had lost my original tracking number so I had to buy a new one for $50.00.  ( I found out today that I had a copy of the return waybill in my possession, I will see if UPS will be so kind as to refund it to my card.) I was also advised that the San Francisco office was closed and wouldn’t reopen until Wednesday

Wednesday: Officially shitting bricks.  I get an email from the CKGS:
Dear Applicant,Thank you for contacting CKGS via email.With regards to your query, we would like to inform you that your package has been delivered yesterday. We understand your concern. However, we would request you to please wait shortly you will receive your documents shortly.For any further queries, please feel free to call or email us. now I am DEAR APPLICANT...not chad.  And what the hell does shortly you will receive your documents shortly.  Are they saying that shortly (in a few days or a week), shortly thereafter you will receive your documents.  

I got on the phone with CKGS at 3:45 to see where the hell my documents were as the website was updated:
Your Passport has reached CKGS Application Centre from the Embassy / Consulate and is beingsorted and will be ready for dispatch through the Pre-Paid Envelope label provided by you. Your AWB Number is 1ZT62J98NT95013212. To Track the progress of your shipment, log onto the site of your Service Provider and enter your AWB Number.
I was informed that the documents had been handed over to the postal team.  I advised the CSA that I was leaving friday and what does that mean?  In going to UPS the documents had not been received by UPS.  The CSA double checked and said I would have to check with UPS where my documents were….UM hello.  I just did.  They don’t have em.  He told me to call them back later.  I told him I was running out of time.  I called UPS again at 6pm and was told that they had no information on the tracking number provided.  I called CKGS back:  “Thank you for calling CKGS, we are now closed” FML...Im beginning to think India wont happen.  I called UPS at 745, no luck on the documents.  I called at 10pm again, still no luck.  Oh well.  Plan B starts kicking in:  Get a new passport, declare old one as lost, get emergency appointment in San Diego and apply for tourist visa on arrival again.  I will deal with that shit tomorrow, Im so tired and frustrated that I cant see now. To top it off, My grandmother on my fathers side fell due to possible stroke...I feel like a horrible grandson.  Wishing I could be there…

Thursday (today):  Didn’t sleep at all.  Between grandma and my visa, wits have been burned up like a candle that was thrown into an incinerator.  I go down stairs at 8 and call the CKGS office only to be told “There is nothing more we can do for you”  Im pissed. I ask for a supervisor.  One is put on the line.  He begins to speak and I stop him.  Key to sales is controlling the conversation...I learned that at my last job.  I said look, here is the situation.  I still have no visa in hand, I submitted two weeks ago, If visa doesn’t come back I am officially out somewhere near $2000 dollars.  I told him I will not call UPS again as they have NO IDEA where my documents are.  I tell him to call UPS to verify.  CSA says, I will look it up on line, I said, NO you will call them, put me on hold.  After a brief hold, the gentleman comes back on the phone, he says, i am so sorry for the inconvenience.  I tell him to get to the bottom of this asap and phone me back, as I have yet to get a call back.  He advises he will dig and find out what is going on.  I thank him.  1 hour later, I check at 9:40 am and UPS lists the documents as “Picked up”  Coincidence?  I think not.  No phone call but docs should be in my hands by 11 am tomorrow.  Lesson learned, when you are in a crunch do it yourself

As for me, I am going to find my nerves...I think they are around here somewhere. I deal with stress, for the most part, pretty well.  If you don’t, dont use CKGS.  Give yourself a solid 15 days if you do. I have read horror stories on the BBB website of them taking 4 weeks with no response. YIKES.  Im off to finish up some last minute errands before I leave so a few more things

As I make my ready for my trip to India I wanted to thank everyone for all their support.  There is a reason I call you all friends and family.  I wanted to let you know that I of course will have limited contact with the internet while there.  My updates, which used to be as frequent as the sun rising, will not be so much anymore.  I will be connecting via wifi cafes and occasional hostels.  As my best friend Noahs blog says, “Sensory Overload” is the prime reason of this trip, not Sensory distraction.  

I will have several ways if you would like to reach out. 

First and foremost will be my email.  If you are receiving this email about my blog, then you are able to email me.  This will be the best way.
Hangouts:  As you know I am a google guy and love their tech, you can reach me on hangouts.  Whats hangouts, well if you don’t have it, get it:  Works great as a cross messaging platform and works on windows, iPhones, androids and mac computers.  Words of encouragement are always appreciated so if you don’t want to email, you can send it to hangouts.  you can look me up by my email.
Google +:  My blog updates there and that is where comments reside for my blog.  You can also message me there.  All you have to do is create a new post, attached quote, message, thought or article and add +Chad Bordes at the end.  Pretty simple
Imessage or WhatsApp: Since I have a mac, you can iMessage me.  My imessage is my email. I have the Whatsapp app added on my phone and can use it as a last measure. Just send the message to my email address when you compose the message and it will find me.
Texting:  My number changed upon moving to Eugene.  You can email me if you don’t have it and I will gladly email it to you.

Special thanks to the following people:

Noah and Tori-They were kind enough to put me up for the past two weeks and I humbly appreciate the bed of comfort they allowed me to sleep in.  They were gracious enough to allow me to come with them to see “English Beat” and for that I am grateful.  It was an amazing two weeks and I am glad I got to spend it with you two
Scott and Lylah-You guys invited me out for breakfast and put some extra cash in my pocket for the journey and I am greatly appreciative of that.  Lylah, thank you for fixing that amazing dinner.  My stomach still says yum.  I am glad I got to spend some time with my beautiful niece, jasmine.  She gets more beautiful by the day.  As I spent time with you guys I got to see how amazing you guys are as parents.  Scotty—you are a different man and have grown into an awesome father.  Thanks for being my big bro.
Jen-Your sanity and patience is grounding.  Thank you for an amazing 4 year friendship.  You are wonderful and kind and have shown your generosity more times than I can count on all my digits.  Thanks for listening to my venting and my crazy rants
Don & Christina: For always believing in me and standing by me.  I am so blessed to be part of your family and I loved helping get you guys settled in Eugene.  Thank you guys for everything.  
Maw Maw: I love you with all my heart.  Always have.  You have been a rock for our family.  I will continually pray and send you love and healing energy.  You are in good hands with your amazing kids and Jennifer.  We all love you dearly and thank you for all you have done for this family.  

Until next time (or until I can get to a city with wi-fi)...