In this honeymove update #1, we are currently 8.5 days away from funemployment, and 23 days from leaving the U.S. for Tokyo. This week, we submitted a lot of paperwork for visas and donated a LOT of stuff to Goodwill. Here are some things I did this week to get ready for our departure:
–Early this week, I went to get a chest x-ray to prove to the New Zealand government that I don’t have TB. I mean, I know I don’t have TB, but New Zealand doesn’t. I went to the radiology office and explained that I needed an x-ray for a work visa (which also means there is some paperwork the radiologist needs to fill out). But the radiology technician gave me so much attitude when I asked him if the office could fill out a six or seven page form.
Let’s just agree: no one is a fan of paperwork. But it has to be done, and I try to crack a joke when I present forms to the authorities needed. The tech used as an opportunity to complain about how TB is eradicated and asked me “Do we really need to do this?” I replied it’s pretty obvious what the New Zealand government wants confirmation of my health via this government form. Seriously sir, should I just call New Zealand to get a one-time exemption so you don’t have to do paperwork? It doesn’t work that way, so let’s be a team and get this paperwork done together.
Thinking this was Washington, D.C., one of the most transient cities ever, I thought it wouldn’t be unusual for someone to come in wanting an x-ray and some forms filled out. I was so annoyed, I wrote a complaint on a piece of notebook paper and thought of leaving it in the empty see-through patient feedback box. But the tech got the paperwork done within 20 minutes, so I abstained from submitting the complaint. I got the forms filled out, I consider that a win.
–I sold my iMac to a Apple vendor and hope to use the credit towards a Macbook Air. I lugged that 25 lbs. computer a couple of blocks to FedEx, so that served as my arm workout for the day. The new computer… I’m pretty excited about it. Not sure if I will buy before we leave the U.S. or buy it in Asia.
–On Wednesday, I submitted all my paperwork to the New Zealand visa processing office in D.C. The office is not extraordinary; the door outside could have passed for the entrance to Murray’s office from Flight of the Conchords.
–On Friday, Kiwi and I visited the New Zealand Embassy thanks to an invitation by a woman I met via the Digital Diplomacy Coalition. This week, I worked with the DDC to secure some space at my place of employment to host an event on how regions like Catalonia use social media for their diplomatic aims. The Kiwi was very happy to visit the Kiwi Room, the social space where Embassy staff can host guests on Friday evenings. We chatted with some staffers, and it was a very pleasant time. I hope the consulate in Auckland hosts social events where I can get my ‘Murica on.
–On Saturday, the Kiwi and I went to FedEx to ask how much it would be to ship a 30 lbs. box to Auckland via the slowest shipping option available. The FedEx employee quoted $1,600! That’s crazy. DHL is quoting something more like $500 flat for a fixed dimension box. I think we’re going to use DHL.
–On Sunday, we did the third Goodwill run, donating extra plates, clothes, small lamps, and other things we don’t think we can sell on Craigslist. I also bought our backpackers travel insurance and our visa-on-arrival letter for Vietnam. (In Vietnam, you can’t buy your visa at the airport. You either get a letter ahead of time, and present it to immigration; or you get a visa in your passport. We’re going the letter route.)
This week, we’ll sell some more stuff on Craigslist. I’ll finish my big deliverables for work and start the transition memo for my coworkers. We’ll probably track what Glenn Greenwald has to say about New Zealand spying. Later this week, the Kiwi and I are traveling down to the Florida Panhandle to visit my parents and brother and get some beach time in. It’ll be a nice respite from packing. Depending on what we do, I hope to write up a little travel guide to 30A (the highway that runs along the Emerald Coast in Florida.)
As a way to end this blog post, here is a Flickr collection of New Zealand posters as featured on Flight of the Conchords.