As the days are starting to count down, I got most of the important paperwork out of the way despite having a nearly fatal mental lapse last week.
I received my visa approval and passport from the Korean Consulate last Monday in downtown Chicago. As I was heading back towards the Metra station, I stopped by at the FedEx/Kinkos on Wacker and Washington to make photo copies of each. As I gathered my important documents into my brown envelope, I made my way towards the train, and quietly assumed that everything had finally been taken care of.
Two days later, I was on the phone with ESL Job Network (the recruiting place that hired me) and asked that I double-checked my visa to see if it allowed me to make multiple entries to and from the country. As I was searching for my passport with my visa, I noticed that it was not in the brown envelope. I looked in my bag, no luck. I searched high and low in my room, and still no luck finding the darn thing. It was then that I came to the realization that I had actually left it in the city.
The next 5 minutes, I can feel the lava boiling through my head, but somehow gathered enough sense to think of where I last placed my passport. Two places: Kinkos or the Metra. I can assure you Metra was not the answer I was hoping for. I called up Kinkos, and to my great relief, they have it in their possession. So this ended my 5 minutes of horror and anguish.
I booked my flight to Incheon International Airport through STA Travel (www.statravel.com). I found their rates to be reasonably fair, and their customer service excellent. Their website also provided discount rates on phone cards, international cell phones, and other travel equipment.
I recently threw a farewell party at North Beach in Downers Grove, IL. Thank you to those that took the time to visit and celebrate with me. It was a wonderful time, and I can assure you my debut live band karaoke performance was one for the ages. This Saturday, I will be throwing another farewell party in the city. Before you know it, I will have a little over a week before my final departure date.
Let the good times roll this week......