Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday Thoughts....

Guess what?  I saw Manny Ramirez at the gym today.  Not that I'm name-dropping or that this is anything particularly new.  Manny is usually at our the gym most every morning when the Dodgers are in town.  I see him just about every M-W and F.  He pretty much just sticks to his workout and wants to be left alone...and for the most part (except for one of the trainers who got him to pose for a photo with her this morning!) - people try to leave him be.  Today... I happened to wear my Los Angeles Dodgers t-shirt...when Manny saw me he gave me a big grin and a fist-pump...which I promptly returned, and went about my business.

Things are finally coming together for our move (which is a good thing, too....we get on the airplane in sixteen very short days!!)  Amy Suzzanne got her visa approved and issued today.  Yaaaay!  One more thing that we can check off of "The List".  Unfortunately, MY visa is still "in the works" for now, as we await some sort of indication from Deloitte on whether or not I'll be getting a "letter of employment".  This would be my only assurance of my getting an "employment visa".  To be perfectly honest...since patience is not exactly my long-suit...I'm getting more-than-a-little anxious about this, as it is completely out of my hands.  However...not 100% out of my control.  I have actually come to an "executive decision" on this point.  If nothing is forthcoming by the middle of next week, I've decided to take matters into my own hands and just make the call myself and approve the issuing of my "tourist visa"... and be done with it. Being "in the dark" is no fun for me.  Especially with only a few days of cushion!!

The good news is that the "moving and packing" company received final "corporate approval" today.  We are thrilled, as you can was the company that we would have chosen anyway had it been entirely up to us.  They seem like real pros.  By far, most of our remaining stuff (which honestly is not all that much...local Pasadena charity was the big winner in this deal!!) will go into storage for two years.  The other stuff got approved (because there is so little of it!) for an air shipment, as opposed to a sea shipment.  The air shipment actually works out to be less money than the sea variety, because we aren't really sending all that much stuff.  My golf clubs (and five-dozen Titleist NXT's - - I heard that golf equipment over there costs 100% more due to taxes and tariffs!), one of Amy's saddles, Beloved's large dog-crate, filled to the top with a bunch of "Beloved Gear" (toys, clothes, etc.) - some extra shoes and clothes for both of us, my dress cassocks and a few vestments.  For now, we're putting all of the air shipment stuff into our den, which has officially become the "India Room".

Here's the not-so-great part.  Last night began a series of stressful incidents that I think we've got a handle on now - but my "worry hour" almost became a full-fledged "panic hour" in the middle of the night.  You see, late yesterday, I had this very clear thought come into my head...the kind I have learned NOT to ignore.  The thought was..."Hey, this is finally all coming together..."  (i.e., we've decided that we are definitely going to lease that terrific house in Banjara Hills, we're also going to keep the staff that "comes with the house" - our new landlords (who sound like the dearest people!) were extra happy about this part...I think the so-called "help" in India becomes more like "family", and I'm certain the same thing will hold true for me and Amy!  Our driver's name is "Krishna" - I think that's a good sign, personally!!)  We booked our travel today with Deloitte's awesome travel people (really efficient!) but...  "...Maybe we had better make sure that all of the doggie-paperwork for Beloved is in order as well!"

Oh, I had a general idea about all that I believed to be required...but - - when I began researching things on the Internet...I started to see the words "NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE" everywhere.  The more I dug into things, the more I was certain that not only was this mysterious form going to be a requirement for Beloved to go along with us to Hyderabad...but it didn't look like any piece o' cake to obtain, either!!

The instructions, directly from the Indian government website, mind you, were a wee bit confusing.  What I got from my first reading of the document was this:  That "the No Objection Certificate must be applied for and obtained, in person, in India, before you arrive in India"

Let's recap, shall we?  "The No Objection Certificate must be applied for and obtained, in person, in India, before you arrive in India"  What???

So...after my head stopped it turns out...there is a company in India (, I kid you not!) that takes care of obtaining the mystery N.O.C.  For a mere 25,000.00 rupees (about $550.00)...they will be our "boots on the ground" in India and get all of the proper paperwork filed.

Sounds good...and worth it to us!!  BUT!!  The "footwork" that I have to get done to prepare to send the information TO the Fuzzy Wuzzy a LOT!!

First of all, after making a half-dozen phone calls to get my ducks I had to run Beloved straight over to the vet's office to get her a rabies booster shot.  You see, according to their laws, India does not accept the standard "three-year variety" she needed to have this one ASAP.  We may actually have to "fudge" the date of the vaccination a bit...but I'll take the extra time in Purgatory for the "little white lie" in this case!!

Next on the list...within 10 days of our departure (NINE, actually, because the health certificate expires on the tenth day!), Beloved has to undergo a complete physical exam and be issued a Health Certificate by a USDA-accredited veterinarian.  First step (and first call this morning)...check with the USDA to see if Bee's vet is officially "approved".  To get this answer...I had to call the USDA in Colorado.  As it happens...our vet is on the list (thanks be to God!)  So...her exam appointment is at 7:30 A.M. next Thursday. Why so early?  Because as soon as we're done...we have to drive fast-as-a-rabbit down to Hawthorne to the LAX USDA office...because it happens to be the only place that does the necessary official USDA "endorsement" - - but they are open only between the hours of 7:00 and 11:00 A.M.  So...if there's any traffic on the 405...we are sunk!  There are two forms that need the official endorsement...the actual Health Certificate itself... and something called "Annexure #1"...which looks to me like the exact same exact information ... only on a different form.  Typical bureaucracy...whether here... or in India!

Then, we e-mail a package containing the USDA-endorsed health forms to the "Fuzzy Folks"...along with Beloved's vaccination record, a copy of my passport, a copy of my full Lufthansa flight itinerary (thank God we got that taken care of today!!!) and our new address in Hyderabad!!

It takes 3-4 days to get her "completely certified".  THAT MEANS WE WILL GET THE CERTIFICATE.... OH, ABOUT 12-HOURS BEFORE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO GET ON THE PLANE!!

That's cutting it a lot closer than I would choose, personally...but - I figure God has got us this far...He won't cause us to stumble at the finish-line just because there happen to be a couple of "i's" that are not crossed or "t's" that are not dotted.


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