So. I was slatted to go on a work trip with a friend’s department. It’s not the department I work with, but she pulled some strings and I am cool with her boss, so I was asked along. The company paid half and I paid the other. We flew out of Phuket headed to Vietnam Saturday morning.
I fell asleep on the plane, and was the last one off. As I got off of the plane, which didn’t have the usual little ramp between the plane door and the walkway, I fell. Rolled my ankle, pulled the muscles in my arch. I cried a bit, despite my desire to be tough (shake it off, my father always said), and things just went downhill from there.
I caught up with the group, we got our luggage, headed to the international terminal after getting lunch. The guide from the Travel agency was getting people signed in when suddenly the entry visa is mentioned.
Americans need to pre-register for a visa when going to Vietnam. I knew this. I talked to the travel agency about this, so did my friend. They said they would handle it. I asked again, to make sure. I asked THREE TIMES.
It wasn’t done.
So, we go for an emergency visa. It takes a few things some assurance from the airline, stuff like that. We get that done, right in the nick of time, the paperwork is being turned in, my friend looks at it…
I thought she was going to scream. The paperwork listed my nationality as American but my home country as the U.K. On one section I was female, on another I was male.
Obviously this would not work.
By this time I’ve secured myself a wheelchair (something else the travel agent wouldn’t do, that my previous travel agents would have), and I’m rolling around while people argue in Thai. Finally, again, we think it’s done. My friend puts her baggage in to be checked, they might have to hold the plane, but not for long.
Then the computers crash and payment doesn’t go through.
Fuck it. They could have managed to get me on a later flight, which would give them more time to get everything properly done, but no. I said I’d stay the night in Bangkok and then get a train home the next morning. Had I gone on the plane probably would have crashed.
My friend decided to stay as well (she was and still is furious with the agent, and she didn’t want to travel with her for any amount of time), and we stayed with one of her family members who lives in the city. We had Vietnamese for dinner, Indian for Sunday lunch, Mexican for Sunday dinner, and then today, Monday, we came home.
I’m exhausted, and my foot hurts. I just want to curl up and not move for another week. Luckily the business trip is technically until Tuesday, so I can relax (hopefully). My fridge was unplugged by someone (read: cat) while I was away, so all of my food is ruined.
I hope all of September doesn’t go this way. I won’t make it to see October if that’s the case!
(In exciting news, I was able to pick up a new Sheaffer Intensity, cornflower blue; some Caran d’Ache ink, hypnotic turquoise; and some J. Herban ink, violette (scented). So that’s cool. Not enough pen stuff here on the island!)