Thursday, May 20, 2010

One down, one to go!

With regard to our moving to the other side of the globe, I have pretty much been focused on TWO "major projects" for the last few weeks.  The "packing and moving" part does not occupy too many of my random brain cells...the professionals both inside and outside of Deloitte. have made these parts of our move relatively stress-free.  The packers and movers and shippers are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and, with regards to them, I have no worries - I'm comfortably certain that things will be packed and shipped and either arrive safely in storage...or arrive in some sort of acceptable condition in Hyderabad shortly after the three of us do!

The things that have been taking up the most gigabytes on the hard-drive inside my noggin are my travel visa and Beloved's various travel documents.

Today was officially "Bee Day"...  everything we did today to secure Beloved's paperwork were the things that needed to be done within ten-days of our departure.  The goal of doing all this footwork is a simple little certificate, issued by the Indian government, called a "No Objection Certificate" (NOC).  This little gem needs to be picked up in person in Bangalore, India.  As I mentioned at another time, we found a wonderful company called Fuzzy Wuzzy - run by an amazing animal-loving lady named RishyaRishya has patiently been guiding us through the process of obtaining the NOC and all of the requirements (and they are legion - see below!).

In addition, as I was sitting at Starbucks the other morning, contemplating our fast-approaching departure date in my Day-Planner - I noticed that I had written "Frankfurt" on the dates May 30, 31 and June 1.  I was sipping my coffee and daydreaming about walking through the Frankfurt woods with Amy and Bee, drinking some nice German beers and eating a nice hot bowl of asparagus soup, as May is the month of "Spargelfest" - or the annual "Asparagus Festival" in that region of Germany.  When suddenly it hits me!!

"Aaaaarrrrrghhhh! Accckkk!!"  GERMANY!!  That's right!  We're going to go through Germany!!!  "Oh my God! I wonder if there are any special forms or requirements for taking Bee off the plane and into the heart of Frankfurt??"  I rushed home and Googled "Taking dogs to Germany".  Well, silly me!  Of course there's a special German form!!  Why shouldn't Germany get in on the paperwork explosion!

Thank goodness the German Consulate's website is so complete!!  They not only explained the procedure (it's about 1/100th the amount of work that goes into getting the Indian documentation!!) - but it provided a link to the proper form in PDF right there on the site!

I would just have to throw it on the stack of papers that I took to the USDA office in Hawthorne and get it endorsed along with the rest of the documents. consisted of getting Bee to the vet's office at 7:30 A.M. - - getting her weighed and examined and looked-over from nose to tail...collecting her signed two main health certificates (U.S. and Indian, and now...German as well!) microchipping verification, vaccination records and anti-rabies certificates all together.

Then, (in what turned out to be some of the worst rush-hour traffic I've been in all year!) - rush down to Hawthorne (near the L.A. International Airport) to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have all of the above verified and (literally) given the USDA "stamp of approval".

I gotta mention the luck I had when I got there.  I arrived just before 10:00 A.M.  There is this tiny "lobby" inside the door after they buzz you in.  I was the only person there (thanks be to God!!!) when I arrived...and - imagine if you will...a typical federal government office.  You couldn't make this $#!+ up....picture the DMV's efficiency...yet operating on too-large a dose of Thorazine!!!  This poor fellow must have told me 5 or 6 times that "someone would be with me soon" - - while he fielded a fifteen minute telephone-call about a dog being shipped to New Zealand... and the "17-page form" that needed to be filled out and accompany the pooch.

All the while, the official Presidential portrait is up the wall, with Barack Obama smiling down on me - and creeping me out!!!

I kid you not...after the poor fellow on the other side of the front counter was done talking on the phone, he gets up from his cluttered desk, shoots me the now-obligatory "Someone will be right with you, sir..." line as he passes me....and then disappears for ten more minutes.

Wouldn't you know it?? The same fellow comes back around the corner, stands directly in front of me and asks:  "O.K., now...may I help you??"

You are kidding, right?  This is what you're going with??  He's, like, the only dude there!?!  In the meantime, there are something like seven-maybe-eight additional people and four dogs who were crammed into the little ante-room behind me - including a very sweet girl who was planning to take her 14-year-old Dachshund to France...and her Dachsie is in a "wheelchair" contraption!!

In about forty-five minutes total, including listening to another five-minute-long phone conversation about shipping a horse to Argentina!!)... I was all done.... and God-only-knows when the rest of those poor souls were going to get out of there!!

The other major memory-robbing project on my docket is my own travel visa dilemma.  Unfortunately, THAT tale will have to wait until tomorrow to tell...suffice it to say the dilemma is now 100% in my hands to deal with (the way I like it!!) - - and I will be on a plane to San Francisco on Sunday night to go do battle with the Indian Consulate up there!!

More on THAT P.I.T.A. .... tomorrow!!

No comments:

Post a Comment