So I have been known to get quite stressed out at times, and I must admit, I am not fun when I do! The thing that stresses me out the most though, is getting Visa’s. I don’t know why, but something about the complicated process, ridiculous documentation and varying waiting times just gets works me up into a frightful mess. Do you remember this post? Travel Trauma wow.
But you’ve got to understand, I have had to get four different visa’s this year, plus a replacement passport for my lost one! USA, UK, Australia and Canada. Not only were these really expensive and most of them were valid for only 6 months (Australia gave me a 1month visa and USA gave me a ten year), I have a habit of leaving things a little late. At one stage, I had 3 weeks to get a passport, a USA and a UK visa! (I must applaud Home Affairs for their awesome new passport process).
A few weeks before I left for Vancouver, right in the middle of possibly the most stressful phase of my thesis project, I applied for my Canadian Visa. There was a huge mix-up with the courier company collecting my documents. I had specifically told the operator to call me before coming to fetch them, since I was working late at camps that week and couldn’t guarantee where I would be. So the courier comes for my documents, and I wasn’t home and he leaves. The next day I call back, and ask them to come back and this time, to PLEASE CALL ME! Around 4pm there was still no call so I race home only to find that the courier was just there and had left. Again. Now with the clock ticking on the visa-processing, I panicked. I called the courier office, insisted that the driver return immediately. I was so angry, I think I may have even tried to lodge a formal complaint against the driver.
So this skinny dude arrives at my gate, and honestly, I am not proud about the massive earful I gave the poor guy! *Rhea, breathe, one, two, ok* (is what I should have said. I’m not going to tell you what I actually said) To be fair, it wasn’t really his fault since he hadn’t even got the message to call me in the first place.
So today, after a sweaty gym session I was cooling off in the shower when the door-bell rings. The book I’d ordered had arrived. Crap, I’d forgotten about that! So I race out in a bath-robe, with a towel on my head, leaving pools of water all over my floor. I fling open my door, clutching my towel around me, and my jaw drops! Standing in front of me is THE SAME DELIVERY GUY that I’d been so inexplicably rude to a month ago! For a moment I was lost for words, then I half close the door, pretend like I don’t recognise him and proceed to sign for my parcel from behind the door. It was really ridiculous but I just couldn’t face him! (By the way, to make matters even worse, I got my visa more than a week before I left for Canada! Cringe!)
Moral of this story: Don’t lose your cool in stressful circumstances. Treat people well, even strangers, because the world is way smaller than you think! On that note…
By the way, the book I got is called ‘Boiling Point’ by Leonie Joubert. I’ve wanted it for ages…It follows the lives of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, showing how their lives are so severely turned upside down by the effects of climate change. Let me quote something from the intro:
“When you tug on a single thing in nature, said the conservationist John Muir, you find it is attached to the rest of the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in the climate crisis. Tugging on a thread of our shared atmosphere in China or the U.S., for example, by shunting pollution into the skies, causes the fabric of local weather patterns to unravel half a world away.
Climate change is the biggest moral problem of our time, as people who have contributed little to the pollution responsible for global warming are increasingly understood to be most vulnerable to the shifting environment around them. In Boiling Point, Leonie Joubert embarks on a journey in which she explores the lives of some South Africans affected by this phenomenon: a rooibos tea farmer in the Northern Cape, a traditional fisherman in Lamberts Bay, a farmer in the center of the Free States maie belt, a political refugee in Pietermaritburg and a sangoma in Limpopo mining country. Most of these communities live on a knife-edge because of poverty and their dependence on an already capricious natural environment. Boiling Point considers what might happen to them as normal weather trends are amplified in a hotter world.”
I know this is going to be a good one! Enjoy!