Despite my near-daily wrangling with Visa & Immigration officials, having opened an Australian bank account and booked an Air BnB for the first few weeks after our arrival, none of it felt really (capital R) Real. There was that little tug at my ear that maybe it wasn’t actually going to happen- the one that held all the Plans B & C in reserve. You could call it a contingency plan, maybe it was an escape route- but either way, it acted as a barrier between me and this BIG FEELING that happened yesterday when we got the travel confirmation email.
You know those BIG FEELINGS that surge through you like a million electric eels, each one writhing with its own energy- exhilaration, anxiety, terror, joy, giddiness, wonder, and a touch of despair for what will be left behind? When the email came through, I was stunned into an unusual-for-me stillness. A sort of quiet that my body and mind rarely settle into. I couldn’t quite sort one wriggly eel-feeling from the next. I sat with that for a minute or two- just watching those worm fish gobble up all my excuses and alternate plans. And then I laugh-cried a little bit and got on with my day (because that’s just how I’m wired).
Fortunately, shortly after I received our travel confirmation, I was contacted by actual real-life-human people from a few of the agencies that Immigration was tossing me into Catch-22s on. You see, Aussie visa requirements are tough. Super tough. Make the U.S. look like we fling the doors wide open for newcomers tough. And some of the paperwork I need to get the visas approved (which we need to enter country), I can’t actually get until we arrive and have a street address and/or local notary public stamp (which I can’t get until we get there). So, that’s a bit of fun.
But I am my grandmother’s girl, and I put that
hard-headedness *ahem* determination to good use and managed to worm out a few kind spirits in the bureaucratic system. One of them even called me! On the telephone! And took care of all the things! It was magical and I wish she could be in charge of everything in my life from here on out. But, alas, she did not accept my marriage proposal and/or unpaid personal assistanceship offer- which pays very well in “exposure,” so I said.
That is really all the news for now. We are still trying to get the house packed up and rented, figure out what we want to bring along, and try to finish out our time here in the rich company of friends and family- and, occasionally, very fascinating strangers.