Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oh, The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

It was during my TEFL training that I got the news about Tom Petty's death, which just adds more poignancy to that song as it's been playing repeatedly in my head these past few weeks.

Life is short, and when something you want is right in front of you, coming your way, but still just out of reach... yes, the waiting is the hardest part.

I thought I'd be celebrating the arrival of 2018 in China.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men. So yesterday, when I thought I'd be eating lunch in my new China town, I was eating lunch in L.A.'s Chinatown instead. (Dim Sum at Tian's... good stuff.)

Unfortunately, too many people have scammed the Chinese government by using teaching as a pretense to get a work visa, entering the country, then doing something else. So China has taken measures to stop the scammers by being a lot stricter in its application process. I don't blame them for doing it -- it's an appropriate response to a serious problem -- but it does make things a lot more difficult for those of us with pure intentions.

One bad apple may not
spoil the whole bunch,
but a lot of bad apples
have made it a lot more
difficult to work in China!
So, despite Donny's best
wishes, I'm not there yet.
That's why I'm still here in Los Angeles. What I'd hoped would be a smooth process has been filled with stops and starts. Sometimes, I've had to retrace my steps and redo things that needed to be fixed. Crazy little things that shouldn't have gone wrong, did. (Like the Department of Justice sending me a letter that was missing the required signature. Or USC mistakenly giving me a copy of somebody else's notary-stamped transcript instead of mine.)

And the waiting has been hard. Very hard. Consuming my thoughts and paralyzing my motivation to get anything other than my visa completed. That, of course, has made the task of packing up my house more difficult, which only adds to the stress and frustration.

But there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

My flight out to China has been rescheduled for January 18, and if all goes well -- knock on wood -- I'll be "all systems go" with (hopefully) a week to spare.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me. Because this waiting... well, it's hard!

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